Part three in a series of highly stimulating lectures on how to avoid cultural misunderstandings when you are the guest of Johnny Foreigner. This week: Respect for authority
Everyone knows the UK is a bastion of class and all the better for it. No Brit in their right mind would question the voice of authority, which they know has their best interests at heart. However, foreigners don’t share this noble trait – hence the French Revolution and various other bloody goings-on.
Sadly, this ‘uppity gene’, as Guru likes to call it, still flows strong in the veins of these rabble rousers. Take the example of Hubert Hoffman, 45, from Warsaw in Poland.
A nation-wide manhunt has begun for Hubert after he skipped bail while facing a charge of “contempt for the office of the head of state”. His crime? When stopped in a random check by the police, he was asked what he thought of the president. He replied that under president Lech Kaczynski, the country was returning to a Communist-style dictatorship. He followed this statement up with a loud fart, and was promptly arrested. After Hubert disappeared, the court ordered the police to scour Poland for him, and Interpol has been told (and been kept informed with hourly updates, one imagines).
So when working abroad, make sure your teams toe the line. Your magnanimous management decisions could be challenged at any moment.
The best plan is to plant a mole who can report any hint of sedition. Make sure they act as a team and do it your way.