Unfortunately I’m not the best at cracking jokes at the office and, except for a few amusing lunches with good colleagues now and again, I don’t laugh that much at work.
That being said, I was washing my hands in the bathroom the other day next to my Taanzanian colleague who also seemed to appreciate clean hands. He told be that a company we worked with a few months back kept calling him wanting to give a presentation and basically wanting more contracts with us.
“They keep calling me and don’t know what to tell them; what should I do?”
“Tell him to call me,” I replied "and I’ll tell him NO!” I added.
My colleague burst out laughing, “Yeah because I can’t tell him no…ha ha ha…it is true…culture!”
He shook his head laughing and we went back to our separate offices, but I was still laughing when I reached my office. This is a very particular culture where a “no” sometimes can be difficult to communicate, especially if the receiver is older than yourself. What I found so funny was that he openly admitted to it and was happy to hand over the case to me.