A friend of mine is Scottish, and was recently fuming about the lameness at his job at a "call centre" in Glasgow. They're really into "team motivation" at that job, and encouragement, and saying "good job!" a lot, and having happy rewards for whoever sells the most today! And "who's your sales buddy today? Remember, partnership is a PLUS!"
Rah rah rah.
I don't know how he stands it.
Recently they had some "group bonding exercise" where everyone gives eachother a neckrub.
He was complaining that it is all very un-Scottish, and in fact, very American.
American? I said, quite confused.
He explained that it was his impression of American culture (his impression being common there) that somehow this sort of smarm is endemic in the US, and native to it.
Apparently, if you take any concept whose invention (or at least popularization) post-dates 1900, and you'll be able to find somewhere where people think of it as "very American". And into this mythic conception of the US, people project their ideas of the future, and vice versa. At one time, that meant fabulous futuristic labor-saving kitchen appliances; but now it apparently means expecting corporations to invent queasy-making mind games whose purpose is to demonstrate to the workers (oops, "associates"!) that their contentment is MANDATORY. Therefore BACKRUBS NOW. Also, piss in this cup, it's drug test day.
I had to explain to him that the true American response to any work situation is not backrubs, but filing a lawsuit.