Cultural resistance to professional culture

Five cents buys you nothing in Bablion.

Eastern Europe and India seemed promising low labor cost markets for technology. But no one knew about the other side of the coin.

Extreme Ways

Like India and Asia, Romania is attractive to outsourcers and offshoring as it has a reputation for a low cost labor force. What the nice business magazine writers don’t tell you is the cultural difference can be a major challenge. A common problem in the Romanian workplace is the “I gotta be me” attitude. It’s a bad attitude that I imagine comes out of the MTV’s trashcan culture and the mis-translation of hippie ideology about being true to yourself. And even the hippie’s were confused about what is true, what we are and what we must do.

So the whole mess just gets worse in the Romanian translation. This is not good for foreign investors and it’s really bad for those already on the ground who lack an iron will and a doubley clever pitchfork.


Unfamiliar with international standards of professionalism, when introduced to those standards, Romanian twenty-somethings tend to treat those standards as a form of oppression of their personality against which they must rebel and sabotage. After all, it’s just not who they are.

And it doesn’t matter that it’s not them only because they don’t know any better.

……………………………………….

……………………………………….

Professional Attitude

It can be a major effort to get Romanian twenty-somethings to look, act, and speak like a professional. Most have failed. We wait to see how many more must fail, before others stop trying.

And, perhaps, those that accept this much (too much in their opinion) only do so like a monkey does what it is trained with an unprofitable supply of bananas. They tend to readily adopt new behaviors as long as these so-called self contradictions are postively reinforced- often.

“Monkey like banana” (copyrighted by MC) and that’s usually as far as it goes – because they do NOT learn deeply and quickly. Nor do they seek to enlarge themselves. Seeking to expand and enrich the culture of their personality, being or soul is not high on to do list.

It would mean for them to become something else. And that is somehow not in their personal interest in being themselves- uncorrected, imperfect and broken.

The promise of a german car may be helpful in getting a little cooperation and less push back, however.

A year after our professional parting, I was told by a protege (someone I had believed had internally adopted a professional attitude), “you know you were right about how looking like a professional helps people take you seriously, but I didn’t believe you until recently.”

“Not until it paid off for meee in a big way and without any other effort.”

Reality Distortion Field (RDF copyrighted by MC)

Getting Romanian twenty-somethings to think and work like professionals is an even greater challenge.

What is amazing, however, is their cultural capacity and instinct to corroborate each other’s story that professional things are happening. The deadline will be met!

After the third extension.

Meanwhile, the alliance (everyone in your office but you) must catapult to dust an opposing alliance’s villages in a game by the name of Travian. Nevermind that the poorly considered alliance strategy will take three weeks of focused 18 hour/day effort.

What’s more amazing is that they don’t even have to conspire to coordinate the professional story telling. Everyone seems to have one… a portable reality distortion field generator, and these fields rarely conflict with each other.

moby understands me

I find myself stuck in an existential loop that reminds me of Moby’s song, Extreme Ways.

……………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………….

Thanks to SeekLyrics.com, here’s the lyrics to Moby’s song, Extreme Ways:

Extreme ways are back again
Extreme places I didn’t know
I broke everything new again
Everything that I’d owned
I threw it out the windows, came along
Extreme ways I know move apart
The colors of my sea
Perfect color me

Extreme ways that help me
That help me out at night
Extreme places I had gone
But never seen any light
Dirty basements, dirty noise
Dirty places coming through
Extreme worlds alone
Did you ever like it planned

I would stand in line for this
There’s always room in life for this

Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Like it always does, always does

Extreme songs that told me
They helped me down every night
I didn’t have much to say
I didn’t get above the light
I closed my eyes and closed myself
And closed my world and never opened
Up to anything
That could get me along

I had to close down everything
I had to close down my mind
Too many things to cover me
Too much can make me blind
I’ve seen so much in so many places
So many heartaches, so many faces
So many dirty things
You couldn’t even believe

I would stand in line for this
It’s always good in life for this

Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Like it always does, always does

Add to Technorati Favorites

Stan Faryna
December 12, 2003
Bucharest, Romania

………………………………………………………………………………………………..
………………………………………………………………………………………………..

FEED UPON other popular posts by Stan Faryna:

>> Outsourcing
>> Great Websites
>> IAB Europe
>> Online Strategy
>> Open Source

………………………………………………………………………………………………..
………………………………………………………………………………………………..

About MC

Mihai Coman is an aspiring young professional and technologist with a kick ass sense of dark sarcasm for the classroom.

About Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

Mr. Faryna’s political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, The Washington Times, Sagar, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Stan Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

Here’s my fair use policy for my content:

If you want to share my content with your own audience, you may quote a brief excerpt, if and only if, you provide proper attribution (Source: The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna) with a direct link to the source. You may not republish or translate the entire article without my written permission. Send your request for permission by inmail through the linkedin professional network at www.linkedin.com.

Speak from your heart!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: