Too many chiefs and not enough Indians?

My friend told me a story about his buddy.  His friend seems to go back and forth from India to California.  He had a job here in California managing seven workers.  It was okay, but he longed for India.  He went back to India every year to see family and meditate, etc. This time, he decided to get a job in India, so he could be close to the family.

This character is a perfect example of how NRI Indians have a tough time readjusting to Indian life.  Indians get used to America after a year or two, but getting used to India after living in the states for five or more years is daunting and perhaps impossible for many.

In any case, this loveable NRI got a prestigious job in an IT firm in Chennai.  Instead of having seven people under him, he got twenty-four. Yes — this is how management is done in India.

In America, everyone wants to be the boss, but few want to be the worker. We call this scenario by a name created based on Native American culture —

Too many “chiefs” and too few Indians.

When we say Indian in this context, we mean Native Americans since they were confused by the early European explorers and thought to be Indians from India despite the fact that they didn’t wear saris or cook dosa!  I don’t think the Christopher Columbus ever had the luxury of ever having a dosa (he should have stopped for a bite in New Jersey).

But, in India, management has the opposite problem.  Too FEW chiefs, and too MANY Indians! How can any one manage 24 employees? In any case, this manager was on call 24 hours a day it seemed. The phone was ringing off the hook.  There were hundreds of projects simultaneously going on.  The stress was piling up. Finally, he took a vacation to a remote part of Tamil Nadi.  He couldn’t enjoy himself, and the phone was ringing off the hook.  His wife askied him why he even bothered taking a vacation if he couldn’t relax.  He said that he didn’t know. That vacation was his breaking point.

It was time to move back to America and go back to managing only seven workers. The moral of the story is — don’t try to manage 24 people no matter how good they are. You will go crazy, and there is no place to run unless you quit and move to California which is not possible for most people.

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