How To Tame An Indian Dragon – Pt. 2

The first thing I observed about Indian men, within the organization I worked for, was their easy going attitude. However behind that laissez faire facade, lies a lazy, narcissistic, entitled individual who thinks the world revolves around him and no one else. You’d walk into a meeting with an Indian, come to a compromise or agreement about things that require attention and some few hours later, you’ll receive a rude awakening with their utmost turnaround via fervent denials of what was agreed earlier.

Document: To curb denials in any form, ensure to document all official interactions through emails, copying all decision makers. I don’t give a frigging hoot whether it was a 5 minute or 1 hour chitchat, so long as we came to an agreement about something, I am hitting you up with a mail. This email will cover up your ass, when the time comes for shit to hit the ceiling.

Shrewd Negotiation: When negotiating with an Indian man, do not fall for a verbal agreement. Ensure you have all terms of engagement written and spelt out clearly to avoid ambiguity. If he reneges, you can call him out for it legally. Nothing scares an Indian man than the threat of legal procedures or police.

Power drunk: The average male Indian colleague is in love with the notion of ‘Power’, no matter how minute it might be. He loves to exact this power to the detriment of the organization he works for. Teamwork while lovely and heartwarming, is a foreign concept in his personal vocab.

To fuel this power drunk individual, they end up recruiting ‘Yes – men’ instead of individuals that can think on their feet. At the end of the day, a would-be vibrant organization, becomes a shadow of its’ former self. Unless he’s playacting in front of his senior colleagues, always expect him to be gung-ho about power. If you have attended meetings with Indians, just check out the power play between two Indians (Senior – Junior). The junior one tries to outshine his boss at all time, cos he’s positioning himself in the minds of the powers that be, about his suitability for his bosses job.

Be Superior: always remember that the society in which an Indian man was raised, is largely a caste system. Hence, to tame your Indian male colleague, you must relate using the same caste system he believes in. How? For instance, most Indians think that a lot of Nigerians are poor and desperate, and will condone all manner of abuse in the workplace. Darling, this is where you draw the battle-line. If you want an Indian man to relate with you as an equal, you must relate with him from a ‘Class Superiority’ angle. This angle he’s comfortable with and understands. At all times, you must pass this message subconsciously through the innovative and creative insights/ideas you bring to the table so it sinks in. Once you are successful in passing this message, he will drop his superior air and relate with you as an equal.

One Witty Mail At a Time

Acerbic witty emails: no one does this better than me in my workplace. You know those kind of emails you send, where you are actually calling the recipient out for his appalling performance on the job, but he cannot call you out likewise for your insulting email as there is no visible proof you have basically labelled him ‘Wimp or Stupid’. Become a pro at it. Be creative with the use of English language to pass your messages across.

Lack of responsibility/Plague of Silence’: When you have surrounded yourself with inefficient people, who dare not think on their feet, you breed a poor working culture. Most Indian male colleagues are a pro at this. They do not understand the concept of taking ownership. When things do not work according to plans, they dig their heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich, and begin to take pot shots at junior colleagues, who end up becoming the scapegoats.

How To Tame An Indian Dragon.

Ignore the Gringo on the table. This is not about him!

Working in an office with expatriates from different nationalities is an insightful experience. It can be hilarious and harrowing, as you navigate personal bias, prejudice against each others’ norm and idiosyncrasies. However, nothing prepares you for working with Indians till you experience it.

So, what’s it like working with Indians? Please note that this is not an Indian bashing exercise, rather its’ a summary of my work experience with Indians. For more than a decade, there has been a gradual invasion of Indians, across the African continent. Taking Lagos as an example, there are exclusive Indian communities, schools and groceries dedicated to serving this ethnic populace.

Indians are highly religious and in an office, you might find replicas of small shrines dedicated to the varied god/goddesses, they worship. However, if religious piety was a major factor in their behavior and attitudes, within the workplace, it’d be astonishing. The Indian populace is largely influenced by a pervasive caste system and this is reflected in the Nigerian workplace, where they think “we are superior to the locals” and “they should serve us in every capacity”.

The second job I had was my first encounter with Indians. Previously I had worked extensively with Britons, Americans, Hungarians and found them to be pleasant without aggravating the locals. When I resumed at this new job, though it was a multinational firm, most of my colleagues were from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Within 2 months of resumption and direct observations, I discovered something appalling. My Indian colleagues were all about double – speak, ass lickers, and always willing to throw you under the bus, if you allowed it.

How did I plow through this toxic situation? I will be exploring this in subsequent posts.

Why You Should Avoid A Black Guardarropa

Take a cursory glance when you walk into a office, perusing what the female employees are wearing and the color ‘Black’ , is a predominant color. Sometimes I think the official color for most Naija women is black.

My first job was at a leading financial institution. The official colors were black and dark navy blue. Gosh! How depressing it was back then. I remember thinking, there is no way I am going to be stuck up in a black or navy blue suit all day, traipsing the streets of Lagos without a personal car. The heat and humidity out there will suck the energy out of me.

My female boss who was light years ahead of her time, gave me the leeway to dress whichever way I please, so long as it was not vulgar, tight or transparent. I stuck to the bright end of the rainbow spectrum. Till date, I do not own a black handbag. While I own 2 pairs of black shoes, my shoe collection consists of orange, green, blue, pink, red, nude etc. No dull colors for me. Along the lines, female colleagues handed over cash so I could procure the same clothes for them. When the principal manager of the branch, felt my influence was rather pervasive, she approached my boss to complain and was told to ‘back off’.

One of the few things you can do, to aid your career growth in the workplace is to ditch a black wardrobe especially if you work in an office, filled with expatriates. The colors black, brown, navy blue completely washes you out. Keep in mind that your skin color is not a major consideration, by western manufacturers, when making these clothes. I am always at a loss anytime I am on vacation overseas, and see people of African descent, adorning black. Girl! YOU ARE INVISIBLE….No one and I mean no one sees you especially people of other skin colors.

This is the practical truth. The next time you are in a video conferencing call, seated in a room of expats which can range from Caucasian to Asians, take a cursory glance on the screen and see if you are visible or not. If you are wearing the colors mentioned above, chances are high that you are washed out on the screen. Let me give you a visual aid. Your hair color is black, your skin color is brown or a darker tone, you love the colors black, brown and navy blue. You need to put an end to this debilitating habit, as it makes you invisible along the corridors of power.

When a Caucasian or Asian wear black, you can interpret the fleeting emotions on their face. You on the other hand, have simply boxed yourself into a corner, as no one can interpret the emotions on your face, as you are completely washed out. The same thing occurs for Caucasians, when they adorn white and bold colors. These colors wash out their pale white skin.

Instead, adorn yourself in bold, bright colors. In the workplace, you must make it a habit of registering your presence in the minds of your expat colleagues, when you walk into any room. Bold, bright colors accentuate your skin tone and in a room filled with expats, no one will ignore you. Your opinions will be sought for. Just make sure you own your end of the intelligence angle. Trust me, you will always be remembered as the lady who leaves an impression with her color choices.

Remember, no se permiten flores de pared aquí….which means, “No Wallflowers Allowed Here”. For the month of March, I am offering great savings in your cart when you purchase here.

Glossary:

Guardarropa – wardrobe

Enough OR Not Enough?

What’s Your Financial Shield?

If you are going to live the life you desire, on your own terms, without conforming to societal norms and expectations, ‘Financial Freedom’, is the main key. Now when I speak about financial freedom, its’ not all about having excess money, you’re not sure how to spend it all.

No, this is not the picture I want you to have in mind. Financial freedom will save you from making terrible, hurtful decisions. It will save you from terrible bosses, toxic workplace culture, abusive relationships where its’ mandatory to lose your individuality, so a little of your true self can survive. And in situations where you end up making terrible decisions, financial freedom will step in, to aid you in redeeming the situation. Irrespective of wherever you reside globally, this principle is a universal one.

Seeking Life Adventures

How do you determine when it is enough and you can bow out of the corporate or whichever race you are on? It is relative to each individual. Assuming you want your kids to pursue higher education in a foreign land, you want to explore the world while retired or simply want to live out your days in relative splendor. If your current monthly expense range within N50,000 – N100,000 monthly, and passive income you are currently earning is within this range, will you consider this enough?

Some might while others’ won’t. My personal yardstick is once 20-30% of annual passive income earned, can take care of your daily needs, then you have passed the yardstick. Please pat yourself on the back and take out time to evaluate goals you have set for yourself this year. Financial freedom is around the corner.