Thursday, November 20, 2008

Culture Confusion

This week was full of many fun and quirky culture clashes.

The first one surrounded a generous gift from one of our clients. They shipped a case of Tasty Kake treats as a "thank you" for a job well done. I discovered the gesture when I passed through the lunch room and found a crowd gathered around and looking at the boxes of cakes with eyes wide and eye brows raised. I reached for a box to take a closer look and immediately my friends rushed in to save me.

"Better read the ingredients first !"

"Check out the nutritional information"

It was funny watching everyone stand around and look perplexed. Fortunately, we have our own office Mikey who braved the unknown and enjoyed a few of the cakes!

Later that same day an e-mail came out that there was left-over food in the kitchen. Bear in mind that the majority of our management team hails from the midwest and the food was from their meeting. The moment the e-mail hit our inbox we all scrambled to the kitchen hoping to win big at the snack time game. Sigh, just imagine the disappointment when we found greasy pizza stacked and I mean stacked with meat. Once again the looks of confusion and dismay as folks sulked and returned to their desks!

The final fun clash of cultures happened at lunch today. My colleague R- decided to join 'the guys' for lunch out. Apparently, on the way back to the car M- yelled "shot gun". R- had no idea why he said such a funny thing and when they reached the car and he opened the door, she slid right on into the passenger seat and thanked him for getting the door for her :-) I wish I could have been there to see the look on M-'s face. R- had no idea that 'shotgun' was how you stake your claim for the passenger seat. Ahh, the fun and quirky cultural references that are missed when you grow up in a different country!

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