I first met British businessman Jason Proch at a New York business convention where we instantly hit it off and, to give you the short version, we ended up going into business together. After a couple of years of Jason Proch taking multiple trips to the US each year, last year he took the plunge and moved from the UK to Pittsburgh so that we could ramp up operations. I have had great pleasure in watching Jason adapt to life out here and more specifically the aspects of American life which he has struggled with. America is very different from the United Kingdom and here are some of the quirks which Jason Proch has struggled with so far.
British people are incredibly blessed to have one of the greatest health care systems ever designed and their National Health Service is revered the world over. Their health care system is free at the point of use and it truly is a wonderful system. As you can imagine then, when people like Jason come over here and see people getting their houses repossessed because they had a broken leg, it is going to make them confused. I give an extreme example here of course but the difference between the two countries in this regard is incredibly vast.
Hot and Cold
Something which Jason has spoken to me about recently which had really dawned on me until he did, was the American’s ability to be light hearted and jovial and then very quickly get serious. Insults are what Jason has struggled with the most and his style of British ‘banter’ as they call it, has not quite landed over here. As Americans we believe that we can take a joke but if the joke appears as though it is on us, we can quickly take exception to that and change the mood in a heartbeat.
As owners of the business both Jason and I are able to enjoy more holidays than most do but this is something which Brits very much struggle with. Americans do not have a lot of vacation time each year and compared with some British companies who can have up to 5 or 6 weeks each year, us Americans seemingly need to work a lot harder for our money. This all work, no play attitude is something which Brits cannot quite get their heads around.
I’ll never forget the first time that Jason and I went out for something to eat, ordered the same item from the menu and then when it came, he believed that they had put both our portions on the same plate. I of course had to remind him that this was his portion, and so he was introduced to the US portion size. Of course, this is not the case everywhere that you go but there are many places who look to fill up that plate as much as possible, something which Brits like Jason Proch find very difficult to understand.