What a long, strange trip it’s been…

I have been working for over a year now at a French company. Back a year ago, I ranted a bit about it. Let’s just say that the adjustment has not been easy. I have had to be flexible and open-minded and I haven’t necessarily had a return on that investment. That being said, I have started to make some friends and create my network so I suppose that once one enters the system, one can get by. I think the culture shock was the hardest thing. I was used to reactivity and turnaround when working in American companies. My experience of a year in a French company has taught me that this is not a particular strength of the French. One has to insist quite a lot to get answers about 60-70% of the time. On the other hand, once one gets an answer, it is usually well thought-out and complete. The big difference I have found is that politics plays a tangible part of every single communication or transaction. I don’t remember this being such a constraint in the US-based companies I previously worked for.

In any case, as I mentioned last week, I decided I needed a change of air and a change of role so we’ll see if what I have learned over the past year about working for the Frog will help me in the new adventure.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a classic from which I titled by blog post today: Truckin by the Grateful Dead

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About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
This entry was posted in life-in-france and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What a long, strange trip it’s been…

  1. You have no idea how much culture affects work until, as you now know, you live and work elsewhere. Zut alors!

    I left my native Canada in 1988 for the U.S., and have lived and worked (in journalism and publishing) since then near NYC. I value: directness, decisiveness, candor, humor, wit, no BS! I find much of that here….and want to throw chairs when I try (rarely now) to deal with or work with Canadians. Seriously?!

    They take FOREVER to make a decision, terrified of risk or ego loss or status diminishment, loathe confrontation or conflict. I have wasted more time on unreturned calls or emails to (fellow?) Canadians….

    I get it!

    • mfinocchiaro says:

      Wow, almost worse than the French! Well, I can totally understand. But is that behavior particular to the english-speakers or equally to the quebecois as well? That being said, it sounds like the behavior is more driven by fear whereas the french attitude is more driven by a superiority complex.
      Thanks for the comment 🙂

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