I’m in East Texas (edge of the South) but I telecommute with teams in NYC, New Jersey, and Chicago and there really is a big cultural gap. We are obsessed with being polite, they are obsessed with being politically correct (to the point of rudeness*). I get comments from project managers and engineers in cross functional teams all the time asking to work with me because I’m easy to work with while other team members are rude and in a hurry all the time. I had a comment last week asking if there were more of us from Texas they could work with instead of the New Jersey corporate office. It is just how we are raised.
*I have a big Christmas story around this I have to share one day about the ultra-lib obsessed over not offending anyone at Christmas that he was demanding we didn’t get our boss a gift.. crazy stuff.
In the 23 years of my work experience, my first job, our company had facilities in various parts of the country including NJ and AL. The people in AL were the nicest folks and very polite. They would get us lunch and they brought some good food especailly BBQ.
However, the NJ facility, when we were there, we constantly had to walk on eggshells. We were told that we had to be very formal and demure, we were also instructed to dress much nicer and that even included weekends. We were in NJ for two weeks too install new system. And when installing the new system, we had to constantly ask permission to do this and that. The funny thing, for lunch, they always bought us fast food and for dinner, we did dinner on our own and excluded them.
Our last night there, we went to a very nice place to eat with the NJ folks. It was the kind of place where there were no prices on the menu. One person in our group ordered Filet Mignon and I ordered lobster. We were told thanks for hard work and were more than welcome to order anything on the menu. Two weeks after we got back to Indy from the NJ trip, I got called in and got chewed out about the lobster. The general manager (GM) was pretty livid that I ordered lobster and how I haven’t paid my dues to society and I need to know my place. My response back was if the GM felt I didn’t deserve to eat at a nice place, he should have been upfront and said so, of course I would have something to say to him afterward though. Nothing was ever said about the filet mignon.
In later years of my career, I have found that I don’t care to deal with people from the US Northeast especially New Jersey. Not nice people and they vote democrat too ! And the executive types are the type I don’t care to deal with. In my current job, I had to deal with a NJ customer and it started with a phone call from an East Indian and I pushed back and then the phone changed changed immediately and I was dealing with an Executive VP and he just started barking one order after another laced with threats such as filing a lawsuit and criminal charges if I didn’t fix his problem this instant. A real POS if you ask me. My manager and legal got involved.
When I worked at Lockheed Martin, we had counterparts in Gaithersburg, MD and they were a PITA to deal with. They plan things out but they never tell what they are and they expect you to drop whatever you are doing this instant and do work for them. I even politely asked them if they can tell us what is being planned so we can be prepared and get some work done ahead of time so it can be done well instead of having to do it in a hurry. They gave a curt response back they were not going to work that way and insisted that we are expected to be at their “beck and call” whenever. When it came to vacation, they told us that we don’t start vacation until Saturday morning and we were expected to be available into Friday night for whatever work they wanted done. And I really pissed them off when I left like on Thu afternoon or Fri morning after I had my 40 hours. They usually call me 5 minuted before I am ready to leave with bunch of work that they wanted done and I told them to find someone else to do it or it can wait until I got back. How they knew, we were required to put in our availability time in our calendar.
The gist of it, I don’t care to deal with East Coast people especailly with their entitlement mentality and having to constantly have to be very careful in how I dealt with them since almost anything can set them off and they demand to talk to your manager.
> Im in East Texas (edge of the South) but I telecommute with teams in NYC, New Jersey, and Chicago and there really is a big cultural gap. We are obsessed with being polite, they are obsessed with being politically correct (to the point of rudeness*).
My company has offices in a number of states, among them Texas and California.
In Cali nobody dares say merry Christmas or even happy holidays.
In Texas everyone says merry Christmas, and refers to all the holidays by their proper name. Easter also.
I’ve died an gone to heaven :)
(yes, am in Texas now)