Saturday, June 11, 2005

European Studies

I have just come back from several days locked in a chateau with managers from eleven European countries:

Culturally Insensitive Moment of the Week
When an image of a cardinal of the catholic church appeared in a presentation (modern life philosophies discussion - U2 were in there as well) the German manager punching the air victoriously exclaiming "Yes! We are the pope" several times. The Polish manager sat right next to her and looked distinctly uncomfortable.

Last Country at the Bar
Hungary - 3am

Largest Language Stand Off In the Coffee Breaks
The francophones vs. everyone else who prefers to speak English

Most Notes Passed to Each Other During Presentations
Czech, Poland & Hungary

Quietest Participants
Ireland, Greece & Norway

Heaviest Smoker

Funniest Presentation
Canada, eh.
(yes, Canada invites itself to the European annual meetings claiming more affinity with us than with the Americans!)

Closest Moment to Violence
The UK manager and her taxi driver who after a 3 hour drive from CDG airport asked for payment when she assumed it was prepaid and had no means of payment or French to respond to his gesturing at the meter.

Most Gracious
Netherlands (okay I'm biased she thanked my group at the end for having organised everything)

Need a little sleep now!

No comments: