Office Party: Feb. 28th
We had our first engineering staff party today.



Adhi, our office manager, spent the night playing practical jokes on our employees. One of our young, cute, unmarried engineers is a nervous, but outgoing, lady named Sneha. On Valentine’s day Adhi wanted, very much, to send Sneha a bouquet of roses from "a secret admirer". In this land where marriages are arranged, a "love" relationship can only mean trouble. The secret admirer would have worried Sneha for the rest of the month
Savitha, our very shy, quiet young lady from Mysore volunteered to read my palm. Sadly, she said I didn’t have much artistic talent. So I had to get our Apple architect, Tom Masles over, and have his palm read as a comparison. Savitha in her subdued, timid, voice, told Tom he was going to have wealth, long life, and great success with ladies. He was thrilled! For the rest of the night, flush with humorous pride, he kept announcing that he, a married 50-year-old man, was going to have great success with the ladies. Of course, our single young Indian women always greeted this statement with nervous laughter.


Tonight Adhi told our engineer Srinivas that he was responsible for taking Harini home. From his point of view this meant he was now responsible for, 1) a female, 2) someone who could be his boss, and 3) someone whom Indian culture regards as a VIP. A small look of panic ensued. As a point of reference, I later learned that in India, it is culturally inappropriate for a boss to take a ride home from a secretary (male or female). Then Adhi let slip a half-hour later that the car for Srinivas’ travels was canceled, and that he should "do something". Another moment of panic in Srinivas’ face; then he realized what was happening and told Adhi that SHE should arrange something. Score one for Srinivas.
Sue, Adhi, and Harini are coaching our young engineers to be more assertive and relaxed. I overheard Adhi say "Yes he’s the managing director, but he’s also a nice guy - fight with him, argue with him, let him know what you think". It seems to be working. I have great sympathy for Savitha; in one month I send her to the US, where they kiss and fondle in public, wear skimpy clothes, and use toilet paper AND their left hand. Culture shock is going to be much worse for her than it will have been for us.