Director - HR
Complete Business Solutions Inc USA.
was my first day at work and I wanted to drink some water. I asked
my American colleague and she enthusiastically gave me directions
" Go down the hallway and you will find a water fountain".
I went down the hallway looking for a nice looking fountain and
never found one. Later I learnt that a water fountain is like
a faucet from which you drink water directly. There were a few
surprises during my initial settling down. However it is good
to know or like the Americans say " Nice to have" some
backgrounder about the culture and way of life before landing
in the US.
the butterflies in the stomach have died down and you have boarded
your flight you start relaxing. If you are flying first time do
not get too adventurous drinking alcohol as you may end up very
disoriented after a long haul flight. Remember that you may have
a client to meet soon after landing and it is better to have a
clear head than get in with a big throbbing hang over. I presume
that you have your documents in order like passport, visa and
the H1 approval document from your employer and you have been
briefed correctly on the project you are going to be working and
your work location. Recently there had been an incident in Texas
where some Indian software engineers working on a project were
arrested by the INS as they did not have proper documentation
on their work location. You need to know the law of the land and
the conditions of employment, as ignorance of law is no excuse.
May be as a sequel to this article I will give some useful tips
to look for.
you land in the US you need to go through Immigration check and
Customs. Check your I 94 card after clearing immigration to see
how long you have been permitted to stay and if there is a mistake,
have it corrected immediately by explaining to the officer. This
will save you a lot of trouble later. Customs in US will not trouble
you as long as you do not carry any meat or agricultural products.
rule in the US is to follow signboards. When you come out of the
airport with your baggage look for signs for Ground Transportation.
If no one is going to pick you up at the airport, the best way
to go to the hotel you are booked is to take a taxi. Take a shuttle
if your destination is not close by or you have been instructed
to take a shuttle ride. Shuttle service is either a van or a limousine
and cost less than taxis, but they may take longer, because they
have other passengers to drop off. It is like a share auto if
you are familiar with this concept in Bombay and other metros.
I know of an employee who was wondering what animal is a shuttle
and was delighted to see me at the airport to help him take one
to his hotel room.
the hotel it is always "check in" or "check out".
Never say you want to vacate your room. I have seen the lady in
the front desk looking bewildered at this terminology. Make sure
you know when the check out time is. It is usually 12 Noon.
out Issue #2 -
What are the usual norms on tipping?
I tip the government employees abroad?
do I do to gain acceptance at work?
do I dress for work?
author has two decades of rich HR experience. He has been
associated with companies like Tata Consultancy Services, the
Group and Complete Business Solutions (India) contributing
tremendously in the HR arena. A post graduate in Behavioral Sciences
coupled with a specialised training at NTL Institute USA.
He is also the holder of National Certification from SHRM, USA.
The opinions expressed by Mr. Sruthi Sagar Ananthachari are in
his individual capacity and do not reflect his organization's