After lots of meet ups with my non-IT friends, relatives, strangers, rickshaw wallahs, etc etc I noticed that the moment you say that you are an IT guy, they have already made some assumptions about you.
Myth #1: If you are not in the four biggies ...u are a loser
Auntyji :"Beta, kaunsa tent?"
Me: "Persistent! Aunty I work in Persistent. "
Aunty:"Tumko Info*** mein nahi mila kya?" (in short: "tum second grade gadha ho")
Then I have to make efforts to tell them how I actually work for a much better company. In case the opposite person is technologically sane then I give him some product development 'maaz' (arrogance).
Myth #2: If you havent been onsite ...u are a loser
Uncle: "Tum do saal se IT company mein kaam kar rahe ho na?"
Me: (tighening my collar..head high) "Haan uncle ...bas ..."
Uncle: "Tum videsh nahi gaye?"
Me: "Nahi uncle project mein requirement nahi hai onsite kaa"
Uncle: "Lekin woh bunty ko toh maanna padegaa... engg mein 2nd class milaa...fir bhi usne jamke mehnat ki aur usse company ne USA bheja!"
Aaaha! thats the problem. People think that only the smarty pants are sent on site while the loser ones are the people left behind in India. So the assumption is that if you haven't been on site then you don't work hard nor you have any sincerity and .. ok that's enough for now.
Myth #3 You can fix any computer..and calculator (that's a ghati computer) and clocks too
Most of the computer engineers around must have at least once gone to a friends place only to fix his /her comp. The task can be from installing a software (next..next.. finish) to fixing a computer which gives electric shocks when its metal areas are touched.
Once I tried to play the problem down by saying "are woh toh simple sa kaam hai". My friend trapped me by saying "badhiyaa! toh kab aa raha hai ?"
Myth #4: You have lots of money
Once I met up with my friends from school ..from various fields. I just mentioned that it is such a pain to go to office nowadays and said that I wanted to buy a car.
Friend1: "what problem do u have man .. u are an IT waala"
Friend2: "Tu toh Honda CRV le saktaa hai"
Me: "CRV!! aabey CRV kyaa mere pass VCR lene ka paisa nahi hai"
Even after 5 minutes of convincing them that i did not have the required 'aukaat' they weren't getting convinced.
Myth #5: Coding means sitting in front of the computer
During my college days , my classmate had an encounter with a guy from mechanical dept:
Mech guy: "Your Computer engineering is a big nautanki.... four years you learn the same grey dabba... and all you ppl do is sit nicely in front of that dabba and punch the keys"
Well I dont completely disagree :P
Myth #6: You are a loser anyway
Yes somehow people have hell lot of 'issues' with IT folks.
IT guy = you aren't health conscious and eat junk all the time and have a big fat pot belly. (Even if u dont have they will accuse you of sucking in your tummy just to hide it.
IT guy= you are a philanderer and ..... leave it :D
IT guy = you don't respect traditions and have lots of arrogance
Well give us a break !
NOTE: Now I realized that I have almost never tried to prove any myth false. The name of the post should be renamed to Mythboosters instead :D