why should I study
There are three problems with this attitude. Three assumptions here:
- IT and related professions should pay more than other type of labor.
- Cab driving is somehow easier than coding.
- Cab driving requires no special skills that you need to learn.
This attitude is a major Indian problem and the absence of dignity of labor is preventing Indians from getting adequate skill development in a lot of sectors. Successful cab drivers in India possess a variety of special skills that an average IT worker doesn’t.
It is very easy to shake your brother back to reality. During one of the family weddings make your brother the cab driver. Pay him an equivalent of Rs. 1000/day [the max most cab drivers make] and then make him work all day ferrying your relatives all across the busy roads of the city along with carrying their stuff around at the destination. After two days of working 15 hour days in the crazy roads of India, your brother would beg to study. In the real world, the passengers would be a lot harsher than your relatives.
Skills we can learn from successful drivers
I love both coding (doing for 20 years) and driving (driven extensively in 6 countries) as passion. Both require their own set of skillsets. I have chatted a lot with a variety of cab drivers in various countries. Here are some of the best traits.
- Art of negotiation: Successful drivers are masters of negotiation. From getting their cab license to acquiring key routes to fixing fares they are often very good at things. I often feel that if some of those folks didn’t enter driving, they might become lawyers or politicians.
- Art of patience: The average cab driver is often impatient and can be rude. Many of those don’t survive long. But, most of the highly paid ones are those who are there for the long term. They are patient both on the road and with their passengers.
- Flexibility: Successful drivers, such as the truck drivers in Alberta or the cab drivers in major metropolis are also fairly flexible in both their hours worked and with new changes to their environment.
- Staying updated: A cab driver can never stop learning. He has to constantly look for new routes, new construction works and other things that might either help or impede his work.
If an average IT worker masters these, he/she can expect very high wages too.
Now, the economics part
For years, advocates of free markets and globalization were arguing that things would trickle down to the bottom. When cab drivers in developing countries earn a good living through honest, hard work they become living proof that the markets work.
Once they earn well, they will have spare money to both finetune their skills & infrastructure [better cars, better professionalism] as well as buy more goods. This would grow the economy and be better for all of us. The profession would also attract better talent with more money and that would be better for the consumers. India’s suppressed manual labor class can now finally hope for a decent, meaningful middle class living. All this coming not from socialist revolution, but plain old free market economics makes it even nicer. We are not there yet, but we are inching there.
In summary, the problematic part is not that he refuses to study, but that he refuses to see the value of labor and hard work. Indian parents should instill the value of labor by getting their kids to work part-time. This is how kids in other parts of the world realize the value of labor & money. Once you realize this, life is not as complicated.
Credits: Balaji Viswanathan
It is not only the cab drivers who make more money than an IT professional but even a tea vendor or a coolie at a railways station makes far more money than an IT professional.
It is quite common for coolies to demand exorbitant fare when you have so much luggage with you that you can’t carry. They earn sometime Rs 200–300 for just a few minutes of service. They make several thousand rupees in a day, much more than a young IT professional.
Coolies may, however, be making only as much money even after decades of experience while an IT professional would make 10 times that much of money when he/she gains experience and develop higher level skill in the job.
- A coolie with 20 years of experience does not make more money than a coolie who has just started the job.
- An IT professional with 20 years of experience makes 10–100 times more money than a fresh graduate.
Your profession is not only to make money.
It is your identity and a source of social prestige.
The Prime Minister of India or the President of USA may be earning only a small amount per month. However, their status and prestige is beyond the imagination of even the richest people in the world. They would happily wait in queue to meet them.
(The who’s who of Indian business industry were seen lined to meet the US President and Modi at the US-Indo CEO forum in New Delhi )
- Money is not everything in life.
- You don’t work to merely earn money.
How you earn the money is much more important and relevant.
Credits: Awdhesh Singh
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