The best part about working for a large, international corporation is interacting with people from all aspects of life. Coworkers within these companies vary from race, religion, culture, and geographic locations. Regardless of the differences, one thing is true about where I work; they are all great people. Influences from China and India are most common in my work environment. I’ve had the pleasure to work side by side with a fellow millennial from Chongqing, China (a population of around 30 million people) this year for three months, and it has changed my perception of the world for the better. I’ve decided to interview him, and below are the questions and answers. To keep him anonymous, I will use his name as “The Man” (a funny catch phrase he learned while in the U.S.).
Myself: Before coming to the U.S., what were your views and opinions of the American people and culture?
“The Man”: Most of my views about the American people and culture are from movies, TV series, and the news in China. Before heading to the U.S., I thought American people were avant-garde, high educated, clever, willing to express their ideas publicly, and enthusiastic about things they like! As far as culture, the idea of freedom was very impressive (i.e. free to express your culture, free to vote, and free for everyone to come from everywhere).
Myself: As your plane took off in China, what sort of feelings did you have (nervousness, anxiety, scared, excited) and why?
“The Man”: I was very excited because I had the chance to see the real U.S.A. instead of what is seen from TV in China. In my mind, U.S.A. should be the best country in the world because it attracts the most immigrants. When I was a child, I dreamed to see what the U.S.A. looks like, and at that time on that flight, I realized my dream was coming true.
Myself: After spending three months in the U.S. and returning home, how was your overall experience? Did it live up to your expectations and why or why not?
“The Man”: If I had to score my experience from 0-10, I would give it an 8. My experience lost some points because Houston is not that modernized and very old compared to my hometown (Chongqing, China). Without driving you can’t do anything in Houston, which isn’t convenient. However, the city is covered with many parks and always has blue skies (most Americans don’t realize that the larger cities in China are covered with smog throughout the year), which is very impressive to me. Most people in Houston are very nice, and willing to greet people and smile. Hard working Americans confirmed my idea of western people’s work ethic. I have been to Finland, Spain and Germany, but Americans are the hardest working people I have seen, just like the Chinese! So overall I will give Houston an 8, but of course this doesn’t apply for all U.S. cities.
Myself: Name a few aspects of the Chinese culture that could improve the U.S. culture.
“The Man”: The one culture that could help the U.S.A. become better is not the Chinese culture but the Asian culture in general, especially the Ninja Spirit (originates in Japan). The Ninja Spirit is the mindset of failing 100 times, but still pursuing success at the 101th time. The mindset of suffering before success and persevering to obtain something you want. It’s my favorite culture/spirit, and I hope you can understand my expression.
Myself: Has your opinion of the American people and culture changed since your return back home? Why or why not?
“The Man”: Not really. You are what I imaged before, very cool! Maybe the TV series are too realistic, and so what I have seen on TV is what you are!!!
Myself: Do you plan on returning for reasons outside of work? Why and where would you go?
“The Man”: Sure, there are many places I haven’t been, but I want to travel with my wife in the future to the following places: Grand Canyon (to experience the most famous U.S.A. travel destination), Yellowstone National Park (my geography teacher told me fifteen years ago that Yellowstone National Park is one of the places you must visit, so that is a dream of mine), Las Vegas (to experience the wilder side of the American culture and people), and Route 66 (just want to drive cross the U.S.A., LOL).
Well I hope everyone enjoyed the interview. “The Man” has been one of the best motivators and coworkers that I’ve met in my short lifetime. All of these positive attributes have nothing to do with his race, religion, culture, or background but exist because he is a great person. If you are reading this, I look forward to working with you again in the future my friend. Don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!
“We all smile in the same language.”
Book of the Month: “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie