A Mix of Miscommunications

Amanda Stefura and Maddie Galvez

1.) Character A is hosting dinner at their house and invites character B. Once at character A’s house, everyone is sitting down and A’s family members start to serve food to the guests. 

A: Here have some more chicken and rice!

B: Oh no, thank you! It is so delicious but I’m full.

A: Oh no, there is plenty of food! Don’t worry. (A serves B more rice and chicken). 

B: Thank you (Eats a few more bites of the food, but does not finish). 

A: (A notices that B has not finished). Was it not good?

B: Oh no, it is really good I am just full.

A: (A finds this disrespectful and does not invite B to another dinner party). 

Character A comes from a high power distance culture and a high indulgence culture while Character B comes from a lower power distance culture and a restraint/low indulgence culture.

 

2.) Character C and character D are in a cafeteria and bump into each other causing C to drop their drink. 

C: Hey, watch where you’re going, you made me spill me drink!

D: I am so sorry!

C: (Walks over to nearest kitchen staff member and bluntly says) There is a spill over there, you might want to clean it up. (C then exits the cafeteria). 

D: (Standing by the spill when the kitchen staff member arrives) Sorry we made such a mess for you, would like some help cleaning this up?

Kitchen Staff: Do not worry, I can do it, things like this happen all the time.

D: Okay, sorry again, have a great day.

Character C is from a high power distance culture and character D is from a low power distance culture.

 

3.) Character E and F get onto a very crowded train in foreign country. Character E is male and character F is female. 

Character F: (Character F notices that no man has gotten up and offered their seat to her) I was was certain that someone would have offered me their seat by now.

Character E: I know, right? That is so weird, I definitely would have given a woman my seat if the train is crowded like this.

(Train stops, two people exit and there are now open seats so characters E and F sit down. As they sit down, a woman enters the train. ) 

Character E: (Says to the woman that entered the train) Excuse me, would you like to sit down?

Woman: No, I’m fine.

Character F: (Says to Character E) I wonder why she does not want to sit down, she is carrying so many bags.

Character E: I don’t know, maybe it’s a part of a feminist thing.

Characters E and F are from masculine societies while the woman on the train is from a feminine society.  

 

About Amanda Stefura

Amanda Stefura is a first year student at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA currently studying in the School of Management. She is originally from Boston, MA and is fluent in English.
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3 Responses to A Mix of Miscommunications

  1. Charles Yang says:

    Very realistic and common scenarios, but it would be better if the nationality of the characters are specified. Moreover, scenario two and three only reflects one the five hofstede’s dimension.

  2. Ryan Wang says:

    I can relate to the first scenario because it’s one that I am on both sides of the skit. When I visit my friend, who is from Latin-American descent, his parents often offer me food and my first instinct as a Chinese-American is to say, no, even if I am hungry. I did not realize that doing this was a mistake until my friend pointed it out to me that it is rude to decline food in Latin-American cultures. As a Chinese-American, I only feel comfortable accepting if I were asked the question again, my parents raised me to say NO when ever I was offered anything because it supposedly ruined the face of my family. By accepting something, it made my family seem rude and desperate. On the other hand, when I visited China and offered acquaintances of my age fruit, they declined immediately by bowing their heads and shaking their heads. I insisted and they continued to decline, and strangely enough, I felt offended. I know I should not have felt offended but the American in was thinking, is there something wrong with my fruit?

  3. Katie Faull says:

    Nice comments! Good dialogues, but I agree that the nationalities should be specified, otherwise it is all a bit schematic.

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