From The Brazen Careerist.
....at a trade show a vendor would not talk to their translator because they thought he was of too low a class.
...they also always use male translators. “When we walk in the room to do business, everyone expects to see a man come in with us. If we’re alone, they wait for the man to come in the room.”
Their exercise regimens are also a source of perhaps the greatest culture shock....
“In Asia they’re not into exercise,” says Morgan. “It’s impossible to find a gym, and if you run outside, people are like, `are you okay? What are you running from?’”
I used to have a running partner who moved to France. They’re sophisticated over there, right? When he came back he told me that the people there thought he was crazy when they would see him running in the street. And of course, smoking was A-OK.
Now, let’s look at “Asia”. For years there were people telling us about how much more spiritual the people are over there than the materialistic North Americans.
And look at what Penelope just told us.
- a potential business partner would not speak to someone because he was of a lower class.
- exercise is not cool and smoking, I guarantee, is double A-OK
- you have to bend over backwards to show what is, essentially, superficial respect
- only a man gets the proper respect in business conversations
I mention this not to put down France, China or India but only to point out that one-dimensional grass-is-greener propaganda is something to be wary of.
Early in the 20th century, Lincoln Steffens, a famous American journalist, (a muckraker of all people), went to the Soviet Union and came back uttering the famous line: “I have seen the future — and it works!”
This is the same problem I have with Gen Y propaganda. I should hope that good ideas developed by previous generations become more widespread among younger people. That's why we're not living in the stone age. But Lincoln Steffens-style Gen Y propaganda drives me crazy (as regular readers know).