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Thursday, 15 January 2009

australians are the most offensive ...

... in the workplace, a new international survey has found. Yet the most easily upset by offensive behaviour in the world - apparently - were English and Americans. Top 'offensive behaviours' were found to be: 1) not saying hello or good morning; 2) not offering guests a beverage; 3) speaking loudly across the room; 4) using swear words and 5) taking calls on mobile phones.

Can we really believe that? I don't know about Americans but I would have thought most English offices were pretty laid back - certainly able to deal with the odd foul-mouthed Aussie or two. In any case, these days we hardly have a culture that worries unduly about such things, see such fine examples of workplace good manners as chef Gordon Ramsay and tycoon Sir Alan Sugar.

The survey was by Servcorp, by the way - an Australian-based company!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

the etiquette of overcharging in India

Last summer, taxi drivers in Beijing were one of several groups given etiquette training ahead of the international influx of the Olympics. (Among other tips, they were advised not to eat garlic.) Now autorickshaw drivers in Delhi are being given similar lessons in preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. As reported on ExpressIndia.com they are being encouraged to learn English, not smoke bidis (small hand-rolled cigarettes), and not overcharge foreigners. I particular like the frankness of driver Pankaj Singh, who says, 'While it's completely fair to behave well and not overcharge how much money do we make if we are fair? It's only with foreigners that we make some extra money by overcharging. At least we're not being unfair with our own people.' An attitude held by how many other taxi drivers the world over?