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November 02, 2006

第167話 時間の感性(イギリス人)

 私の教室(実は学習塾もやっています)では英会話を教えるためにイギリス人が在籍している。素人に英語を教えるだけなら、私でも事足りるが、講師が日本人というのと英国人というのではイメージがだいぶ違う。事実、問合せがある場合、聞かれるのは「ナニ人が講師ですか」という質問である。「英国人です」という応えは既にプライオリティが高い。残念ながら「フィリピン人です」と答えると、反応は半減以下になるだろう。日本人が英語を習うときは青目金髪でなくてはならぬ!?

 ところが、このイギリス人という人達に対して日本人は鹿鳴館時代よろしくまだ誤解が多い。はっきり言ってかなりいい加減である(それでも彼はアメリカ人ほどいい加減な連中はいないと言って見下しているが、どう見ても50歩100歩だ)。

 彼は掛け持ちで都内の英会話スクールでも教えている。が、最近彼はそこの教室から契約を切られたそうだ。彼曰く

「電車が遅れたので、教室に入るのが3分遅れた(遅刻)。」

「3分でも遅刻は遅刻でしょ。生徒はお客さん。待たせちゃだめだよ」

「遅刻って、たった3分。しかも電車の遅れは僕のせいじゃない。。それにその時は生徒もまだ来ていなかったから、迷惑はかけてない。あの女の人(多分そこのマネージャ)、ちょっとおかしいネ。クレイジー。」

日本人の感性では、電車は時々遅れるもの、それを織り込んで余裕を持って出勤する。しかも、結果として誰も被害を蒙ってないのだから、問題にしなくてもいいじゃないか、という感性は、異質な日本のビジネス社会では受け入れてもらえない。

 そう、あれだけ自己主張する欧米人でも、時間管理には結構甘い人だっているのだ。いや平均的日本人より相当いい加減だ。

 時間に対する感性の開きで、日本人とフィリピン人の距離を東京と大阪くらいにたとえると、イギリス人は名古屋辺りだ。どうも日本人の方が世界中で仲間はずれにされそうだ。

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