Tunnel Rat posted on February 3, 2009 13:55

Man, that freaked me out. I thought for sure I was busted. I must have just been paronoid, 'cause I was sure that I saw all the "debelopers" reading itgrunt.com this morning. But all the Asian PM wanted was for me to sign my timesheet.

But like I said, no web surfing allowed in the curry den. The slumdog H-1B on my team wouldn't even go to Adobe's site to download Acrobat Reader the other day -- he said "no, can't do dat."

I'm still cruising around the cubes, checking to see if anyone has ImmigrationVoice open, reading a copy of my "Real Resume" that some Desi posted there in an attempt to out me.

I could just see it now, a bunch of CEWPS trying to find clues in my blog in order to out me at CLS. They are probably googling the terms Big-Fucking-Real-Estate-Company, Giant-Fortune500-Company, Huge-Payroll-Outsourcing-Company, Big-Ass-Food-Conglomerate, Big HMO, ultra-cool Web-Design Firm, Giant-Japanese-Tech-Company, fly-by-night consulting company, and bankrupt dot-com company to see if such a resume shows up on Dice. Slumdogs aren't too swift, as you may have noticed if you have ever tried to get your computer fixed with the help of some marble-mouth in Mumbai.

But finally, I have a friend at CLS. He started today -- the mysterious second contractor. My buddy didn't get the gig, so I texted him:

ME: New guy started today. Asian geek with bad teeth and bad breath. Seems nice enough.

HIM: A perfect hire. You should stop bathing and eat more cabbage

Man, I love that dude, I wish we could be working together.

But, no, one more honkey would have caused an imbalance in the 10% white/90% non-white ratio that CLS has to follow. So I had to get to know the new guy because we share a cube.

I was impressed. Not by his teeth or his breath, but his shear uber-geek persona. He was a freakin' Kwai Chang Caine (I'll just call him that from now on, KCC for short). He knew it all, everything from Javascript to XSLT, even crap like HTC. Stuff I never cared to learn, because I knew it would be obsolete in a few years. But I could sure use his help on some client-side shit, which I suck at.

So we had lunch, and I really dig the guy. We shared a smoke afterwards -- he smokes half a pack of cowboy killers a day -- and I realized how lonely I was at CLS. Over a week there, and no one to talk to, no headphones, just the sound of Hindi bickering and the banging of keyboards. It was harshing my buzz.

Even with a couple Anglos sitting a dozen feet from me, there was never a "Hello, I'm so-and-so." Just stink-eye from the Desi's, marble-mouthed code reviews from the slumdogs on my team, and little else. No Super Bowl pool, no bs-ing about the weather -- nada, nill. Although I liked the work, it just didn't feel right. Plus I didn't have a fob to even get in the place.

But at least now I had KCC to chat with, even though he is kind of a motor mouth. That's okay, because the architect came by our cube today to see how things were going, and I asked if it was ok to listen to music. He said "Its ok with me, sure," which in the passive aggressive world of Desiland means "It is not my fault if the Sikh PM decides that you are a typical lazy American that needs to be replaced by another slumdog from Dehli."

What bugs me is the chance that the CEWPS are going to play a little Desi Gladiator with me and my new Chinaman friend. Desi Gladiator is a game with the following rules:

1. The Desi company has one spot they are forced to fill with a local in order to meet the H-1B or L-1 requirements.

2. Instead of hiring the best candidate from amongst the HUGE pool of American programmers looking for work, they play two I.T. staffing agencies against each other and force them to drop their rates by saying that so-and-so from yada-yada is willing to work for such-and-such.

3. Once they have lowballed both firms, the Desi company brings in the two U.S. citizens, at a discounted rate.

4. A company like CLS then places both contractors in the same cube, and throws a ton of deliverables at them. The one who can complete the most of the poorly-spec'd assignments in the least amount of time gets to stay.

5. After a couple of weeks, the losing gladiator is escorted out of the building without notice because he has been hired under an "At-will employment" contract.

6. The remaining U.S. citizen is left to be the scapegoat for the project failure after the slumdogs have botched the front-end, middle-tier, and back-end modules. He will then be fired by the Desis, who will then have an immigration lawyer document the case in an application to the DOL stating that CLS has proven that no Americans can do the job, and they even hired two locals that failed. Thus, they must bring in two more H-1Bs or L-1s for the next project.

7. The cycle repeats itself, until the Desis have established an Indian-only I.T. ghetto and can go back to communal lunches, Hindi gossip, and writing bad code.

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