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By ReallyEvilCanine (Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 04:48:30 AM EST) A Day in the Life, Indians, call centers, support, fuckwit, pie (all tags)

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:

x-posted to da brog, sans poll.

1) Just the facts, ma'am.
Do not go off on tangents. Talk about only the subject at hand. Do not wanderr into the realm of related questions which inevitably takes you into the workld 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 meeeting 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.
REC 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.

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A Day in the Life | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
+1 - FP! I have nothing to add. Except of course: by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #1 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 04:55:43 AM EST
When testing software, please be aware that a failed Test Case IS NOT A BAD THING! You will not be scolded or fired for failing a Test Case when it is properly run and documented. YOU WILL BE SCOLDED if you alter the results of the Test Case in order to get your precious -- but incorrect - Pass and the faulty software goes into production instead of back to Development.

Please read this again to make sure you understand it. Thank you and have a nice day.

A couple of things by theboz (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 05:02:34 AM EST
I would not want someone with your attitude working for me.  While you do have valid complaints, if you had this attitude in the workplace it would be inappropriate.  On HuSi, it is fine, so don't take this the wrong way.  I'm just saying, if you can't deal with people that have problems, you are in the wrong business.

The second point is that I think the smartest people in I.T. generally leave India.  When I was working at a big software company based in Houston, they had offshored a lot of I.T.  So, they had to bring in a bunch of us as consultants, including many India guys.  The Indian guys on my team were smart and we all worked together fine once we got past the accents.  The offshored Indian members of the team were idiots, frustrating even the Indian guys on my team.  It wasn't a cultural or linguistic problem, it's just that the offshored folks were fucking idiots.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n

I understand what you're saying by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 05:20:06 AM EST
I am a misanthrope but it's not terribly apparent. Especially in an office situation you have to deal with people on some social level, but I associate with few cow-orkers outside the workplace... although that could well be indicative of the sort of people who took a job with $MegaCorp or any of the smaller fish which $MegaCorp swallowed up.

I disagree about the problem not being cultural. Number four is an especially germaine to this point. In India repetition of importance is the norm. If something is important it will be repeated -- sometimes every hour -- and not just for the call center doofuses (doofii?). That's how management does things. It's cultural just as is the more personal manner of speaking and the desire to establish personal contact, which explains some of the effort they make in trying to get me on the phone.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
So... by chuckles (4.00 / 4) #5 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 07:04:28 AM EST
if you can't deal with people that have problems, you are in the wrong business
You're claiming that IT is the wrong industry for misanthropes? Where are we supposed to go now?

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
health care, or academia by joh3n (4.00 / 3) #10 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 09:21:47 AM EST

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

[ Parent ]
you piece of shit by persimmon (4.00 / 2) #13 Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:15:33 PM EST
Don't tell them.
"Nature is such a fucking plagarist."
[ Parent ]
I agree with joh3n by theboz (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 09:28:51 AM EST
Also, there's a huge difference between being misanthropic and introverted.  I think some of the most misanthropic people of all are extremely extroverted, and just live to enjoy pissing everyone else off.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
racist (nt) by komet (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 06:28:08 AM EST

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
tps2.0-ist by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 07:17:29 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Just a shame he has a point by Dr Thrustgood (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 02:59:34 PM EST
Otherwise the tps-ism would've been complete.

[ Parent ]
Amen brother man! by duxup (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 07:25:23 AM EST
My day today has been one of those:

Did you call me to get help and listen to me solve your problem for you? or just listen to yourself piss about how much it sucks? 

If it is the latter please go back to your meetings and piss on your own, but remember that after all that pissing #### will still be #### up and I'll be at home playing video games when you need me.

Make your choice ########.

I say Let Me Know When You're Done Talking by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #8 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 07:26:48 AM EST
when I get calls like that. I hate being interrupted, and I hate having to interrupt.

[ Parent ]
Ahem by joh3n (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 09:20:43 AM EST
We Westerners do not say "Yes" when we mean "No".

Have you ever spoken to a politician, an academic, or a car mechanic?  You sir make me laugh!  ESCALATE!

(I really do love these diaries, by the way)

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

Number 4! For the love GOD, number 4! by Cloaked User (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 04:46:09 AM EST
We hired a contractor for my current project, because we had no in-house skill in $CMS. He's Indian, and seems quite good - certainly seems to know his stuff, conscientious, etc.

One requirement was to display content from $CMS in a portlet in the middle of each web page. As an interim measure, I used a portlet that shipped with the portal server we were using. This had a number of deficiencies, but at least it let him get on with stuff until I had time to develop the real thing.

In the end he told me about the deficiencies in this portlet so many times that I damn near strangled him.

I've not worked with any other Indians, so I can't say if it's a cultural thing or not, and he doesn't seem to fit your other points. But good TISG he didn't half go on about that, despite me always pointing out that I knew, that it was temporary and that I'd have the real thing done just as soon as I could.

This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.

A Day in the Life | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback