Tuesday, May 26, 2015

the disobliging swede


I've always known - based on mainly first hand experience but also talking with friends - though perhaps not put it into words because it's such a sad and unfortunate feature, the fact that Swedes in general are quite the selfish, self righteous and not least the disobliging sort.

In the age of social media they are always eager to see, be seen, share, like, retweet and do favours for the (for more often than not ungraspable reasons) "in crowd". And in the pre-social media age it was the same, minus the like, share and retweet. While not the least bit interested to do the same for others. No matter how like, share and retweet-worthy the not so in crowd people are. From ignoring at best to see through evasive manouvers and down right offensive reactions.

I am certainly not one of those, I'm always happy to share, like and retweet good stuff and interesting pieces from good people. If anything I avoid sharing, liking and retweeting stuff from the mysterious "in crowd" because a) more often than not it's not really interesting, well-written or share-worthy (to be honest) and b) a gazillion other people less discerning act like a sheeple and share, like and retweet it already.

And I'm not one to ask for favours often. I want to be capable of doing the things that need to be done myself. Figure things out, finding the information, then asking for feedback from a few trusted.

But on the odd occasion I do ask for a simple enough favour. And one would think since it's such a simple favour more people would take a few minutes to help.

Alas no, do not be surprised if a Swede doesn't acknowledge the question at all. Ignoring is the perfect answer to most everything.

Of course they in no way connect the behave towards others as you want others to behave towards you dots. That others should like, retweet, share and endorse is a given. But do not expect me to do the same.

This week this have become ever so clear. It's not the end of the world (obviously), but it's really dispiriting.

It has also become clear that non-Swedes are much more interesting to give positive feedback, like, share and retweet good things without a thought about the "in crowd" bit.

Swedes disobliging behaviour both on- and offline is a sad sad thing. Petulant, childish and selfish. Me-me-media, yes! Social, that means interacting, right? Not for me. Talk yes, listen shouldn't think so.

Yes I've been fortunate with the Swedish clients I've had so far, one might say they've been exception to a general Swedishness rude rule. But I really love working with clients in other countries, it's interesting and developing on whole other levels. I also find that overseas clients in general are better at saying "thank you" where Swedes take things for granted.

Yet another situation where I as a born and bred Swede find myself being a very round peg trying to fit in to an uncomfortably square and alien hole.

All that said - it really really did have to be said - I'm very much looking forward to next week, because I have some great meetings planned for a much needed change. Of focus, scenery and people.

End of rant.

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