Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Thou shall know the truth and nothing but the truth

Courtesy: www.zcool.com.cn
What do Engineering graduates from India do post their graduation?

A)MBA
B)MS
C)A Job

No this is not Derek O’Brien interrogating you unnecessarily nor am I SRK flaunting of the new KBC look. It’s just me thinking aloud.

I would say all three options take an equal share of the pie, but the ones pursuing their Masters be it an MBA or an MS are the ones who get the royal “Oh Wow” treatment. Between the two The US M.S definitely takes the cake.

In India I see engineers doing their MS in the US to be looked at with revere- the senior population are proud of their “climbing the success ladder betas and betis” while their contemporaries look at them, hearts filled with jealousy and envy. After all, going to the US has been termed as the big achievement-managed only by the crème de la crème for many Indians generations now. I was convinced too…until I came to the US.

My US corporate experience as a consultant from an IT offshore vendor to publishing companies has led to a number of over the coffee table conversations with my client side counterparts. One such conversation with P left me feeling disgusted and reproachful.


P decided to play “Spot 10 differences in the picture” game with me that day, the only difference being she had sheets to play with and not pictures. I thought it would be fun and eagerly took the sheets from her. “Ok make that 5 differences and ill take you out for lunch tomorrow” said P. I flashed my “you love me don’t you” smile and turned to the sheets.

Much to my surprise all sheets were spectacularly similar. 2 in fact had the same spelling mistakes. (P had gone the extra length to highlight all)
5 differences? It was hard to fine a single one for crying out loud I thought! All the resumes were so similar. Yes they were resumes.

I turned to P with a puzzled and lost Prof Calculus look on my face. Why do you have so many copies of the same resume I asked? She laughed. The gigantic P laugh which leaves you with a sinking “it’s going to be a looong coffee break” feeling.

“These are the resumes of 5 candidates that I just got from the headhunting agency” said P.
P and her team had just fired a Business Analyst the week before. A Business Analyst who apparently had 7 years of work experience but was yet to figure out what analysis meant. After using me as her punching bag to vent out all her frustrations she called the head hunter and asked him to call the BA back (recruits made through a headhunter cannot be fired directly. The message is sent to him/her through the head hunter).

Guess P was on the prowl for a BA again I thought.
“You know R left right? We need a BA but not someone whose work we have to do!” she started off.
“Ok so these are resumes that you have received for a BA position from the head hunter, but why are they so similar” I asked her.
“You have hit the nail on the head Seeda” she said giving me that rare “I’m proud of you” look. (I turn Seeda from Seeta while I am in the US in case you are wondering about the sudden change in name. Nothing intentional about it mind you :D)

They are all fake don’t you see? Some of them have the same spelling mistakes, the same sentence repeated across resumes. Jeez! I interviewed one candidate over the phone today. He had a few things listed out on his resume. So I thought I would ask him about them. I asked him what “Gap Analysis” was, and he goes “tap tap tap” on his keyboard and recites the definition of Gap Analysis which you get on entering “Define: Gap Analysis” in Google! I did it to actually confirm what he was reciting!” Sense seemed to prevail 20 minutes into the call and he started hitting “Mute” on his phone each time I asked him a question” P seemed to have been waiting all day to meet her punching bag and pour out all her irritation.

“Tell me how is that all these 5 candidates have been working for American Express, Merill Lynch and Lehman Brothers??”
All she expected from her punching bag was a nod of the head. Little did she know how disgusted I was feeling right then…

“There were 2 girls I spoke to” she said. They sounded ok so I called them over for a quick chat today. We asked the first one to write out some requirements and she gives us a paper with gibberish written all over, the second one was honest enough to admit though that some projects mentioned on her resume were projects she didn’t “necessarily” work on.” I wouldn’t fake my resume in a million years! What did they do in their MS? But why would they care, they get the money and that’s all that matters” bellowed P.

The thought had crossed my mind too but I was too ashamed to react. I stared at the resumes in my hand. The bold italicized “M.S” stared back at me.

Needless to say all were Indian.

16 comments:

  1. "Needless to say all were Indians:"

    So am I :((

    Well, I used to wonder why Indians have such a bad reputation in most places.
    The more I go out, the more I realize, it isn't because of any prejudice on part of others but somewhat our fault only.

    BTW, I did went to a place where Indians had a decent reputation. That was more because that place had even worst ppl to bear.
    Our dear neighbours!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. was just thinking of drafting a resume glorifying myself and you had to write this? :P on a serious note, its really sad that Indians have such a bad reputation...

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  3. I am just curious ... what other nationality has the blogger worked with and had the opportunity to do this analysis? Chinese, Russian, Eastern Europeans ?!?!?! How many body-shoppers or head hunters the blogger has worked with?

    The reason I ask is that I have been in US IT for ten+ years and have seen both sides. I have seen consultants from big five (when it used to be) who are worse than pretty much anybody - and yes - these were Americans worse than Americans who were sold to them by Americans !!!!

    But the difference in response is that Americans look at this and say "that person is useless" or "that headhunter is useless" ... whereas we look at it and say "Indians are useless" !!!!!!!

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  4. @Anon
    Hi Anonymous (Is that your name?? its nice! :) )

    Well in the first place this is not an analysis. Secondly I am not talking about people being useless here. I am talking about the latency and insincerity shown by people when it comes to job hunting...
    I spoke about it from the perspective of an indian who has been oblivious of this like many other fellow indians. It was a dent to the impression i had... It was a thought put down.

    If i were to work on an analysis it would have been a research paper.. if ever i think of it i shall definetely make it public :)

    I do not see any need to get defensive on this, there might be many others who do the same... others belonging to diverse nationalities... but if i see 5 resumes all indian which fall in the copy paste category it does hurt my sentiments... i have not generalized mind you... yet it has left an impression

    @Mukund

    Do you want some help in making one?? ;)

    @Dheeraj
    Not too many around here..our neighbours... maybe the same story would have repeated!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. anonymous said..
    "whereas we look at it and say "Indians are useless" !!!!!!! "

    Hmmm, strangely nowhere in the document does it say that "Indians are useless". Sometimes we interpret what we read as what we think subconsciously.

    BTW, I have worked with Brits, Ausies, Chinese, Koreans, Phillipino, Vietnamese, Americans and lot of Indians.
    Not just worked, I have seen lot of resume also and coincidently, only resume of one nationality had stuff cooked up in them. Well, it might be true for other resume also but at least they were good enough to make it look real.

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  6. seeta that was one great piece of work. truth always prevails :-)

    even i have been wondering what kind of 'S'cience do Indian's 'M'aster in the U.S.??

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  7. hahahaha .... interesting responses ... so let me respond to some of the points raised.

    1) No. My name is not annonymous, at the same time I have no intense desire to add yet another user id / password combination to my collection ... so just chose to use that option while posting comments - and will do the same for this comment as well.

    2) Of course when I used to word "useless" I was paraphrasing the comments in article and not "quoting" it.

    I was raising my point of view about how easily we Indians tend to generalize things about India / Indians based on one / few experiences. Now ... I think this is a very good point in my argument for "Needless to say, we are all Indians" :) ...

    But seriously, spend enough time in US around NRIs who have come here few decades back and you 'may' see bigger context in which I am making that argument.

    3) Unfortunately, towards bottom rung of the "recruiting/ subcontracting chain" in IT ... this is common practice - irrespective of which nationality the company / candidates belong to.

    We all can feel morally outraged about it ... but I would feel more appropriate directing it at the market situation that this subcontracting 'game' has become !!!

    4) I have no reason or intention of getting defensive about this - I just have different perspective. In my mind this also shows incompetence of the head hunting agency who foolishly submitted all these resume to the same client. Dheeraj has kinda eluded something similar in his comments "... good enough to make it look real ..."

    Amen !!! :)

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  8. @Anon

    "Needless to say all were indian" refers to the resumes notthe people...


    you dont need to register. you can just add your name to the comment :)

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  9. intersting article here... and the arguments, even more!

    @anon: you still fail to get the gist dont you? its not a generalisation nor an attempt at demeaning indians. why the head hunting co. screwed up is a different story. i think the article is calling out at the 'MS' souls who stoop to such low levels to get a foothold in some companies. i think there are better ways to get over their incompetence...

    besides, because it is low rung staffing (if at all it is - why would a masters chap/chappette want it?) does it justify unfair practice? yes, certainly unfortunate. but do we just accept it?

    oh btw, if you arent ashamed of your identity, you could still put in your name here... WITHOUT the need to add to your list of login ids and passwords. the option is OTHER.

    - pradeep.

    p.s. nice post seets! quite thought provoking :)

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  10. If gist of the article is what is mentioned above I will try to refrain myself from posting further so that others can do intellectual masterb**ion peacefully !!!

    However, if there is any interest in trying to understand why things are happening the way they are (not necessarily agree/ support/ change it ... just understand it) then it helps to also know the context in which they are occuring.

    But what the heck ... since I am neither that candidate, nor that head-hunter nor the IT manager (what is his/her incentive in sticking with the same head hunting company?) and hey, I am not even an MS ... so let me also say it !!!

    "As an INDIAN I am outraged, disgusted and feel ashamed, dishonored, cheated, intellectually offended, etc. etc. etc. by this act of INDIANS in general and those INDIAN candidates in particular" !!

    And now just to make Pradeep feel happy that he is right in his shrewd observation that the only reason I am using "Anonymous" is because I am ashamed of myself ... ... I will continue to do so!!! :o)

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  11. The other thing I used to come across frequently among Indians in the US is the ease with which they would want to enlist all and sundry as "reference" for a job and then look shocked if you refused to comply because it was not backed by the truth.

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  12. Just happened to grace thru orkut and spotted the blog again :-) nice one seeta! keep them coming!!

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  13. The Blog!!! - wow!
    The comments even bigger wow!!!
    I'd like to compare this on a miniscule scale to our cricketing team - tigers on paper - paper dolls on the field!
    Think bout it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Having been a recruiter, I grill folks on stuff, seemingly innocent stuff, that they put on their resume. One guy said his fav author was Mario Puzo. Little do they imagine that the HR person may be well read too... and then I grill... about this character and that... and send them home at the end of it.

    When they can lie about trivia... the bigger stuff is not even to be questioned.

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  15. Công ty vận chuyển hàng hóa trong nước chuyên nhận vận tải giá rẻ tốt nhất hiện nay. Hãy đến với chúng tôi, sàn giao dịch vận tải hàng hóa bạn sẽ được tận hưởng những dịch vụ vận chuyển tốt nhất hiện nay. Có thể kể đến dịch vụ tìm xe vận chuyển hàng hóa, vận chuyển hàng đông lạnh, tìm hàng hóa vận chuyển, vận chuyển hàng tươi sống, nhận chở hàng giá rẻ , dịch vụ vận chuyển hàng hóa bằng đường sắt, vận chuyển hàng đi Hà Nội giá rẻ... Và còn rất nhiều dịch vụ đang chờ đón bạn. Nếu như bạn có thắc mắc hay cần sử dụng hãy liên hệ với chúng tôi nhé.

    ReplyDelete

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