Monday, July 11, 2011


Lately I've been noticing very keenly the behavior of other Indians in my surroundings, particularly since I realized there are certain traits which are a very recurrent, and specific habit. Let me name a few.

  • At the gym at work, there was an elliptical which was not working and would make LOUD disturbing sounds if you stepped on it and worked it. I once got on, and got off a minute later realizing its not working. HOWEVER, 5 minutes later another guy (Indian) got on, and used it for 45 mins basically making enough noise to overpower the gym music and create a nuisance for everyone around. The next day, there was another guy (also Indian) using the same noisy machine and the next and the next until finally the management put up a board saying it does not work. It is beyond me how 4 grown men can ignore loud noisy rattles from a machine for prolonged periods and not notice what a racket they were making. EVERYONE else seemed to realize the machine was not working, save for these (all Indian) I keep trying to tell myself its a coincidence, but how?

  • Another gym related incident, C and I work out together and were on two side by side ellipticals watching Seinfeld on the television RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. A guy (Indian) came up on the elliptical next to C, walked over to the television and switched channels without asking us. I was shocked - i could understand if he did so if C and I were chatting, or on our headphones and not watching, but we clearly were. Was'nt this basic courtesy?

  • Today at our world cast, the webcast done by our CFO and interim CEO - we had a host of C level executives address a crowd which was full of employees, online viewers, academia, consultants, bankers and such. Our CFO, CTO and other executives were well turned out in either a suit jacket with a nice chirt and pants or a nice formal shirt and pants. HOWEVER, our CORPORATE VP, is an Indian and he got up to address the audience (of over 250 people) in a shirt that looked unironed and with HUGE sweat marks on his arms and stomach, the shirt was untucked. Now Im usually NOT the one to judge on appearances, but this time, YES. I think i wasnt the only one who winced at the size of those sweat baubles on his shirt. You wouldve thought that if your addressing a crowd this big, with stakeholders involved, you'd make somewhat of an effort? Now I understand sweating is a problem for many, specially Asians. I m prone to sweat like a man sometimes as well BUT when i know i am going to be at an important event and If i know I am goign to be out in the sun / somwhere sweaty I will carry a change. the result was that of all the executives who stood on stage and spoke, the Corp VP, Indian - looked the LEAST professional - to the point where it was awkward. WHY?!!!!

  • I knew this had to happen at some point. workign with an Indian vendor - given the level of outsourcing. I was definitely not prepared for this - when i wrote in for a simple request, the agency wrote back to me doubling over backwards in apologies and sorry's and thank you's. I remember my time at the agency - while we were client servicing - i dont remember being subservient to the point that my emails contained 100's of apologies.

I'm not sure what exactly the point im making here is. I just wish that with the amount of talent my country has, we'd just learn to carry ourselves a little better in society, and COMMAND respect.


Aditya said...

I've come to realise that most Indians abroad or those who deal directly with those abroad are quite clueless. And it breaks my heart.

muthu said...


I think - not everyone is as clueless as -- as the post. Yeah, some people stick out like a sore thumb but the, in a scenario where - there are n number of Indians in every industry - I think, that it may seem - that way.

Anyway, I think people learn- they change continuously - I hope the change happens in basic courtesy aspects...

ani_aset said...

sad to see that..looks like you bumped into few exceptions.. i was recently reading an article that said that indians are the smartest dressed professionals across the world :)