14 October, 2005

It's good to see....

...that Fridays are the same everywhere. Well almost, many of my colleagues in Chennai stayed quite late this evening (at least past 8:00 PM). But, I had the pleasure of enjoying Kingfisher (premium Indian beer) and dinner with a few members of the team. I was able learn many things about Indian culture, how the culture is changing, and new perspectives on how our company operates.

If you have an open mind you realize how the differences are really similarities. Different beliefs and practices have a different outward expression, but have a very similar inward meaning. People everywhere have similar wants and needs, but express them, and strive for them in different ways.

One thing I've noticed that is very different from the American Midwest, is that the Indian people are very friendly, open, honest, and generally quick to offer conversation, advice and assistance. This is true not just of people in the service industry (which is much better than the US, more later), but seems to be true of many people. People ask how you are doing with a genuine interest unlike what you see in Minnesota, almost seeming disappointed if your only response is 'fine, thank you' - as if there must be something more you can say.

On the service industry - it is far superior than the west. People make a true effort to meet and anticipate your needs, while they may not always succeed, the effort is there. Compared to so many places in the US where it seems the servers feel their work is a boring chore. While that may be, here I think workers may be happy for work with reasonable pay.

Tomorrow I get to visit some sites of Chennai, so there will actually be pictures!

Ciao

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