Working with Indians
This site has had many articles complaining about the number of work permits handed out to non EU IT workers, especially Indians.
However, my experiences of working with Indians has been, on the whole, pleasant.
They are very easy to get on with, and are very open to any signs of friendliness.
They are very happy just to be here, in fact.
UK IT Jobs and Contracts
I always got on very well with them, and often used to socialise after work with them.
I see India, and people from India, as being our main business rivals for UK IT jobs.
However, I must give them a lot of credit for the advances that they have made in just the last few years, and how they have become one of the major world players in the software industry.
An Indian Developer at Barclays Bank
I have worked with quite a few Indians.
The first one was in my first ever job at Barclays Bank in Juxon House, just opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Although I say he was Indian, it was by heritage.
He was one of the Indians kicked out of Kenya in the seventies.
I got on well with him at work, although we never socialised afterwards.
He really liked one of the suits that I had, and kept asking if he could buy it. I always said no.
However, he was getting married, in an arranged marriage, and one day he literally begged me to buy my suit, saying that he wanted to wear it at his wedding.
I gave in, in the end, and sold it to him. He wore it on his wedding day.
I did feel a little guilty that it was really quite a cheap suit and that I had bought it in a shop just off Petticoat Lane in Bishopsgate.
It was very much a third suit and didn‘t feel good on me.
I charged him just over double what I had paid for it.
Do I feel guilty?
Well just a little bit queasy, but the value of something is what someone else would pay for it.
It just so happened that my suit was one of those items which happened to appreciate in value.
Indians Working in the UK
I do sometimes wonder if the great numbers of Indians who are now working in the UK at the expense of UK workers is somehow my fault.
That it is God‘s way of paying me back for the profit that I made on my suit.
As he was getting married, perhaps I should have just given it to him.
However, the price I received was more than my weekly pay packet as a junior programmer.
One other thing that he was very grateful to me for was a piece of advice about how to talk to strangers in Britain without annoying them.
He had told me that he had found it difficult to start up conversations with people in the UK.
I told him how easy it was. Just say something about the weather. He didn‘t think this would work.
He said that no one talked about the weather either in India or Kenya, as, on a day to day basis, it was normally the same as the day before.
I decided that I would show him the technique in the lift at work.
We went down to the ground floor. There was already someone in the lift. After the doors had closed I said to the person there, ‘Another scorcher today’.
‘It‘s too hot for me’ he said, and then made some other comments.
The Indian guy was very pleased with this, but wasn‘t sure if it would work for him. On the way up in the lift, someone got in on the second floor.
When the door closed, I nudged him.
‘Another scorcher today’, he said somewhat nervously.
‘Oh, it‘s awful’, said the guy, and proceeded to go on and on about it.
It‘s strange how complete strangers will discuss the weather.
However, if you suddenly said ‘Hello’ to a stranger in the lift, they would start feeling a bit nervous until either you or they got out.
However, they‘ll rattle on at length about the weather to you.
Anyway when we got out of the lift, the Indian guy was very pleased, shook my hand very happily with both of his and said ‘It worked! It worked!’
You‘d have thought that he‘d discovered the secret of life.
He had, to a certain extent, discovered the secret of life in the UK.
He was a very nice fellow, and wherever he is I hope he harbours good memories of me.
Perhaps it was a bit harsh of me to charge him more than double the price for a second hand suit. However, he doesn‘t know that.
Sitting in the main room of his house now is probably a wedding picture of himself and his wife in his ‘fancy wedding suit‘.
It has probably been seen many times by his children, and his extended family. I wonder if he tells them the story about how he got it.
I still remember his name, but I don‘t think I will publish it here – just in case.
Other contractors have asked what will happen to them once the EU opens up our IT contractor market to freelancers from all WTO member countries.
They may care to think about this kind of opportunity in selling them second hand British suits for their arranged marriages.
Why not try it out and ask the Indian guy sitting next to you what he thinks of your suit?
As I say, my experience of working with Indians in IT is mainly positive.
Ad – Contractor Services
If you do need an umbrella company you could try one of the following:-