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Awesome, thy name is EFBQ

Anybody remember that old commercial – I think it was for Geritol or somesuch, which is sadly ironic given this particular spelunking of the Memory Cave – which ended with the guy snarkily saying to the camera, “My wife. I think I’ll keep her.”?

Fast forward to Thursday, when I was due to head downtown to an interview for which I had no information whatsoever. The recruiter in this case was in New Jersey – I think. Fact is, he was an outsourced guy, of the sort that drives me nuts…I hate to say it, but I despair when hearing, “Ahhhh, hello…myee nem is Chonny, and I am being of culling you from New York-keh…” No. No, you are not; your name is Kirpal and you’re calling from Bangalore where it’s likely the middle of the night. I don’t have any personal issue with the Kirpals of the world, because they’re just trying to do a job and get a paycheck like anybody else; I do mind that they get paid a pittance compared to American workers, and I do mind that American companies exploit them due to that fact, and don’t hire qualified Americans, and I do mind that they aren’t always given a clear idea what they are supposed to be doing, and that they definitely, through no fault of their own, do not have any idea of the geography and culture – corporate or otherwise – of the United States. And yeah, I wish they could just say they were Kirpal from Bangalore, but I understand they can’t because there are bigots in the United States, giving me another reason to just hate the whole damned mess.

Anyway, here it was, Thursday morning, and this particular version of Kirpal had left me high ‘n’ dry. The night before, I checked the email he’d sent, which was, how you say, lacking in a few details:

Hi [Scooterbird],

With reference to our Telephonic Communication today in the morning.

Your In person Interview has been scheduled with [company] tomorrow Wednesday 3/19/2008 at 10.00 am at St.Washington,DC location (near Union Station).

Upon arival you need to contact [name1] and [name2].

Best Of Lucks For the Interview [Scooterbird].

Ah. Thank you for the “lucks”, my South Asian friend, but you don’t suppose you could give me a bit more…lemme think, oh, sayyyy…an address and a phone number?? And no, I didn’t modify anything there save what is in brackets – that’s exactly how it came. Nothing before “St.” He even followed it with a reminder which faithfully copied the first email, not realizing there wasn’t a full address listed. And the company involved is a telecommunications giant, with about 140 skegazillion employees and offices as ubiquitous as Starbucks’.

So I got up especially early, left a frantic message with Mr. Outsource for a return call, and was planning to just head down to that area in hopes that he’d leave a message on the phone on the way down so I’d have the particulars.

Enter my lovely wife, to whom I show the email whilst banging my head vigorously on the table. She pulls up to the yaptop and says, “…I’ll see what I can do.” I appreciated the help, but had pretty much resigned myself to my fate as I ran upstairs to find my decent shoes and lint-brush my suit jacket.

Ten minutes – ten minutes – later, she comes upstairs with a piece of paper in one hand. “I spoke to [name2],” she said. “Here’s the address, directions (with landmarks included, I later noted), and phone number.” Then she produced what was in her other hand. “Oh, and here’s your shirt. I pressed it.”

I mean…Ho-lee Magoo. Do I absolutely not deserve this woman or what?

Oh, and yes: I got the job.


4 Responses

  1. behind every great scooterbird, there’s a great efbq.


    congrats on the job!

  2. Wow. Yes, you do have a fine piece of woman there. Perhaps she can give lessons to mine? (Just kidding, my wife is just as special)

    Makes me wonder if they weren’t intentionally vague and would give the job to the person who actually managed to crack their code.

    But then I realize I deal with an increasing number of Kirpans at work, and I just shake my head at what little they know. (for example, I recently came across a work order entered by a Kirpan where, for the two-letter abbreviation of the state Louisville is in, is entered KENTUCKI. Yes, that’s the two-letter abbreviation. Also, my favourite was the capital of Indiana was spelled “Indian Apples”.

    I once heard (anecdotally) of someone who was talking to the centre we have out there and this was the following exchange (unsure of actual names, so changed):

    Kirpan (in a heavy Indian accent): Hello, my name is Randy, how can I help you?
    Randy (my cow-orker): Yes, hi, this is Randy, calling from [states the reason he is calling]
    K: And what was your name?
    R: Randy
    K: And how do you spell that?
    R (thinking): The same way you spell yours!
    R (saying): Randy. R-A-N-D-Y.

    But I do fully agree with what you sympathize with and what you don’t sympathize with in outsourcing, especially since I used to be a Kirpan. True, Canadians are much more expensive than Indians to hire, no matter how bad our currency was at the time, but they did hire us out. And, when talking to Americans, we were told to say that we’re located “north of Fargo, North Dakota”. (We’re actually in Winnipeg). I’ve been asked a couple of times, by smart Americans, where exactly that would be. I had no bones saying it was actually Winnipeg, and they didn’t mind hearing it.

  3. *hugs*

  4. @kdiddy: Thankoo!

    @efbq: *hugsback*

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