Zenspinner Chaosdancer (chaosdancer) wrote in betababel,
Zenspinner Chaosdancer

Oh, this is a lovely idea for a community! Thank you!

We had to deal with this at work. I work in a hospital and we recently had customer service training, or "BEHAVIOR" training as they call it - behavior is an acronym for something I've already forgotten. :) One of the letters stands for maintaining eye contact with patients when interacting with them. This is no doubt meant to alleviate complaints by patients that doctors just come in and start *doing* things to them, treating them like a big cluster of parts and not a human being. But a fellow employee from China pointed out that this would be an extremely rude thing to do to an Asian person. Maintaining eye contact in that manner is a sign of contempt, apparently. And our Somalian patients, of which we have quite a number, really wish we would ask them before touching them, as you don't just reach out and grab somebody's wrist to take a pulse in Somalia. That's unspeakably rude there.

This doesn't seem to have made much of an impression on management, because the same course is still being taught in the very same way, assuming that our Midwestern American cultural standards are the norm for everybody. I wish they were teaching true cultural sensitivity to the different groups you're likely to find here - or at the very least, would teach employees to ask how a patient would like to be treated if they seem uncomfortable with what's going on.

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