acquitting the NRIs

A few months ago, before i had gotten into the big bad corporate world, i had accused NRIs about being reluctant to mention their employer’s name. Now, having worked for two not-so-well-known companies, I would like to withdraw my charges.

Problem is that a large number of companies are unknown to the aam junta. Unless you are working for a firm that has a large public presence (such as a bank, or a prominent FMCG, or infosys or wipro) there is little chance people would have heard of your workplace. And it is really irritating when people mis-interpret. And if most of the comapanies in India are unknown, I can’t imagine the case with firang firms. So people get around the problem by just saying “i work in wisconsin” or some such!

My firm is supposed to be quite well-known in the US but is hardly heard of in India. Nobody seems to notice the “SABRE travel record locator” on their jet/kingfisher tickets. And most people tend to hear it as “cyber” and think i work for a cyber cafe or something – pisses me off to no end. And when I do explain, they think I’m a software developer – another thing that turns me off.

So nowadays when someone asks me where I’m working I first assess his/her aukaat. If i think he/she is really dumb, I just say “i’ve returned to bangalore and my office is in whitefield”. If i think he/she is well informed, I say “sabre”. Slightly less informed and i ask them if they’ve heard of travelocity and tell them i work for the firm that owns it. And try explain what I do. However, most of them dont’ understand and still think i’m a coder.

My most preferred response, nowadays, is to say nothing when someone asks me about my job. i just pull out my wallet and hand them my business card (i make sure i always carry a good stock of them). and let them figure out for themselves. of course by doing that I’m giving away my mobile phone number, but most of these people are too dumb to find it there so I guess it’s ok!

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