What Goes Around, Comes Around

Even though many in the USA seem to think we have a special privilege to be called "Americans," I acknowledge that everyone who lives in North, Central or South America is "American."

However, for the purposes of this article - and simply because it's less cumbersome to write - I am using the term "American" to define only those who live in the USA.

At the risk of being considered un-American, I have a couple of words to say about the level of online professionalism in the USA. It's sad. Not only is it sad, but the prevalent attitude of Americans that the USA is at the top of the internet pecking order - and therefore has special privileges - is downright misguided.

As citizens of the USA we had better get our heads out of the sand (or wherever else we have them) and wise up, or we'll find more than our heads buried. It is so typical of us Americans to believe that we are the be-all/end-all of everything. Such an attitude blinds us to the fact that the internet has leveled the playing field.

I realize that I am making sweeping statements in what I'm about to say. I also realize that I am going to offend some Americans. Yet, these statements need to be thought about and acted upon - not REacted TO out of some sense of unjustified superiority.

These comments certainly do not apply to all Americans. It is unfortunate that those who abuse the opportunity to work online as true professionals give the rest of us such a poor image.

Plenty of us are struggling to bring the rest up to some level of competence and professionalism. However, the pitiful fact is we are fighting this battle against our own countrymen. (Sorry Ladies, I don't know if they've come up with a non-sexist way to use that term.)

I work online with people from all over the world every day. More and more I'm finding that I prefer to work with those outside the USA. Why? Because that's where I find the most true professionalism. What a sad commentary on my own country!

It is here in the USA where online business owners refuse to give complete contact information. It's here in the USA where a legitimate business letter will be ignored. It's here in the USA where people won't bother to return a phone call. It's here in the USA where we find such pathetic customer service and the attitude of, "The proprieter is always right."

The greatest blessing of the internet is our ability to easily establish relationships with others around the world. We have an opportunity never before available to learn first-hand about - and from - those of cultures foreign to us. Why do we waste that by complaining about how they use the English language - all the while we butcher it ourselves?

Our languages are different - our sense of humor is different - the way we experience the world is different. And, certainly the way we do business is different. Why do we not celebrate this opportunity by learning all we can? Have we become too arrogant to do that?

I have begun to fear that arrogance is the exact reason why so many Americans are unprofessional. I rarely encounter this when I work with businesses outside the USA.

What I find instead are people who care about their business - who care how they present themselves - and who cooperate on a grand scale to get things done in the most courteous manner possible. What I do not find is email ignored - unreasonable demands - broken commitments - lousy attitude - and blatant dishonesty born of greed.

Outside the USA I find people who take great pride in what they do - without all the self-aggrandizement. They show that pride by the actual work they do - not by blowing their own horns.

I don't hesitate to make these statements because the few exceptions I've found are negligible compared to USA standards. Or, lack thereof.

The greatest thing the internet has to offer us isn't money. It's knowledge. It's the opportunity to learn and to finally become a true global village on this planet.

Can we do that? Not if we don't get off our high horses and admit we might have something to learn.

Meanwhile, continuing to treat those outside the USA as the second-class citizens of this global online village is bound to come back and bite us in the ol' wazoo! Tolerance and acceptance of other cultures is part of being a professional in the first place.

You can trust me on this. The USA internet glory days will most assuredly come to a close. So, just remember ...

What goes around - comes around. Every time.

Article Copyrights

Creative Commons License
These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
To re-publish articles by jl scott from this site, please include the following byline - with live links - after each article you use.

-----> Begin

* dr. jl scott is the Founder of Chamber of Commerce - on the Web™ http://www.ChamberofCommerce-ontheWeb.com - and also the publisher of the Online Business Trade Journal™ - the blog that keeps you up to date with online business coming of age. Visit: http://www.OnlineBusinessTradeJournal.com

-----> End

Syndicate content

C of C Solutions Web Hosting
"Web Hosting for Online Business Sites"