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Language... interesting, I should have thought of that... might be.

One of the companies was British with operations on the continent as well... The Brits ran it and I spoke with them in English.

The other company I had a lot of conversations with  had multiple plants in Europe sprinkled about... both West & East... But my contact was almost entirely with Germans and I do not speak German at all... a little French but no German. So we spoke English.

The funny thing is the Brits were the ones that whined the most to me about their superiors & underlings... there was a lot of tension. But they mostly did what our customers asked after a lot of complaining about how it will raise hell in the factory.

The Germans didn't complain to me much... they held their cards pretty close. When asked to do something difficult they just bluntly said my request couldn't be done a certain way due to 'internal resistance' and wouldn't comment further. I learned later that my requests were the equivalent of the handgrenade in the board room... but I didn't learn that until later.

I am not saying that the US doesn't have similar issues - just not as pronounced... at least not here in the Midwestern & Western part of the US where I call on accounts... Maybe in the Eastern US where things are more 'formal' and more 'socially structured'... but it is so hard to say based on my limited anacdotal evidence.

Good point PeWi...

"On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." - Peter Steiner

by dryfly (jjwhodat at hotmail dot com) on Wed Jun 22nd, 2005 at 08:28:49 AM EST
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