Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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Inter-company race and raffle tickets

Note before I start: While the subject of this post is race, there is nothing in it that is intended to be racist. Hopefully nothing will come off sounding like that.

As I've mentioned in other posts, the company I work for is made up of mostly folks from other countries. We have some sort of deal where we get lots of visas so that engineers from other countries can come here and work. Mostly it's from India, but the Middle East is a really close second. For the most part I don't mind this at all, it's sort of interesting to meet folks from so far away. The only downsides to it (and they're small ones) are 1) that on our "group dinners" and things like that, we tend to have food that I would not eat in a million years. 2) Things like playing cricket and, um, some other odd sport you wouldn't expect to be played at the company picnic. 3) (the worst one) When our AC stops working here, we get quite a variety of ...different... body odors.

On 9/11, things were kind of odd here. That many of our employees are from "over there" made the perspective of things be different. People walked around a whole lot more worried about folks in countries where the hijackers came from than about the people in NY. Seriously, by a long shot. People went home crying about their families in the Middle East, but almost no mention about people in the US...

A couple of days ago, one of those fellows who went home that day came around trying to sell raffle tickets for a charity. I purposefully didn't ask him which one, but someone who sits not far away did, so I overheard. It was for a group "over there".

See, the thing is, I understand there are people all over the world who need help... and the fellow trying to sell tickets was ginger as hell about his wording and requests, but it's an odd thing to be trying to collect money from people in the US to send to people where we'll be fighting. Should he have skipped over asking me? I would have been sad/upset/hurt if he had (even though I didn't buy one). We're not friends exactly, but I have worked with him for two years and he's an okay guy. But he's working here, you know? He's making money in the US, he's living in the US... I know his family is elsewhere, but... I wonder if he feels any conflict? I know I feel a lot just over his asking.

FYI, just to give you a sense of the environment I'm talking about: My company has about 200 folks. 75% are engineers, tech-managers, and the like. Out of that three-quarters, there are 10 white folks, and of those ten, 3 of us are women.

The point of this post? There really isn't one (sorry). I guess that co-worker was right, I guess putting family/friends before country is right... but... it feels ungrateful. (I didn't know how I felt when I started writing this post, but 'ungrateful' sort of works.) One of my failings is that I want things to be black and white. In cases like this, there isn't a 'right' and a 'wrong' no matter how much I want there to be, and so I ramble on in my LJ and try to work out what I think and feel.
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