Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cultural Time Zones

The company for which I work has its headquarters, and the majority of its employees, in a city in the south. It resides in the Central Time Zone of the United States.

The office from which I work is on the west coast of the US, in the time zone known as Pacific.

So there is a two hour time difference between us an HQ. This always makes for a bit of comedy/annoyance when it comes to scheduling conference calls that require attendees from both locations.

Still, a two hour time difference is not so bad, is it?

It would not be, except that we are also separated by a two hour "cultural" time zone.

The people at HQ seem to be early risers. They like to get into the office at 7am and head out the door around 4pm. Finding somebody that will answer the phone there after 4pm can be a trial.

Out here on the laid back left coast, at least in my department, 9am is a more likely starting time, and if you are still around at 7pm, you are probably not alone. We work late.

This means that there is really only a very narrow window of time when one can schedule a meeting and expect full attendance from both sides, and there is much grousing when meetings fall outside of that window.

There is one other cultural chasm exists between the two offices. One group is always on time for meetings and one of them is always, chronically late.

Ironically, it is the early risers at HQ that are always late, while the left coast crew is always on time.

I'm not sure what this means.

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