Is it time to cut some slack to the millions of Karens out there?

The recent COVID headlines have brought a slew of Karen stories and memes like this recent one Video of ‘Costco Karen’ Goes Viral after she throws a temper Tantrum when asked to Wear Face MaskA recent New York Times feature, "A Brief History of ‘Karen’ examines the recent phinomina of a moniker that has morphed into a symbol of racism and white privilege. The features explains that in 1965, it was the third-most-popular baby name in the United States. In 2018, it was the 635th — and today it’s even less popular. How did Karens fall so far?The NYT writer muses Karen” now roams restaurants and stores, often without a mask during this coronavirus era, spewing venom and calling the authorities to tattle, usually on people of color and often putting them in dangerous situations. And while this archetype had previously been called “Permit Patty” or “BBQ Becky,” “Karen” has stuck.  
In another NYT feature, Philip Galanes muses "I try not to be “a Karen,” but I think this joke has go…

9 die after consuming hand sanitizer in Andhra Pradesh (India). Police say they couldn’t find liquor

At least nine people died when they consumed alcohol-based hand sanitizer in Indian state of Andhra in the last two days, the police said.

The tragedy took place in Kurichedu town. The District Superintendent of Police (SP) Siddharth Kaushal was quoted saying "these people had consumed sanitiser due to non-availability of liquor as there was a lockdown in force in Kurichedu to contain the spread of Covid-19."

The incident came to light when a beggar at a local temple complained of severe burning sensation in his stomach. He  while being taken to the hospital on Wednesday night.

On Thursday morning, two others collapsed due to severe stomach pain. The family members shifted them to the government hospital at Darsi town, but they succumbed late in the night. Six others, who were also admitted to the hospital with similar complaints, died on Friday morning.

Mr. Kaushal said hand-sanitizers from all local shops were seized for lab tests. The police are trying to ascertain if th…

Ratan Tata questions ‘definition of ethics’ of companies that lay off long-serving employees

In a recent interview, India's most respected business leader, Ratan Tata talked about sensitivity towards employees being crucial to survive and do well in the long run. Tata was quoted saying layoffs amid the COVID-19 pandemic was a knee-jerk reaction and shows lack of empathy among the top leadership.

The respected industrialist and philanthropist was quoted saying in an interview with Shradha Sharma, founder and CEO of YourStory 
“Accept that you have to change in terms of what you consider is fair and necessary in order to survive. One cannot continue to do business in certain ways and one won’t survive if you are not sensitive to all your stakeholders. Working from home is one solution. Laying-off people will not help you solve your problems as you have responsibility to those employees.”

Key highlights of the interview with Ratan Tata include

It is impossible to survive as a company if one is not sensitive to its people. Whatever your reasons may be, you have to change in term…

Indian Health Minister: Only god God can save us (from COVID-19)

Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, Health Minister of the Indian state of Karnataka, B Sriramulu, on Wednesday expressed helplessness saying "only a God can save us."  

Speaking to reporters in hi-tech capital Bengaluru (Bangalore), the minister was quoted saying, "The Covid-19 cases are proliferating rapidly. The situation is getting out of hand. Only God can save us."

Responding to the allegations by the opposition party, Congress, about  financial anomalies in procuring medical equipment and safety gears, the Health minister said, "The virus is spreading fast. In such situation the Congress is indulging in cheap politics. The government is ready to face the consequences of its actions. But the Congress must stop making wild and baseless allegations" 
Sriramulu said the Ayush and MBBS doctors should not strike work in crisis situation, "The government is ready to discuss their demands. A few private hospitals are bringing a bad repute to all establishments…

Implications of ICE announcement on F1 foreign students and Harvard University going online this fall

All of us are closely watching for the unfolding events as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact businesses, lives and careers around the world. We are all grappling with a barrage of news while trying to make sense of it.

Corporate leaders, educationists, aspiring students and their parents are trying to make sense of two recent announcements coming from ICE and Harvard University that are likely to have far reaching consequences.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on Monday that students on visas must leave US if their schools and universities go online-only. The announcement (link) highlights
“Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to en…

Matrimonial scam: NRI man duped of Rs 65 lakh by Hyderabad family

A Hyderabad based Telugu family recently lured a California-based software engineer into a scam and got him to part with Rupees 65 lakh (almost $ 90,000).

A family of three from Telangana plotted by creating a fake profile on a matrimonial site and began baiting software engineers living abroad.

Malavika's son Gopal created a fake profile on the Bharath Matrimony website for 'Keerthi,' a wealthy doctor living in the popular suburb of Jubilee Hills. Malavika, pretending to be Keerthi would chat with Non Resident Indian (NRI) men who came to the portal in search of a bride.

Based on a complaint filed by Varun, a software engineer from California, the Hyderabad police arrested a 44-year-old woman Malavika Devati and her 22-year-old son Venkateswara Gopal Devati
and sent them to judicial remand. Malavika’s husband Srinivas Devati is absconding.

The modus operandi was simple social engineering. After making initial contact on the website, Malavika began chatting with the engi…

Zoom meetings and Work From Home - Recent oops moments

White collar employees around the world are suddenly coming to realize that the 'new normal' of continually working from home introduces new stressors. Many are finding ways to cope with it while some are succumbing to the pressures. We have all heard funny background noises in web-meetings, but here are a few incidents that go beyond the ‘new normal’ of interrupted video conferences.

California official resigns after throwing cat, drinking beer during Zoom meeting During a meeting of the Vallejo, California planning commission, an official lost his cool. The Video of that conference, which was made public, shows Planning commissioner Chris Platzer announcing, “I’d like to introduce my cat,” after it made some noise in the background. He then picks up his pet, shows it to the camera, and tosses it off screen. Commissioner Chris Platzer resigned on Saturday due to his behavior during a Zoom conference on April 20.

The Vallejo Times-Herald reported that Platzer could also be he…