Thursday, December 2, 2010
Will Miss #261 - not sweating the small stuff
When I talk about character traits, I'm talking about tendencies, not each individual person. There are cultural concepts that underlie the tendencies of people in their particular culture and each person acts a little differently. Mainly, I'm talking about behavioral probabilities. When it comes to getting upset about small things, the Japanese are much more likely than not to just let it go. If their latte comes back with whole milk when they ordered skim, they'll drink it and forget about it. If they asked for Asahi beer and got Sapporo, they'll drink it and not complain. Many Americans complain about the least little thing as if there was a major failing on the part of the person providing the product or service. Some people will not only complain, but harangue anyone who serves them the wrong food or drink or carries out less than perfect service.*
I will miss the tendency to just accept small problems or mistakes and forgive and forget on the part of Japanese people.
*If you don't believe me, check out the Consumerist where some of its archives contain ridiculous complaints (esp. some of the Starbucks and fast food stories) about marginal issues.