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Schedule Shock in America
Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 88: “Schedule Shock in America:When to Eat, Work, and Sleep in the US.”
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, Native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel,’ from Boston, USA.
In this episode, you’ll learn how to adjust to an American schedule.
Gabby: How’s it going?
Lindsay: It’s all right.
Gabby: All right. All right. All right.
Yeah. So we’ve been getting some awesome reviews from Spain.
Lindsay: Yeah. We want to say “Thank you so much” to our listeners in Spain:
Javier, Monichica, Manu-ES, bbggpp, Lydia1546, Mvaldi, and Mac Manolo, Thank you so much. I also want to say thank you to our loyal listeners Joanand Alfonso. Thanks guys for listening.
Gabby: We love you guys.
Lindsay: We love you guys.
Gabby: Thank you for listening.
Lindsay: And please go over to the iTunes store in your country and leave us a review if you haven’t done that yet. That helps us to keep this show going for you.
Gabby: Yes, please. Speaking of Spain, we just read an article in, in the New York Times about how the, the Spanish people are reconsidering their daily schedules or their routine.
Lindsay: That’s right. Or the Spanish government is considering manipulating the time schedules. So we don’t know how you guys feel about that. We would be interested in maybe if you want to leave a comment on our blog and let us know how you feel about or that idea of the government going and changing the, the time schedules.
Gabby: It’s interesting to me because I went to Spain about seven years ago with three American girlfriends and, (you know), we wanted to go out to dinner our first night in Barcelona and we went out at 6 pm and everything was quiet, all the restaurants were closed. We thought it must be a national holiday. What’s wrong? What’s going on? We asked at the restaurants and they said “Well, it’s only 6 pm. What are you talking about? Come back later.” So we went back…Lindsay: That’s so funny that you showed up at 6 pm.
Gabby: 6 pm.
That’s so lame.
That’s American, right. It’s very American. We went back at 9 pm and still it was so empty. Nobody at the restaurants, but we were so hungry, so we, we went out, we sat down, we started eating and then around 10 pm people started showing up and I was shocked. I had no idea that people ate dinner so late. It, it seemed so late to us Americans.
Lindsay: So that was schedule shock for you?
Gabby: Yes, that was schedule shock. I love this term. So yeah because (you know) it’s typical to eat much later in Spain and some other countries, but in the US, what would you say (like) 6, 6:30?
Lindsay: (I mean) for me, yeah, these days I eat around 6 or 6:30 ‘cause (because) I, personally, I get up early. I like to get started with my work early.
Lindsay: So breakfast is at 6:30, lunch is at noon and dinner is at 6 or 6:30.
Gabby: Right, right. And we also get a much shorter break for lunch. (I mean) depends where you work, but it’s typical to have thirty minutes to an hour for lunch but never more than an hour.
Lindsay: Right, right. And lunch is not at two or three.
Gabby: No. It’s at noon.
Lindsay: Lunch is at noon or one maybe. Maybe if you work for a company.
Lindsay: 11-1, between 11 and 1.
Gabby: Yeah, but only one hour.
Lindsay: Only half an hour, an hour yeah.
Gabby: Exactly. So it’s just a little bit different. (Um) you know another thing is thetime we start work, right? (A) typical schedule here is 9-5.
Right. We even have as part of (kind of) a phrase, “Do you work a 9-5?” Right.
Lindsay: Right. That means do you work full-time?
Lindsay: Do you work eight hours a day, 40 hours a week?
Gabby: Typical job. So when I started work in Japan at a Japanese company, (um) they just told me, (you know), when I arrived – they picked me up from the airport and they said, “Okay, (you know) here, here’s your hotel. You stay here tonight and we’ll see you at work tomorrow morning.” I said “Great.” And I didn’t really ask what time they meant. I just assumed that it would be the same as American hours. (Um) so I showed up at the office at 9 am and no one was there.
Lindsay: You’ve been in a lot of awkward situations abroad.
Gabby: Where I’m the only one out, yes. So there were no lights on. Everything was dark in the office. So I just turned on the lights, I sat down by myself and then an hour later at 10 am, people started showing up.
Lindsay: (Aw man), that’s so funny. Another thing that I thought (uh) when I was living in Japan, in Tokyo, I also thought it was interesting that it’s very common in Japan to go out with your co-workers after work…Gabby: Yeah.
Lindsay: …and drink and that’s how professional relationships are built, which is …Gabby: Networking.
Lindsay: …so different…
Gabby: Very different.
Lindsay: …from here in the US. Whaddawe (what do we) do here in the US?
Gabby: Well you might set up a lunch appointment, (you know). There’s, there’s even a book called “Never Eat Alone” that talks about how you should network by eating lunch with other professionals, other co-workers.
Gabby: But we don’t typically go out after work to drink.
Gabby: Usually people leave the office and they go straight home.
Gabby: (You know) unless there’s (like) a special event like someone’s retiring or…Lindsay: Or sometimes if you’re in your 20s or early 30s, you might go out for happy hour as we were saying, with your…Gabby: Yeah.
Lindsay: …but happy hour with your co-workers would last maximum, a maximum of two hours. It really wouldn’t be all night.
Gabby: Maximum. People really want to go home.
Lindsay: You’d be home by 7 or 8.
Gabby: Yeah. So it’s, it’s really different than Japan.
Gabby: (Um) yeah, one least thing about schedules that I wanted to mention real
quick is for my students I work with who are from the Middle East, especially from Saudi Arabia, when they celebrate Ramadan, the holy month of Ramadan, it’s a big schedule shock because in their countries, work schedules, and stores, and (um) restaurants, they completely change to, (you know,) celebrate that month of, of Ramadan, whereas in the US,of course the schedule is the same. Our schedule in the US is always the same except for maybe, maybe one week for Christmas and New Year’s, where people take…Lindsay: Yeah, the week between Christmas and New Year’s, right.
Gabby: …take time off. Yeah. Yeah. So (you know) if you’re moving to the US or if you’re doing business with people from the US or in the US it’s really important to know about these things. And I think it’s interesting because no one really told me and you just, you either figure it out by having embarrassing situations or you listen to this podcast, (you know)…Lindsay: Yes, that’s a very good idea.
Gabby: …and we help you out. (Um) or you, you have to ask. You have to research, right.
Lindsay: Absolutely. You have to know in advance and if you have an American person coming to your country to do business with you, (you know), don’t be surprised if an American in Japan is wondering why he needs to join you for that drink after work.
Lindsay: And maybe be willing to explain that and say “Hey we’re actually doing business here.”Gabby: Right.
Lindsay: And we’re building business relationships.
Gabby: You could actually call it networking.
Lindsay: Yeah. You could use that term. He’ll get that.
Lindsay: He or she will get that.
Gabby: Exactly. That’s a great tip.
Lindsay: All right. Excellent. Thanks for listening in today guys
Gabby: Hey Lindsay. I heard that (uh) one of your students was talking about the transcripts.
Lindsay: Yeah. So (um) a student of mine in Spain was saying that he is really a visual learner, so he needs to not only listen to All Ears English every day, but he also needs to see the words.
Gabby: Yeah, that’s really helpful, I think, for a lot of people to read as they listen. So yeah, we wanted to remind you that we have the transcripts available at our website, www.allearsenglish.com/conversations. And the transcripts are just the text of what you’re hearing.
Lindsay: Yeah. Just every word that we’re saying spelled out for you. So there areno secrets. You’ll know exactly what you’re saying, we’re saying. So come on over.
Lindsay: If you want to put your ears into English more often, be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.
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