Thursday, November 13, 2008

The morning handshake ritual

In the US, you tend to only shake someone's hand the first couple times you meet them, or maybe if you haven't seen them in a while, but the people you see everyday rarely warrant more than a “good morning” and a maybe slight nod of the head when you arrive at the office.

Not so in France. The morning handshake ritual, as my American compatriot Kain calls it, marks the beginning of every work day here. It doesn't matter if it is your first day, or your 1,000th day, after you take your coat off and drop your lunch off at your desk in the morning, you walk around the entire office and say bonjour, salut, ├ža va, good morning or something, and you shake hands.
So every morning when I get to work I shake hands with 35 other people. At first it was kinda weird, but now I quite like it. I am not the kind of person that seeks out affection, or needs emotional reinforcement on a daily basis, but starting your day off with 3 dozen smiling, friendly handshakes certainly helps get the day off to a good start. I think people in America should start their work day off by shaking everyone's hand.

With female coworkers, or close friends, you can opt for the kiss on each cheek thing instead of the handshake, but for now I am sticking with the handshake. Once I have been there for a while, I might try to throw a fist bump or something in for variety, but I'm not sure how that will work out.
Oh, and when you leave the office you say bye to people. At least to the people that sit close enough to you to see you leave.

Today's picture is my horrible attempt at creating a panorama of the view from our balcony out of a few separate images.


Scott McArthur said...

huh... That is different. kinda cool though. Of course everyone will know if you are late! ;)

that panorama looks cool, but it is too small. do you have a larger one?

michael said...

The pictures get shrunk when i post them. I'll have to email you a bigger one, or put it up on some photo site or something.

ErikC said...

So what happens if your office is 100+ people? You'd have to draw the line somewhere eh? The handshaking/kiss-on-the-cheek thing is pretty cool (although a bit time wasting).

Keep up the blogging!