Jennifer (gaaneden) wrote,

Japanese Politeness Redux

Thanks to everyone who gave their comments. At this point, I have decided to stick with Lastname-san for everyone at all times. It is just easier that way. Especially since one of the on-site Toshiba guys, the 2nd in command, is addressing me as “Jennifer-san” in email and in person but upon introductions, gave me a deep bow and held it for a second during the handshake. The older manager in charge gave me a slight bow with the handshake. I held my lower bow longer than his. The other two shook hands and did the reflex bows. So, it doesn’t appear that standard rules are applying here. It seems to be a mixture of cultures and professionalism.

My lead PM was amused at me trying to figure this out. “You are a real QA person. That’s for sure.” I explained that the other PM had been very serious with me while expressing the need for the correct formality. Plus, it was only polite to try.

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