Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hello Who?

Skipping the insanely long story of how I got to the U.S, I wanted to tell you how it felt when I actually met the people that I had imagined had a face of a CISCO landline phone tagged to a ten digit number unique for each one of them.

The first week was lost in cursing my colleagues who made me come to office during my MY night time. The second week was lost in complaining to my friend that he was driving on the wrong side of the road. The third week on.. Well, I need to make things clear at this point of time. I did work during the first two weeks (although I had to fight to get paid during that tenure) No, really!.

So, the third week started with an American calling me 'Abby' in spite of me helping him with the world's easiest name. In my street all the babies tell my name before they tell 'Amma', you know?

A day later I dialed into a team meeting that already had a couple of Americans in the line. A show of hands was expected.

Caller1 - Hey, this is Sen.

Caller2 - Hey, this is Phil.

Caller3 - Brad here.

Caller4 - Sid.

Caller5 - It was me and I had no clue if I was on the correct bridge line. I didn't know any of them. I shut my mouth. Dropped from the call silently. A ping on the chat window on my laptop - 'Announce yourself' said the lead. I confessed that I wasn't on the call.

I was excused for the moment. But the hearing was scheduled post-lunch. I assumed I was going to turn out to be the clown for the day. What did they know!

I could hear myself laugh out loud in front of the entire team when I came to know that

Caller 1 is Senthil.

Caller 2 is Pillai

Caller 3 - Bharathan

Caller 4 - Sudharvel

I yelled, 'Are you guys out of your minds?' More giggling, stifling, giggling.

It is only to help the Americans be comfortable with our otherwise tongue twisting names, they said. But we try our best to tell 'Emma', don't we?. Not fair? Okay.

I got used to it eventually. But not when some desis call me Abby. Like they'll consider their accent to give them a green card.

I'm glad that after a year the caller5 still calls herself Abi.

Love,
Abby.(Just kidding)