You don’t mess around with Raj

Joe dials up customer service, and is not happy with what he hears:

The guy who answered was clearly Indian (subcontinent, not reservation). He told me his name was Jim. He had a very thick accent and I was instantly pissed off. Not because he was answering from India, but because he claimed his name was Jim. Had he told me to call him Ganesh, or Raj or Anoop, or even Dhruv, I would have been fine.

By my own highly unscientific estimate, about a third of our 20,000 or so local residents with Pacific Rim ancestry — we don’t really have a lot of Indian-type Indians — have sort-of-English-sounding first names, and nobody thinks anything about it. Then again, they’re here and not a couple of continents over.


  1. Tatyana »

    13 February 2014 · 5:40 am

    That trick pissed me off, too – I stumbled on it few years ago when trying to unsubscribe from earthlink when cancelling TWcable. Especially when people calling themselves Ken and Barbie just transfer you amongst themselves when it becomes clear that they don’t understand English.
    Now, Amazon at least did not engage in pretension. Yesterday “chat specialist” called himself Zuibeddin, not Jack – but that did not make him more competent, either…

  2. Will Truman »

    14 February 2014 · 12:26 pm

    My view is that if you have a name that’s difficult to pronounce, it’s a courtesy to let them call you by a name that’s easier to pronounce.

    Also, I know multiple Indian folks who have “American” names that have nothing to do with their birth names. The governor of Louisiana does this.

  3. Joe »

    14 February 2014 · 1:55 pm

    Thanks for the link!

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