Cultural differences


As I read through the pretentious corporate jargon of the annual report from my new company’s American owners, I realised that culture has a major impact on life. I was quickly infuriated by the lack of the letter ‘u’, the overuse of the letter ‘z’, and the made up words which were a combination of modern western idioms rather than a grammatically correct Latin construction.

I found it difficult to take in this report as anything of any interest, simply because I felt my culture was being white-washed over and being ignored. Surely there should have been an English version of this report, rather than American, where it only had in the information in which we cared about.

“World leaders in ‘megatrends’”… I seriously read that as Megatron, and assumed I was working for a company which fought against the rise of the Transformers / Autobots.

“If you ever need to find a needle in a haystack, just give us a call! If by needle you mean pharmaceuticals, parasites, or chemicals and by haystack you mean water”….. Seriously, WHAT THE HELL. Why is it not possible to speak clearly?!

Maybe it’s just the culture I’ve been brought up in, where there isn’t really a need to try and impress everyone with ridiculous language and try and make things seem a lot better than they are. Where I’m from, we have a saying which goes “you can’t polish a turd”… Which pretty much sums it up for me.

I didn’t understand why, on the page of the board of directors, it had all their previous job titles too. “Former senior vice president & treasurer”. What do they actually do now then if that was what they used to do? “Former permanent secretary to the CEO”… Surely that’s an oxymoron?

I’ve come to the conclusion that in working situations, culture cannot be fully embraced, only experienced. When working with people, you can’t expect to be their best friend when you can both be from completely different backgrounds. If you want to run a business successfully amongst several different countries, there should be a distinct lack of culture of the company, so that all relations are entirely and strictly business.

Sorry for any offence I may have caused, but this is how I feel.

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About Martin Bennett

I am average.
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