Life · Poetry & Shorts

Welcome to America (true story)

uThe previous story of this character is here.

[Background: A young MBA grad was employed by a large technology company, in India. He worked as an executive assistant (EA) to the head of the company supporting business dealings with American clients]

The EA worked hard, for six straight years – he was not wet behind the ears when this happened. Six years in the corporate world can be a bit – day after day of selfless service had taken its toll. Frustrated with life, the EA went and met the powers that be threatening resignation. The result was a miracle – he was not only retained, but he would get the opportunity to work overseas – in the land of milk and honey, of liberty and pizza, of Hooters and cheap magnetic stickers.

”But what is the job”
”That your new boss can explain”
”Ok, so I should call him”
”Once you’re there”
”Sure sir”

His grin shone brighter than a searchlight. He could only imagine the fond goodbye hug mother would give, the smug expression his father would have whenever their neighbor asked after him.

At the eleventh hour, after the tickets were booked, human resources deigned to give him his letter of posting. It was to be at Dayton, Ohio. This was January and the world wide web told him it got cold out there. His emoluments were about enough to help him survive but not enough to live very comfortably – but he didn’t complain. Hope would keep him warm even if the radiator slouched.

The introductory meeting with the client was to be on a Monday a week after he arrived, not far from Dayton – about sixty miles. He rented a car and received the first call from his boss. It was a lovely voice that asked him to pick her up from the airport at 8:30 pm on Sunday evening. That he did. She indeed was beautiful, like him – single, and just four years older. She was based in New Jersey, an hour and a half by flight.

Such had been the work culture he had experienced, his first instinct was to pick up her bag, and offer to buy her dinner. The response was a bit frosty, ‘I ate something already’. Well, so much for the first meeting with his new manager in a new country. After a brief discussion for the next day’s meetings (in the tiny lobby), he retired to his room and fell asleep a little later.

At one in the night, his phone rang. It was her.

”Could you come to my room, quickly?”
”Why, is everything OK?”
”I have no clothes. Please just come”

There are times in a man’s life when hormones burn up any moral straitjacket he was brought up wearing and thence he lunges headfirst into the opportunity. Imagining it to be just such a moment, he ran upstairs in the mid-tier hotel that was their home for the night, dressed in his Indian kurta pyjama [night-suit].

The open door of the room gave way to a sight that beggared belief. She was dressed in the same business suit that she had arrived wearing at the airport.

”I thought …”
”I have nothing for tomorrow. I think I just forgot some at home. You need to drive me to a shop that sells business clothing”
”What, now?’ Why don’t you drive yourself?”
” You picked me up, remember? Your rental insurance wont cover me. You have to drive me”
”How about a taxi?”
”I don’t have time for this”

After the python tightens its grip on the prey, resistance is futile as it’s only a question of time. Fifteen minutes later, this tired, barely awake young man, braved the Ohio winter with an inadequate leather jacket. They got onto the highway and mile after mile, exit after exit, his tired eyes looked for only one sign – Wal Mart. He knew it would be open.

One was located 20 miles out and a duckweed green business suit procured. By the time he reached his room back, he was tired enough to sleep through the entire Monday but she brought him back to reality with a curt goodbye

“See you at eight.”

Welcome to America, the EA said to himself as he rolled over and died in his bed. He was allowed to be dead for just about three hours.

[True story]

In response to – Embarrassing



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