Tactics for Success, No. 5

In her book, The Immigrant’s Way, available in the downloadable Kindle format, or paperback,Margaret W. Wong describes twenty-two tactics the foreign born person can use to ensure her stay in the USA is as long as she wants it to be.
We will present for you one of her strategies every week in this space.


5. Smile often. Show gratitude, and remember to write thank you notes. Always be polite.

We want the best of both worlds, so we need to be accepted and fit into both worlds. Proper manners can help in this respect. Remember to knock on the door before you enter a private room. Westerners treasure their privacy in many cases more than the rest of the world.

Remember to hold the door open for the next person going into the same door behind you. Do not spit or throw gum or cigarette butts out the window or on the streets. Also, remember not to squat on the ground; it is considered uncouth in the Western world.

I still remember when I first came to the United States in 1969. That day I was with my host family, and I opened the window on the highway to enjoy some fresh air. While I thought the air was fresher than that of Hong Kong, my hosts almost died from the wind because the car was going sixty-five miles per hour. So remember, be polite.