Working in Nepal: 10 facts

So it has been a year and more now that I am working in Nepal. So I came with a compilation that I have been facing which sometimes makes me feel it is weird compared to my previous jobs in France. These points are just the reflection of my own experience. I am not trying to bring stereotypes neither generalized ideas, but just sharing my own experience:

1

  • People like to communicate via Viber, phone call or meetings. Whereas, I have been used in communication with emails and talking on the phone, but still having one written confirmation email based on the phone conversation. I guess it’s because people feel that we are not staying far from each other and dealing something over the phone would be at the end quicker which is quite fair true here.

2

  • People can be late, by half an hour or more, but some of them might not inform you that they will be late. No comment from my side, I am now very relaxed on this point, even though I still arrive on time to my meetings…

3

  • People tell you in Nepali the usual « sununa » after the general « how are you ». « Sununa » means « listen to me » , I would not take it as this literal translation but, rather an « I have something important to tell you » meaning « please be attentive if what I am going to tell you ».

4

  • People who need to schedule an appointment with you, may first tell you the place, then the time and will call you on the said day to confirm if you are still available for the same place and same time. To me, it gives me double work, but I am not the one calling so I don’t mind. It’s still a good way to check that we agree.

5

  • During a meeting if you meet a person for the first time, he/she will try to know if you have one common connection with someone else from the Valley. I think that it would make them feel comfortable (and maybe more trusty) towards you?

6

  • Your colleague may tell you that you look thin when you have lost weight and on the contrary are very direct when you took some. For Nepali people, there is nothing bad about telling this comment..they are actually taking care of you, checking on you and gaining weight is nice for them; it means you are healthy.

7

  • Your colleague over the phone might start the conversation by « where are you »; and sometimes I wonder « why they need to know » especially when following subject is not related to the location I am based at the moment…So if you have any explanation from your side, please leave a comment!!

8

  • Your colleagues have a way to behave with diplomacy with you. I have lately experienced this when it is about working on the monthly planning; the concerned person had appointed another person to talk to me about the fact that she can’t work on those days, has a personal issue and might be absent for a few days too. I found out later one that the concerned person was actually bothered to work with this colleague and had not problems what so ever in her family.

9

  • When you receive a phone call and not able to pick up for the first time, you have more chances of receiving 3/4 additional phone call in a row until you pick up (and especially when you don’t know the number who is calling). Well, if the Nepalese phone companies would develop a voice message service instead of giving this frustrated lady’s voice, « sorry the number you are dialing is not available at the moment » that would make things easier…

10

  • Wearing slippers at the office’s place is fine which I found this very nice and fun  leaving your normal walking shoes in one corner or behind your desk. I have seen this habit in a few offices but I would not generalize this fact.

Bonus Fact !! 11

You will hear this question during the day or the morning…did you eat or did you have your lunch? This is so kind…I don’t have this kind of questions back in my country…

Let me know if you have seen something that you have smiled about or told yourself « me too! »… A small note on the front picture which was taken in Delhi in the cute Connaught market place with those beautiful vintage typing machines.  Have a nice November and sorry for being a bit absent on the blog.

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