First things first, the fact that Indians are seen as a source of cheap labour by the Americans is valid as long as the Indians are in India. And that is precisely the reason why the US remains as the most sought after destination for Indians when it comes to settling abroad.
There are a few simple things I have realized or realized more after coming here. Honestly, these are my good takeaways from this country:
- No job is big. No job is small. It is so refreshing to see people working two or three jobs to meet their expenses, follow their dreams and pursue what they like. I have seen so many people driving Ubers after their regular corporate jobs or just doing weekend food deliveries to explore the city. To bring out the contrast, even if you accept it or not, a significant part of the population in India will always look down upon driving Ubers, serving in restaurants and delivering groceries or food. In India, well yes, these are the jobs of the “uneducated” or “less privileged” because of the lower employment rate and higher poverty. But you can not carry the same outlook here and judge people. And people here fund their education after middle school and everything, which Indians don’t. So it’s a good idea to not to judge, you brats! And during the times of this COVID 19, I think this is the most important lesson we all must have learned – no job is small. In fact, it is because of these “petty” jobs that society is functioning.
- Time and talent are both valued here. No one can underpay you. Anything you do, you get paid. That is why every service here is expensive because people are spending time and they are getting paid for it. Even for corporate jobs, I don’t think any employer is entitled to have their employee’s time (weekends, after hours) without paying them for it. I worked for some big names back home, and I don’t think I have fallen sick even on the weekend without feeling guilty. Or have my appraisal meetings screwed because I didn’t work on a particular weekend or left for home on time. I had a typical 40 hours week, on papers.
- Hourly wages for all jobs is a good idea. And I feel it is the right way of rewarding everyone. Again, back home, all my jobs did follow an hourly pay structure – only when the client was to be charged. I was paid a fixed salary (and no, we won’t talk about bonuses either). So, here it is followed in a better way. That is why you won’t see people working here over-time if at all, a fixed salary model is supported. Because time has a value here, remember? They would rather use that time to work a second job.
- People here are hardworking, even though they might not be the smartest of the lot! And no matter what, it is inspiring.
Some good workplace practices ensure trust among the employees and build a better mental space for everyone. I have learned it the hard way. But it’s good to see that here! And every desi does get fascinated by them!