Monday, November 14, 2005

Greetings and salutations

There’s a lot of hand shaking and cheek kissing going on in work places over here. Arriving at work in the morning (every morning) requires the obligatory handshake if you’re male or the bises (an “air” kiss on both cheeks) if you’re female. This can be time-consuming depending on how many colleagues you encounter from your place of domicile to your little cubicle, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Take my last job for instance, being part of a project team of roughly 15 to 20 people, this meant setting aside at least the first 15 minutes (at least!) of work just for the greetings! I learnt that by getting to work early meant that the late arrivals had to do the greeting rounds leaving you free to get on with your emails. Getting to work late meant that You had to do the greeting rounds going from desk to desk air kissing everyone on the cheeks.

Consider this, 15 minutes every morning doing the bises adds up to 1.25 hours for a 5-day week. This means 5 hours per month, and say one works a 47 week working year, this means roughly 58.75 hours per year!
That’s a lot of air kissing.

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