13 otherwise odd things that are totally ordinary in the Israeli workplace

Written by
Jennifer Greenberg

1. Shorts – they’re basically business casual.


2. Jeans – a year-round phenomenon, not just a casual Friday occasion.


3. Succinct correspondence – starting a formal e-mail with “hi” and signing off with your initial (sometimes two if you’re really fancy).


4. /in·side voices/ : yelling mild requests across the office at a pitch only audible to dogs and select pigeons.


5. Air conditioners – that always seem to be broken in June, but perfectly functioning in January.


6. Informality – don’t be surprised if your boss asks you about your date last night or knows every detail of your coworker’s complicated family dynamic.


7. Babies – there always seem to be at least two babies being passed around the room like a slow motion rugby replay, also…


8. Stray children – I’m starting to wonder if they actually belong to anyone?


9. Lateness – an empty office at 9 a.m. is commonplace.The Israeli workplace applauds teenage behavior and encourages sleeping in as socially acceptable, even borderline cool. 


10. Holidays – lots and lots of holidays, days off, and half days. By some act of God, no Jewish holiday tends to fall on the weekend anymore, score!


11. Gossip – did you hear what happened to Tal’s sister’s cousin’s brother’s aunt last night at the club?


12. Hangovers – it’s Tel Aviv, what do you expect?



13. Foreign interns – we prefer to call them “pro bono” workers, "Taglit 2.0" or simply "free unadulterated labor."


Written by J.G., who worked her way up from #13 to a steady #12


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