Friday, April 15, 2011

“STANDING IN LINE” – Beyond Indian understanding?

Today I was standing in line at the cafeteria to pay a bill. There were couple of guys standing randomly around the counter. I still stood a bit distant from them, as if in an invisible line. A guy just came stood ahead of me like I am invisible! I was so annoyed! Was it not obvious that I am standing for a reason in front of the billing counter? Do I look like a fool to just hang around there? At least ask me if I am in line. What kind of etiquette is it, to just go ahead breaking lines and ignoring others who sincerely stand in line? I didn’t let him go. Though I have a bad sore throat today and I sound so horrible, I still said to him in my hoarse voice “Excuse me! I am standing in line.”  He promptly went & stood behind me. Already having no etiquettes, he had no manner to even apologize!
Same day incident 2: I was standing in coffee line and two people ahead of me decided to get coffee/tea for the rest of their team who arrived late after a bunch were in line. So Wrong!! Shouldn’t they be standing in line too? Not fair that you have friends getting things for you because they are already ahead in line. The other day I had to drink tea, because the coffee was out!
In spite of working in such world class companies, these engineers don’t have any etiquette at all! It is so upsetting. Really, all that education and high-paying jobs can’t bring you a bit of class? Not asking for much here! What is with Indians not understanding the concept of standing in line? Every time we stand in line there is some idiot going ahead of us making us look like fools!!!


  1. Funny and annoying at the same time, by the way I know many Indians speak various languages in India. I wonder at work, what language people speak, lets say if they are both Tamil or if they are from the same region?

  2. Not funny at all! Only ANNOYING. At work ofcourse its the victory of the majority language. Before all this migration, most work places used the regional language of the state. But now with Indians migrating to different states due to IT jobs, the work place is a mixture of Indian languages. People of same language bond more easily. Like my Telugu speaking lead willingly introduced me to a guy from Mumbai because Marathi is my mother tongue. I do not bond based on language! Its a whole different story for me to bond with people..but language is never a point of interest!

  3. Even in IT companies who cater to US UK companies, people prefer talking in their own languages than English; which I think is very wrong. A govt. office is fine to use the regional language. But for an IT company, I think English speaking should be mandatory. Moreover, most poeple don't even talk correct english. To provide better service, I think English should be compulsory in IT companies.

  4. Yeah. So many of my non-Marathi speaking colleagues complain that discussions in meetings take place in Marathi. Sometimes I've been part of such discussions and they stop midway and ask (as if really concerned)"Do you understand marathi?". But my non-Marathi friends have to interrupt meetings and request for discussions in English. I remember, once at the lunch table, there was one girl who didn't understand the language, and when she challenged "Why do you speak in Marathi?", the other Marathi-speaking girl hit back "Why don't you learn Marathi". Yes, learning the language is a good thing to do, but should be a matter of choice.

  5. But the point is etiquettes your are talking about are never taught in Indian society. Not just about line but like holding door for other person, maintaining the language of common understanding at work place and many more.
    It is like people, you or me who have been out to US/UK know these etiquettes because we don't want to look rude or odd by not following them there.

    And person who breaks these etiquettes, doesn't know these etiquettes, so there is no questions of apology.

    So there is need of these things to be taught in Indian system. Those don't come naturally.

    Try to Love and Enjoy in as it is condition, or you can definitely give it a shot at changing it.


  6. I agree they are not taught in school and they should be a part of our learning process. But standing in lines is from our childhood. How does it feel when you are cut in? You do get angry right? So here is part of conscience in you to know that it is wrong. The class of people also matters. I expect this much from the IT crowd. Holding the door is way too much. Little things like when you open the door for yourself, the person coming from the other end is obviously supposed to stop. Of course I am not opening the door to him. When I stand in front of the elevator, you can’t come from the back & cut me & go ahead. Really, they are very bad manners and I believe by the time you get a job, you would have learnt this.
    I understand the problem with our country is the huge population which drives everyone with the "Me first" attitude. But at work I don't think it is required. It’s more of a common sense, I am second...someone is first so I have to wait. Simple! We don’t have to go to US UK to know what is right. It is more obviously right after we went there. But we have always known what is the right thing!

  7. @Frency - The language problem is a big issue in all companies in South too. People execute their work in Kannada, Telegu, Tamil. We know people come from various places across India now. It is really not a fight of the language of there region. So no matter what state it is, English should be the only language of work. I see the same problems as you mentioned. I feel the company heads should make it a rule so everyone follows English as the business language.