Nikki Rattan’s thoughts on working in India, issueing cultural diversity (“American, Indian and German boss are different”), religion (“Bollywood is a reflection of real life”) and people (“It is common for employers to phone parents these days”).
“Working in India”: Cultural Diversity
India is a diverse nation. With 28 states and 7 Union Territories, there are people from different cultures, religions who may pose to be one, but in day to day life, their habits, languages, religions, faiths and beliefs do not match. That’s what makes them an individual. Compatibility is therefore almost impossible. Off late since most American and European leading names increased business in India by opening BPOs, KPOs etc. it’s common to suddenly have a non Indian national as your HR head. Getting along with an American boss an Indian boss and a German boss are all very different. It was once believed that there is a common value where each one in a team or office has to learn and achieve, but with the cultural gaps, it seems a true training on cultural aspects should be given before hiring unexperienced people.
“Working in India”: Religion
I have personally experienced a situation where 10 people would blindly support one person and not listen at all to the other side of the argument. Sometimes it seemed they were voodooed into it. There are various forms of it in Hinduism, chanting mantras, controlling a mind, hiring experts to perform prayers (poojas) for a group to think and act alike, are just a few. “Raaz 2”, the Bollywood movie, showed some reality.
Bollywood is indeed a reflection of real life. There is a positive form of prayer and then there is the negative. I won’t take the name of the MNC but I have experienced extreme disturbance at a work place where my lip color would just stop working. No matter how much of it was applied, the color would not be visible. The same would work perfectly at home. It was obviously scary and made methink that their may be many people who may be against running of a particular office because of bad experience at work/unsupportive colleague/maybe a bad relationship at work or false blames and cast out spells (tantric vidya) by experts at the place. I so strongly believed that the place needed some true positive prayers by a saint and not a spell caster so make it positive.
Religion and culture is something that has caused big conflicts within India since years, and obviously work places are not exempted from this. In an effort to prove some sort of superiority due to race, color, religion, faith, gender conflict certainly remains. It is corroding our system. Being open to different faith and cultures is the need of the hour. When we point a finger at others, we know that four are still pointing towards us.
“Working in India”: People
In the beginning most people may appear friendly. And it is of course only until a week has passed that one finds out the reality. Then starts competition instead of cooperation mostly for no particular reason. Harmony is definitely destroyed sometimes by an interfering parent/sibling who doesn’t like your independence or the fact that suddenly you are rich and may reach out to your colleagues or management in the form of letters or phones. The conversation may range from calling their own family member unworthy, assassinating her or his character, proving them as unqualified etc. etc. hence the request is to terminate her/him. It may have been that your new friends or the sudden reason for your smile is not liked by your family. You try to pamper them, but they do not accept it, somehow they want to let you down and then have an upper hand on your life. Which I think should not be entertained. My way of life says make the jealous more jealous without finding a guinea pig because there is none! We all are in this world for a reason, some have found it and some are yet to find it. Find your reason and live your life.
Worse enough when it is vice versa. It is common for a trainer or employer to phone parents these days. That’s when you know that it is all against you and its time to leave. As adults we expect an open talk, unless of course this so called trainer or boss wants some kind of physical favor, is asking you out to the local bar alone and is blackmailing your family into it. Or rather convincing them by paying them if they are poor. In a way it’s a soft form of human trafficking! Give me your child by the night at my home and you get 50,000 rupees extra!
An anti harassment training may consist of some quick dos and don’ts but they are hardly followed. The most innocent usually has to suffer. This typically anti harassment trainer, a Sally or Kelly may herself be a total molester and may get you terminated if you try and ask for help from a screaming team member or a local group of boys trying to verbally or physically abuse you. So, one has to be really careful. Sometimes, I wished we could choose who leads or those who lead could be checked by the narcotics department of the state.
People who do not wash their hands before they eat at their work table to people who are so conscious of their health that they don’t use the office cafeteria (due to hygienic reasons) unless forced or pleaded. From silent to screamers, from ever tired to always energetic, from gossip mongers to silent killers there are all kinds of people. You will find them all under the same roof still working and working…!