I met my now business partner Jason Proch at a business conference in New York some years ago. After our initial meeting it was clear that we had the same ideas when it came to business and so we decided to relocate from America and instead try out the business which we had put together here in the UK. The business has been and is doing very well here in the UK and Jason has now fully integrated with life here, something which as I have learned, is not always easy for an American. Jason and I were chatting the other day about the hardest aspects which he has had to adapt to , and I thought that I would share them as some advice for any other Americans heading over here to live.
Something which Jason took a while to get his head around was the fact that we very rarely tip here in the UK. The only exceptions to this rule are for people who go above and beyond the call of duty, or perhaps if you are in a very nice hotel. The wages here in the UK are far higher than the US for people in service positions and that is why tipping is not always required.
Rude to Friends
Something which I hadn’t realized until Jason pointed it out to me was that we Brits often use insults as terms of endearment towards our friends. He recounted many times that I had introduced him to someone, suggesting that they were an idiot or a fool ( perhaps using slightly stronger words) as I introduced him. If you hear anything like this going on, we do say these things with the best of intentions!
Something which I can certainly attest to is that driving in the UK is a far more relaxed experience than in the US, with the exception of driving in the heart of busy cities. In the US it just seems as though everyone has a rush, everyone is in a hurry to get from A to B and they know that in order to do that, they must see every other driver as an enemy. In the UK this is not the case and we are in fact a very friendly bunch on the road, in the main at least.
Americans have a difficult time with sarcasm I have noticed and in Jason’s case it took him quite some time to realize what we were talking about. I can remember the first week when he gave me a huge list of tasks to complete and I jokingly told him that I would also strap a broom to my back and clean the floor as I went. Utterly bemused by this he asked me why I would need to clean the floor when the cleaner had just been in the morning. As you can see, it is not something which can be adapted to very quickly, but eventually you’ll get it.