Wad some power the giftie gie us…

VikingOne of the things I love about working with people from different cultures is the insight they provide on my own.

I was on a residential course last week and one of the other attendees was a chap from Iceland who’d forgotten to bring socks.  I needed some bits and pieces myself so at the end of the first day we went into the nearest market town.  We drew a blank at Morrisons, the shop recommended by the person in Morrisons  did indeed sell socks, but it had just closed, and so we tried the Co-op.

My Viking returned to the car without any socks but in high good humour: “they don’t sell any socks” he said, “but they used to!  What is the point of telling me they used to sell socks when I need them now?”

Well, when he put it like that…  You see, I though the lady in the Co-Op was being Polite and Friendly.  Showing Concern.  Taking an Interest.

But I do kinda get his point.


4 responses to “Wad some power the giftie gie us…

  1. Heh heh heh.

    I always thought people’d say ‘we used to sell whateveritis…’ because they were trying to reassure me I hadn’t lost my tiny mind in coming into their shop looking for it in the first place.

    Ah, cultural differences. In Italy, people never say please and thank you in coffee shops. They ask for a cofee, they pay for the coffee, they drink the coffee. On the other hand, they do say good morning on entering. In Britain, people very rarely say good morning to the room at large on entering the shop, but do say please and thank you when ordering coffee. My italian friends think my english friends are astonishingly rude, and vice versa. Also, everyone in the Italian coffee shop hears you saying please and thank you, over a coffee, which you are paying for, for chrissakes, and think you are taking the piss.

    Interesting planet, this.

  2. But if you said “Good Morning” to the entire shop, you’d be talking to people you haven’t been introduced to.

    It’s ok to talk to the barista – it’s their business to provide coffee and your business to ask for it – but you’ve no business to go talking to everyone else in the shop. Besides which, they might look at you.

    Incidentally, the Wikipedia entry on Baristas is full of suppressed subtext: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barista



  3. Oh wad some pow’r the giftie gie us…

    To see some people before they see us.

  4. If the cap fits SoRB….

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