Thursday, October 04, 2007


I will explain to you how to deal with your Western counterparts when dealing with technical problems. You're more social than us in some respects and this is the root of the problem. You like people or at least are expected to act as if you like them. We're allowed to be misanthropes. Polite misanthropes, but misanthropes just the same. Here's how to deal with us:

1) Just the facts, ma'am.
Do not go off on tangents. Talk about only the subject at hand. Do not wander into the realm of related questions which inevitably takes you into the world of tangents and improbabilities. Stick to the subject.

2) We only say "Yes" when we mean "Yes".
We Westerners do not say "Yes" when we mean "No". Not usually, anyway. You're often under pressure to say "Yes" but we're not; we're under pressure to be correct. All the fucking goodwill in the world isn't going to alleviate the mess made by giving a wrong answer. Do not try to pressure us into saying "Yes" to you the way you do amongst yourselves.

3) We don't like meetings.
As a rule we fucking hate meetings. Meetings are nothing but an ego-stroking method for talkative overlords to exercise one-way communication. Decisions have already been made before the meeting and will not be changed. Most of us realise this and just sit through it. Not you guys. You love meetings and will hold them for hours, talking until no one can talk anymore. Not us. In, listen, out, done.

4) Stop repeating everything.
In your culture I know that importance is shown by repetition and that "out of sight, out of mind" is how you do things. Not us. You tell us once and that should be the end of it. It's important when someone says, "It's important." Once. That's it. Repetition tells us you think we're stupid. Our revenge is that whatever it is that's important to you becomes that much more unimportant to us. The repetition is as insulting to us as my squicking a cow in the Ganges while eating a triple cheeseburger would be to you, except that when you repeat shit at me incessantly, it's a personal insult.

5) Do not keep calling us on the phone.
Go back and read #3 again. Every fucking minute wasted on the phone with you is another minute I'm not sorting out the other fuckwits' tickets, and they were there ahead of you. Go back and read #2. If we can make this go faster with a phone call, we will call you. This is unlikely because:

6) Shut the fuck up already!
Stop talking. We're not on the phone to discuss every possible fucking bit of minutiæ and trivia. Listen to our answers, ask only relevant questions if something we said wasn't clear, and do nothing else.

Example of how to do this correctly:
Sanjay How do we do $FileRepair
REC OK, first you go to $Directory, open two DOS windows, connect to the DB in console mode, run $FileRepair in the second window and confirm on the console.
Sanjay Is there only the console mode?
REC No, you can use the GUI tools but they suck. This is the fast and safe way.
Sanjay And how do we prevent this happening again?
REC Make Registry changes $foo, $bar and $baz. Patch your system or have your developers remove $Button to make sure users can't click it again.
Sanjay Thank you.
REC You're welcome.
Example of how to do this incorrectly:
Sanjay How do we do $FileRepair
REC OK, first you go to $Directory, open two DOS windows, connect to the DB in console mode, run $FileRepair in the second window and confirm on the console.
Sanjay You said to use the DOS window but perhaps you are unaware that DOS is no longer a part of the Microsoft® Corporation Windows® XP Professional operating system which is now built with NT technology and which has a shell command window known as "command".
REC I didn't mean to confuse you. Run two instances of command.
Sanjay Excuse me but there are two different command executables delivered with Microsoft® Corporation Windows® XP Professional operating system which are "cmd.exe" and "command.exe". Please do the needful and tell us which of these we need to be running.
REC Either one is fine.
Sanjay Why will you not tell us which of the executables we need to run? You are not being helpful!. ESCALATE!
REC Personally, I use cmd. My testing to confirm this solution works was done using cmd and I've checked the Start:Run list and confirmed that I have never typed command.exe into it.
Sanjay Our database expert would prefer to use command.exe. Is this acceptable?

The my-head-shaped-dent in front of my keyboard increases in depth.

I told you before that it would be acceptable to use either one. It will work with command. It will work with cmd. It will work with third-party command shell utilities designed to be used with Windows XP.
Sanjay Is there any chance that we might accidentally damage the files if we used one instance of command and one of cmd?
And so on. Get the picture?

To summarise, be specific, don't repeat yourselves, don't go off on tangents and don't call every hour to show us something's important to you. My important tickets belong to people who allow me to do the work to resolve their problems.

Oh, and calling me a racist is like calling the pope an atheist. I find racism to be the lazy way out and so I strive to find something individual that allows me to hate each and every person for his own lack of merit. Noting cultural differences isn't racism, just observation and, in the case of India, frustration. Not necessarily "Indians"; those who grew up in the West don't have these problems, and experience my side of them even when they fucking talk in Hindu to the guy in Bangalore.

The Indians I know who grew up here in the West don't do this. The Raj & Raj team in a US office kick some serious technical knowledge ass. When I went to lunch with them last year at Naan-N Curry they complained more about you guys than I do because the reputation sticks to them.

You're in our field of business. Welcome. I personally have little problem with it. You're using our language. I realise this was more or less forced upon you some time in the past but it has been beneficial in the long run. But along with those classes on how to talk with a particular regional English accent I strongly suggest you take a course on our culture.

It wouldn't surprise me a bit if you had similar complaints about us and I'd be quite amused to read them.

Class dismissed.

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger AAhelp pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

When it's not an Indian, is a Chinese. When it's not a Chinese, it's French. When it's not French, is some marketing-lady-who-moved-to-IT.

05 October, 2007 09:00  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

In compliance with $MegaCorp's general policies as well as my desire to
continue living under a roof and not the sky or a bus shelter, I add this:

The views expressed on this blog are my own and
do not necessarily reflect the views of $MegaCorp, even if every
single one of my cow-orkers who has discovered this blog agrees with me
and would also like to see the implementation of Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.