Having been at my internship in a top global PR agency for a little over a month I’d like to quickly share some of the things I’ve noticed about working in the UK-
Tea is a big deal
I guess I had assumed that was a stereotype about English people, but drinking tea is serious business over here. A few times a day someone in my pod (grouping of desks) stands up and asks if anyone would like a cup of tea. The professor who taught my British PR class this semester compared this ritual to primates picking bugs out of each others hair – it’s how the Brits show they care.
They’re very affectionate, darling
In the US pet names are often considered annoying, condescending, or inappropriate but here you hear them all the time! It’s no big deal when someone refers to you as love, babe, darling, or my personal favorite: chicken. I remember hearing one of my colleagues pick up the phone the other day, “Hello darling,” she said. I assumed she was speaking to someone she knew well, maybe a friend, but after a brief pause, letting the person on the other end speak, she squeeled, “Oh it’s you!” My coworker didn’t even know who she was talking to, but still answered the phone with a term of endearment! It’s also very common to sign off on emails with a simple x or two if you’re feeling it.
Swearing is ok
While I don’t have enough experience working in an office to build this opinion myself, from what I’ve been told, cursing at the work place is much more common here that it is in the US. After dropping a few expletives the man who I sit next to turned to me, “They don’t speak like that in the US do they?” he said, smiling. I’m fairly confident they don’t, partially because some of the words he used haven’t quite caught on in states yet.
Well, that’s all I can think to share at the moment. I’m off to Budapest this weekend! You can look forward to a blog post about that sometime next week.