Hi and welcome back to the Mark in Russia Broadcast and I’m Mark. Today I’m going to continue the topic started in episode 063, which was a topic suggested by one of my listeners.
Remember, you should go to my website, www.markinrussia.com in order to listen to all of my broadcasts and to see the show notes for each episode.
When traveling or living in a different country, some of the normal behaviors of society are based upon certain “Unwritten Rules” and until you are able to crack this seemingly secret code, life is not really totally clear to you.
It’s my hope to help you learn some of these rules in order to increase both enjoyment and understanding.
Well, let’s get rolling with this.
Again though, I need to qualify the following as the unwritten rules that I grew up with. The country is changing in recent years in some unfortunate directions. With the first unwritten rule I’ll go over today, I’ll tell it the way that I know it and then an editorial comment on how things are degrading.
Americans respect individuality over conformity. People are expected to be independent and solve their own problems and create their own futures with a minimum help from extended families or communities.
This is the way it always was while I was growing up, but today, thanks to the Obama folks, a lot more people are less able or better to say, “willing” to create their own futures. Now a lot of people
want free “stuff” and “help” from the government as the current administration leads such weak Americans down the path of socialism. It’s a pity of course and it is my hope that those that wish to be independent will prevail over the weak freeloaders. We’ll see.
We have a saying in American business; “The customer is always right”. We are actually pretty good about practicing this also. I’m going to tell you a quick story about Sam Walton, the founder of WalMart, which is now the largest retailer in the world. This is how I heard the story; when Walmart was still only a couple of stores large, Sam Walmart was in one of his stores in Arkansas when a man came in carrying a car tire. Sam asked how he could help him. The man said that he wished to return the tire and get his money back. Sam asked the man for the sales receipt, but the man said that he no longer had it. Sam asked him how much he paid for it, and then counted that much money from the cash register and gave it to him. When the man left, Sam’s store manager came to him with a stunned look and he said, “Sam, you know that we don’t even sell tires!” Sam said, “I know, but the customer is always right”. I don’t know whether this is true, or merely urban legend, but the belief was, and still is, that if you take care of the customer and give them excellent service, that person will be your customer for life.
OK, let’s take a short joke break and I’ll meet you on the other side.
A doctor notices a sidewalk stand that says ‘brains for sale.’ He goes over to investigate and sees a sign that says ‘Doctor brains $8.00 a pound’ and another sign that says ‘Paramedic brains $12.00 a pound, Nurses brains $30.00 a pound, truck driver $40.00 a pound and lawyers brains $90.00 a pound.’
So he asks the man behind the cashregister, “how come his brains are only worth 8.00 and a lawyer’s worth 90.00?”
The man replies, “do you know how many lawyers it takes to make a pound of brains?”
A construction worker accidentally cuts off one of his ears with an electric saw.
He calls out to a guy walking on the street below, “Hey, do you see my ear down there?”
The guy on the street picks up an ear, “Is this it?”
“No,” replies the construction worker, “mine had a pencil behind it.”
A man working with an electric saw accidentally saws off all 10 fingers. He rushes to the emergency room. The doctor says, “Give me the fingers and I’ll see what I can do.”
“But I don’t have the fingers!”
“Why didn’t you bring the fingers?!” asks the incredulous doctor.
“Doc, I couldn’t pick them up.”
Welcome back and now we’ll finish up.
Greetings and goodbyes are short and informal and should not be taken literally. The common greeting is “How are you doing?” or “How’s it going?” or “What’s up?.” If you are asked, “How are you?” and reply with a lengthy diatribe on how you really are, you will get a weird look. Just say, “oh, fine.” Upon leaving if someone says, “See you later” or “See ya soon,” they may or may not. It is just an expression.
Well, I want to keep these segments short, so I’ll stop here and continue another time.
Thanks for listening to my broadcast and I hope that you’ll join me next time for the Mark in Russia Broadcast. Until that time, GoodBye!