19 November 2010

To Establish Rapport

Here's the thing.

I actually feel like Norbu Jinpa is my friend.

Isn't that cool?  Slash great?

I was on Skype today, and I had a bit of a rough moment because I didn't know what to say to Norbu outside of discussing my research.  I've been thinking a lot about what Jay said in his comment on our interview questions.  He said "establishing rapport is a big part of interviewing.  I think you'll want to spend a decent amount of time at the beginning of your interview on the 'tell us about yourself' question and follow-up questions."  I realized that I have been really, really bad about that when talking to Norbu.

I'm the same way on the phone.  I just cut to the chase.  I call someone and dive right in to the reason I called.  Do you ever feel like it has become meaningless to ask "how are you doing?" at the beginning of every phone conversation?  They say good, how are you.  You say good, thanks.  And then you go on to the reason you called.  Maybe I'm rude for skipping that.  I would do it if I thought it meant something to someone.

But you know what, Jay is right!

Here's what just happened with Norbu on Skype.  I am really glad I got to know him better.

[11/18/2010 9:38:09 PM] Kristen Nicole: Norbu, how are you?

Norbu: am good nu?

Kristen Nicole: I'm so good!
Kristen Nicole: I'm getting ready to have a few days off school and I'm so excited
Kristen Nicole: Wait, when is the Tibetan new year?

Norbu: its on 5 Mar 2011

Kristen Nicole: So what do you do on new year?

Norbu: well lots of new thigs to eat n wear
Norbu: n celebratiosn...rituals, parayers ofr long life of our beloved leaders, parents, make lots odf wsishes for upcoming year
Norbu: party hard..n enjoy the time...

Kristen Nicole: that's great!
Kristen Nicole: does the TCV do a celebration

Norbu: ya
Norbu: likeervery tibetan..we do celebrate
Norbu: n enjoy
Norbu: with children

Kristen Nicole: that sounds so fun
Kristen Nicole: are you going to put up pictures on facebook?

Norbu: ya
Norbu: sure

Kristen Nicole: cool
Kristen Nicole: what else are you excited for?
Kristen Nicole: do you have any fun plans for next summer or something?

Norbu: hmmm not yet pplan]

Kristen Nicole: do you think you'll be in McLeodganj then?
Kristen Nicole: or Dharamsala?
Kristen Nicole: because I'm planning to come and I would like to meet you in person!
Kristen Nicole: you've been so kind to me online

Norbu: 'ohh i be here \
Norbu: normally we dont go out in summer
Norbu: only in winter we go

Kristen Nicole: why?


Kristen Nicole: oh dear! caps lock!

Norbu: ya

Kristen Nicole: phew
Kristen Nicole: Norbu, is it really 1:25 your time?

Norbu: nope
Norbu: its 12 .0 noon

Kristen Nicole: Oh, then skype is lying to me

Norbu: hahah ya tech sometimes lies
Norbu: u nver rely fully on it..thats how compt n tech  are
Norbu: they are man made n
Norbu: thus are not foool proff
Norbu: proof

Kristen Nicole: yep, you're right!
Kristen Nicole: I'm glad it's not ridiculously late for you
Kristen Nicole: another question--how did you become so good at English?

Norbu: haha am not that good in english
Norbu: but rather manageable
Norbu: read lots of scraps/..hmmmm

Kristen Nicole: scraps of what?

Norbu: new or sort of things hahaha
Norbu: just anything...thats contains infor

Kristen Nicole: so, do you teach yourself English?
Kristen Nicole: or did you learn it mostly in school?

Norbu: in school n college...n reading

Kristen Nicole: wow, good for you
Kristen Nicole: did you go to college in India?

Norbu: ya
Norbu:  i did masters degree in social work

Kristen Nicole: wow
Kristen Nicole: I know a girl who wants to go into social work
Kristen Nicole: how did you decide to do that?

Norbu: just some kinda inner gateway..
Norbu: hahaha
Norbu: interest of working for the people in need

Kristen Nicole: you're a good person
Kristen Nicole: is that why you work in the TCV?

Norbu: hahah
Norbu: i dont know...

Kristen Nicole: I think it is
Kristen Nicole: most likely

Norbu: tcv is like my home..
Norbu: i ahve my real home in tibet

Kristen Nicole: did you go to school in the TCV?

Norbu: n since child hopod i grew here in tcv

Kristen Nicole: oh, cool
Kristen Nicole: do you get to go back to Tibet sometimes?

Norbu: i went several times.but not lately...last many yeras
Norbu: things are harder now

Kristen Nicole: why?
Kristen Nicole: you don't have to tel lme
Kristen Nicole: tell me*

Norbu: n bexoz of chiense
Norbu: presuures
Norbu: ofcourse things went worse in recent timess

Kristen Nicole: I'm sorry

Norbu: its ok

Kristen Nicole: remind me what you do in the TCV
Kristen Nicole: don't you work in the office?

Norbu: ya
Norbu: wortk in tcv

Kristen Nicole: what do you do for them?

Norbu: i work as alumni desk coordinator  n aslso summer camp
Norbu: n take pictures...on time ti time

Kristen Nicole: and you keep up their facebook page
Kristen Nicole: I noticed that you update it all the time
Kristen Nicole: good for you

Norbu: ya
Norbu: many people love it n i keep on with it...hahaha

Kristen Nicole: awesome!  and that's your work!  you should be proud of yourself

Norbu: haaaahah

Kristen Nicole: why are you laughing? :)
Kristen Nicole: I'm serious
Kristen Nicole: :)

Norbu: jsut
Norbu: ok thanks nfor appreciation

Kristen Nicole: you're welcome!
Kristen Nicole: you deserve it
Kristen Nicole: what's the best thing about working at TCV?

Norbu: hmm satisfaction n feeling at home!1

Kristen Nicole: sounds like the perfect job for you
Kristen Nicole: hey, did you get a chance to read those questions yet?

Norbu: ya

Kristen Nicole: what do you think of them?

Norbu: its quite interseintg
Norbu: but siome of them..are strange

Kristen Nicole: yeah?
Kristen Nicole: haha
Kristen Nicole: which ones?

Norbu: i got to now
Norbu: for lunch
Norbu: catch u late
Norbu: wat u say

Kristen Nicole: oh, okay
Kristen Nicole: talk to you later!

Norbu: have a good night\

[12:09:48 AM] Kristen Nicole: thanks, have a good lunch!

Photo credit JaBB


  1. Kristen, this is a powerful look into human relationships. I realized the same thing while in Mozambique; our "How are you doing?"s in the States equate to a polite social construct, not an actuall concern for another's well being. Thank you for posting this conversation. I can't wait to interview Norbu!

  2. Very cool. I would even say that you learned somethings while just talking. I think it is very interesting how every person's individual personality has a great effect on what they do in life. Everyone's story shows a huge web of connections that make up their individual world.