David Thompson
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April 11, 2017

Comments

Mags

Time may be considered precise or fluid depending on the culture. Alejandro… must start from a place of respect, understanding that his cultural perspective regarding time is neither more nor less valid than any other.

I don't think they're taking about Germans.

David

I don’t think they’re taking about Germans.

Well, you have to wonder how the buses, trains and airports run in these (unspecified) cultures where time is considered “fluid” and punctuality unimportant. To say nothing of first impressions.

Craig Mc

I think it's more likely Alejandro will lock the door at the appointed time.

David

Of course, the hypothetical host would most likely be accommodating, even if inconvenienced, and I can’t see many people launching into a tirade about punctuality. But I think this kind of thing has to be seen in the broader “social justice” context, with educators like Riyad A Shahjahan, linked above, insisting that tardiness in class, and incompetence in class, is fine, and indeed to be encouraged, provided the students being disorganised and persistently late are sufficiently brown. There’s a broader trend on campus towards “decolonising” normative standards and expectations, ostensibly in the interests of “anti-discrimination” and “inclusivity,” and not only in terms of punctuality and meeting deadlines.

Sam Duncan

But, of course, the reason northern Europe and America are richer than the rest of the world (except south-east Asia, of course, but shut up) is that they stole everyone else's wealth. Nothing to do with turning up on time and doing the damn job competently. No, no...

sH2

his cultural perspective regarding time is neither more nor less valid than any other.

So LATE is no less valid than ON TIME...? Let's try that with payroll.

David

Let’s try that with payroll.

Quite. But note the conceit that these meeting-attending students from some unspecified time-fuzzy culture – who presumably arrived in the country via modes of transportation that rely on time-keeping – are somehow unaware of the concept of punctuality, and by extension of good manners. I mean, it’s difficult to travel the world, from one culture to another, without being reminded, repeatedly, of the importance of turning up on time. As anyone who’s missed a flight or connection will know.

MC

There is much more revealed in the training, created by compliance training provider Workplace Answers, which cost Clemson nearly $27,000. The invoice went to the department led by Chief Diversity Officer Lee Gill, who earns $185,850 per year.

Yes, it's a scam all right.

I wonder, if we were to investigate the demographics of diversity officers in the public sector, how diverse they would be?

WTP

Taken to it's logical extreme what about those cultures that don't believe in the usefulness of meetings? Does that mean engineers who hate meetings, who hate the socializing and other wasted time that occurs before and after such, the disruption in our day that causes us to have to work extra hours to make up not just for the time lost in meetings but the time it takes to refresh where we were thinking-wise before getting dragged off to meetings, can we just not go at all now? Or can we pretend we're just really, really late?

Personally, I find the idea that I need some SJW to tell me how to do business, especially as I am far more successful at these things than the typical SJW, disrespectful. Imagine if you will, a culture where things are done differently but result in increased productivity, wealth, and mutual understanding. Wouldn't it be wrong to impose another culture's norms on such a society...oh, wait...

WTP

Heh...just read the original article to wit:

Employees who do not complete the “inclusion awareness course” will get “two automated reminders,” according to emails to faculty from HR and the Office of Inclusion and Equity.

Perhaps I should go into consulting...

Tom

O\T but it speaks to the 'social construction' of gender...

I work in a place of higher education and just watched a female student walking by my window, about ten yards away over a lawn, drop her jacket and step back. She then gingerly kicked the grounded jacket with her toe and leaped back.

This is when I took an interest as I was dying to see what could possibly be under the jacket. She wound up standing with her head in her hands waiting for help to come along and shortly a group of three students did, one boy and two girls. Any guesses on which one of the three leaned over, picked the jacket up straight away and shook it out while the other two stood back?

If you guessed the boy, you're right, and need to report for disciplining.

He was obviously socialized as a male from birth, poor thing.

David

Don’t leave us hanging. What was in the jacket? Was it radioactive mice?

Tom

Oh, sorry about that.

I believe it was a bug of some kind, given her reaction I'm going to assume bee or wasp, something bitey.

Zionist Overlord #73

Employees who do not complete the “inclusion awareness course” will get “two automated reminders,”

But I AM going to complete the course... once I'm done socializing. You're not suggesting it MUST be completed by a certain date, are you?

Lisboeta

Does Clemson University or Workplace Answers explain precisely how the fluidity of time can “lead to better decisions”? (Ah, they're waiting for one of their participants to provide that information: "Discuss how diversity can lead to better decisions." )

Rafi

When in Rome use Roman time.

Rafi

Let’s try that with payroll.

And paying tuition.

Lab Rat

But I AM going to complete the course... once I'm done socializing. You're not suggesting it MUST be completed by a certain date, are you?

That only works if you have sufficient melanin content - otherwise, you have to have it done when they say you have to have it done, or else.

I suppose you could try the trans-racial line on them...

R. Sherman

Sorry I'm late. Did I miss anything?

David

Did I miss anything?

[ Points to tardy stool. ]

Tim Newman

Because casually disrespecting your host – by turning up late and offering no apology and then wasting more of everyone else’s time - is fine

Perhaps the course was aimed at preparing students for a role in a French corporation?

Tim Newman

Alejandro should recognise and acknowledge cultural differences with ease and respect… Time may be considered precise or fluid depending on the culture.

Actually, to be fair, this is correct. I once did an excellent, absolutely brilliant, 3-day interpersonal relations course where this exact subject was discussed at length. There are two types of people: monochronic and polychronic. The former base their schedule around what a clock says, and includes Brits, Germans, and Swiss (but interestingly, not Japanese). The latter (which is most of the world) set their schedules around relationships: they finish what they need to do with one person before dealing with the next, regardless of the time on the clock.

In Britain, it is acceptable to be running for a meeting and you see a friend you've not seen for ages and you say "Hey, sorry, got a meeting to get to!" In France this is absolutely unacceptably rude: you have to deal with the friend *then* go to the meeting. If you want to work with polychronic cultures you have to understand that their being late (according to the clock) is not being rude, it is that their whole concept of time is different: they would see you getting up and leaving part-way through a discussion in order to meet the next person as being rude.

I hate to say it, and I can believe this particular example may have been the usual SJW bullshit, but the bit quoted above is not wrong and people need to understand it.

Tim Newman

Well, you have to wonder how the buses, trains and airports run in these (unspecified) cultures where time is considered “fluid” and punctuality unimportant.

In Japan, one of the few polychronic cultures where people are punctual, things work due to a cultural trait of not wanting to let anyone down. The Japanese trains don't turn up on time because the clocks say they should (like the Swiss ones), they do so because the Japanese would feel that they've let people down if they turn up late, i.e. they've harmed the relationship. It's a fascinating subject.

PiperPaul

"turning up late and offering no apology and then wasting more of everyone else’s time"

These are the actions of people who do not have real jobs but who are demonstrating their power over the other attendees.

The other attendees are being conditioned to accept (later they'll have to applaud) the behavior.

Tim Newman

These are the actions of people who do not have real jobs but who are demonstrating their power over the other attendees.

Yup.

R. Sherman

@Tim

Accepting your premise--and I've no reason not to do so--the question becomes, which culture is required to give? In my line of work (litigation), I'm required to be on time all the time. I book clients for specific times and see them when I agree to do so. Nine o'clock AM means that.

All cultures have different ways of looking at the world. When I'm with my European relatives, I adjust my behavior to their expectations. I don't demand they accommodate my American idiosyncrasies. (E.g. refraining from crossing the street against the light when there is not an automobile visible for ten miles. I don't like elderly Germans yelling "Verboten! Verboten!" at me.) As David suggests above, the cultural awareness requirements only seem to flow in one direction.

David

they do so because the Japanese would feel that they’ve let people down if they turn up late,

Isn’t that why most of us make an effort to arrive on time? Aside from cases of general punctiliousness, isn’t it usually about not wanting to keep others waiting and thus being frowned upon? Or is that just me? And the Germans, obviously.

Tim Newman

Accepting your premise--and I've no reason not to do so--the question becomes, which culture is required to give?

Well, in my experience I try to fit in as best I can to the host culture and hope that they understand my utter failure to do so. :)

Tim Newman

Isn’t that why most of us make an effort to arrive on time? Aside from cases of general punctiliousness, isn’t it usually about not wanting to keep others waiting and thus being frowned upon?

To a point. But if you've worked in places where nobody turns up on time, and you know turning up 5 minutes late wouldn't affect anybody at all, as a Brit you will still turn up on time. I have spent countless hours sat in empty meeting rooms bang on time, waiting the obligatory 5-10 mins for everyone else to show up.

David

But if you’ve worked in places where nobody turns up on time, and you know turning up 5 minutes late wouldn’t affect anybody at all, as a Brit you will still turn up on time.

Heh. This Brit would. For me, punctuality is a thing. It vexes me when people are late.

But it’s my only vice.

[ Ignores barrage of cruel, deafening laughter. ]

Stuck-Record

Please fund my social science experiment outlined below.

1. Invite applications from individuals who claim they have different cultural rules regarding temporal adherence.
2. Select sample group from said group.
3. Send invite to said group. Invite reads:

FREE MONEY. 9.00. a.m. LECTURE HALL B. FIRST COME FIRST SERVED.

4. Correlate punctuality of attendance with stated ethnic temporal standards.
5. Discuss.

R. Sherman

For me, punctuality is a thing. It vexes me when people are late.

My dad always pounded into my brother and me, "Always be there ten minutes before the appointed time. Wait in the parking lot if you must, but never be late." Suffice it to say, my kids hate me, because I insist on leaving early. If I'm to be somewhere at 6:00 PM, I'm there by 5:50 PM and appear by 5:55 PM. No excuses; no exceptions.

In my office, my clients know two things: If their appointment is at 9:00 AM. They will be in my office at 9:00 AM. My time is not more valuable than theirs. If a client is consistently late, I fire them. Their time is not more valuable than mine, either.

SumDumGuy

In my office we have a saying: "5 minutes early is 10 minutes late."

Tim Newman

Heh. This Brit would. For me, punctuality is a thing. It vexes me when people are late.

Same here: I was an army cadet where being on time meant arriving 5 mins early. But that's why they sent me on the interpersonal skills course (hint: it wasn't optional).

Marko

In some cultures if your daughter marries outside your religion it's OK to chop their head off.

If we're to accept tardiness as a cultural difference with our own that we should tolerate and accommodate then where is the "red line" that we cannot cross, because.. clearly it's not OK to chop your daughter's head off?

I am confused and in need of guidance. I have an inkling that the answer will have much to do with the colour of one's skin and hence privilege, but I'm not entirely sure.

dicentra

Well, you have to wonder how the buses, trains and airports run in these (unspecified) cultures where time is considered “fluid” and punctuality unimportant.

Been there, in Colombia.

There were no bus schedules for buses within a city. You just waited at a stop for the next one, which would be along within 15-20 minutes at most. Sometimes two buses on the same route would catch up to each other and they'd leapfrog each other to compete for the fares.

For buses running between cities, they had departure times and stuff but they weren't exactly enforced. Everyone knew the bus would be late, so they didn't plan their lives around anything being on time.

That's how it works—nobody expects anyone to be on time, so if you're late for your next thing because of the last thing, nobody blinks.

Also, nobody's life is scheduled that tightly anyway.

Failure to socialize when you meet up with someone is considered to be cold and unfriendly. Prioritizing the clock over interpersonal relationships is insulting to them.

It drove me crazy at first but then I reckoned that since I was in THEIR country, I'd operate under THEIR rules, and so I stopped watching the clock and stopped expecting anyone else to do it. It was relaxing to not try to uphold a standard that nobody else cares about.

IMO, it's the result of living in the tropics, where one day is pretty much like the next. If you don't get it done today, mañana is just as good. In northern climes, OTOH, you have to hit the sowing dates exactly right or you'll lose entire crops to frost, either early or late. Notice that in countries like Japan and China and Korea, where they have winter, they're more attentive to the clock as well.

Five minutes late? Try 20-30. And if we miss what we're doing today, we'll do it mañana. What this says about the productivity of the respective cultures I'll leave as an exercise for the reader.

Tim Newman

I'm going to ramble on a bit more about this because David appears not to mind people clogging up his comments section with inane warblings.

When I arrived in France I did a cultural assimilation course, different from the interpersonal skills one but there were some overlaps. One topic concerned the time you should arrive at a party: in France, if they say "Come around 8pm" that means come around 9pm. If you show up at 8pm, chances are the hostess will still be in the bath. If you show up to an 8pm party at 9pm in Britain you'll be lucky to catch the desserts.

It can be very difficult being in a partnership with somebody from a culture where time is dealt with differently from your own. Being married to a Russian, I used to have huge fights with my wife over timekeeping, especially over issues like when we should arrive at a party. I'd have my shoes on and be in the hall barking instructions at her to hurry up because "we'll be late" whereas she thought she ought to have all the time she needs and we can turn up whenever. It took me some time to realise that most of the world takes her approach. As dicentra says:

Failure to socialize when you meet up with someone is considered to be cold and unfriendly. Prioritizing the clock over interpersonal relationships is insulting to them.

Yeah. This in spades. Trust me, it takes Brits a long time to get used to this. It's a fascinating subject, though.

Hal

I have spent countless hours sat in empty meeting rooms bang on time, waiting the obligatory 5-10 mins for everyone else to show up.

Which is why one brings something independent to read, or has something in parallel that one can work on solo.

David

because David appears not to mind people clogging up his comments section

Don’t mind me. I’m finishing off a Magnum and watching phone reviews on YouTube.

David

Ahem. To clarify, I’m finishing off a Magnum. Not an enormous bottle of wine.

WTP

Heh...and here I thought you were finishing off a Magnum. And now thanks to Wiki I've learned that there are even other uses of that brand name that would be way TMI...

jabrwok

To clarify, I’m finishing off a Magnum.

Oh, and here I was thinking you meant Magnum

David

I should’ve quit while I was ahead.

Tim Newman

Which is why one brings something independent to read

Pretty standard in French meetings. I generally skip them if I know it's happening in a room where the 4G connection is crap.

Chester Draws

In Mexico the inter-city buses run exactly on time. Much better than the equivalent New Zealand buses, for example. In general I found Mexican hotels etc quite good at time-keeping and being organised -- which surprised me.

So I don't think it is a tropical thing, merely a cultural thing. For whatever reason, and maybe personal punctuality is different there, businesses seemed to run to the clock.

Let’s try that with payroll.

In many countries they do.

I suspect that sets up a cycle -- boss doesn't pay me regularly on time, so I don't turn up to work on time, and the business suffers, to the boss can't pay me ...

PiperPaul

I'll just toss this sin for good measure:

.

You knew this was coming, didn't you.

David

Right, that does it. Hammock time. ‘Night, all.

Andalucia with fields full of grain

Having lived in the mañana culture of Spain for 18 years now, I've gotten used to always being the first to arrive at any meeting, and gotten over my frustration of having to wait ages before anyone else turns up. Still, after all these years, I cant break my programming. I still turn up early with the full expectation that I will be sitting there on my own for a while.

I have to say though, that things have definitely improved in my time here. What was previously said about it being rude to break off an engagement before all points have been covered, is certainly a thing here. I find myself being considered a little rude for breaking engagements in order to meet appointments.

SimonF

I wish I'd known about this when I was a young soldier, well actually I mean I wish the RSM had known it.

TimN, ref wives, mine's English and I have the same problem, even after 33 years of marriage. She had a John Lewis approach to timekeeping, never knowingly early.

A very good friend and business partner, who is also exRN (and they are really strict on timekeeping, tides wait for no man etc) took time out to teach and ended up teaching Economics and Business at A Level in a large inner city college. His students were from many cultures and some fee paying. His rule was that at the start of the year he locked the classroom door at the appointed time to start the lesson. He reckoned that within 3 weeks they all arrived punctually.

Sporkatus

The Rolling Stones' Time is on My Side : insensitive patriarchalism or veiled gloating about white privilege?

Ed Snack

R Sherman, the amusing thing for me in your comment about crossing the street is that the only place I've ever been pulled up for Jaywalking was in Denver....at about 12:30 am when the only vehicle even visible was parked. It turned out to be a couple of cops looking for something to break the boredom, however they let me off with a warning once I explained (in probably almost incomprehensible RP English) that I was just a silly tourist heading for a much needed meal at McD's after a long bus trip. McD's being the only place still open

Hal

Let’s try that with payroll.

In many countries they do.

I suspect that sets up a cycle -- boss doesn't pay me regularly on time, so I don't turn up to work on time, and the business suffers, to the boss can't pay me ...

And we have another example of differing approaches to people getting paid on time, if at all.

A little over three decades ago, This Is Spinal Tap perfectly parodied hard-rock excess with a pint-sized Stonehenge, amps that go "one louder" and the unforgettable phrase "Hello Cleveland."

. . .

Last fall, Shearer filed a $125 million lawsuit against Vivendi – the company that owns This Is Spinal Tap – for financial misappropriation and launched a website called Fairness Rocks explaining his lawsuit. He alleged that the company says the four creators between them have only earned $81 in merchandizing income and $98 for their contributions to the movie's soundtrack over a 22-year period.

Oops. Can't possibly imagine what might have happened there. Golly.

dicentra

Peak Guardian?

dicentra

Definitely

dicentra

Definitely peak Twitter: https://twitter.com/chiIIjake/status/851617824414072832

Sheesh.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

A little over three decades ago, This Is Spinal Tap perfectly parodied hard-rock excess with a pint-sized Stonehenge, amps that go "one louder"...

I know it was a joke, but real amps go to 12.

Spiny Norman

Peak Guardian?

Oh, I dunno, di. You and I are both long-time readers of this blog, and I'd have to say that's fresh, but daily-bread staple Guardian.

MC

If the polychronic Japanese can learn to turn up on time, so can the other useless f***ers.

Different ideas about when to rock up to a dinner party are one thing, turning up to business meetings when you feel like it (as opposed to 15 min late because you bumped into Jean that you used to work with) are another.

It can't be a coincidence that nations with a relaxed culture about timekeeping also seem to be relaxed about fraud and bribery, sanitation and being ranked in the bottom quartile of the human development index.

Quint and Jessel

Wow, dicentra. Wow.

Jeff Guinn
[Piper Paul:] You knew this was coming, didn't you.

We see what you did there.

I suspect that when it comes to a rubber sheath over the old fella, it is exactly like women's dress sizes.

Except completely opposite.

If you want to work with polychronic cultures you have to understand that their being late (according to the clock) is not being rude, it is that their whole concept of time is different: they would see you getting up and leaving part-way through a discussion in order to meet the next person as being rude.

Wouldn't it be polychronic to leave for the destination early?

Burnsie

In the hands of the left, every cultural difference becomes a fetish.

Particularly those that run counter to Western conventions.

This particular fetishization is mostly benign idiocy on the part of Clemson. It's more problematic when they tacitly condone such things as genital mutilation of Muslim girls and other such cultural "norms."

Tim Newman

It can't be a coincidence that nations with a relaxed culture about timekeeping also seem to be relaxed about fraud and bribery, sanitation and being ranked in the bottom quartile of the human development index.

It isn't, and I used to point this out regularly when I worked in such places. Hence I was sent for training.

Jonathan

I'm guessing that these Twitter users don't see time like the rest of us.

Also, fetch the popcorn.

Shiggz

The fact that these academic antics have not created more anti-sjw then sjw bout a gourd sign.

dicentra

Seems to me that one ought to adapt to the culture where one is residing/visiting, regardless of what you do at home.

If I were to scold Colombians for not being on time, I'd be rude.

If Colombians in the U.S. fail to arrive on time, they're being rude.

I'm pretty sure I'm the first one to elucidate this concept.

Daniel Ream
Si fueris Rōmae, Rōmānō vīvitō mōre; si fueris alibī, vīvitō sīcut ibī
~ St. Ambrose, ~ 4th c. AD
Geezer

I'm pretty sure I'm the first one to elucidate this concept.

I'm pretty sure dicentra is quite aware of Saint Ambrose.

Crawford

"[ Points to tardy stool. ]"
Hehehe, perhaps number nine on the Bristol stool chart!

BCVA

Boss: Meeting tomorrow morning at 9 AM.

Flash forward: It's 9:20, and intrepid Clemson grad rolls into the meeting.

Boss: Joe, the meeting started at 9
Joe: Sorry, boss, but my notion of time is fluid.
Boss: I understand. You're fired.

NielsR

"For Alejandro to bring three cultures together..."

I think I see where they went wrong. Alejandro is trying to get some work done.

/naive

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