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Transfer From US job to UK job...Tips, tricks, etiquette :)

Transfer From US job to UK job...Tips, tricks, etiquette :)

Old Dec 15th, 2013, 08:33 AM
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Funny . . When I first moved to London and established a branch office for the company, we hired as many Brits as possible . . in one of the sessions where we were trying to understand each other better, the most common complaint about the yanks was that we were too blunt . . did not engage in pleasantries and tended to go straight to the heart of an issue.

MommaBrawls, you seem to have an open mind which is the most important characteristic an ExPat can have. I lived in London but did visit Farnborough a few times . . it seems to be a very pleasant place to live.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 09:59 AM
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Thank you all this is such wonderful feedback and I already have found all your books suggested and websites!

Question though...how can I learn more about how your government operates...

It was suggested to me to be careful in regards to politics and what not since I said I loved Top Gear ...not so that I can interject an opinion of any government topics but so I do not feel totally lost in conversation and know when to keep my mouth closed lol as that much is the same in America lol!

ALSO, if any of you also have blogs or something I would love to follow your intrigues!
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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I think one if he biggest things us to pick out your football team ��
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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For politics, have a look at the online versions of the Guardian and Telegraph. They are both quality newspapers at opposite ends of the political spectrum.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 11:47 AM
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I presume we are talking about Farnborough, Hampshire? I lived in the area for around eight years. Farnborough itself is nothing to write home about. The town centre itself has always been a little run down when I've visited.

There are some very pleasant areas roundabouts, although the proximity to London makes it quite expensive commuter belt.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 12:28 PM
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"be careful in regards to politics and what not since I said I loved Top Gear"

Clarkson is generally thought, by the clueless about how Britain works, to be a chum of PM David Cameron. Clarkson's show is also the one eco-fascists love to hate, so liking Top Gear is widely believed to be tantamount to expressing support for the party that commanded more votes than any other at the last election.

Among eco-fascists, and their groupies, getting most votes PROVES a party's beneath contempt. So, the logic goes, if you like Top Gear you must be in favour of whatever horror eco-fascists are trying to pin on the government this week .

The "chum" allegation is mainly based on the fact that, until his wife kicked him out, Clarkson was a neighbour of Cameron (and me). I've no idea whether he's speaking to his wife again, or where he's living (he's not been seen for months sheepishly buying a ticket at the railway station we all share - but trains are rather against his religion).

I can't understand why anyone needs to be careful about this. Most people most of us know self-evidently vote differently from us, and civilised life is all about dealing with that. Raucous debate is an essential part of our way of life: what else is there to talk about?

Religion, OTOH, is quite different. I've just been at my church's post-Advent Carol Service mulled wine party. Even the parish priest didn't talk about religion. Expressing any public interest in the subject (beyond the statutory "they're all dodgy, but this new Pope sounds as if he mightn't be as bad as the others") means complete social exclusion.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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Flanner just lost me on Clarkson (I don't watch that much TV) and no idea what an Eco-fascist is. However he is spot on about Church of England which as the state religion tries to avoid any religious activity.

Since you will find more religions in the this country than you can shake a stick at do not be surprised that very few people will discuss the subject (probably due to having so many deaths attributed to "discussion" over the last few hundred years).

To give a flavour of this my own small town has 22 Public Houses but 27 houses of organised religion, the vast majority of which are ex-directory.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 12:52 PM
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flanneruk is a (Roman) Catholic.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 01:34 PM
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>>how can I learn more about how your government operates...<<

Don't get me started......

But if you mean, how does an enthusiasm for Top Gear get to drag politics into the discussion, this is perhaps more of an example of the British (or maybe it's a more English phenomenon) habit of looking for all sorts of "markers" to try and place people socially, as to whether they're likely to be people to feel broadly comfortable with or "Not Quite Our Sort". So Jeremy Clarkson is identified not only with being a petrolhead, but he also has a sideline in opinionating about a whole range of issues. In that business, being "controversial" is what it's all about, so fans of his might well find themselves assumed to be a bit less than right-on when it comes to climate change, the status of women, and so on.

You'll find quite a lot in the Kate Fox book mentioned above about this process of finding social markers, which for us might be in terms of where you went to school, where you send your children to school, where you shop, where you live and how you decorate it, whether and what you drive, what paper you read and TV programmes you watch, and so on. Since you'll be coming from outside, it can't work as comprehensively with you, but you might find people trying to place you in relation to whatever they find comfortable or uncomfortable about their perceptions of the US and whatever has been reported here about the US recently.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 03:44 PM
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I had no idea how involved this is for Clarkson...I'm glad I know now that this may not be the way to go...but as far as car shows goes I still like it

Again thank u all, I have also picked up the other book and council site these are great!
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 04:58 PM
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One piece of advice from a 30 year Expat . . Do take time to explore the culture and environment during your assignment. It's easy to get involved up to your neck in the job and not take advantage of the opportunity to see the country your are assigned to.

I lived in London twice and only really explored it after retirement. By the time I got into the third assignment ( Cairo), I learned there is more to life than the office and took the time to see the place I was living! What a difference it made!
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 06:14 PM
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@rich thank you that is for sure going to happen! I'm in a unique position with my co to make this happen too
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 10:01 PM
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>>.I'm glad I know now that this may not be the way to go...but as far as car shows goes I still like it<<

If anyone looks askance, just turn it into a trivial and apparently self-deprecating joke - "I like cars, I'm American, what else can I say? By the way, this cake you made is delicious", or whatever.

The point I didn't mention about the "looking for markers" thing is that we avoid all sorts of personal questions, particularly about money. So all those markers help you make your own (silent) guesses about how much someone earns or paid for their house, as well as whether they might be likely to go off on some embarrassing or infuriating rant about some cause that's dear to your heart. Other people's enthusiasms are often considered embarrassing, unless treated as private and personal eccentricities (or unless, of course, you share them). One exception is that you can never go wrong by saying nice things about someone's garden (even if you hate it).
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 10:04 PM
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<i>On British understatement: http://imgur.com/eyJNd</i>

None of them are understatement - understatement is saying "nothing serious" when in reality everything is going to Heck
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 02:35 AM
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Not understatement, but some are useful.
"You must come for dinner", is politeness. You may get an invitation, but don't be offended if you don't.
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 03:50 AM
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And "I hear what you say" = "It's still nonsense, no matter how loud or how often you keep saying it".
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 04:32 AM
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Interest I was taught to use "I hear what you say" when working with Americans by British managers as a way of satisfying their need to believe someone was listening to them when you didn't want to tell them what you really thought as it excludes concepts like "I understand what you are on about". I struggle with most US sporting phrases and have no idea what a "five" is unless it's a concrete court to play a game in, hence "high five" is meaningless
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 04:36 AM
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The most seasonal such saying is "We really must meet up in 2014".

My apologies for what I appear to have stirred up with my comments on Top Gear, but I think Patrick is right when he says it is something of a social marker. It is also a more significant one than a liking for Downton Abbey would be, for example. The best policy is to wait until discussion in the office comes round to a particular topic, judge how it is being approached, and then add some intelligent remark of your own.

I understand that some Americans still watch "Are you being served" and old Benny Hill shows. Expressing a fondness for either of those would probably be social and cultural death.
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 05:37 AM
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My circle of mums very rarely discusses Top Gear but daggers and handbags were drawn when I mentioned a preference for Robbie Williams over Gary Barlow.

(Translation for MommaB, Take That is sort of like the English Nsync, super popular boy band that dissolved and one boy, Robbie Williams, went on to be much more successful than the others including Gary Barlow, sort of like Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass.)
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 05:43 AM
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>>I understand that some Americans still watch "Are you being served" and old Benny Hill shows. Expressing a fondness for either of those would probably be social and cultural death.<<

In certain quarters, perhaps. But the spirit of the end of the pier lives on in some of us.

And I am unanimous in that.
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