I Need Some Cheek Salve
Yeah, so I’ve talked a lot here on the blog about my job and working with folks around the globe. I am having a lot of fun and getting pretty gosh darn smart about the different cultures in the regions where I’m working.
But there’s one thing I’m having a LOT of trouble with.
It’s the kiss-cheek greeting thing.
The Euro folks seem to favor this method, and it’s not one cheek, but both. Shake hands, smooch one side, smooch the other side.
Suddenly, I become VERY rigid when I see these supplier reps coming in for a landing on my face. Gah!
Just this week, we had a VERY large meeting where there were, I kid you not, eight people who flew in from London for a meeting. I greeted them in the lobby and had to kiss-kiss all eight of these sumnabitches.
I don’t even know all of them. Hell, I don’t even LIKE most the ones I do know.
But they all stood in line to smooch-smooch me.
Then…when the two hour meeting was over, it was time to leave, and they all lined up to smooch-smooch me on the way out.
I felt a little…mauled…by the time the day was through.
Might I add that I was the only girl in the room of eight external people and five coworkers. There was no kissy-kissy between the guys. No, I got the brunt of the moist greetings.
Damnit! I’m an American! We like a little bit of space in our greetings! Also, I’m no good at the kiss-kiss. I never know where to land the thing. Do just sort of kiss the air? Or do I actually place it? And what if, horror of horrors, I miss and land it wrong?
I did accidentally bump noses with one of the dudes. Is that bad form?
All that aside, it just seems…wrong…to get to get that intimate with a freaking supplier. They aren’t my friends! They aren’t in my confidence! THEY ARE SUPPLIERS and therefore need to be treated at arm’s length to be sure they remember their boundaries.
Then again, maybe this is all a negotiation tactic to throw me off my game. Ooh, if I think about it that way, this kissy-kissy crap seems diabolical.
Mostly it just makes me uncomfortable.