Long Back Guy and his Adjustment to American Life

Long Back Guy is someone that I really enjoy working with.  He is smart, excitable (in a good way that makes me smile), and he happens to be really, really funny.  He is from India, and has been in the US for 6 or 8 years, I think.  When we were out at our holiday lunch last week, he shared the story of his first experiences here.  At the table was Long Back Guy, myself, QA Guy (who probably needs another name, but I haven’t written about him yet, so I haven’t thought of one yet), and CEO.

Long Back Guy was pretty fresh out of college when he got the opportunity to come to the US, and like any smart young man anticipating a complete change in culture, and wanting very much to succeed upon his arrival in the US, he spent the month prior to his arrival “studying Dallas,” the place he was headed to.  He says he studied it and studied it, like he would have studied any subject he was assigned in school.  He spent hours learning about Dallas.  I’m not sure there is that much about Dallas that could occupy me for as many hours as Long Back Guy spent on it, but I have to admit, I don’t like the place.

“When I got off from the plane, I couldn’t understand.  I was so much confused!  It didn’t look like New York,” he said,”and I thought everything in US was like New York with buildings everywhere, miles in all directions!”

“Seems like your study materials were pretty crappy,” QA guy responded as we all laughed.

Long Back Guy continued.  “Dallas is not buildings.  Dallas is very flat, no one walking anywhere, only highways, and I never saw any people at all.”  Long Back Guy’s eyes are big now, and his voice becomes more and more emphatic as  he seems to relive his initial incredulity.

“I stayed in an apartment in downtown and saw no one for the whole weekend I was there.  Maybe a couple people came in or out of the building, but it was like ghost city!”

“Wait,” I said.  “You were only there for a weekend?  I thought you were going to live there.”

“Yes, me too.  But, after all my studies, my company called me and said, now you are going to California.”

I personally am glad they sent him to California, because now I know him, and I have a feeling he’s happier here than he would be in Dallas.

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