Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In the land of the Gods

As you might have realized, my latest travels took me to the head office of my new beloved corporate head office together with a couple of my fully Japanese salarymen colleagues. To some extent I enjoy taking my colleagues to the base and show them how things are done in Europe and get them exposed to a different corporate culture than that of Japan.

Also, when I get to the head office, I drop all pretense of being a Japanese style Salaryman and get into the vibe of the head office and the more informal ways over there which sometimes shocks my colleagues since it's unthinkable for them for someone to say "Hey there Kenny, what's up!" to someone in a very senior position, something that is just natural for me and not considered impolite or out of order where I'm from.

The respect my colleagues has for people in the "Head Office" is sometimes a bit annoying and one of my colleagues seemed to believe that basically anyone, regardless of department, position or other surrounding factors, would have authority to make important decisions about the Japan market. So basically anyone we met he tried to get approval for small things and I didn't have the heart to tell him that he was barking at the wrong tree and actually helped him with translations and gently tried to tell him that this was neither the right person, the right department nor the right timing. I think he must've felt like he was in the land of the Gods but the Gods were too busy to give attention to his petty things...
So close, but so far away...

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