“You Americans are too honest”

2007-Aug-03

I was chatting with “Slim” a few desks down from me yesterday. A few months ago there were 90 of us contract programmers and analysts here in one room, and now there are only ten, and we will all soon be gone. The guestworkers from India are all calling around looking for new jobs.

My friend Slim was helping “Rajiv”, the guy who sits in the row in front of us, when Raj got a call from a recruiter, and Raj was claiming all sorts of skillsets that Slim knew he couldn’t do. So Slim asked Raj, “Why are you telling them that?” And Raj said, “You Americans are too honest. We lie to get the job, and when we get there, we help each other out. And if none of us there know how to do it, then we just move on to the next job.”

When I got to this gig, 90 of us came here in the course of a few weeks, and only two of us were Americans. Now, of the few who are left, most are Americans, because we didn’t lie about what we could do. But the “Powers That Be” had to try to hire at least two guestworkers who couldn’t do the job before they would break down and hire an American who could.

And that’s how the game works.

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