When a Dutch manager gives an ‘order’ to one of his or her colleagues it is always (no, there is no exception) met with the – one word only – question; “Why?

Could you make those photocopies for me? Why?

Can you help me move those boxes? Why?

I would like to turn up (or down) the heating a bit. Why?

Could you close the door? Why?

All of these are simple requests , or ‘orders’, that can be heard in an office every day. In the Netherlands however, to each of these requests, the Dutch employee will reply using that one word; Why?

Why is that?



Chris Smit
2018 Autumn

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