Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Culture Shock

While my last trip to US had its elements of culture shock, this trip is no different. However, this time, I have experienced culture shock in office... yes - in office. And I have been left speechless. And the free use of expeltives makes me wonder if I still have a lot to learn in English language. If not the expeltives, it is the idea that some intelligent soul comes up with and these ideas are strictly categorized as A or A+, if there is any rating like this.

One fine day, when we were sitting in a meeting, the topic of animal rescue officers came up. Here is the conversation that followed-
AB - Yeah, the Police Department does have an Animal Rescue officer on the force in each county. There was one in my husband's unit as well, but they removed him.
JB - Removed him? Why?
AB - He was sleeping around with the wives of the people whose houses he would visit for rescuing animals. And he would charge them.
JB - Charge them...??? I can understand sleeping around...
AB - Yeah, but he would charge them.
(Note - Animal rescue act should not be charged. It is to be done for free by the animal rescue officer.)
JB - Sleeping around... I don't think any husband would have a problem with his wife sleeping around with the animal rescue officer, but charge them... that is not right...
AB - Yeah, exactly... he would charge them.
JB - Would he charge them for animal rescue or for sleeping with them?

By this time, I was too stunned to react. The smile that I had on my face at the beginning of the meeting had disappeared and I was feeling wierd. I was actually waiting to move out of the meeting... Itna saara discussion in a business meeting - phew, that is too much.

Another meeting - a differnt agenda though... I was preparing a project plan and we were discussing all the activities involved in the project execution so that I could add it to my Project Plan. The meeting was going on well, till the time yours truly decided to ask a few questions with a purely genuine intention of knowing what is going around in the other groups. After a couple of questions, somebody said louldy - "I don't know what the F*** are those guys doing." I was clean bowled. And I decided not to ask anything any further.

Yet another meeting, with all male members - it was a discussion about the updates to the Project Plan because of the delay in the implementation schedule. The topic veered towards a CR that is being worked on by another team. Yours truly entered the action just to provide some information on a bug that had come up in testing. During the normal course of discussion, one of the guys said - "What the f*** have those guys done? It should not be this way."

Wow, such a free usage of expeltives in the corporate world... Can things get any better??? How wrong was I!!! Every morning we have a standup meeting where we give the status of our work and the plan for the day. One fine day, we had a lunch meeting and while having lunch we were discussing about certain things that should be done to improve the performance of the team. Things were going on fine, when all of a sudden -
LO - We have SK's birthday on Thursday. Can we invite a stripper for him?
ha ha ha ha ha ha he he he he he he ho ho ho ho ho - Laughter all around.
I was shocked. I was stunned and was not able to figure out what was happening - I mean, we are discussing about how to improve the things and all of a sudden a stripper comes into the conversation.
KH - Oh no... We would all lose our jobs.
AB - Yes, we would have to start searching for another job from Friday.
LO - Don't worry. I am ready to take the rap for everyone.

As long as it was just the usage of expeltives, it was still ok. I am not saying that the usage of expeltives is right, but if you compare the expeltives with the stripper incident, the stripper incident crosses all limits. Phew... these culture shocks have actually shaken me quite a lot... And I don't know what is in store for me for the remaining few days that I will be here.

And for those of you who are still wondering whether the stripper came to office or not, well... the stripper was not invited. Thank GOD for small mercies.

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