Screaming in Sweden

Monday + Swedes = Grrrr….
October 29, 2007, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Sweden | Tags: , , ,

I had a bad day (it’s Monday, duh). Woke up with a slight cold, I literally had to drag myself out of the house to get to work. Not forgetting the pouring rain, gray sky, 10°C, and a bad umbrella.

And guess what?

I had to deal with the Swedes *winks*

Swedes are an odd bunch. And if you’re a Swede, you’re probably enjoying this – because you Swedes do secretly love reading and hearing about yourselves. Whether you like it or not, it’s fun to be reminded of how you are to foreign eyes, even if you’ve heard it all before.

After almost a year working in an office with 99% Swedes, I begin to believe that they are quite odd. For example, Swedish people like to have meetings. Rather than one long meeting, Swedish people like to have many short meetings. There would be some vague agenda, unclear meeting objectives, or a checklist, etc., but generally, these short meetings are quite informal.

I’m not saying that they are inefficient, in fact, these meetings are necessary in a Swedish office. As we all know, consensus is the key here. Swedish people like to make everyone happy. That is more important than the final decision itself. The risk is that we make a decision that makes everyone happy, but not exactly the best one.

But I guess, if something turns out bad, there’s more reason to have another meeting…

And then, there is no boss around here. Really. You’re pretty much working on your own, make your own deadline, postpone it if you like, organize your own meetings, in fact, plan your own goals, tasks, actions, and so on.

Of course, it all depends on what you do… like the programmers in our office (they do the scrum thingy), they have daily status meetings (standing up) to talk about what they did the day before. Pretty intensive.

Did someone say intensive? I have to deal with at least one (Swede) every day. Now THAT is intensive.


4 Comments so far
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Spot on! Can I use part of this text when I talk about cultures? :D

Comment by Tobias Eltebrandt

Oh cool!
Varsågod, Tobias!
Thanx for reading ;)

Comment by lingon

so true….I have never been to so many meetings….

Comment by martin

[…] in her article she discusses a topic close to my heart: my liver. No, wait, actually she discusses how it is to work in an office with Swedes and how they spend most of their time trying to not have any conflicts and how much they love going […]

Pingback by Strange Shores #1 « _Paddy K_

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