Re: Training Execs for Int'l LO2201

Carol Anne Ogdin (
23 Jul 95 19:56:08 EDT

Lilly Evans asks, in LO2183...

> Perhaps it may help to add another, where the language, at least on the
> face of it was/is not the problem. I have observed, both in the small
> village where I live and several multi-national companies an interesting
> phenomenon. The American expatriate "herd instinct" in UK. Most tend to
> live in two/three areas around/in London. Their children go only to
> American schools. While spouses work in their postings wives (and now
> also husbands) tend to teach at the American school attended by their
> kids. They expect the company personnel departments to organise their
> social lives, with other Americans of course. Few, if any make lasting
> friends locally.

> Can someone explain what is at play here?

I think there are to reinforcing forces at work here:

1. Many people from the U.S. have a "different isn't better" posture,
known in its worst examples as "The Ugly American" syndrome ("Well,
how much is that in *real* money?" the fat woman with the camera
asks.) Many expats are not from the cosmopolitan cities, which
would've worn some of that away; if they're from the "Great Dead
Heart" ^h^h^h^h^h^h Oops, wrong continent! "Midwest," they may
feel socially inept, as well.

2. For all the times I've been in London, sometimes for several weeks
at a time, I've never seen the inside of a residence. People may ask
what I'm going to be doing ("Oh, just staring at the hotel walls,"
delivered wistfully.), and may invite me to a restaurant...
but never at home. Hard to make more than business acquaintanceships
that way. (And, no, I don't wear muddy boots, spit on the floor, or
appear to be *too* unkempt in my personal habits! %^) )

Maybe those in the "herds" need to be invited. How 'bout an
"Invite a Colonial to Dinner" week?

Carol Anne "famished" Ogdin