Each of the dialogues that appears below contains an example of a cultural misunderstanding. The PCV does not recognize power distinctions in the same way as do people in the host country.
|As you read each dialogue, note in the space below the difference in interpretation that you detect.
1. Bosses have Their Reasons
PCV: What did the headmistress decide?
HCN: She said we should put our plan in motion now.
PCV: But it's not ready.
HCN: I know, but she must have her reasons.
PCV: I don't think she's thought it through.
HCN: Maybe not, but she's the boss.
PCV: I'm going to talk to her. I think I can change her mind.
2. A Surprise for the Chief
PCV: I finally figured out how to solve our storage problems.
PCV: We could clean out that shed by the parking lot. It's full of rotting crates that aren't good anymore.
HCN: That's a great idea. What did Mr. Plonc say?
PCV: The chief? I didn't tell him yet. I want to surprise him.
3. The Golden Spoon
HCN: Where do you want to have lunch?
PCV: How about the Golden Spoon?
PCV: I'm going to invite the provincial representative, since he's visiting.
HCN: Mr. Kamini? He won't eat with us. He'll eat with the supervisors.
PCV: He might like to let his hair down with us commoners.
4. A Lesson
APCD: Did you talk with your department head?
PCV: Mr. Biswas? I thought about it, but he's hopeless.
APCD: I know. He was given that job as a favor.
PCV: I'm going to go straight to the dean.
APCD: Now there's somebody who gets results.
PCV: Maybe this will teach Biswas a lesson.
APCD: How do you mean?
PCV: If you don't do your job, people will go around you.