Sunday, May 31, 2009


Our American Client was visiting India. This made the Management anxious and it became worse when they realised that The Client might want to meet the new hires. Now, the Training team was anxious as well. The Trainers were now using The Client visit as an excuse to keep the trainees on their best behaviour.

               They would always talk in hushed tones when referring to The Client as if they were letting us in their secret. This trick worked well when The Client finally visited us last night. I suddenly felt the tension in a palpable wave.  Our Manager entered first and She played the perfect gatekeeper to The Client. She kept the door open long enough to let me wonder if she was expecting a tip from The Client. Now, She is a stunner but I had to stifle a laugh to see her bend over her back to please The Client. Soon, she realised that The Client had completely forgotten her existence and was more interested in us so, the Manager sheepishly closed the door and departed.

         When I learnt that The Client was also a ‘She’, I was expecting a blonde bombshell. I was sorely disappointed upon seeing that the blonde was Old and Fat too. After her customary ‘About Me’ section, she asked us to introduce us to her.

So began a tirade of names and a corrupted repetition of them. I was pretty scared of saying my name because I guffawed pretty audibly when a certain Hasmukh became Hash-Smoke. Thankfully, She didn’t try to repeat my name, maybe it went way over her head. I was relieved nonetheless.

            Soon, people bombarded her with their seemingly intelligent questions. The Client, to be fair,  turned out to be pretty nice and had a sense of humour as well. Patiently, she answered all the questions ranging from Swimming pools to Beer and from her Mobile phone to a colleague’s daughter! Curiously though, She reminded me of Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series.


                   She then went on to explain how the Women of America are so fiercely independent and how the fact that 40% of American Mothers were unmarried and actually reflected upon their independence. How they worked for long hours and were unlike the Europeans who enjoyed more benefits and holidays. And how the Americans were better parents, had better education and she also confessed her ignorance of Hindi despite visiting India more than 15 times.

Now, it was her turn to ask us questions. We were to give reasons as to why we loved America and what attracted us to America and so we did dutifully.

“What is special about Barack Obama?” She asked. A Four year old could have answered that.

“He is the first Afro-American President of the U.S.” A Smarty answered. In the far corner, the trainer sighed in gratitude as The Smarty didn’t say ‘Black President’.

                              ‘It is derogatory’, The Trainer would have said, pronouncing ‘derogatory’ in the most ridiculous manner I have ever heard.

Meanwhile, The Smarty nodded knowingly.

Maybe it rubbed onto the The Client in a wrong way, she blurted out almost immediately, “It’s like you Hindus use Caste background, We Americans use Ethnic backgrounds to differentiate.”

Now, It was my turn to roll my eyes. So much for being a developed nation!!

13 Grumblings:

nicol said...

I did'nt mind the manager bending to greet the Client...if you know what I mean...........

Umbridge?? Really??

Yeah, the trainer's sigh was more like a Thank You!

P.S: Have u noticed the change in typing style??

ayyo.... said...

You're sick!! I used the expression figuratively, not to be taken literally !! :D :D
On second thoughts though, I won't mind either...! :D

Yeah, Umbridge.. didn't she?? The resemblance.. not the behaviour..!

Yeah, I know.. it was a grateful sigh.. :D :D
This typing is much more legible.. though it is very uncharacteristic of you..! :P

nicol said...

Ah..cmon! It's not like your a saint! is strictly restricted for blogging purposes....
I love skipping vowels & typing phonetically....

nicol said...

*you are

ayyo.... said...

Typing phonetically it seems..! :D :D
Ah! For blogging only..still.. that must be quite an effort on your part..! :D :P

And I never said that I am a saint, in fact, as an afterthought, I said that I wouldn't mind either..! :D :D

kunwar said...

Hash-Smoke, yea it's good to see that someone else having trouble making people pronounce their names, I hate intros, I have to pronounce my name atleast 3-4 times. I do it twice without telling :P

Sikander Fayyaz Khan said...

I wish I could work in a corporate too... :(

And about being racist.. I think we all are racists at some level.

ayyo.... said...

I dread intros because people mispronounce my name a lot. Last night I went to a restaurant, in order to reserve a table I had to say my name to the waiter. I had to spell my name to two different waiters!

ayyo.... said...

Yeah, you're missing something! If I were you, I would have worked in the Corporate world for at least two-three months to get a hang of it...!
And yeah, we are racists too! In fact, Indians are the most racist people on the globe. And we're the first to cry foul over an alleged racist remark..!

Sikander Fayyaz Khan said...

I have, for that matter, worked in a 'corporate' company for 6 months... it was company that I started with 3 of my friends :p

The company was called 'Xtreme Communications' and we, although, were a web design house, but were extensively involved with the Lahore fashion scene. We arranged photo shoots, did print ads for fashion houses, co-organized fashion shows and in that small span we even appeared on Pakistan's national Tv for an interview in a show called 'Star & Style' :D

Those were fun 6 months, only that we had to wind it up as quickly as we started it.

ayyo.... said...

You hadn't exactly worked there!! It was your company! If I were you, I would 'Work' in the Corporate World just to get the feel of it..! :D

meerasworld said...

Interesting. Calling Obama as the first 'black 'president is not at all bad,unlike what your trainer said:).Even in news they say it like that.
I used to say red indians for native indians and later came to know,it wasnt the way to address them and they are addressed usualy as native americans or native indians!'
So the client said they are better educated? Ask them a couple of questions about the world outside America and see what you get:)

ayyo.... said...

The Trainer was insistent in referring to Blacks as Afro-Americans..! Besides, as Customer Service, it was appropriate..!
The Client said that U.S had a better Education system.. I won't disagree.. though I would very much agree with the rest of your statement though..! :D :P