Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The life of an IT wife

Image source : funinstore

If you came here thinking, this is a post about a -'Tag-you're it" game between wives, or a wives manual on how to become the 'It' wife, i.e the wife that has it all........then I'm sorry to disappoint you, it's about none of that, lol.
For those who may not know (what were you living under a rock somewhere??), IT stands for Information Technology,  or the computer software industry, or as many Indians consider it , the magical industry that has helped shape the careers of the millions of engineers churned out by the countless engineering colleges of India each year.

The IT industry has actually helped the middle class of India tremendously, the middle class has grown in number compared to just about two decades ago, and continues to grow....Because of the global demand for IT, and India having a ready made, qualified, manpower at disposal to satiate this demand, it was a perfect marriage..... Indian youth needed jobs and the IT sector provided those in abundance. The IT industry created a newer breed of Indian youth, who traveled the world,  saw different cultures, had more disposable income, and as a result a higher spending potential.

There's also another particular, albeit unintended, by-product of this IT industry, and that is the IT wife. She is the woman who is married to an IT guy, but is not into the IT industry herself, her only association to the industry is through her spouse. If she herself is into IT, than she cannot be tagged as the IT wife, as she has a direct link to the industry.

So what's special about this breed you ask ??
Well, for starters, the IT wife, has to pretty much give up any hope of having a stable career for herself, partly because by the very nature of the IT husband's job, they would be moving around a lot, probably even around the world,  and partly because of the visa norms of various countries not allowing 'dependents' to work, and hence having a stable job may not be always feasible, in turn making her more dependent on her husband. So she can forget about getting promotions, and going up the corporate ladder, and can watch her ex-batchmates from college instead climb the success ladder, and sigh when she reads their facebook updates about their latest promotions and salary hikes.
So the IT wife is kind of like a new age reincarnation of the erstwhile IAS, IPS, IFS, army, navy etc etc officer's wife...I mean those variety of wives still exist, but they aren't as much in vogue, the IT wife is the new chick on the block, and has stolen their thunder...

Then the IT wife also has to be a very sociable person, never mind that she may have a shy personality, and might not want to mingle with a lot of different people, but she must brave through that, and aim to be a social butterfly, this is because with every move to a new place, will come the void of a non-existant social and friend circle, so she must try and fill this void at the earliest, by making acquaintances with new people, how else will she be able to attend the countless potlucks, and diwali parties and kids' birthday parties, etc in the local desi circle ???  hence her shy nature may not be of use to her, in this case...

She also must master the art of packing, unpacking and living in suitcases, thanks to the frequent moves. She must perfect the art of living a spartan life, and accumulating just enough stuff to fit into their luggage, and still be under the weight limit allowed by the airlines.

She cannot have silly notions like once her husband is home, he can spend time with his family, no siree bob, as being an IT wife, one must learn that her husband is never truly off work , he is on call always, like an ER doctor.  She may also have to be a single mother for intermittent periods of time, as her husband is away to a foreign land on 'short-term assignments', never mind that such assignments can sometimes vary between 6-8 months, oh well, don't the army wives do it ?? So why complain, one should know better before marrying an IT husband.
She must get well-versed with terms of the IT industry, like onsite client, offshore team, support team, delivery team, deployment, offshore calls, and many more...She must know what these terms refer to and be able to toss them around like a pro.

Whether she wants to or not, she will get enough knowledge of the visa norms of many countries, to start a consulting firm of her own to guide those who wish to move to those countries, ofcourse she can never actually use the knowledge and start the consultancy, because as earlier mentioned she cannot pursue a stable career.

She may have to miss important family events, like her brother's wedding, or the birth of her niece, etc but she must toughen up and attribute it to the hazard's of the job, and focus on her next potluck she can have instead with other IT wives . Instead of physically being near her parents, she will have to contend with long webcam sessions, where the family will be paraded in front of the webcam for her kids so that they remember their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins' faces and names...which ofcourse they won't.

Such is the life of the IT wife, she's a IAS officer's wife, an army wife, a doctor's wife all rolled into one, it's a dirty job, but hey someone's gotta do it, right ???

P.S : This is a fun post, not meant to hurt any sentiments, if you find it offensive, my apologies in advance


  1. :) It is so true. My wife qualified for the title for the first three years. Now, she herself is an IT girl. Can you write about IT husbands? Just kidding. Loved the post.

  2. SO TRUE.

    However, I was in IT myself. This all worked fine for us when we were dating and early married. We both came and went according to our own deadlines, IT crashes, emergencies, etc. It was nice because we both understand the flakiness. Then, our kids came along. Fortunately, I was okay with staying home with the kids. Now, even as the dawn of school arrives, I am still pondering what to do, because having a career will still be a total pain in the ASS as long as my guy is an IT guy.

    Oh and the best part??? Not only is my husband IT, he owns his own business. A few weekends ago, my sister came over on a SAturday for lunch and was shocked that Manoj was at work. Um, I am always telling my family he is working because IT IS ACTUALLY TRUE. I guess she had to SEE it to believe it. :-)

  3. oh God , why u writing these stuffs...later IT Guy will not get a girl lol...nice post

  4. LOL... I can so relate to this post. I know how it's like marrying a techie. :) Fun read, nice post!!!

  5. wow.. interesting post.. i am a software engineer myself.. looks like i shd change my field now :p

  6. My sympathies to IT wives! Hope they find their own strengths and identities :-)

  7. Oh of course you know how much I relate to that one :)
    I'm so glad DH finally quit IT and has a business consultant position now, that too an internal one whcih mean sno more travelling, in all his years in IT, I've packed and unpacked too many times, and there were all the abroad trips that where to happen and got canceledd at the last minute (preferably after you bought gazillion winter clothes you'll never need), we were supposed to sepnd 6 months in finland that never happened, Instead they sent DH to Delhi and Chennai for 6 months, there was the 6 months assignement to basel Switzerland I agreed to tag one month and come back as I was preggo and it was a short term so no health insurance, we were packing and 6 hours before our flight was due to take off, his boss called...trip cancelled! After emptying the fridge putting the dog in kennel, and packing, and getting Dr's approval to fly and all, a week later I miscarry, DH's boss say, you got to leave for Zurich in 2 days! DH stood firm on that one refusing to leave me alone, but gained only 10 days, and then he was supposed to be gone until July end, but the assignement dragged, and it was in November he told his boss he would not continue on it as I was preggo again, boss was not happy, but we got a quiet year, in September he was to first travel to rajasthan every weeks, leaving me with a 2 months baby, then we were supposed to all go to South Africa for a year, never happened, because at the last minute it was a 3 weeks trip, wife not allowed to tag (grrrr wanted to go) and as soon as he came back the plan was Kazakstan for 6 months! I prayed everynight that one would fold, and fortunately it did :) 2 days later it was send your passport over you might have to go to Phoenix in US, and it folded as fast as it took to log to the US consulate page to check visa guidline, replaced by Brazil (which got me exited, but got trumped by Ghana, and immediately went back to brazil but delayed) by then DH changed job. So we never got to live in Brazil...grrr, I deatl with the short term assignment left behind instead of relocating abroad, not that I mind, packing, putting stuff in storage, checking if we could take the dog, how much it would cost, and all, I don't miss it, like you said I could get a relocation consulting firm going :)

  8. this made for a very interesting read.
    i am not an IT wife & this was like a peek into their world & their unique experiences
    like they knowing the VISA norms really well etc.

    "IT wife = reincarnation of IAS, IPS, officer's wife" - LOL

    surprised about the disclaimer at the end though. i think you wrote very well & not in the least offensive.

  9. oh sorry i had to tell you but missed it earlier
    i loved the image - hilarious :))

  10. interesting post, and i think many of them will relate themselves with the story here....

    well written post...!!!

  11. This is hilarious and SO TRUE!!! I am an IT wife and I can relate to all of the above. But at the end of the day, it's all worth it :)


  12. This is so my life too! Don't forget the 4 am wakeup calls when there is an issue - and for sure the bazillion kid parties and other events. :)

  13. Very interesting read. Liked your spirit- you have been able to look at your personal life in a humorous way.

  14. This world is getting so professional that everyone is forgetting about the sole purpose of fighting this battle in the first place.
    Happiness, of course, which day by day is getting more and more obsolete.

    It was a fun post. Dark humour, I'd rather call it.

  15. I care two hoots about your disclaimer lady and I am super offended :P

    Hhahahahaha this was funny indeed. I am an IT wife for the time being as I am not working these days and trust me, I am at my worst+best behaviour. Best for my husband, worst for myself. I have totally trapped myself in my house :|

  16. :D That cartoon is so funny ! Love it.

    Only recently a friend of mine married an "IT wife" as you put it, and I was surprised at all the lingo she had learned in 1 month - releases, delivery, etc .. I was quite impressed ! She had also made good friends with the neighbor and their children. Which is interesting, because in contrast, the IT girls I know (me included) have no clue who their neighbors are after living there for quite some months !

  17. Very true, interesting post. Keep up!

  18. Nice interesting post about the IT generation couple:)

  19. @ Nona : Hmmm IT husbands huh, now that's food for thought...

    @ Kelli : I still struggle with the lack of a career, but we've been moving so often that there's just no way around it...
    Oh yea I've had those situations when he's working on a weekend, we've had guests over while he was in the other room, on a work call or working on something urgent...ughh yup..never off duty..

    @ Jidhu : Again, you have my apologies.. :-)

    @ saru : haha, we are sisters in our common grief then...lol

    @ Rani : After reading this post, you still wanna be an IT wife??? maybe you should read again then...lol

    @ Giribala : haha...

    @ Cyn : Ofcourse, I know you pov, and you know I feel the same way. Ughh your miscarriage story is really sad, and yea the day my dh moves out of IT, i ain't gonna be sad one tiny bit either...

    @ Sujatha : Well, then thank your stars you aren't an IT wife ...:D...and the disclaimer was because, sometimes I've gotten some rude comments saying I'm generalizing, etc etc...so I just wanted to say that this a fun post, not to be taken too seriously... ;-)...and yea I love the image too...

    @ Irfan : Thanks for the kind words

    @ Gayatri : It's worth it for the helping us travel around the world, and seeing different cultures, yes, but I'm ready for it to be over soon now...lol...

    @ Cora : oh yea the 4.00 am calls, how can one forget them...when there is a 'production issue' or a 'release'...I've asked my hubby does he work for a movie production company?? :D

    @ Hariharan : Thankyou for the nice words...

    @ Enchanta: Welcome to the blog ! I didn't actually aim for dark humor, but yea maybe that's the underlying sentiment there ....hope to see you around more..

  20. @ Sunita : Thanks !

    @ Chintan : Glad you liked it, you may have trapped yourself in the house currently, but you're certainly doing a lot with you time, going by the speed of your posts... :-)

    @ Preeti: I love the cartoon too ! And your friend's wife's example, I know many cases like that...lol...

    @ Mahi : Welcome to the blog, and thanks for the comment.. :-)

    @ Sanjeev : Welcome to my blog, and glad you like the post, thankyou.

  21. LOL...i am a geologist and lucky to have a geologist wife....Don't know any IT women personally, so cannot challenge your view...i have to believe it :p


  22. I completely agree. My brother is an ITan and so is my sister in law :)So that i don't miss your new post ,you are on my side bar :)
    Have a nice weekend .

  23. I absolutely enjoyed this post, though I am not an IT wife.
    And despite not being one, I do believe that I am qualified enough to start a consulting firm for US visas. :D

  24. @ Kavita : Thanks much dear, you are too kind :-) You have a great weekend too ...

    @ Pepper : Welcome to the blog, and thanks for your comment, haha I guess some of the points could apply to non IT wives as well...lol

  25. Good one! Looks like the grass is always greener on the other side! An IT husband is such a desirable quality in matrimonials for the very fact that they get to go onsite to exotic locales, never mind how difficult it might get for the girl to adjust to the long hours and the constant relocation that you just spoke of! I guess, people wish to have the best of all worlds!- travel and still expect the spouse to have a stable career! Maybe being an IT spouse might help or perhaps a teaching job.

  26. I would very much like you to join by blog as a guest blogger. If intrested my email is at bottom of my website.


  27. @ Richa : Good to see you around after so long... :-). Yes I agree the grass always seems greener on the other side, people in India seem to be so enamored by this profession of IT consultant and marrying one seems like the dream of many, and hence I wrote this post, highlighting the other side of being an IT wife... :D

    @ Angelocracy Xue : Welcome to the blog, and thanks for the offer, will get back to you on it...

  28. A - I was thinking about this post by you again today as I told my boss that there's a chance I might be moving again, after just having relocated less than a year earlier! :)

  29. Hey this is fun post to read... I am an IT wife myself and go through few situations.... luckyily still able to work as we don't have to move across continents...but started being sole parent for intermitent times... :) keep blogging

  30. I think, it all depends on the individual (who's working in IT) and also where he/she is working. American/Indian IT firms have the same work culture, but it's a different story in Europe. In Europe, most of the people (be it in IT or not) don't work on the weekends and don't travel (for work) that much. It also depends on that person's productivity.

    In India, IT offices are also places where people enjoy 'Escapism' and 'Socializing'. Apart from this, much of the time is wasted in the traffic. Well, that's how it is!

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