Monday, August 11, 2008

Let’s work it out

I have been sent in as a business analyst for a bank out here in the US. I am not sure how much analysis of business I have been doing, but, may be because of the title, I have been doing too much analysis of things around me. This time it is the working ishtyle of the phirangs that caught my attention. Don’t you worry. I am not going to bore you with the details of the work, since I am allergic myself to anything that has to do with software.

They show good professionalism, they have a good work-life balance, they are highly dedicated to the company they are working for, etc, etc. (Ye Sab jhooti ahwahen hain jo ki sab sach hain!). Most of the people out here are early risers. They would get to office as early as 7 A.M.. I mean, why on earth would you want to get to office so early? There is no daily early bird prices kept at the entrance! They would have an early lunch. I always wonder what they would be eating for lunch. For out of the 8 hours they are at office, they would be eating something or the other for at least 6 hours. A bottle of coke is like furniture at their desks. I wish someone showed all of them what coke does to the pesticides. There would be boxes of chocolates kept at different corners of the office. And people keep munching them away to glory. There is this famous junction at the office where people would leave the left over food for others to have a bite. People do take those too! And if you are a manager, the coke will be replaced by a jar of coffee which they carry around with them wherever they go.

I work for a sarkari software company (I am sure you can get the name right on the first guess!). And I thought that the aunty log who come there do too much of chit chatting and gossiping. Well, I now owe them an apology. Because what they do is NOTHING when compared to what I see here. People keep talking, talking and talking more. They discuss about their ex husbands, their step son, their children. Most here have an average of 4 children. From different relationships too. The point is they keep talking about each one of them. What they did at school, what women their children are dating, what crimes they end up doing…. And then comes the dog talk. My dog is this, he did this, he is that. For the love of God people, there are much important things in life.

While working, they would have a minimum of one screen of internet explorer open. Most of the times it would be CNN or the local news website. And they get amused by the smallest of the news out there. I now know where Aaj taks of the world get their inspiration from. The gentlemen out here would also keep a track of the sports section. And debate about the baseball, football, basketball games. We Indians atleast stick to one religion – Cricket J. They would take a look at the traffic on the net before leaving and also they would keep a close watch on the weather.

The desks would be, the least to say, decorated. With all the goodies like toys, best-wife/husband/son/daughter trophies. And a zillion photographs of their family members. Or dogs. Like Seinfeld would say, what is the deal with having so many pictures at the desk. Do you need some kind of reminder that you need to go home in the evening?! There are people here who have a mini fridge of their’s, underneath their desks. Beats me.

By the time you leave office, you would be a tired man saying all those thank yous and excuse mes. And the other common terms you would hear a thousand times before you call it a day are: “mmmhmmm”, “Oh my god”, “You know what I am saying”, “Is that right”, “How about this”. Boy there are so many. May be I will list down the whole list later. You should watch out for that pauses in between words. I could take a nap in that time. And you have to keep smiling/head popping at everyone passing by. No wonder they say that work can be quite tiring. And before I end, I have to mention this. There is this guy who sits behind me. He uses two keyboards to type. One for the left hand and one for the right, both connected to the same machine. God bless software industry!

Song for the occasion: A working class hero is something to be.


D said...

Lol! These experiences are so amusing. Do they get any work done between all the eating, chatting and pausing between words?!

Vinz aka Vinu aka Vinayak said...

Through the telly serials some are known to me like the photo things, cokes, chocolates and all..but the left over food thing and 6 hour gossiping sessions were new..i thought they are more professional..atleast during those 8-5 working hours..had a nice read mate..!!

D said...

I completely love your honesty in observation.
White people also;
make a huge deal about working out,
about being "culturally sensitive", caught up on the latest books,
in possession of the latest apple gadget,
and relax on weekends by wearing bohemian/mountain gear,depending on where they live...!

Nice job on the blog! :)

D said...

Also,this is reminiscent of the blog "Stuff white people like"!!! perhaps you should check that out!

Inexplicably said...

Lol ! Great read 1

Vinod R Iyer said...

@D:Oh ya they do. All this is in addition to the professionalism they show :)

@Vinz: They do get their work done too .. No question abt that. But ya .. this is the work culture ..

@Dipu: Oh ya .. cant agree more. Will check that out !

@Inexplicably: Danks :)

Cinderella said...


when do they work, then? Don't let these amusing habits get into yourself, dear :)

_audi_ said...

I feel its all apart of any working culture for that dont expect people to just work all thru the day or the way you do; do u? I would want to have my desk a bit decorated, after all thats wer u spend more than half your day..and chatting again is a relaxing activity...and if you are listening to their conversation, guess you not doing anything creative either...And just coz you are lazy you dont expect ppl to sleep till 10 am and come to work by 11! So what if they have mini fridges, utter a lota common terms and watch a lota sports??? that's the way they live...What lead to all the cribbing vinny - wake up!!!
(PS: did you try to find out why the guys uses 2 keyboards? I'm sure he has his own reason)

Vinod R Iyer said...

@Cindrella:No no .. I would never get into the bad habbit of working :)

@Audi: This is why I told you that you are still not in the Seinfeld era :P .. Mocking people eventhough they are best in the business gives you an un imaginable pleasure :).. Andbtw I was not informed that you are the official advocate for the firangs :P :)

AC said...

Great post! Nice observation, very minute details are noticed. Very rich work culture I would say. Thank God, they still agree to call it a work place (do they?) otherwise it would have been a picnic spot!

Think on giving your firang colleagues your blog link ;-) For a change! ;-)

Keep posting!


_audi_ said...

its not about advocating...just that you shud learn to look for the answers than sit and crib about the "wonder-whys"