You know that thing…when you read a book, then watch the movie and somehow the movie is boring i.e. not as interesting as the book was or you watch the movie first…then when you get to reading the book, you can’t get even 10 pages into it….no? OkBye. I should probably get to my story >>>
One of the things life has ‘blessed’ me with, is working with all sorts of people…different kinds, different tribes, races…name it. Well I haven’t worked with ALL categories but there’s one in particular that is generally labeled as not-so-good-to-work-with by majority of the people in this country…our Indian brothers. (Yes, that is how I would like to put it…)
I agree, yes, I have heard of some nasty situations, but when I took on this job, that’s not the kind of mind set / attitude I brought with me….maybe because for one, I wasn’t exactly going to be answerable to ‘them’ so they pretty much were not going to have a say over what I do, or how I work…and two, i was about to start judging people I barely knew even!
Anyhow, it’s been a year and a half on the project and it’s my ‘celebrated opinion’ *forgive me, I’ve always wanted to use those words..celebrated opinion…this is a phrase I learnt from my friend Orimz….i don’t even know if it fits in this sentence..Orimz if you read this, cyber high five to you*…..so yes, it is my celebrated opinion that these people, well the ones on my team, are actually nice people.
A couple of weeks ago I heard one of them calling the tea guy…and he referred to him as, “gwe”…”gwe come here!” This made me very uncomfortable because in luganda, when u call someone, ‘gwe’, it’s actually rude…it’s like belittling them…and so I wasn’t very happy. But I let it slide…for that time…because I was thinking of the best possible way to handle it. I’m pretty sure the young man didn’t like the way he was being referred to either but wouldn’t dare say anything.
Days later, I heard him refer to the tea guy the same way, this time I was actually outside and when he passed by me, I asked him, “what’s his name?” and turns out he actually didn’t know and that is why he was referring to him as ‘gwe.’ So in a very nice way, I explained to him that in the local language, luganda, that short little 3 letter word, gwe, is actually rude…especially if you are calling someone requesting them to do something for you. And he was shocked to hear…he had no idea the whole time and as much as he came off as rude when talking to the young man, it was unintended.
So anyway I went and asked the gentleman his name, because I also didn’t know it, he was new, about a week…and he told me his name was Fred….so I came back to my friend, I had actually told him to wait for me as I went to find out, and told him, the young man’s name is Fred. We went over the pronunciation a couple of times *I won’t get into our language barrier issues, that will be another post all together* and we were sorted. I think I even heard him recite the name a bit as he walked away.
I will be very glad if next week I hear an Indian accent calling “Fred” at the site.
What did this have to teach me….? Well, whatever it is you have to deal with or sort out, before jumping to any conclusions, dig deep, inquire, find out the real story…..I could have straight away labeled this kind sir rude or whatever, yet all he was doing was use one of the few local words he knew to communicate…which word by the way was so short and easy, you can’t blame him….
That thing they say about not judging books by their covers…..yup! Read the whole book…not just the beginning & middle pages…and not someone else’s review of it…read it then make your own unbiased conclusion!