Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Grabbing ‘Gobment’ Service - I

Yes, that is how Bengalis refer to government jobs. Landing up with one is the dream around which middle-class family life revolves. Every teenager in a typical middle-class Bengali family is advised extensively to get a Public Service Commission card and try to obtain as many forms for government exams as possible. Then you have to go through the grind that has multiple layers, only to end up in a beetel-stained, dilapidated office building, writing a yellow-paged logbook with a pen that has a blue and red refill at either ends. It’s so stereotypical.

But there are quite a few slips before you make it to that creaky chair that promises lot of job security but zero job satisfaction. You need to sweat it out at serpentine queues, umbrella in one hand and water-bottle in another, not to forget a bag dangling on your shoulders containing all your marksheets, their Xerox copies, your birth certificate, your ration card, your identity card, and many other cards that can make life so smooth for you. Then with the form in hand, you need to go around hunting out gazetted officers from their privileged holes. When they have blessed you with their stamp of approval (better keep some time in hand, they may not have the rubber stamp with them always, and when they do, there might not be enough ink in the stamp pad) and signature, it’s time to figure how to deposit the money and where. Better ask some veteran in this field, for there are many aspirants who are struggling for years and know more about the details of the exam than the examiners. If you want your money to reach its destination, rely on ‘senior’ advice.

Then you wait. Yes, wait for the postal system to find out your house among millions (don’t argue that you have attested a self-addressed envelope with the form) to get you the admit card. When it gets delivered to you, it’s just on the day before the exam, or in a worse case scenario, after the exam. In the former case, you need a topographical map then. No, you are not going on a trek, it’s just that the exam center is so remotely located that you need archaeological assistance. After you have zeroed in on the exact location and called up everyone you know to find out which God-forsaken transport you need to perch yourself on, go to sleep early for you have to get up real soon the next day for your government exam!

What happens on the exam day? Stay tuned for
Grabbing ‘Gobment’ Service - II

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