Perks and FB.....

Perks and FB.....

Durgadas P.V.

The FB in the title is not Facebook, it's fringe benefits. After analysing many jobs, I have come to a conclusion that it is always better to have assignments with less salary and innumerable perquisites and fringe benefits. After all, financial power is one of the greatest joys in life.

To cite a few examples, a politician's job is one among them; Or a government job with lots of power. Many of the benefits which would accrue, (monetary or otherwise) go with such assignments wherein one could wield lots of power. And one more advantage of FB is that it may generally escape the clutches of income tax. That indirectly means that what is credited to the account is drawable.....!

The police constable is generally allowed to travel free in a private bus. The food inspector hardly pays a bill in a hotel or restaurant. Many of the FBs accrue in kind, in different forms other than liquid cash or credits in the account. When sanctions are given, bills are passed, contracts are awarded, etc... one may get an admission for his son or daughter in a private medical college for free or  one's spouse may get a flat in his/her name without paying even a single rupee......! Or at least the family could go on a foreign tour without making a hole in the pocket. In the case of politicians, the assets get generally created in the names of their trusted benamis.....! And the politician may even declare in public that he( she not excluded ) draws only a token amount of one rupee as salary to be referred as an epitome of selfless service.

I too had enjoyed a few perks as per the service regulations. They were generally considered as very meagre and insignificant during the tenure of service. But when I retired I really knew their value. My employer took care of the expenses of the car, paid for the newspaper and periodicals, gave me a phone and laptop and reimbursed the charges. The value of these perks was realized by me when I started paying for all these items from the monthly pension.....! Before superannuation, I used to subscribe to (please don't ask whether I read it or not) at least two financial dailies, two/three magazines costing not less than rupees fifty per copy and gave enough liberty to my better half to also get the periodicals of her choice. The kabaadiwala near my residence stopped wishing me while crossing his shop on my usual morning walk after my retirement for reasons you can well imagine.....!

There is a not so perky fringe benefit which certain persons who hold high positions of power get themselves awarded after retirement. The typical examples are becoming a tax consultant after working in the tax department, senior bankers reincarnating as financial consultants to liaise with banks on behalf of customers, senior bureaucrats turning directors of corporates and so on. This act is very similar to purposefully letting your junior batting partner run out in a cricket field.

Another classic example is the cannibalism practiced by certain species of insects and spiders after enjoying the benefits until orgasm.

There are many such examples in real life in every organisation or department. While in power they dish out excessive benefits to someone whom they would serve after the retirement.....!Though the majority may consider this practice as immoral and unethical, those who enjoy this fringy benefit do not seem to feel so....( Grapes are always sour for those who don't get it).

The snippets of random sunset thoughts on the subject came up in my mind as I am compelled to shell out almost my full monthly pension for the renewal of the medical insurance this month. Many of my colleagues have to provide the sum from other savings/sources......! Gone are those days of active service when the medical expenses were reimbursed in full!!!

And those were the perky past years.....!!