After a lengthy tech support session with a nice Sikh person in India, during which I’m pleased to say I kept up at my end, “we” got to the bottom of the glitch that was indicating some security risks on my Mac. I have only a vague idea of what she explained about the issues, but I did all the things. I’m still a tech dummy from yestercentury, but at least I know how to follow instructions.
Sometimes during these texting chats, while we’re waiting on a long download, I get to have a nice conversation with someone in Bangalore or Mumbai or Chennai. I keep in mind the vast cultural differences and language barriers being bridged. I picture some cramped office full of tiny cubicles, where low-paid workers struggle to make a living and to make some sense of spoiled Americans, irate at the tiniest inconvenience.
India has come a long way, but it’s still a very different world from the one we take for granted. A lowly IT technician there feels privileged to have a job and modest income like that. It probably has to support a large extended family. There are no frills or security as we know it. Indians are often trained to speak better English than the average American, because they must. Their IT skills are very competitive and affordable in the business world. There’s a reason we outsource to India.
I think of all this while sharing a screen remotely with someone from another world, as we interact, remove, download, reinstall, and work together like tech detectives, rooting out the insidious evils. At the end, we congratulate each other on a job patiently well done. It’s not a robot, it’s another human trying to do a job well in a tough world inhabited by idiots. It doesn’t take any effort to be courteous and respectful back, something they unfailingly are. I can’t imagine the ignorance they have to put up with on a daily basis.
I know this is not a new or original thought, but it always amazes me to think of how interconnected and interdependent our world has become, and how we can’t afford to insulate ourselves in a self-deluding bubble, endangering the whole planet. Each and every trivial contact and interaction we have can improve relations, or break down communications, so vital to our survival. Just a little more personal civility and self-education can go a long way toward making our world more livable.
Apropos of nothing, here’s a view from semi-hibernation. Since most of the adjoining yards feature junkyards, brush piles, and a disgusting green lagoon [swimming pool], I believe a few maple leaves on the ground won’t harm anyone. I think they look nice.