Om Shanti Om

Dear Diary

I had a very stressful ten days recently, coping with daily change to my workflow in Delhi. I find my team here to be so unreliable and irresponsible it is sometimes hard to cope. I am not a scary Alan Sugar type boss, I just want a strong and supportive team.

I have tried asking my assistant to think over the weekend about how we can improve communication as we constantly misinterpret each other. She looks at me with a blank expression and when Monday comes the expression is the same. We tried everything, from writing instructions down and me setting practical examples but nothing works! She doesn’t seem to care about any of her responsibilities and this also extends to my pattern cutter who ran off to the village with zero notice halting my production and sampling for a whole week. He didn’t seem to think an explanation was necessary, nor did he think about his responsibilities to his team and work flow, he simply shrugs his shoulders.

I find this way of working difficult to understand as I think in Britain people do feel relatively responsible for their jobs and their colleagues. I can’t imagine simply not turning up for work or not paying attention and not listening to my boss.

Incompetence takes on a whole new meaning and so does yoga – my coping mechanism!


8 Comments to “Om Shanti Om”

  1. I think what’s missing is ‘loyalty’. My career is around Project Management and communication is essential. I do get staff who just simply turn up and want to know how much they will be getting paid – my response to them is that do you have a mortgage? If they answer yes then I know this person will work and wont take this job lightly. If they say no – I’m living as a tenant then I know this person will not take work serious, will have late nights every night and will not show brand and work loyalty.

    I’m currently involved in a couple of business ventures which I have set up along with a friend. When we hire staff we need to be very careful that were not hiring the wrong person. Or a person who does not give 100% when at work. What has worked is weekly meetings with all staff (either together or individually) end of week status report including a section to highlight good and bads, risks and concerns in the near future.

  2. Isn’t it a bit simple to think that people without mortgages are irresponsible? I work in the city for one of the world’s biggest firms but still haven’t managed to scrape a deposit together. I do spend a lot on going out but I take my work responsibilities seriously.

    Bubbly if your assistant is worth it keep trying but maybe you should let her go? And the pattern guy?

  3. Oh my god – where do you live The British Asian Blog? Not in London, clearly!

    Taking out a mortgage now without a 30% deposit would be ridiculous in today’s climate – I don’t have a mortgage and work for a magic circle law firm. I find it offensive for you to imply that I take my job lightly, I certainly do not.

    I’m very much interested in how much I will be paid – why not? I work hard and hit targets that are linked with bonus payments. I would argue that I am commerically aware and know how much I am worth. If you can’t pay for my work, then I will work elsewhere.

  4. What on earth has a mortgage got to do with work ethics????
    Some people have phenomenal work ethics and some people just don’t.
    Also different cultures handle work ethics differently. I have worked all over the world and the country’s culture plays a big part. I remember once in Brussells, I had to go with my friend to the local council’s planning dept – they close the counter fifteen minutes before lunchtime because they can and will not serve you because they don’t have to and know noone will reprimand them.
    Bubbly, I feel for you. The stress levels must be really high and it is very hard to get anything done as you feel you are not taken seriously and you are constantly chasing your tail. It may be slightly different in Britain but I work in manufacturing and sometimes people just don’t turn up to work here too. They think they can go off for a week with no notice and it is ok. The rag trade is notorious for this attitude even in England. We had to sack people to change the culture here. I hope it works out for you there. As anon says, you might need to seek someone else.

  5. That cat is too cute

  6. I’m interested to know whether you think being a woman affects your work in India.

    How on earth is India able to compete with china, which seems to operate a very well-oiled efficient machine!

  7. I’m not sure I would be able to recruit anyone better it’s hard for me to believe but she is actually an improvement from the previous assistant.

    I’m not sure if being a woman affects my experience but my personality does. I feel that in India one has to act out emotions in a literal way and I am too British in this respect. If I don’t look disappointed or stressed out then no one will believe me. I have been advised by my peers to give my staff ‘a good shouting’ but it’s just not my style. An Indian expression I love: so now what to do?

  8. What an awful way to have to work .. but then how is India seriously competing with China with this work ethic?

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