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Did you say Increments or Excrements?

November 15, 2011

I’m from the north of Portugal. That isn’t good nor it is bad, but it means something.

People from the north have a temper. Also they say exactly what they think and, they mean exactly they say. This may be a problem, specially now that I’m working on the south.

Let me tell you about the south. In the south people don’t exactly say what they want the way they want. They say something close to what they want, without saying it.  People from south don’t use bad words. Actually, they might consider themselves as more polite than people from north- which will curse you and nail you in case you do some stupid thing.

Are they actually more polite? Can you say you are polite if you are not saying, straight forward, what you want, feel, think?

People I talk about this always say: it’s about education- you can say whatever you want without using bad words.. but what the hell? Why should I? Aren’t words just..words?!?!! … Why should one stop using words which clearly define his state of mind and purpose? Why start using hollow sentences which mean nothing nor make other fell a thing?

When people say: oh..I can see you are from the north… well, I’m sorry but… I can see you are from the south too. And that may not be a compliment.

Now let’s look how what I say and the way I say it has an impact in teams –

When I say:

” Looks like we are not keeping up our plan nor our quality. Maybe you could review some practices, probably I can help.”

They think:

“Yadda yadda… same talk. I don’t care if we lose that customer, we’ll have others. Someone, somehow, will always guarantee my job. Either way if I’m fired I’ll get some extra money. Next time do a better plan you sucker!. ”


When , on the other hand I say:

“This shit will make us lose our last fucking customer you bastards, we fucking need to do something about this shit..what a mess!!

C’ mon!! what will we do to clean this shit?”

The team gets it. And they do something. They know it’s a dangerous situation that may take us to unemployment. They know I’m worried. They know I’m counting on them and..they know  I expect more from them because I know they can.

Of course that this is not always 100% true. I’ve met some southerns that curse more than I do ..and I love them..actually they are the only one’s I get when they are speaking. ‘Cause they say what they mean. I know they are not deceiving me. They are honest, rude maybe, but honest and simple.

When we have honest and simple opinions its actually pretty easy to do the right thing. If, on the other hand, we first need to understand the message, then  we are loosing time to effectively change things for better.

I found myself with a ridiculous challenge, after 5 years living in the south (and loving it) I don’t know what or how  I should say some things to some people:

If I was from the South:

– ” This isn’t eaxctly an increment… see you don’t get any value from it and the work is not done. It’s just a fragment of something that actually does not work ..

I can explain you again..oh ok, you don’t need, yes of course, You already know it…sorry.. you are a CSM..oh! great… so you know it all”

If I was from the North

–  “Did you say Increment or excrement?”

..  you are a CSM? my dear, we can’t even learn how to wipe our ass in 2 days.”

You may disagree… I actually don’t care. Oh! sorry, I’m in the south: I’ll carefully take in consideration your opinion but I don’t know if I’ll be able to answer you back.

Remember: Words are just… fucking Words! Make them mean something.


From → Agile

  1. Monika permalink

    It’s amazing how language you use impacts your perspective, the way you see the world, people, problems…
    +1 for naked truth instead of politically correct crap ;)

  2. :) Hi Monika :)

    True! you know, I rather say bad words and then apologize or explain I wasn’t trying to offend, I was just expressing my concerns,rather than make ridiculous attempts to communicate the wrong way, the wrong things.
    And I always expect people to come to me and Say:” Hei! You bastard, I didn’t like the way you talked to me.” That will give the chance to talk, explain, get through that person feelings and thoughts. I will them let them know me and I’ll also know them better, creating a relationship based on truthfulness.

  3. Well, while I agree with you that probably in the North people are more in your face which I like, I think that is just a question of tempers and generalizations are always dangerous (yeah, ALL generalizations are dangerous :P ).

    Also, when you say ” They say something close to what they want, without saying it. ” I immediately think you’re talking about the difference of women and men and not people from the south and people from the north. See how generalizations are dangerous?

    Regarding the curse, it doesn’t bother me but I don’t think you need to curse to say what you want most of the times.

    disclaimer: I don’t curse much and I am from the south

  4. Sérgio

    I’ll carefully take in consideration your opinion but I don’t know if I’ll be able to answer you back. :DDDDDDDDD

    Now seriously, you didn0’t read the part where I say this is not always true :) and I’ve found lots of people that actually say what they mean, without doing roundabouts in their speech :)) ..
    But now I’m wondering about something you said…hum… how dangerous can southern women be! :D

    Thanks for your comment :) You may not curse, but you got them to answer me back.. them the words of course (I’m still at my southern office).

  5. Did you notice that I didn’t specify if that sentence would apply to women or men but you figured it out easily? ;)

    and… I do curse… every now and then :P

  6. Good that you like straight forward people ;) You will love the Germans ;).

    I believe you will think they are direct like people in North ;) I just simply think they are damn rude ;)

  7. Sorry didn’t finish :). I am sure they don’t do it to offend you ;) They are just direct but they can offend you A LOT so be careful when you are “direct” :).

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