Friday, March 20, 2009

A little late but better than never...

While in India you can't help but be overwhelmed by the cultural differences. Working in India proved to be just as different..

Just a few of them...

1)Back home, if the power were to go out in the Coke building, I am sure we’d be in the midst of some catastrophic problem.

In India, the power goes out as often as I go for a bathroom break. Usually the backup generators kick in quickly, but today we were left with about 2 full minutes of complete darkness… so dark my computer didn’t even produce enough light to see my keyboard… earlier this week I was stuck in the bathroom in complete darkness.

2)Back home, the cafeteria is a pretty sophisticated scene… 10 different stations for food of all kinds…. salad bar, grill line, desserts, salad bar, meat and 3, deli, etc.

In India, the cafeteria serves free lunch to all Coke employees out of 4 big cooking pots. The dishes are split between veg and non-veg options, always accompanied by rice and Nan (local bread similar to pita). I really enjoy the authentic India food, which is not as spicy as I had feared (although a lot of my team can’t eat the level of spice). I have also turned about 95% vegetarian since being in India.

3)Back home, I typically don’t feel like I am going to die every morning on my commute to work (unless it is of course raining in Atlanta).

In India, I typically don’t feel like I am going to live past my 5 minute commute to work.

4) Back home, we enjoy going to a cabin on the weekends to enjoy getting out of the city, especially during the fall.

In India, I work in a “cabin”, along with every other employee that isn’t stuck in a cubicle.

5) Back home, I understand and am familiar with all aspects of the Coca-Cola restrooms.

In India, I have yet to fully understand (although I have some ideas) the complexities of the bathroom situation. Between the hoses and drains I’m not sure if I want to understand.

6) Back home, although I look somewhat different than most people, I tend to blend in okay with the other redheaded, fair skinned people (or at least fair skinned people).

In India, I sometimes seek reassurance from my colleagues that I have not turned into the red-headed devil that all of the stares lead me to believe. I just looked in the mirror a few minutes ago – no worries, everything seems to be okay.

7) Back home, we tend to lay off employees that aren’t essential to our business.

Here in India, they tend to employ people with totally nonessential tasks. No lie, there are two full time elevator button pushers and one guy that sits at the coffee machine to push the button for whatever you want.

8) Back home, when you park your car the most you ever worry about is maybe parking too close to someone else and getting a scratch or ding in the door.

In India the employees have to worry about the cows that hang out all day in the parking lot eating trash getting into a fight and ramming their horns into vehicles parked in their way. Seriously, I’m not kidding-two team members actually witnessed a full on cow brawl that led to some pretty nasty damage to some poor soul’s red jeep.

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