Crossing cultures

Posted by jerry on September 1st, 2004 — Posted in Journal, Writing

I just had to respond to something in Sara’s blog (Sara Splits Infinitives) As an Australian, I spent a little time in London, okay I suppose it was fairly central, and I needed a plumber – what with the pipes being of indeterminate age….

Anyhow the plumber turned up as I arrived home to grab some lunch, so I asked him if he’d like a coffee or tea. He looked at me standing there in my work clobber of chalk-stripe suit and tie as though I were from another planet, and started calling me ‘Guv’.

So I said ‘mate, the name’s Jerry, and what’s with the deference thing?’ I made him coffee and we talked a bit about how strange I was finding all this class stuff, so he asked me how I saw the situation.

I said ‘well, you’re a businessman, and you have a skill that I don’t have, and that I respect – and that makes me one of your clients… does it really matter that my overalls look a bit different? I’m sure we both like a beer after work…’ ‘Really?’ he said, ‘you know, I never thought of it like that!’ I’m not sure whether he was more surprised that I made him coffee, or that I had taken the time to talk with him!


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