It is easy to notice a general misunderstanding of the difference between regulation and mentality.
The staff complains that customers coming to the counter do not greet them politely . The argument is usually the same. «When I go to their country, I find out how it’s done there.»
First, I doubt that this is done.
Secondly, there is a difference between regulation and mentality. Do not say «hello» is mentality. Do not insert chopsticks vertically in rice — a grade of regulation, respect for tradition.
Prepared for the trip, you can read about the rules of conduct and even the mentality of people in a particular country. Rules of conduct you can adapt, but you can not sincerely change the mentality.
For example, you will agree to sit separately from your spouse, if required by the protocol of the meeting with the Arabs. But it is very unlikely that you will immediately start consider women as 3rd-class beings, simply because you are physically in the territory of Saudi Arabia.
The difficulties that I encountered during the coaching of the Valet parking professionals and luggageists — I did not expect. Despite all my commitment to cross-culture, I never thought about the following issue.
One of the most difficult customer groups for this category of workers is the Indians. People, in whose blood from the 1500 years BC a code for caste is generated — it seems, do not see the difference between caste and social layer.
If such a job in India is carried out by a lower caste with all the consequences, in France quite a representative of the middle class can open the door and carry suitcases.
Plus, in the class system of France, whether you are the representative of the highest or the lowest stratum, there is an “égalité” , which is literally written in the code: liberté égalité fraternité. This means that not only social elevators work well, it also means that we can touch workers, share a table with them and marry them if we are in love freely.
In India, on the contrary, they will not sit with the Shudras at the table. Shudras works for that Kshatriyas can eat and fight. But a Kshatriya can not share food with Shudras. It’s a crock to be defiled.
«They are not in India, they are in France — tells me luggageist. — I take off my shoes in their temples, when in India, but they treat us as we are slaves». «This is not a regulation, but a cultural code,» — I reply.
We can follow regulations but we can not change cultural code. We can take off shoes in the temple and make arabs take off hijabs but we cannot change mentality. Easy to explain to Indians that we have no Casta’s but social classes and they have to treat our luggage carriers equally as doctors. But not all of them are able to imply it. Cause it’s nature and it is an established code from 1500BC.
That’s challenging for our professionals to understand it and to accept that treatment. Cause we can’t educate client on that level. Voiturier and bagagiste are the first impression of the House.
La Classe team