Friday, March 9, 2007

Mixed messages

The media scene in India is such that new publications seem to appear every other week; one of my favorite pasttimes is to wander through markets and stop at the nearest newsman, paw through the titles, and select one I've never seen before. (Which explains why I've read the Indian Maxim and other hideous "lad mags" -- sociological research, my friends!)

Despite its hideous branding, which looks suspiciously like that of Circuit City (the American consumer electronics player), I decided to give City Cheers a try. Hoo boy, what a waste of Rs 30.

Exhibit A: "Corporate Mannerism," which counsels, "How to greet a lady is a million dollar question. Certain rules should be followed: Greet according to her position. Don't try to be too friendly, as an overfriendly attitude easily annoys a female. Guys, mind your handshakes, they should be brief and firm. Avoid long greetings."

Umm...what? "Greet according to her position" -- i.e., if she's a secretary, don't waste your breath? Am I missing some cultural coding? And, if you feel like being a ludicrous ass about it, why should this type apply only to men greeting women? "Don't try to be too friendly" -- i.e., staring at her breasts is liable to annoy her? I just don't get it. Not at all.

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