Sunday, February 23, 2014

A lesson or two from Velamkanni

Velamkanni is a migrant farm worker from Tamil Nadu, working at Kerala, who had work at our farm today. He was supposed to start at 8 a.m, and when I reached the farm at 7.45 am, he was ready, which was a big surprise for me, emanating from the fact that even top executives of fortune companies struggle with punctuality. They walk in late, meeting after meeting, saying sorry after sorry, without really understanding the meaning of sorry. In none of  the Indian languages, the equivalent word of sorry is said with pride and unfortunately these senior executives repeatedly uses it without any shame. They sometimes even take pride in making others wait for them, which is a true manifestation of  'I dont care for you and your time'.
 
To my delight,Velamkanny struck to the eight hour working day by really performing eight hours productive work with total commitment. I salute him for his professionalism, commitment and self esteem. He worked for eight hours perfectly and then stopped. No freebies to please the employer. I just loved that attitude of  'I respect you and myself' so give and take respect. 
 
In one organisation where I advovated eight hour working days as part of the agile training, many ended up spending eight hours at the workplace, which included four cigarette breaks, two tea breaks, one lunch break and a table tennis break, and the blame was for the coach who introduced the eight hour working days. To my surprise Velamkanni packed his bags after clocking eight hours of effective work. This was a great surprise for me. Definitely there is a lesson or two to learn from Velamkanni for our white and blue collared. I salute this humble and noble human being.
 
Agile frameworks are value based than rule based, and 'commitment' from everyone is the entry criteria to be part of an agile team. Only committed team members, those who are committed to the success of the product of the project are welcomed into the team. Is this a given?. When one takes home a decent salary, they have the moral responsibility to deliver by working whole heartedly eight hours per day, and then go home and relax, so that it becomes sustainable.

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