Blog of an aspiring foodie

Some thoughts on working globally

Posted by beer_chris on 30-October-2005

I've had some new members of my team coming on, a trio of folks hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Their joining the team is part of a larger corporate initiative of-sorts, and so the short is that they were sent to the US for two months (now just ending) as an onboarding experience.

I've learned quite a but about Malay food, but also how much a part of US corporate culture eating really is. One of the members of the team was fasting for Ramadan (also just ending), and this really obviated how much American office folk use lunch and snacks at meetings as socializing experiences. I think it has something to do with the sort of backing into it social structure most offices really create – you never really make close friends at the office – or at least it's the exception when it does happen. Getting office mates together seems to rotate around the 'well, they have to eat” theory – basically, if food is provided, everyone is guaranteed to come.

When one member of the team can't really participate (due to fasting, a diet, whatever) it's not difficult to come up with alternatives, it just goes as a lesson in how knee-jerk a luncheon or meal of some kind is a part of planning group activities, meetings etc.

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