1. U.S. Elementary Education : What Parents Need to Know
    Dismiss Notice
  2. What can you teach someone online? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Customs And Manners

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by gopalan1937, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    I and my wife are new immigrants to USA, hardly less than a month . We got security numbers allotted. My son is in the process of getting health care for both of us. He could not do it online and had to visit health care office. This is my second visit to a govt office. The earlier one being to an office for applying for social security number where there were rigid security measures as in airport and and conversing to an officer is across a screen as in a visa office.

    This health care office does not have restrictions. You register at the reception desk and wait for your turn to be interviewed. Though there were not many in the waiting, the interviews appeared to be prolonged and the wait dragged on.

    When our turn came, we were interviewed by a young amiable officer. It did not last long, just under ten minutes. What struck me odd was, we were never asked to take seats, though there were a couple of chairs for the visitors. Am I to understand that I should not wait to be told to occupy seats, if they are available? Will it not be considered indecent or disrespectful?

    I will be comfortable if I know the customs and manners to be adhered when I visit offices alone
    Gopalan
     
    SinghManisha, Sunshine04 and Rihana like this.
    Loading...

  2. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    10,042
    Likes Received:
    24,887
    Trophy Points:
    540
    Gender:
    Female
    Interesting question. Has happened to me a few times in different settings, maybe 2-5. The last was in a bank where I am a long time customer. I stood for a minute, then pulled out the chair and planted myself.

    Can you share some more details - was he sitting, a desk in front of him, and you were standing right next to or behind the chairs? I mean, was it like a standard office setting, where the official has a chair, computer on desk in front of him, his papers and other stationery on the desk, and chairs for visitors, with the desk separating him and visitors?

    LOL it seems like I am cross-examining you.. no.. just curious about the exact placement of the chairs.

    I would just occupy the chairs and take the chance of being told that I am supposed to stand. To me, it seems rude not to invite people to sit when there are chairs. More so, people who are obviously new to the country.
     
  3. Amulet

    Amulet IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes Received:
    5,063
    Trophy Points:
    408
    Gender:
    Female
    Our customs/manners get ingrained over time, and lots of practice. Going into a gov'ment office in India, for a service/favor, and finding that you had not been offered a seat, you would'a done what you had done in USA. (just like the previous poster's debriefing, I have a question) While standing, were you in folded hands, back slightly bent forward? This is the natural body language of supplicants in most of Asia.

    The same thing happens in India to NRI people after a long life in a western country. They go into a driving license center in their colored shorts (we consider those underwear, not to be exposed to the public), and T-shirt, take a seat in the officer's presence, and cross their leg also. No wonder those officers are so tempted to delay whatever service these people come looking for.

    In America, you'd take the seat, when it is available. And not wait for ceremonies. As they say, Wear a Toga in Rome.
     
  4. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    1,201
    Likes Received:
    1,337
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Male
    I have no such experience neither at social security office not at any other place. I was asked to take a seat with utmost courtesy. May be the silver on my hair was something to do with it. Nor did I appear with folded hands or bent back. I have found that officers here are straight and to the point.
    But I would say that even in India I did not occupy a seat unless asked for in nay office and depending on the amount of time my work may take, I did ask may i? if the fellow at the other end did not offer one.
     
  5. Sunshine04

    Sunshine04 Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,117
    Likes Received:
    2,680
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    You can take the seat .Here in USA, Everyone is respected.
    Just be polite and talk clearly.
     
  6. SinghManisha

    SinghManisha Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    2,670
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    Please take that seat. If you were not supposed to be sitting someone would tell you. It is not a big deal at all.
    Hope you are liking it in the US! There is lots going on politically , never a dull moment :)
     
  7. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male

    Thanks for your Quick response. Regarding the spate of questions. he was sitting across desk with computer and some papers. Myself, my wife and my son were were standing across the table with chairs in front of us. Most of the conversation was between my son and the officer. I could not follow for two reasons; one i am hard of hearing and the other the american accent. As I mentioned we were back in a short time I did not take offense at the lack of offer, nor my wife. I want to make certain that I could occupy a seat without being told. Do in Rome as Romans do. Thanks again for the advice.
     
  8. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male

    Thank you Ms . AMULET. I shall follow your advice. As for me standing with arms across my chest has never been a problem. As I always tell others ."Give respect and get respect" Thanks again for the response.
     
  9. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Extremely thankful for taking your time and responding. I am slowly getting into the way of life here. Thanks again for your sound advice.
     
  10. Sunshine04

    Sunshine04 Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,117
    Likes Received:
    2,680
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    No. Please don't do this in USA
     

Share This Page