Moonlighting: House is short of extra room

Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji

Photo credit Twitter Rishad Premji

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, September 25: Moonlighting is now being passionately discussed after the IT major Wipro cracked whip to sack 300 employees in one go. The issue is still in grey area, as is the case with the office of profit that requires Constitution experts to explain the brain-twister norms.

Is moonlighting cheating?

If so, then teachers and lecturers in schools and colleges have been cheating for decades.

Is moonlighting just hard work by employees to monetize their skills? It should sound logical, but the employers must know.

But employers in India by nature wish their employees to be perennially poor. So, why would they agree to the employees monetizing their skills in non-office hours?

Moonlighting should be immoral, for the employees have signed contracts to work for one employer.

But morality is a relative term that could be explained as per one’s conveniences, while the basic structure may apply consisting of truth, non-violence, fidelity and being social.

Contracts in India are most often signed by employees under compulsions to meet immediate goals. There are not too many employers like the Tatas.

Some surveys often pop up here and there that 60-70 per cent employees would quit their jobs immediately. Former vice chairman of NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya had noted that the challenge for the Indian economy is that of low wages, inadequate compensation for skills, and also the skill-job mismatch.

Employers, who are themselves cheats, wish that their employees would walk on the path shown by Lord Ram of simplicity and sufferings and stay obedient.

Let’s sample employers in the media industry in the national capital to shed light on the rot.

One prominent news agency, which has a swanky office, expects its employees to read WhatsApp messages 24X7, who during eight-hour shifts cannot leave workstations even for tea, no contracts will be shared with them, leaves cannot be availed, salary could be cut even if leaves were sanctioned in writing, young women copywriters are asked to write pornographic contents to drive traffic for news website, and they cannot leave because relieving letters could be denied, which otherwise is not given if one doesn’t complete one year, and also pressurizes journalists to sign that they would serve three months of notice period and wouldn’t join media rivals for another six months.

Well, the list of immorality of this news agency is too long, and may spill over the immediate issue of moonlighting.

This news agency could be an exception, run by psychopaths!

Okay, then check on with Noida-based media companies, against whom the journalists have lodged FIRs after quitting their jobs.

Exceptions are new normal.

And if work from home is the root cause of all the malaise, who is stopping the employers from asking the employees to report to their offices.

The Covid-19 pandemic is already over, and the stockpiles of the vaccines have also been exhausted. The offices can open, but the IT majors are benefiting from the savings on rentals, electricity, amenities, etc.

The employers can create an ecosystem where the employees respect the weekly work hours, and just be done with, and the bosses shouldn’t be texting or calling in non-office hours.

Ever since Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lowered the corporate tax, the business houses are bloating with profits with no tangible sharing of the gains with employees or even with their customers.

Who respects such employers?

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3 thoughts on “Moonlighting: House is short of extra room

  1. Exploitative employers/CEOs/departmental heads should not be expecting their employees respecting high-bar of work ethics. In journalism too owners/ editors or Bureau chiefs who themselves run ‘protection racket’ are least
    Qualified to preach other employees to sticking to the basics of ‘objective’ reporting and presenting ‘news as it comes.’

    A minimum financial autonomy is a key to a journalist (or any other employee) for achieving his/her writing /reporting or work autonomy and goals. ‘How much is enough’ , of course, is quite a personal choice.

    Barring few professionally-run companies with well laid-out terms and conditions , a majority of employers in India run their organisations like mercenaries with hire & fire rules ( news papers, news agencies, TV channels, included).

  2. In my opinion moonlighting isn’t cheating. In this day and age everyone wants a better quality of life and will do whatever it takes to get there. With office politics and most people feeling underpaid it often leaves no other choice than to take up another job. As long as it doesn’t compromise the efficiency at work of the primary job, nor threatens the primary job, or sabotages the company per se, i think there’s nothing wrong with it. Especially in the medical field it’s quite common and i don’t consider it cheating.

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