How May I Help You?

The first chapter introduced Deepak’s struggle as a part of the working class and working in customer service. It also introduced the stereotypes that he encountered. In chapter two, he talks about growing up in India and the expectations that his parents had for him in terms of behavior, education, and his future family. However, he meets an American and marries her. He ends up going to the US and gawks at how the reality of the country is so different from what you see in movies or tv. Deepak notes that he felt unwelcomed and an overall cold feeling towards him. He discusses his challenge for getting a work permit and a subsequent job, however, he kept hitting obstacles such as getting interviews, or getting his background check done. The next part of the book discusses his training and starting at his first job in the US and the challenges he faced, including his coworkers and boss not being understanding or assisting him. He writes about his personal struggles talking to people and answering their questions, and he notes that he studied this in school, but nothing could have prepared him for American customers. He also notes the language barrier to be a prominent factor for his struggles. Half way through the book, he starts to realize that his coworkers and supervisor are interested in his culture and where he came from and starts asking him questions. This of course comes with stereotypes but answers their questions since he understands that they just want to get to know him. As he bonded and became closer with his coworkers, Deepak became more successful and confident at his job. He also learns about the dos and don’ts of addressing people, based on their race or sexuality. This comes from experiences he has with his coworkers who are African-Americans and his supervisor, who’s a lesbian. The book continues to balance Deepak’s home and work life. He and Holly got their own place and made some Indian friends, all the while it is the Holiday Season and Deepak is having problems at work with his friends’ families coming from India and them not wanting to tell them that their friend is a salesman, out of being ashamed and judged by their families. He also is dealing with the increase of customers and the sheer amount and needs they demand from him at work. Towards the end of the book, Deepak has to learn to deal with a morally ambiguous coworker who was bending the standards to his benefit and eventually was fired due to Deepak reporting his behavior. He also realized he had worked at the company for a year and was getting paid a decent amount, which was more than most of his coworkers, but he felt sad for them. The book ends with him going back to India to visit his family and friends and realizing how different it is now that he is so accustomed to American traditions. When he returned to his job, his coworkers, who became his friends overtime had quit and his supervisor suggested that he consider becoming a manager. The book traces Deepak’s struggle from rags to riches, but also adds a few barriers throughout to not sugarcoat or fantasize the reality that he experienced as an immigrant in America.

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