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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #240 on: December 29, 2020, 03:28:59 pm »
Nah, if there's a bathroom that's just a bathroom for the customers, and I buy something? I get to use it.

Unless it's some kind of newspaper stand with a private bathroom/shitter or something.
I was thinking more an employee restroom, not the McD's one.


Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #241 on: December 29, 2020, 03:35:27 pm »
Food Customization in America.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/05/food-customization-america/482073/

Quote
In many other countries, this practice of tweaking your order, known as “cheffing,” would not stand. Or at least, it would stand out from the norm. But when Americans fiddle with recipes, “We don’t feel we’re insulting anyone,” Egan says. “We feel we’re getting our money’s worth.”

“People are very funny about food here,” adds Debra Zellner, a professor of psychology at Montclair State University. “Americans think about their food as being more medicinal. They don’t eat for pleasure as much as Europeans do, so they’re always concerned about is what they’re eating going to hurt them? Is it good for them?” Zellner suspects a lot of cheffing has to do not only with people’s personal preferences (and possibly, fear of trying new foods) but with people tailoring their meals to better fit the health fad of the moment.

American culture is also notoriously individualist. We tend to define our personal identities as separate from our communities, which sociological research contrasts with the collectivism seen in other cultures, such as in East Asia or Kenya, where people tend to think of the groups they belong to as equal to or more important than their personal characteristics.

This craze of “mass customization,” Egan says, makes people feel both unique and catered to when they are able to have it their way.  It’s a “desire within our hyper industrialized food system to have something that feels like it meets my personal taste profile. We have access to customized and personalized food experiences at the restaurant level, at the fast casual level, and at the packaged food level and it has only increased.” People can personalize their order at Starbucks or wherever else, and they can also purchase whatever weirdly precise flavor of chips they prefer. (For example, Barbecue, Honey Barbecue, Sweet Southern Heat Barbecue, Hot n’ Spicy Barbecue, and Mesquite Barbecue are all available from Lay’s.) Some fast-food chains have “secret menus” which offer both more options and a supercharged opportunity to signal how special you are for knowing about them.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2020, 03:38:06 pm by Mr.DeMartino »


  • fka
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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #242 on: December 29, 2020, 03:43:40 pm »
Quote
I suspect that the company uses a third-party contractor for deliveries, who set their own policy, and Casa Mia was simply going by what was written in the rulebook.

Is this an example of the "harsh conclusion" to which I leapt? And is it more harsh than the "obnoxious foreigners, going out in huge groups and bothering Korean workers with their wacky demands" scenario that  you've tried to link to my occasional request for a smaller coffee cup? Can you show me where I blasted someone's ethnicity and culture?

Does it rectify things if I say that I hate dealing with Italians in an official capacity? Should I mention that I find British customer service less surly than the stereotype suggests, but also less friendly than my typical experience in the US? And can I add that I actually prefer the more transactional British variant to the artificial chumminess of the USA? How about if I say that the "it's impossible" tendency is stronger in Japan than Korea, and one thing I prefer about Korea over Japan is the greater degree of casual flexibility. 

Where do these comments fall on the spectrum of blasting ethnicities and cultures?



  • fka
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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #243 on: December 29, 2020, 03:45:26 pm »
Food Customization in America.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/05/food-customization-america/482073/

The thing is, I actually agree with you in terms of being massively annoyed by the kind of thing you're talking about. I imagine that many others do, too. The problem is that it has absolutely nothing to do with anything that's been discussed here.


Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #244 on: December 29, 2020, 04:09:53 pm »
Is this an example of the "harsh conclusion" to which I leapt?
Well you did call it "the most shocking." It was only after JNM mentioned that there was probably an authorization issue that you brought up the 3rd Party contractor idea. Which was good! I'm not going to pull a Mr. C and say "We all know what you meant." On the contrary, that is exactly what we all need to do- Consider if there isn't some explanation, and if we do alter our views, support people for changing them, not bash them.

I think it's great you did that. I should have drawn a bigger distinction between you and Aristocrat instead of lumping you together and I should have acknowledged your explanation.

But yes, I think we should try and avoid going for nationality/ethnicity/culture explanations. It's often lazy and a rather dubious conclusion to draw.

I mean, it's far more likely that you aren't being allowed to use the employee restroom because last time that happened someone's toddler pissed everywhere vs. "It's because they're Korean."


  • stoat
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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #245 on: December 29, 2020, 04:17:20 pm »
Quote
But yes, I think we should try and avoid going for nationality/ethnicity/culture explanations. It's often lazy and a rather dubious conclusion to draw.

The exception being US policemen killing black people I guess.


  • fka
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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #246 on: December 29, 2020, 04:46:58 pm »
Well you did call it "the most shocking." It was only after JNM mentioned that there was probably an authorization issue that you brought up the 3rd Party contractor idea. Which was good! I'm not going to pull a Mr. C and say "We all know what you meant." On the contrary, that is exactly what we all need to do- Consider if there isn't some explanation, and if we do alter our views, support people for changing them, not bash them.

I think it's great you did that. I should have drawn a bigger distinction between you and Aristocrat instead of lumping you together and I should have acknowledged your explanation.

But yes, I think we should try and avoid going for nationality/ethnicity/culture explanations. It's often lazy and a rather dubious conclusion to draw.

I mean, it's far more likely that you aren't being allowed to use the employee restroom because last time that happened someone's toddler pissed everywhere vs. "It's because they're Korean."

I didn't alter my view after reading JNM's comment. I was well aware, throughout the whole exchange, that the employees were being guided by forces that they had no power to control. That was what made the situation so absurd - that they had to turn down a big sale and claim that it was impossible to complete the transaction when, in actual fact, it is very possible to move a sofa base two floors past their cut-off point. The butt of the joke here is the ridiculous bureaucracy that prevents common sense from overriding some abstract rule. We have jokes of this nature in Western culture, too, so I don't know why they can't be applied to Korea. The more ridiculous the situation, the more likely it is to come up on a board like this.

In fact I think you misunderstood the whole nature of the discussion, to be honest. You imagined a bunch of unreasonable foreigners making awkward demands of Korean workers and then losing their tempers when those demands weren't met. Yet the whole basis of the joke is that "it's impossible" is sometimes applied
to requests that are not only possible, but frequently carried out without complaint. I think I've probably requested a smaller Americano cup maybe ten times in Korea, only after noticing that the standard cups are particularly gargantuan. Here's how most of those transactions have gone:

Me (speaking in Korean): Do you have a small cup? I like less water.
Barista (holds up a cappuccino or latte cup): How about this?
Me: Yes, thanks.
Barista: Sure.

So when someone says "I can't do it, it's not possible", it's the exception, not the norm. Therefore it becomes the subject of a joke. Because it's absurd - putting water and espresso in a smaller cup has been proven to be very much within the realm of possibility. Just because there's a rule in place doesn't mean that we can't laugh at the degree of control that such a rule has on adults who can't serve their own business interests because of it.

This isn't a new or obscure strain of humor. What you've been doing in this thread is the equivalent of screaming "But the computer really does say no!" at this clip:


https://youtu.be/sX6hMhL1YsQ



« Last Edit: December 29, 2020, 04:54:12 pm by fka »


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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #247 on: December 29, 2020, 10:11:44 pm »
My best “impossible” story:

Saturday morning, 8 am, McDonald’s drive through near the Seoul Arts Centre.

Me: Three Bacon and Egg McMuffins, please
McD Lady: Impossible!
[pause]
Me: Is egg impossible, or bacon impossible?
McD Lady: Bacon impossible today.
Me: Are three Ham and egg McMuffins possible?
McD Lady: Yes!



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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #248 on: December 30, 2020, 08:10:08 am »
My general reaction to this wouldn't be to declare the poor peon behind the counter to be a fool and to then blast their ethnicity and culture. That seems a bit...well...dickis h. My general reaction would be to wonder what bureaucratic-corporatist calamity or customer scuzziness resulted in this.
Saying the top-down work culture probably discourages employees from taking initiative isn't blasting Korean ethnicity or culture.


Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #249 on: December 30, 2020, 08:59:11 am »
But yes, I think we should try and avoid going for culture explanations. It's often lazy and a rather dubious conclusion to draw.

You criticize cultures and sub-cultures all day long, as long as they're Western. Elements of culture can always be critiqued and should always be critiqued, that's part of the way it adapts to better suit the environment. The fact that it hits a nerve whenever people criticize Korean culture isn't our problem.

You don't get to tell me what I should avoid speaking about. I'll praise and criticize whatever aspect of Korean culture I wish.


Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #250 on: December 30, 2020, 10:41:35 am »
You criticize cultures and sub-cultures all day long, as long as they're Western. Elements of culture can always be critiqued and should always be critiqued, that's part of the way it adapts to better suit the environment. The fact that it hits a nerve whenever people criticize Korean culture isn't our problem.

You don't get to tell me what I should avoid speaking about. I'll praise and criticize whatever aspect of Korean culture I wish.
I criticize subcultures, i.e. SJWdom or such.

I don't blanket criticize Italian culture or American culture. If you criticized a Korean SUBculture, i.e. That incel Korean internet group, and made it clear they were a subculture, that wouldn't be an issue. But in most cases, whatever happens is labeled Korean culture.

Far too often (not always) you aren't critiquing it and you aren't trying to improve it. When you're ranting and venting about it, you're using the acts to look down on and judge in order to make yourself feel superior because the person did something that hurt or bothered you but the restraints of law or society prevented you from doing what you wanted to do and now you can retaliate by belittling them. That's what a non-comedic rant or vent is all about, no matter the subject.

There's no attempt to understand or humanize or see how you might be susceptible to the same impulses as well or to draw any parallels. No consideration for the feelings or motivations or condition of the other person, which a REAL critique and attempt to improve would include.

A Korean turns right, it's because of culture.
A Korean turns left, it's because of culture.
A Korean goes straight, it's because of culture.
There's no objectivity to it. Basically, it's "This person pissed me off today, so I'm going to blame their culture."
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 10:52:37 am by Mr.DeMartino »


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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #251 on: December 30, 2020, 10:43:13 am »
Would work culture qualify as a sub-culture?


Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #252 on: December 30, 2020, 10:59:05 am »
Would work culture qualify as a sub-culture?
If specified as such and dealing with specific fields.

But here's the thing- If a restaurant back home doesn't customize something, is it because of American or Australian culture? And if it doesn't happen here, is it because of Korean culture? What's the standard?

Furthermore, both Aristocrat and fka claimed these incidents were exceptions not the norm, yet they STILL blame culture.

How does that work? If it's culture it should be the norm. That shows how dumb the culture argument is and why it deserves to be called out.

If the large majority of that ethnicity aren't doing something but you're still blanket condeming that ethnicity's culture and by extension, all of them, that's pretty f*cked up. 


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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #253 on: December 30, 2020, 11:05:37 am »
But what if something was regularly customized in place A, but not in place B?  Then we would need to start looking for reasons, and workplace culture would certainly be a prime suspect.
And localized culture has roots in the culture that gave birth to it.
There are a series of jumps one can make from micro-culture to macro-culture that can show how a parent culture can influence the sub-cultures found within it.

...
...On the other hand, I'm not saying that Korean culture or Western culture (what is that, even?) is to blame when a minimum wage worker balks at scooping your ice cream in the way you want. Somethings just don't make the jump up from the very specific circumstances that surround it to the more general ones that influence those circumstances.


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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #254 on: December 30, 2020, 11:14:46 am »
Quote
     
How does that work? If it's culture it should be the norm. That shows how dumb the culture argument is and why it deserves to be called out.

If the large majority of that ethnicity aren't doing something but you're still blanket condeming that ethnicity's culture and by extension, all of them, that's pretty f*cked up. 

Kind of like the way you attack UK culture by referencing football violence?


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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #255 on: December 30, 2020, 11:27:53 am »
If specified as such and dealing with specific fields.

But here's the thing- If a restaurant back home doesn't customize something, is it because of American or Australian culture? And if it doesn't happen here, is it because of Korean culture? What's the standard?
You're taking a very complicated question and demanding a very simplistic answer. Whether or not something general like refusing to "customize" something is due to culture can only be determined on a case-by-case basis.


If the large majority of that ethnicity aren't doing something but you're still blanket condeming that ethnicity's culture and by extension, all of them, that's pretty f*cked up.
It isn't, at least in the context of our current conversation. Saying an employee may be more adverse to making slight deviations due to a strict top-down work culture is not "pretty f*cked up", and that observation can also exist alongside the acknowledgment that many other employees have grown comfortable enough in their positions to override that particular cultural suggestion.

You have this trend of taking specific examples about very benign things, removing them from that context, and then going on about how we're "blanket condemning that ethnicity's culture and by extension, all of them" and other such histrionics.



Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #256 on: December 30, 2020, 11:30:03 am »
Furthermore, both Aristocrat and fka claimed these incidents were exceptions not the norm, yet they STILL blame culture.

How does that work? If it's culture it should be the norm. That shows how dumb the culture argument is and why it deserves to be called out.

You're contradicting yourself, as usual.

Earlier, you claimed culture was a lazy argument and that there were many other factors in play when it comes to explaining people's behaviour. Now, you're claiming that if culture was a legitimate argument, all Koreans would be doing the same thing. So, you're implying that culture is responsible for every aspect of every person's behaviour.

Make up your mind.

... and subculture is still culture, buddy.  I've never targeted race or ethnicity, skin pigment has no influence on behaviour.


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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #257 on: December 30, 2020, 11:30:24 am »

If the large majority of that ethnicity aren't doing something but you're still blanket condeming that ethnicity's culture and by extension, all of them, that's pretty f*cked up. 
weren't you recently banging on about how foreigners always have some problems when they go out and eat together, stringing out a list of blanket stereotypes (and, by extention, implying how this doesn't happen with koreans)?


  • fka
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Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #258 on: December 30, 2020, 01:00:10 pm »
Quote
If the large majority of that ethnicity aren't doing something but you're still blanket condeming that ethnicity's culture and by extension, all of them, that's pretty f*cked up.

Take a look at that video that I posted (or another one of the "Computer says no" clips from Little Britain). Your take on this whole issue is equivalent to:

1) wondering why there's laughter when the woman refuses to override the computer commands with common sense decisions

2) insisting that the computer does, in fact, say "no", and this should be the final word on the subject

3) getting exasperated that people refuse to bow to the computer's authority

4) assuming that people who don't treat the character in the video with appropriate deference are spoiled, culturally insular, unaccustomed to service industry work and prone to making unreasonable demands of workers

5) extrapolating this situation into a mean-spirited critique of British culture and ethnicity

« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 01:07:34 pm by fka »


Re: Answers to burning questions we have about Korea
« Reply #259 on: December 30, 2020, 01:13:55 pm »
But what if something was regularly customized in place A, but not in place B?  Then we would need to start looking for reasons, and workplace culture would certainly be a prime suspect.
And localized culture has roots in the culture that gave birth to it.
There are a series of jumps one can make from micro-culture to macro-culture that can show how a parent culture can influence the sub-cultures found within it.

...
...On the other hand, I'm not saying that Korean culture or Western culture (what is that, even?) is to blame when a minimum wage worker balks at scooping your ice cream in the way you want. Somethings just don't make the jump up from the very specific circumstances that surround it to the more general ones that influence those circumstances.
Certainly we can examine it. I just think perhaps a bit more rigor and a willingness to view things should be adopted than "This Korean person at this minimum wage job refused to do this, it's culture and if you disagree with me, you're an apologist." Also, examination of culture and "internet rant" probably is not going to yield the most accurate, unbiased results.

The culture argument is so prone to bias that it's really one to be cautious about. One example that always sticks with me, being into military history, is a British historians take on a war elephant and how it represented Eastern culture's emphasis on terror and that it was a clumsy weapon that only worked against untrained mass armies. I have the sneaking suspicion that if the British Isles had been full of pachyderms, they would have been used and that same historian would call them "Examples of the combination of mobility and destructive power. The forerunner of Blitzkrieg and the panzer." Somehow culture seems to always revolve around the perspective of the person employing it, especially when positive and negative traits are assigned.

Kind of like the way you attack UK culture by referencing football violence?
You really didn't understand that whole thing did you? The reason I brought that up was to hold the people making the culture argument to the same standard. If you're going to rant about crime or violence in Korea and problems using certain criteria, do you apply that to hooliganism as well and blame British culture? As I say in those, I don't think it IS fair to blame British culture, but if that's the standard you apply then what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

And notice how you say "attack"? If you think what I wrote was an attack, then you again have to apply that same standard.

You're taking a very complicated question and demanding a very simplistic answer. Whether or not something general like refusing to "customize" something is due to culture can only be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Yes, that's my point. The people blaming "culture" are taking a very complicated question and applying a very simplistic answer. Wouldn't you agree? Or are you saying their internet rant is a piece of carefully considered material?

Quote
It isn't, at least in the context of our current conversation. Saying an employee may be more adverse to making slight deviations due to a strict top-down work culture is not "pretty f*cked up", and that observation can also exist alongside the acknowledgment that many other employees have grown comfortable enough in their positions to override that particular cultural suggestion.
It is when you also state that their behavior is not the norm and that other people of the same people did something completely different. Remember they weren't discussing hierarchical cultures or franchise food service culture but Korean culture. While not the same level of bad act, it's akin to labeling terrorist bombings as Muslim culture or drive-by shootings as black culture. It's the same kind of observation. I mean we have posters on here who regularly post rants about those two respective cultures and I think many of us think there's more than just cultural frustration behind that and they have some issues and their obsession is "pretty f*cked up."