Intercultural Communication In The Workplace Essay

1102 words - 4 pages

The workplace is a diverse arena where people of different cultures are forced to coexist and cooperate in order for a company to become successful. In some cases people from different backgrounds and cultures can learn from one another and will then make the group stronger. In other cases, however, the cultures can clash due to each other's ignorance. The key to establishing a solid foundation of cultural understanding is to be open-minded, educated and aware of diversity.Communication IssueSome employees would say that the clash between two coworkers occurred on a May afternoon but truly the squabble had been brewing for years. The two coworkers, Jimmy and Pablo, had been working at the same Peak Fitness for about three years. Peak Fitness is a privately owned chain of fitness centers in the Carolinas. They offer the lowest cost, full-service facilities in the region. The facilities include front desk staff, sales consultants and person trainers. This particular clash of cultures occurred between a trainer and a sales consultant.The duo of Jimmy and Pablo had never seen eye to eye. Most people would say that the reason for the rift was due to a difference in nationalities and cultures. Pablo is a 35-year-old man from Costa Rica. He moved to the United States about 10 years ago and his English is very broken. Jimmy is a 45-year-old personal trainer from the inner city of Los Angeles. As one can infer from his or her respective backgrounds, Jimmy and Pablo do not have a great deal in common other than the same employer.The rift that ended in a visit from the police peaked on an afternoon in May 2009. Pablo had called the police on Jimmy for a few reasons. First, Pablo grew tired of Jimmy parking in a designated handicapped parking zone despite being fit enough to be a full-time personal trainer. Pablo didn't see how that was right and didn't think it showed respect toward those who were truly handicapped and in need of the space. Second, Pablo had a problem with Jimmy's sanitary habits in the gym and in the employee's break room. Finally, everything came to fruition and the two almost engaged in physical contact.Pablo hesitantly confronted Jimmy about his mess that he left in the employee's break room. Pablo said that the table, microwave and sink were left in unsanitary conditions and wanted Jimmy to clean it up. Jimmy, a contracted trainer, said that Pablo is not is boss so he wouldn't clean it up. Jimmy also added that it was the janitor's task, not his to clean the break room. According to Pablo, Jimmy then stood up from the table and approached him in an intimidating manner. Pablo did not want to argue with Jimmy so he left and reported to a manager. The manager told him to leave Jimmy alone and the situation will resolve itself.About 30 minutes later Pablo was on the floor and saw weights that had not been re-racked. He asked Jimmy to pick them up. The request angered Jimmy as he began to yell at Pablo in an expletive tirade in front of...

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