A Great Collection of Nonsense From a South Of The Border Guy

So it was not only me [The Canadian Salutation Protocol]

In From Everyday Life on February 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Today I started a new training. Is a training on “speaking strategies”. In this training, a canadian ESL teacher takes some time and charges the company to teach us, the “non-english-as-a-first-language-immigrants-workers” about how to communicate effectively with our new world.

Immigration Canada asking for Passports at Toronto. They can be rude sometimes.

Immigration Canada asking for Passports at Toronto. They can be rude sometimes.

For example, instead of bringing out of our our pocket a piece of gold or an emerald in exchange for a mirror or some poutine, we can now say “Hi!” and smile to our local counterpart at the office! Beautiful, eh?

We are six. Five “east-of-the-border” workers and me (I guess that makes me a “visible minority” inside a “visible minority” group I guess). And, believe it or not, many of us experienced strange moments while trying to understand the protocol for salutation used in this country. For instance…

  • You walk into the office, arrive to your cubicle and say “Hi” or “Good Morning” to your neighbour local “cublicler” But he does not reply. Never. Any day.
  • You try the same with others during the rest of the day at the office… chances are you get a 25% positive responses to your good morning salutation.
  • But, when you go for a walk in your neighborhood or you are at the bus stop or you cross with anyone out there a smile or an eye contact is just enough to receive a “Hi!” from that stranger that, chances are, you will never see again.

So… What a fuck is wrong here? When should I say Hi or not? Well… our local teacher is teaching us that and many more entertaining things that I will share with you during the coming weeks.

Now I have to go… I’m kind of under the weather today (I learned that too today!)

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  1. I don’t know what the deal is with people who don’t respond to your Hi, either. It happens to me, too. Maybe people just get tired of saying hello. Sometimes I pass the same person 20 times a day and they say hello each time. That gets boring. But I’ll usually say good morning unless for some reason I didn’t hear them or I’m so wrapped up in what I’m doing I didn’t notice. It’s happened. I look forward to reading more about your class.

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