As fancy as the title sounds, I am going to be writing about something that is super simple, and about something a lot of us have actually seen in our real lives (in recent times).
We were in deep discussion about an on-going project – me and one of my team members. The door was partially closed. She swiftly peeped in and barked – “which way to Mr. T’s office?”. I was initially taken aback. For a second, we had been wrenched out of a train of thought, and that too by someone who we did not know, and who had just asked a question in a rather rude tone. After a moment of uncomfortable silence (for us), I said, “Down the hallway and to the left”. She barked a quick thanks and left as swiftly as she had appeared.
I have a couple of observations here. Brand me as judgemental if you want to, but I make these observations here on my public blog, only because, this is becoming more common in recent times.
1. The ‘bark’ and the tone, resounded with the attitude – “I am a visitor from the US office, and I demand attention.” I do not subscribe to this attitude. Sorry. Would you use the same intonation when you are in the US office. “Please, could you tell me which way I should go to Mr. T’s office. I would very much appreciate that.” Ha ! Then why the change in attitude, when you visit here. And oh, did I mention that, less than a decade ago, you were the same as me – ‘desi office worker in the India office’.
2. Would you barge into a someones office like you did today, in the US office? I very much doubt that. You would then be branded as the ‘rude Indian lady’. So what makes you think, we do not brand you that.
I wonder why people get this chip on the shoulder when they relocate to the US (or for that matter, any foreign shore). Why is there such a dramatic transformation in attitude and behavioral aspects when you visit your ‘motherland’ versus your other home? Would you be OK if come and hug you or give you a high-five, or scream your name down the hallway, when I visit the US office next time?
This has always been the case, except this is being noticed more these days, and I will tell you why. There are people like me, and several others, who have been on both sides of the ocean. I studied for 5 years in the US, and have made several (I still do) business visits to the US office. There are several folks in this office, who have worked there for several years and have decided to move back to the proverbial ‘desh’. We have seen both sides of the equation, and unfortunately see through the hypocrisy immediately.
So dear lady from the US office, I really wish you understand, we are all professional co-workers and share the same professional and personal ethics. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to reschedule the meeting you just interrupted, and pick up the threads and restart from where we left off.