Friday, 30 March 2012

Indian workplace relationships explained

A friend of mine posted this recently on Facebook and I thought it deserved a share.

For a simple little cartoon, this tells you an awful lot about workplace relationships in India. Note for instance:

  • The over-usage of the word "sir". This is not an exaggeration. People really do use it in every single sentence when talking to their boss.
  • The complete lack of stress on the face of the late employee (reading back, that sounds like he's dead. But you know what I mean). He knows he's late, he knows his boss will be angry, but it's just how things go. He may even suspect the truth of the matter and know that his being late doesn't actually matter so much. But even though he's happy as Larry, note also:
  • The crucial need to make a show of repentance, even if you're blithely sitting on your scooter enjoying a few minutes more of the illusion of freedom.
  • The equal need on the part of the boss to make a show of "bossiness".
  • The clearly far greater stress levels being experienced by the boss, even though it's the employee who is getting a dressing down. 
  • And finally, the completely unexaggerated depiction of Indian traffic at its worst. Though the idea of there being this many stationary vehicles in one place without anyone trying to sell anything is somewhat fanciful.
Hierarchies are really, really important in India (and that's from someone from the UK). The need to maintain the outward appearance of those hierarchies can lead to some pretty surreal situations. I'm sure this one has happened in reality more than once.


Vanessa said...

What a great observation about no one selling anything! I have fond memories of my time in Delhi buying magazines, kleenex and balloons every time we were stuck in traffic. Love the blog, keep up the great writing!

Phil Greaney said...

Hi Chris,

I've been reading your blog for a while now - it's been most entertaining, as well as useful - so thanks. I've found the blog roll illuminating, too.

I'm moving to New Delhi in June 2012 with my wife. We're very excited, it should be quite an adventure. We plan to explore some of Asia, too.

I work in education, too - in e-learning, course design and that sort of thing.

Anyway - best wishes to you, thanks for the blog - I've started posting my thoughts on my own blog, here:

Bye for now, Phil

KATEDJAY said...

I see that's you still the same . Always enjoy to read your words about Delhi. Love your positive blog about Delhi.

Chris said...

Thanks all for your encouragement! I need it right now, as my latest post shows...sorry for the long silence.

Phil, drop me a line when you've had a chance to settle in in Delhi - would be very happy to meet up and make some suggestions as an old-timer - plus very keen to learn about your work!

Phil Greaney said...

Thanks Chris - I'll let you know when we've arrived, very kind of you to offer to meet up and make some suggestions, cheers. We can talk work, too - that would be good, since I would like to find a job in Delhi.

I've just read your latest blog post - hang in there! Sounds like you're turning a corner, that said.

Bye for now