Brahma, the creator is considered a
lesser god, ever since Shiva caught Brahma lying to win a competition
|Lying, Cheating, and Winning: Apr. 21st
|I have been participating in that unique business ritual
known as the offsite. In this case, another division held the offsite. In a not so
diplomatic moment, I found out that some members of this group compared me to a coconut,
brown outside and white inside. Seems even Oreo jokes are cross-cultural (in America,
Sammy Davis was referred to as an Oreo cookie - black outside, and white in the middle).
|When I first took on the assignment of working in India,
many Indians warned me that I would be treated with the expectation that I was Indian,
even though I wasnt. As a result, expectations that I would conform to Indian norms
of behavior would be strong, and I would be given much less slack than a typical ferangi
(foreigner). How true these warnings were. Right now, I jest that I would be willing to
dye my hair blond, if it would have made a difference.
|The final realization that I had to "watch my
step" was the discovery that the folks would lie to me, and tell me my approaches
were correct, even when they clearly werent. The explanation offered - they enjoyed
seeing me fail and look stupid!
|Theres an apocryphal story about this type of
behavior. In India, it seems, you never need to put the lid on a bucket of frogs. The
reason is that whenever any frog tries to jump out of the bucket, the other frogs grab his
legs and pull him back.
|Sue had a similar experience with the educational system.
All of her work that she saved from her previous class has been deleted from her computer.
Apparently, some students spend their free time wandering from machine to machine looking
for files that havent been locked and protected. Once found, they gleefully remove
these files; it gives them the obvious advantage over their classmates.
|There has been enough expatriate evidence acquired to
actually predict and plot an expatriate's happiness or contentment over time. Because of
the excitement of the adventure, you start at a 10. The first month is culture shock. Drop
to 7. The second month is honeymoon. Jump to 9. Then real life starts to smother you and
you lose your elasticity to novel situations. By the end of the sixth month you are at a
3,but then you begin to understand the situation and what you need to do to succeed. A
plateau occurs at the 12th month when youre at 6. Three. Today is