Friday, October 23, 2009

Cultural Disconnect

There is a little guy I work with; well he is a man, but a little man. He works in another department from me and is a manager in his department, so a smart little man, who descends from I'm guessing India. He has the appropriate accent that would bring him from that area, but depending on the cultural influences in Canada, perhaps he was born and raised here and picked it up from those influences. Either way, he's a very friendly, smart, little man.

Yesterday, I noticed him talking on a wireless headset for his cell phone as he entered the bathroom. I thought it was strange but surely he was just wrapping up the conversation as he passed my desk and entered the first door. Thankfully, the bathroom sounds do not carry to my desk, so I assume he finished his conversation before taking care of business.

Then today, I see him following his superior while carrying on a conversation. Then his boss turns to enter the bathroom and the very friendly, smart, little man continues the conversation and follows him into the bathroom. They are in there for a reasonable amount of time, and then I hear his superior coming out saying, yeah, we'll take care of it. And then he follows out a few mintues later.

Now, I know that women have tendency to go to the bathroom in small groups, and I assume there is talk. But I assume that talk is at the sinks, while checking makeup and washing hands, and not while their pants are down.

As for male etiquette, there is no talking to each other in the bathroom, unless you are intoxicated at a bar. I don't even want a hello. A simple nod will suffice. Perhaps I have a cultural disconnect and don't see this as behavior I would be comfortable with.

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