Tunnel Rat posted on January 11, 2013 23:58

Happy New Year to All Insurgents! 

I've been away for awhile but I finally have time to add the first post of the new year.  Here's a horror story from a American techie writing on Dice:

An American In A All Foreign Department

I am currently on contract for mobility (iphone, android) at a client. My group  is supposed to be doing just project mngmt and architecture. In reality that have me doing business analysis, financial stuff like budgets, just about anything they decide to make us do. My boss is Indian and his boss is Indian as well.

That being said in my group I am the ONLY American out of 10 people and that includes my boss. In my larget department there is like 185 people and out of that maybe 20 are Americans.

Before everyone gets their butts in a knot just to clarify when I say Americans I dont mean white I mean people that were either born here or naturalized but this is their home.

This means white, black, asians, hispanics, whatever...

The first thing that became readily apparent is that I am not doing what they hired me for. I was hired for mobility not to be your donkey. So the $ being the $ and its fairly close to my house I have been sucking it up otherwise I would have left. All the people I work with are at best average. There are no Albert Einsteins or Von Brauns. These are people that for the most part have no idea what I am talking about 99% of the time. They all nod and smile but I know they have no idea what I am talking. For being so-called experts its a farce.

Now lets talk about the culture. The people dont speak English at all except when they have too. Hindi is the rule of the land. The only time they speak English is when speaking to me or getting on some conference call with other Americans. The people themselves for the most part keep to their own kind. For the first few months I was there I attempted to be friendly and say hello to everyone I met. That went nowhere fast, most of the time they would look at me like I was from another planet or just totally ignore me. So that ended.

Even when I am in the room they speak Hindi a lot of the time. I have been in meetings with my boss and they will literally walk into the room and start speaking Hindi to my boss who will reply to them in Hindi as well. Sometimes there is chucklinkg and I am just left out of it. They never let you forget for a second that you ar enot one of them. Around the area I sit all they speak is Hindi all day long.

The H1Bs and whatever else they are (L1, etc..) are very sensitive to the power quotient. I have noticed they spend an emormous amount of time buffing the Indian managers shoes. They all continually stop by to talk to the boss and stroke him. All are gushing all over him about this and that. And he treats them generally like gargage. Like in any clique there are preferred favorites and he makes no bones about showing that this one is the golden child.

I have had several altercations with my boss already with one just before the holidays of him screaming at me that I wasnt doing my job. When I explained what I did and why. Which had to do with the LAW and an audit trail he told me to just change the dates to make it work. I refused as my name would be on it. I told him if you want to sign it and be accountable than you do it. Because I am not doing it because if this is found out you can go to prison. I said NO. The argument got so vehement I thought it was going to come to fisticuffs. Since than I have been cordial and friendly to him but I do my job and thats it. You want to lie than you do it.

In general they seem to look down on anyone who is not Indian with women being the frequent target of harassment. I have had my boss yell at me and tell me not to challenge him even though he is wrong. I am supposed to bow down and kiss his feet. That wont be happening anytime soon.

Than we get to the real cruxt of the problem which is payola, bribes, graft, cronyism, whatever you want to call it. There is blatant corruption right out in the open. The Indian consulting companies continually visit my boss like every week. Almost always behind closed doors. Lets not kid ourselves about what goes on behind the closed door - $$. Thats what.

When the holidays came around they all brought all kinds of outlandish gifts. Apparently in this company its allowed. Some firms I have been in, gifts of any kind are prohibited. But here its open season.

This isnt the best part though, around the 1st of the month every month there is an endless parade of Indians into my bosses office. When I say endless I am talking about 25-30 H1Bs in the space of 2 days. They all go in, close the door and than come right out in less than 5 minutes. My friend told me that they are making their montly pay off to him, its probably $500 from each contractors paycheck. You can do the math 30 people x $500/month in cash is a nice stream of cash on the side.

After the hurricane my boss was moaning about how his house and cars were damaged. Than I found out he had a huge home, a giant BMW sedan and a Porsche SUV. So how does a guy who only makes like $120K afford all this. I am sure you can do the math.

The reality is the only reason they hired me is they wanted my mobility skills though they arent currently using them. Otherwise I would not have been hired. Any time an American leaves they are replaced with an Indian. I have seen it several times already. Its not a conjecture, its a fact.The Indians have all moved up the value chain. I am seeing Indian project/program managers, directors and vice presidents. 

American IT people wonder why they cant find jobs. Here is why? You have been frozen out. They take care of their own and you arent coming in. Thats the reality of the environment.

Welcome to employment in the 21st century.


THERE WILL BE RETRIBUTION



- Vineet Nayar, CEO, HCL Technologies

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