Jason Proch – What Brits Struggle With in the USA
My business partner Jason Proch moved to Pittsburgh last year and between the two of us we regularly make the trip to our New York offices. The traveling from the UK to the USA 6 times per year or so was too much for Jason so he decided to leave the United Kingdom behind and head to American shores last year. During this time, I have watched Jason Proch settle into his new way of life here and he really enjoys things in America. With this being said there are some aspects of life which both he, and a great many Brits who live over here really struggle with.
For a Brit coming over here they will find the American people to be light hearted and jovial but there are some topics of conversation or ways of speaking which puts us right on the back foot, where we will turn into hurt little puppies. Insults are a key part of this, I have watched in the UK how they speak to their best friend in the entire world with the same contempt that you may apply to ex-convict. In the US things are very different indeed and sarcasm, irony and insults in this way are often lost on us.
Almost everyone in the world is deeply in awe of what the UK have put together in the NHS free healthcare service and our convoluted systems which we have in place here often bemuses the British people living here. The notion that someone could break their arm and ended up remortgaging their house as a result is something that not only baffles the Brits however, I’m pretty sure that most of us don’t understand it either.
The USA is a vast country which offers all types of landscapes, climates and cultures and very often people from the UK seem to greatly underestimate its size. Jason Proch calls this small country mentality and I often have to remind him that whilst A to B may look pretty small on the map, it is likely to be a 20-hour drive!
A few years ago, one of our managers fired a member of staff for gross misconduct, on the same day that the event occurred. Jason went into panic mode and was trying call attorneys and legal experts to see how exposed we were for a lawsuit. I quickly reminded Jason that this is how things are done here and that someone could quit or be fired in a heartbeat. I must confess that this is something which I would be happy to have changed. Brits can’t understand this because over there things are very different indeed, and that kind of thing simply doesn’t go on.