Thursday, December 11, 2008

Business Etiquette

Today I had an awful meeting with my boss and I've learned through these wonderful bi-monthly meetings with her, some helpful lessons of Taiwanese business etiquette that I must abide by, although they make me angry.

Business etiquette #1: Although I'm not an intern or assistant, I or another one of my coworkers must pour tea for our boss.

Perhaps I have been blessed with jobs and internships in the past that did not require me to be a coffee girl but I find this ritual to be an unecessarily degrading aspect of the job. It's not that bosses in general are incapable of pouring tea or getting coffee for themselves or that they are so incredibly busy that they can't take that one minute out of their time to do it for themselves but perhaps this is a general perk that they get for having made it to the top. In any case, I find it incredibly unnecesary and I also feel that this was not part of my original job description.

Business etiquette #2: We must all report directly to our topmost boss.

There is a business word for this and it's called micromanaging. Not only is it a waste of our time, it's a waste of our boss's time. The fact that I have to list even the smallest articles that I have edited these past two weeks to my boss's boss seems unnecessary. Because she is so far removed from my work it is difficult for her to assess how hard I work and what exactly it is I do or even if I am good at what I do. Therefore, it is difficult for me to plead my case twice a month to someone that I don't even see on a weekly basis.

Business etiquette #3: Courtesy is upheld most, even above the truth.

In my boss's interest in micromanagement, she often likes to ask us what we think of the work we're doing or whether we enjoying doing certain projects. There was one assignment to which I was tasked with for which I disdained with great fervor. So during one of our bi-monthly meetings I thought that I would enumerate my distaste for the task due to several valid reasons I had for its inappropriateness, but I was quickly shut down by my coworkers who thought it would be unwise and discourteous to confront the boss. But if everyone remains tight lipped on issues then how does a work place function smoothly?

You may say that perhaps these are not particular to Taiwan but only particular to my boss but I suppose I think otherwise due to the fact that I am the only one that seems to be shocked by these proceedings when discussing these issues with my fellow coworkers.

After a nice in depth discussion with one particular coworker, she came up with the conclusion that perhaps Taiwan is not as far along in worker rights as the U.S. so here, boss's have much bigger scope in power to do what they please. When I return to the U.S. I will gladly welcome my rights as a worker and as an individual and my hope is that Taiwanese citizens will begin to receive the same.

No comments: