How can you prevent people from stealing from you

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#31 Dec 25th, 2006, 08:47
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#31
... Another site full of culture (-shock) tips is StylusInc's India Cultural Tips section, including such handy articles (in the present context) as "Doing business in India" and "Indians Can't Say 'No'." Maybe check out the ITHVC site in my sig too while you're at it.
#32 Dec 25th, 2006, 11:31
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#32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodle Does that make sense to you?
Yes, it makes perfect sense to me, and yes, I have shared many of the frustrations and annoyances and cannot deny a lot of what has been said.

It was just how I read some of the posts. Yes, these things will happen. It is part of this culture that everybody gets their cut, their bit on the side, and the timezone is nicknamed IFT (Indian Flexible Time) and 'can you lend me', means, 'please give me' --- and it can drive one mad. But India is not full of thieves!
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#33 Dec 25th, 2006, 12:54
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#33
& it cuts both ways.

a) Why do Westerners walk away from a job?

b) You mean, you stopped your studies for 6 months to go gallivanting around Goa? How irresponsible?

c) what? you don't want o major in Maths but do philosophy? Where'll you get a job with that degree?

d) You mean you'll hitchhike and work in vineyards for 2 years to pay your way through a European hike? A girl? Alone? Are you mad?


& so on...
#34 Dec 25th, 2006, 12:57
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#34
Yeah, I've just noticed the thing about not being nice - heretofore being nice has been the key to success - but not here. I have a bourgeois american guilt about people who "serve me." Even though I am not that well off (I only recently got out of debt)I always end up tipping everyone, because I feel bad, and trying to make friends with people like my drivers, or cleaning staff. Each time they have taken advantage of this. I dont want to be down right mean but my frustration about this is bordering on violence sometimes. Heres some examples of me being too nice.

The hotel staff wont clean my room unless I am in it because they know ill tip them if I am.

My driver will tell me I have to buy him dinner because he is working over time. (This ive refused)

My driver will go somewhere else and take a half an hour to arrive to pick me up.

The servants dont piss me off so much because I understand and sympathize with their situation. It is there loss that they are misusing my kindness, as I can be quite generous, and won't be to them in the future.

As for the business partners, I agree with my German friend, 4 o'clock means four o'clock. 4:15 requires apologies and a warning phone call.

It is cultural, I know it can't be changed overnight, yes it does need ot change, this leopard must change its spots if it wants to compete in the future. But these larger issues have nothing to do with me in my situation. I'm just trying to be an effective manager.

Thanks everyone for your advice - I really appreciate it - Merry Christmas too!
#35 Dec 25th, 2006, 13:28
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#35
It can be hard to get people to accept that you are not rich. My first India holiday was financed by a bank loan! But I could not get anyone to understand that!

Then, not knowing the local economy, we tend to overpay and overtip. Once we find out, it is hard to reduce it.

This business of hotel staff wanting a tip for everything they do is annoying. When I was in a guesthouse the night-boy used to wake me up 'to see if I wanted anything' before he went off duty. I made it very, very clear that interrupting my sleep was no way to get anything out of me! I once heard the advice to tell all these people that you will give them something at the end of each week, only

One thing... yes, it customary to feed the driver! But Rs20 is the going rate here in Chennai. Rs50 would be generous and he might get fat

The very best advice I can give is to marry a local woman! . But the down-side of this is that I have gone from being incredibly independent (lived alone for 15 years) to being incredibly dependent --- but while she isn't grumbling (although she wishes I had some language-learning ability) I won't grumble either !

Happy Mumbai Christmas to you too!
#36 Dec 25th, 2006, 15:03
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#36
*grin* I'm reading this thread, nodding all the time, 'Yeah, I know that' and 'Exactly that happened to me too!' etc

I guess to some things one adjusts and accepts them. With others one learns to compromise, and some one never really gets used to.
#37 Dec 25th, 2006, 18:36
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#37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H This business of hotel staff wanting a tip for everything they do is annoying.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrinTrin I always end up tipping everyone, because I feel bad, and trying to make friends with people like my drivers, or cleaning staff.


Here's something I started doing to stop this annoying tips for everything.....recently, I have had quite a few items delivered from stores (pieces of furniture, dvd player etc)...

...each time the two or three of the delivery people will walk right into the living room (to deliver a dvd player the size of a briefcase!!)and put a hand out and say something like "something please", "tip" etc....I would offer them "water, juice?....and then throw in "look its xmas lets have a whisky!" (i dont have a whisky in the flat)....but thats when they run out...."no, no no no whisky" they say...I say "I dont keep cash money on me, sorry".

My question is this: "Why do we feel like NOT giving tips, really when you convert currencies even a ten rupee tip is only just over 10cents (or pence). A fourty rupee tip to a Hotel employee is only 50p for us.

And yet back in US, EU, UK we sign the Visa slip at a Pizza place and give away like 200 - 300 rupees as tip for two friends out for the pizza and movie night?

For myself a fifty rupee note seems like a fifty dollar note and I cant seem to part with that a tip! Sorry....
Just happy to be here.........
#38 Dec 25th, 2006, 19:12
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#38

Tips, Bribes, Stealing

We need to separate stealing from tipping and bribery. Those are very different.

The problem is that it is so pervasive and at every level that as an outsider not used to it it feels your blood is being let out slowly.

The only best option that works is have a local be your guide. I am Indian born and all but because the way I look, smell, walk, dress they can see I am not a local. I usually take a local family member (friend would do) along when I go shopping and let them haggle a price of an item I indicate to my family member that I am interested in.
Ayurvedic cure for an Indian headache
#39 Dec 25th, 2006, 20:48
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#39
Yeah, thats the other problem, the only Indians I've met are trying to get something out of me. Whether they be the sales people, my staff, or the people I make friends with. I go to a bar, meet someone (a guy, if it was a girl it would be different)and suddenly i have to pay for his drinks and his entrance fees when he takes me to a club. I've been poor before, but I've always offered to pay, or at least took it as a favor which I always repaid. If I could find a local who wasn't trying to take advantage of me or didn't need anything from me, I would kiss my lucky stars. That would be a real friend - something I haven't met here.

Its not just indians, even the majority of foreigners i meet here tend to be "free-loading hippies," (i know that sounds derogatory but it's a frank and earnest assessment from someone who has no ill will towards hippies) who in the end never offer to pick up a round (after I've bought a few) and then suggest I pay for everything. I'm an easy going, people loving person - believe me - thats my problem. I met a couple of australians at a bar that had been here doing the religion thing for a month, before kicking the habit, they invited me to a club with them and then when we got there they couldn't pay there cover charge. I was too nice of a guy to say no, so i ended up paying 3000 rupees just to get in. I let it happen, so its my fault, but still its not normal to me.

Marriage would be a little extreme - I only expect to be here around six months and then on and off again over the next few years. Besides, if you've read my comments in other threads you'll know that I'm hopeless with Indian women so that is out of the question.

Whats been of great comfort to me is to find out that I'm not the only one who's gotten the shit end of the stick handed to them here. Man I feel dumb, but it makes me glad to know that the rest of you weren't always so smart too!

Santa didn't come to my hotel room last night, even though i left out the stale hotel cookies, but maybe he's just late like most indians tend to be
#40 Dec 25th, 2006, 21:39
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#40
Hi. Took my time to read all the posts and what everyone has experienced before I make another comment. While it is true that Indians generally are at the begging end while the Foreigners happen to be at the giving end, there is an explaination for this: India has always been a country struggling to rise up to higher standards in the world and it has been ingrained in each one's mind that ANYTHING outside India has a better quality of life than here. Also, the knowledge that the Dollar and the Pound can get one anything that one wants has tilted this balance! And to a local Indian, there is no distinction between a Russian or an European or an American or a Brit. For him, everybody is English, and he knows that an Englishman is always loaded. Just the white skin is enough proof that he is superior to him. It lies beyond his comprehension to think that even in white skins there are distinctions, that everybody isn't well off to keep on giving charity to each and sundry. It is undoubtedly a pathetic state but it is a fact.

As far as work ethics go... hey! What's that?? Never heard of it in India! Not that they do not have any ethics at all but they have their own set of 'fundas' for everything - late for work? Got caught in the traffic (though I'm sure he had that leisurely cup of extra tea while finishing his newspaper)... Finished the project? Well, an aunt expired and had to go there yesterday, but will try n complete it today. Hah!... You just came in...why did you want a tea-break so soon? Slept very late na, yesterday n didn't have time for the tea in the morning. Will take only 5 minutes... and so on and on.... they not only cheat but try n get away with it as well!
A friend of mine had a good solution for all these office problems - he started timing them and cutting their salaries accordingly and believe me, it worked wonders! He got some rules printed and got it pasted on almost all the possible places he could think of - the loo, the canteen, the reception area, and all the departmental notice boards. And whats more, he targeted one guy who was used as the sacrificial goat. There was no other solution in sight. But, within a month, most of the employees got the message and he's had no difficulties since then. Try it ... it just might be the solution for you as well!
#41 Dec 25th, 2006, 23:33
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#41
I have one BIG problem with all of this....

You see, it has slowly dawned on me that I would be ideally suited to an Indian government post! Getting just as much work as I feel like done when I feel like it; determining my own priorities regardless of other people's pressure; drinking tea before, during and after each item of work...

If any of my ex-bosses are around, they'll probably recognise me!
#42 Dec 26th, 2006, 04:34
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#42
Nick,


hahaha,

That describes pretty much any civil servant in any country.
#43 Dec 26th, 2006, 09:11
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#43
You wait 'till you have to deal with them here (actually, if you are working here maybe you have already) --- the combination of laziness, ego and corruption is developed to a fine art.

When you come accross an honest helpful one, it is like you've suddenly gone to heaven! They do exist, and they make you wonder why on earth they are remaining poor, when they could just take the bribes like most of the rest.

Actually, its pretty damn good just meeting a helpful one, even if they do want to take money off you
#44 Dec 26th, 2006, 09:16
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#44
yeah bribes are fine, im used to that in Russia. They greese the wheel. If you have the greese, it aint bad at all.
#45 Dec 26th, 2006, 18:14
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#45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodle @TrinTrin, I don't think it's dishonesty, it's just the way India operates. It's hard to change their ways overnight - if at all.

You could try NOT to wait around and when they turn up late they won't find you there so they made the way for nothing. After a while they might feel they're missing out. And you could tell them that because they weren't there decisions were made without them. They might learn, but I wouldn't hold my breath. A leopard doesn't change its spots ...

I've been through sooo many cleaning ladies ... it's very hard to find one that actually follows my request to call if she can't make it that day. Right now I've found one that does call. But it's really rare. Keep firing people and look for new ones until you find those with a similar work attitude to yours. It might take a while and many disappointings but otherwise you will just be stuck with people that get on your nerves and frustrate you. And that sucks and it costs you your peace of mind.

Or you change your attitude ... some people are able to, I'm not, I don't know about you. If you can't adapt you will have to keep on looking for people who share your way and are more reliable.

I don't know where you're from - I'm German, and for me 4 pm means 4pm and not 4.01 pm. That's how exact we learn to be in Germany. I have met Indians half way in the sense that I don't insist on such punctuality, but I wait half an hour. I think that's reasonable.

Maybe you can adjust your limits a little but also make it clear to work partners and household staff that you won't wait endlessly. That otherwise they'll lose their job.
Generalization. It depends on the background of the Indians you are meeting. Traditional business types are most notorious, followed by some queer social habit to turn up late in gatherings. Some people think turning up late means it is important.
Anaway, this nonsense does not apply to people hailing from professional/salaried backrounds (natural after being subjected to office routines).

Regarding domestic help...get their antecedent verified by the local police.
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