I am involved in a lot of conversations about China, the world, the global economy and where it is all headed.
I have had a bit of a time adjusting to the laid back approach to work in Australia and then the subsequent outrage if people’s “Shoulds” are interfered with (the soft western should fetish).
I encountered two forms of it today. First was the suggestion that the reasonable’s man understanding of COB was 5PM. Yet I feel that it is at least 6PM and would not be happy if staff left before 6.
The second was a contractor in for a few weeks work and he packed his bag and left his daily work on the desk of the person that he reports to. This is at 5:20 PM mind you – while everyone else is still working….
He walks past this person whom he reports to that is sitting elsewhere and mentions that his work is on her desk. She asks if she can “go through it with him?”
His response and behaviour was nothing short of astonishing!
He claimed that “…as it is I won’t be home until 7PM…..” :-0
This annoyed the others as they needed to go over this work and time and schedules mean that this may not happen until the new week now due to his inability to spare a further 15-30 mins. Thus further delaying many other tasks and inconveniencing many other people.
The look on the managers face was fearsome. Her disappointment and displeasure was palpable, as if she had practiced that look in the mirror like a De Niro character. That this 50 year old man was responding and answered like a child: “…..but, but, but, but mummy I want it……..”.
She tried to coerce him again with looks of disappointment and open ended questions about the importance of his work – but to no avail. He didn’t even answer verbally. He just stood there mute. Not even a shoulder shrug. An about face was executed with the same punctuality and poise as a smoker going for their 10 AM fag and coffee; and with that he was out the door.