Thursday, November 27, 2008
Meaningful Thanksgiving.......Indian Style!
After not much sleep from receiving and placing phone calls, answering and drafting emails, and then a 4:00am call from my concerned sister, another call to Linda and an alarm set for 7:00am to make it too a Breakfast Meeting with a client.....I was honestly not thinking much of Thanksgiving.
Our breakfast meeting had lasted until almost lunchtime and I arrived back at the Home Office to a desk filled with flowers and a card from the staff wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving!
They had also asked Hiralal, my cook, to do his best to make a traditional Thanksgiving meal for me.......it was a wonderful surprise and another example of how well I have been being treated and cared for by everyone. I have been truly blessed by being surrounded, in a foreign country, by such truly caring and hospitable people.
The meal was delicious as usual.......Chicken, Mixed Vegetables, Potato's in Brown Gravy, Garlic Bread, Green Salad & Dressing and Fried Potato Wedges.....followed by a cake with a Happy Thanksgiving message.
It appears that yesterday, while I was out of town, they planned this special event for me.....and as none of them have ever celebrated Thanksgiving I received many questions about the Holiday. I was also able to clear up some misconceptions about the holiday as well. These misconceptions typically emerge as a result CALL CENTER TRAINING SESSIONS....a phenomenon that is unique to India. Due to the vast amount of jobs in the Call Center industry, Indian employees are constantly receiving "culture training" about our holidays and events, so that they are able to make small talk and be sensitive to people they are dealing with in the United States. If you haven't seen the movie "OUTSOURCED", rent it....Linda and I rented it just before I left in September. Lorraine, our newest addition to our staff (she replaced my Indian wife, Jeshri)was not here, but one day she explained why I saw Halloween Costumes at the market a few weeks ago, as Call Center Employees are encouraged to DRESS UP for each Holiday to help them remember the event. (Lorraine is not in the picture, as she was injured in a car accident on the way to work yesterday)
I reminisced about Oyster Dressing, and Smoked Turkey......Stuffed Merliton's, Creamed Spinach and Sweet Potato's topped with Pecan's...and all of the other YUMMY THINGS that will enjoyed in New Orleans by my family.
I was even describing how to "Smoke a Turkey" and even contemplated how we might be able to SHIP IT with our household items to India.....they do have CHICKEN!!!!!!!
As I am writing this blog entry at 12:00am my time, it is 12:30 in the afternoon in New Orleans......just about the time food is making its way on silver trays, in covered containers from Maw Maw's house over to my sister's for the big gathering.
I am hopeful that they consume more food and less news of the tragedy that unfolded in the past 24 hours in India.
I shared with my staff that this will be a Memorable & Meaningful Thanksgiving for me due to their outpouring of kindness,warmth and friendliness.....although we celebrate the act of giving thanks once a year......if you go through a day like yesterday......you realize that it is something that should be done daily and never taken for granted.
I wish and urge everyone to have a MEANINGFUL THANKSGIVING.....this year, and be Happy and Thankful everyday for the blessings we have received.