I’m spending a few weeks in Sicily to do some writing...and enjoy springtime in the Mediterranean. It’s a welcome relief after the East Coast winter.
Yesterday I made an appointment for a mid-afternoon conference call on the Monday after Easter, and then realized I’d made a mistake. Easter Monday in Sicily is a major holiday, a day when lots of long lunches and spontaneous invitations and impromptu visits take place.
My Sicilian friends would certainly understand if I said, no, we can’t visit because I have a business call...I am, after all, an Americano and we have strange habits. But it would be quite bad form. And I’d also probably miss some great food and companionship.
In New York, we joke that you know someone is a real friend when you can cancel lunch with them at the last minute if a business meeting comes up. It’s pretty much the opposite here.
Which leads me to ponder how much culture shapes our work habits. My audiences are often very concerned about the way that technology is blurring the lines between work and home. But much of that blurring is due to choices we as people, as organizations, as a society, ourselves make. The technology just makes it easier.