Here is an excerpt from the class we’re developing on interpersonal communications:

When you first join an organization, you probably feel somewhat uncertain about what is expected of you and how the organization operates. During your first few months on the job, you undergo a socialization process where, by observing what the organization says and does, you learn how the organizational culture operates.

Understanding the culture helps people recognize what is important in the organization. It also helps them feel connected to the organization and develops an esprit de corps and a sense of belonging. The culture helps people predict and control what goes on in the organization.

Ideally, the culture also operates as a set of guiding principles for the organization. It sets a tone and guides the company’s actions both inside the organization and with the public.

Just reading this stuff reminds me of what a bad start I had at my job when I began a year or so ago and the uncomfortability that resulted from the poor choices I made. I had not anticipated the intense cultureshock mixed the language barrier and the moving to a new place. Wow! Looking back, I can’t believe I did it. A teacher at the Seattle YMCA told me before I left about Machu Pichu and after her trek up it she believed she could do anything. Perhaps I done everything in Buenos Aires with style and grace, but I am still here with good friends, a great job, and a feeling that now I can do anything.

way too much time

I was talking with my coworker about getting some steak for lunch and i drew him a picture on MSN Messenger:
The conversation continued like this:

coworker: you have way too much time on your hands
nathan: jeje. don’t worry. i have the same amount you do. 24 hours a day
coworker: jajaja
nathan: people tend to link creativity and art with wastefulness and lack of productivity. it works to my disadvantage
coworker: jajaja – sorry that was art? dude you have spent too much time at the modern art museums
nathan: i’ll take it as a compliment

And the fact is that in a way it WAS a compliment. I work hard at my job and I try to do it with humor and in a way that brings something nice to the office. My coworker was trying to be funny. He is a really nice guy, no two ways about it. His comments, however, taken at face value show how needlessly negative we are as a culture in how we joke.

one year later…

It’s been about a year and a half since I left the states and about a year since I’ve been silent on this blog. It hasn’t been intentional… But the fact is that it’s super super hard to write when you know the folks you’re around. Not just because they might read it and judge you for it but also cause you feel like you’re spilling intimate secrets. It’s ugly to spill your guts out for all to see but i’m also scared to sanitize all, focusing only on lowest common denomenator, the pithy messages that tell little about my own life and experiences.

But I think that now it’s time to start writing again. In about 3 weeks I’ll go home and I want to document as much as I can.

Looking Presidential: Expat Frustration

Elections recently passed in Buenos Aires and of course I didn’t vote.  It’s just like in the States except I have an excuse: here I can’t. The biggest difference was that I really have no idea what’s at stake in the politics here and it’s not like the advertisements or what anyone talked about highlighted the differences between the candidates.  In face, I wasn’t privy to any cool political conversations.  People I hang out with apparently don’t like to chat about politics.

This doesn’t mean I’m not interested in US politics.  On the contrary, I follow politics a lot, listening to a ton of NPR podcasts and news.  Well, recently there’s a lot of talk about the idea of “looking presidential.”