Friday, January 17, 2014
Morning Ritual IV
In Morning Ritual III, I had established my own rule when greeting my coworkers in the morning. This rule was challenged several times, but I decided to stick to it. I have gotten used to many rules in France, but I consider greeting people by air kissing or hand shaking encourages virus transmission, especially during winters when cold virus runs rampantly. Starting from autumn, more and more coworkers are down with coughs, sore throats and running nose. Except those with severe coughing, people still hand shake and air kiss each other in the morning, this is something I do not appreciate much.
So, this was what happened. One day I was having meeting with my big boss and a female coworker. The boss came in, air kissed my coworker, then shaked my hand. Maybe he felt uneasy to greet us differently, so he suggested that from that day on he would air kiss me too. My heart immediately said no, so I politely said that in my culture I do not air kiss men. Well, in my culture I simply do not air kiss anyone, but I will be considered rude in France if I don't even air kiss female coworkers.
Well, every company has its own culture. In my company bosses are quite easy going and emphasis less on the hierarchy. However, most of them still shake hands with their female subordinates. I had heard coworkers saying that who and who are air kissing which boss so these who and who are in the gang with the boss. So, air kissing your boss could be interpreted as joining his club or having a very close working relationship.
Anyway, I don't always have time to tell people my rule. For example, right after that meeting with my boss, I met another male coworker in the corridor and guess what? He just came to me and air kissed me, I didn't even have time to tell him that I don't air kiss man. I met him another morning, this time I quickly told him that I prefer hand shaking, and his response was : "oh, you are sick!" Early January we were saying Happy New Year to every coworker. When one coworker came to me, I raised my hand, he asked me if I was sick, I said no, then he said then in this case we kiss. So he just air kissed me lol.
Maybe it is time to loosen up my rule, but air kissing 40++ people in the morning, I'm simply not ready.