Cross-Cultural Realities at Work
ME: I am a nursing supervisor and a student from the nursing department. I am conducting this interview to explore the diversities that exist amongst individuals and the relationship with the activities we undertake in the work setting. What is your name?
INTERVIEWEE: I am Carlos.
ME: Will you mind spending some of your time for the interview?
INTERVIEWEE: it’s okay. I won’t mind.
ME: I appreciate you for giving me your time as well as opinion.
ME: What kind of work do you do?
INTERVIEWEE: I undertake supervisory role for the entire maintenance service.
ME: How long have you been doing it?
INTERVIEWEE: 16 years.
ME: Can you describe a typical workday?
INTERVIEWEE: A typical day would entail providing a conducive environment for patients, staff members and all the individuals that consume hospital services. When I report in the morning, I assign various members of my team to various planned maintenance services while others will also respond to the emergent maintenance services. I will go round assessing the progress of the emergent services and assist where necessary before embarking on the planned maintenance.
ME: Why did you end up doing this work? What kind of person often does this sort of work? (And would you consider yourself typical?)
INTERVIEWEE: I ended up doing this task after undergoing technical training where I learned various skills such as carpentry, masonry and metal works. This work is usually done by the less educated and energetic.
ME: What do you like about this work?
INTERVIEWEE: The maintenance activities are ever diverse hence they are fascinating throughout.
ME: What is difficult about this work?
INTERVIEWEE: the work is usually involving and tiresome.
ME: How do patients, healthcare workers, and other hospital workers treat you? What do they think about the job you do?
INTERVIEWEE: In most cases, they despise me for being less educated and meant to engage in casual activities. This disregard usually originates from the perception of other colleagues and me being less educated.
ME: How does being an older Mexican play into the work you do?
INTERVIEWEE: Being a Mexican, I limit my duties to weekdays and attend church service on Sunday in the Catholic church, I consider Sunday a resting moment and cannot report to work at all. At the same time, our culture requires inclusiveness hence as a supervisor; I like interacting with the juniors and working with them to show our unit in achieving our objectives.
ME: Has this work changed the way you think about yourself and the world?
INTERVIEWEE: Yes. I have learned about my ways of doing things is different with others, and for us to get along well, then we have to tolerate each other. This reasoning has made me even to yearn to move to various places to learn the way of life of other people.
ME: What are some cultural values that are important to you?
INTERVIEWEE: I significantly value family and take much of the time to spend with them when I am off duty.
ME: Do you think these are similar to or different from mainstream American culture? Please explain your ideas.
INTERVIEWEE: They are relatively different from the American culture. This difference can be associated with the Americans believing in individuality and against dependence, unlike the Mexicans who are dependent on the family and parents and value them. At the same time, the Americans like privacy and enjoying time alone unlike us who like socializing and organizing parties in our homes with friends.
ME: What do you like best about American culture? What do you like least?
INTERVIEWEE: I am usually fascinated by the Americans by the way they use their time constructively and in a strict way. They are usually on time for appointments and duties which is great for them. I am however not impressed by their privacy. Getting to know what is in their mind is not easy and is even considered to be intrusive.
The interviewee is a 62-year-old man from Mexico and works in the maintenance department as a supervisor. The maintenance services are ever on demand hence require a vigilant, industrious, experienced and a unifying person that can mobilize its team to fit the situation just like Carlos turns to fit the job. Having been working in the department for the last 16 years and acting as a unifying factor, Carlos is experienced to guide various duties within the department. Being a Mexican known for inclusivity, he forms the best person to mobilize various individuals to undertake the maintenance duties.
The Mexican culture rotates around religion as the majority of them being Christians. They also value inclusivity and like organizing meetings and parties at their residential areas(Campbell, Slack & Diedrich, 2017).). Indeed from the interview, one need to be culturally competent and sensitive to accommodate and get along with various people. At the same time, the cultural interaction can prompt learning of various cultural believes and values which can be beneficial to an individual.
Campbell, N., & Kean, A. (2016). American cultural studies: an introduction to American
Campbell, H., Slack, J., & Diedrich, B. (2017). Mexican Immigrants, Anthropology, and United
States Law: Pragmatics, Dilemmas, and Ethics of Expert Witness Testimony. Human
Organization, 76(4), 326-335.