Work is probably the best way to get to know a city, its people, and vibe. Even after working in Manhattan for a year and a half now, leaving the office at 5.30 PM still feels like a luxury, and I haven’t gotten used to the fact that coworkers bond over mani pedis. Based on my experience in both Paris and New York, here are a few typical work situations that would be completely different from one side of the globe to the other:
It’s 9 AM in the office…
Paris: You’re early today
New York: Why are you late?
Getting an early start in New York is a give and take: you get to enjoy life after 5 o’ clock and avoid the Parisian infamous “metro boulot dodo” grind.
It’s lunch break…
Paris: What are we eating today?
New York: Are you eating today?
I’m not saying that New Yorkers don’t eat for lunch, but they usually skip the lunch break and snack in front of their computer instead of going out for a proper meal. It’s kind of sad but again, that allows them to peace out early and go about their lives.
It’s 6 PM in the office…
Paris: I hope you didn’t have any dinner plans tonight
New York: You are burning the midnight oil
One thing that I don’t miss about working in Paris is the very thin line between your personal and professional life. In New York, having plans is something your boss and coworkers actually respect. Staying late at work is not rewarding like in France: it’s seen as a lack of productivity.
It’s Happy Hour…
Paris: Let’s go to the bar downstairs at 8 PM
New York: Let’s get drunk in the office at 5 PM
In New York, most corporate people have dinner at 6 PM, which for me is still apero time (if not gouter.) So having drinks with coworkers is always an early event that can be started in the office.
It’s the company’s Christmas party
Paris: Make sure you don’t get drunk in front of your boss
New York: Make sure your boss sees you drunk (and end up liking you more)
Again, New Yorkers love their glass of scotch or a skinny margarita. Staying sober is not the best way to make connections.
From Paris to New York or the other way around…what has YOUR work experience been like?