There is something about the culture here that leaves me feeling very conflicted. I find it weird, interesting, frustrating and good all at once. Here's what happens. I find myself waiting to talk to someone. They will not so much as acknowledge that I exist until they are finished with what they are doing, or talking to whomever they are talking.
Now you see on one had, this just seems strange and rude. For instance some of the women at work do it, and I, or anyone else up to and including potential clients, am left standing there, obviously waiting to talk to them, and they just don't even seem to notice. They finish up with what they are doing and then look up. Sometimes after quite a while, I am counting in minutes here.
I have to admit, I find it rude, but at the same time, I have to admire their determination to finish what the heck they are doing before someone else dumps something in their lap.
This respect for what they are doing and the intention to finish it before they move on I have to admire. I think many cultures take multi-tasking WAY too far and in recent years I have been on a campaign to reduce my multi-tasking load, both on a moment to moment basis and on a week by week basis. I will now go so far as to tell people up front that I cannot get to something for even as much as days if something large is looming. I hate it when my focus gets too scattered. You know those days when you have a list of weird and disconnected activities and by the time you get to bed you aren't even sure of your name anymore, let alone what you did that day?
This behaviour does however also frustrate me, as sometimes I only need their attention for a millisecond, for instance to show them that I am borrowing their scissors, and I have to stand there ENDLESSLY waiting.
Not everyone does it by a long shot, and let me tell you, these folks multi-task, but I haven't decided yet whether it is rude or admirable.
I am kind of leaning towards rude. While it is good to respect your need to finish a task at hand, there should be some sort of signal to the person waiting. That classic, "just please wait a moment" signal, the upheld finger/one second sign would do nicely.
Helllooooooooo???? Am I invisible????
ps. One of these days I want to get a couple more albums of photos together from the trip to Andalusia...that will have to wait a little while till, you know, after the Catalan exam and also some sleep.