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My experience of working in London for 4 years was that I thought I had lots of friends - in work and around the fringes of work.  However when I left the UK (but not the company) hardly any stayed in contact - although I remained on the same corporate e-mail system.  The friendship seemed largely instrumental, about career advancement, getting the work done etc.  Even those I had helped very substantially in their careers disappeared.

Whereas in Ireland, friendships originating in a work context often transcended the work context, to the point where the work context becomes irrelevant or incidental.  Perhaps it was because I never saw myself as settling down in the UK, or because it is much larger, more urbanised and more mobile society.  People rarely stayed with the company more than a few years in the UK - whereas in Ireland the norm was lifetime employment increasingly undermined as the "English" managerial culture became dominant.

Certainly there was no sense that the English would ever challenge the corporate system, whereas many Irish prided themselves on their subversive capabilities. Perhaps it is reflective of the difference between a colonised and a colonising culture.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 06:26:36 PM EST
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