Thursday, April 9, 2009

The War between Religions ...

or ... Why Hinduism is a superior religion.

I am complaining already long time about the number of free days my directors installed in our company.

India is a Hindu-country, so of course the big Hindu-festivals are free days. No problem with that.
But essential to Hinduism is the great openess to other religions. One can find strange mixtures of Hinduism and Christianity or other religions. Hinduism is like a spunge, sucking all religious symbols and "gurus" from other religions.

Apart from Eid, the Muslim festival (= free day) and even God doesn't know what other divine reasons there are for having free days if you are a Hindu, I was very surprised to be informed that even tomorrow, 10th April, is a free day.

I asked: "Why ?"

The obvious answer was: "But Sir, it's Good Friday". Now, being a non-believing-Christian (whatever that may mean), I had forgotten myself about it. And because at the moment we suffer from heavy workload, I was not very amused with the free day that apparently goes with it.

So when we were making a planning for a specific job which we had to send to Belgium, I told an employee that Tuesday morning would be OK, because on Monday there would be a free day in Catholic Belgium.

The Hindu-guy enthusiastly asked ... "Why ?".

I did not even think about giving him a reason !!!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Ivory Tower

The following can be observed very often when one resides in India and talks with employees here:
- Indian employees having to take care of their family members;
- Indian employees having to move 2000km to get a job which is payed 200$;
- Indian employees having a family back home and only be able to visit them every 3 months;
- Indian employees being pressurized by all means and from all sides;
- Indian employees lacking all support from their State;
- Indian employees having fear: of loosing their jobs, of not fullfilling their many duties, of being impolite, of causing problems, of doing something wrong towards their bosses;

The psychology of enormous stress this results in is impossible to understand by Westerners. It's easy talking when you are sitting on your Ivory Tower and only have to judge ... because you know that you are safe up there.
The only thing you have to do is to work your 8 hours while knowing that Law supports your situation, income, illness, family ...
Easy to become a "professional" then ...
We really are arrogant bastards at times!

From my experiences here in India I can notice the enormous motivation of Indian employees and I really belief that India will work his way out of its situation. I see a very dynamic country with a great culture. I also observe Indians struggling to combine new influences with tradition. And they are doing it in their own way ... as it should be.

Have confidence in your work. The progress being made in your society is as quick and professional as can be at this moment.

Cheers to India !

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Relationship paradigms ...

Indian salesmen keep surprising me.
Apart from the (unnecessary and annoying) phones I receive every day, some typical phonecalls are always coming after a first contact by mail has been made with Indian companies with whom there never was any other contact before.

Mainly the prompt and immediate expression of their desire to build "a long-term relationship" is felt as hilarious.
I think Indians don't understand really that Europeans are not going into a long-term relationship without having satisfying sex first!
Without having sufficient and satisfying small job results, there will be no co-operation on long term.

Such a phonecall could sound like this:

Ring Ring

With Tony.

— Hi Sir, how are you?

Hi Sir, I’m XXXX from YYYY. We have send you an offer two days back and we did not hear from you yet. And I phone to hear when the project will be assigned to us.
Assigned to you? Well, we don’t even know if that job will be assigned to us. So how can you ask me to tell you when it will be assigned to you?

— OK Sir, but we need to plan our projects in. Could you please tell me when you plan to send that job to us?
My friend, I really cannot say anything about it, but if you really insist I propose second half of 2014. Is that OK with you?

Yes Sir. But … can’t this be scheduled for 2012? This would definitely work better for the both of us!
I can even give you a good discount by then …
That’s OK for me, you can plan it in.

— Thanks Sir. May I ask you when we can have our meeting then?
What meeting?

— Well Sir, I would like to meet you and discuss a longterm relationship with you.
Oh, euh … but … you know … I’m already married for 30 years.

— Oh really Sir? That is so nice. Do you have kids?
Yes … even 4 of them …

— Very nice Sir. Then when could we see eachother? To start our longterm relationship, Sir.
Why do you think I would be interested in a longterm relationship with your company?

— Oh, but Sir, for the mutual benefits and the embetterment of our companies.