My department has been hosting our regional communication colleagues from all around Europe for the past three days. I offer this information both as an excuse for not having updated ShazzerSpeak since Monday as well as the topic of this entry.
It was great fun to meet these folks…three of whom I had previously only known via the phone and e-mail. And the meetings were intense but very productive for me…probably because they were all in English for a change! (English is the official corporate language of our company but it’s not really spoken all that often except when we have international visitors.)
Here’s a little tip on European business etiquette that caught me a bit off-guard: there’s lots of kissing! Seriously, both the women (one from Spain and one from Germany) and the man from Belgium kissed me on each cheek when we met for the first time, and then they did it again when they left! (The British guy didn’t kiss anybody, but that wasn’t really a surprise.)
Scandinavians don’t do this kind of cheek-kissing in a business setting, either. It does happen occasionally among close friends…particularly women…but now that I think about it, I’m not sure it really occurs all that often in families. At least not in my Swede’s family. In fact, I pretty sure I’m the only adult who ever kisses anybody other than our 1-year-old nephew on that side of the family. And I’m sure that they all think I’m a little odd for doing it, but hey, I’m the foreigner so I can get away with it.
(Besides that, Dr. Darling’s brother is a bit of a hottie.)