Saturday, 3 December 2011

Business Culture

American Business Culture
1. Food and meals do not have the social significance found in many cultures.
2. Family isn’t as important as in most cultures.
3. Americans like change.
4. Social contacts and relationships tend to be more work related, as opposed to neighborhood, community and religion.
5. American frequently change jobs and move.
6. Employment is not tied to companies or industries or location.
7. Getting ahead is usually done via changing jobs.
8. Education is more job related. For example, community colleges prepare you for a job.
9. Social mobility is related to money, not social standing or ties in a family.
10. Americans take pride in job achievements; i.e. my son the doctor.
11. Most Americans actually pay their taxes.
12. It's a legalistic society
13. The understanding of other cultures is very low, as is the understanding of nonAmerican history.
14. There is little interest in foreign cultures in most areas of the country (exceptions are metropolitan areas with large immigrant populations such as New York and Lost Angeles).15. Business people are relatively informal in their meetings but there is a great deal of them.

How the cultures differ in different regions
You live in Arizona when...
1 You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You can open and drive your car without touching the car door or the steering wheel.
3. You know that the "dry heat" outside is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
4. You would give anything to be able to splash cold water on your face.
5. You can attend any function wearing shorts and a tank top.
6. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
You Live in California when...
1. You make over $250,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
2 The high school quarterback calls a time-out to answer his cell phone.
3. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
4. You know how to eat an artichoke.
5. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
6. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.

You Live in New York City when...
1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building.
3 You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
4. You think Central Park is "nature,"
5. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
6. You've worn out a car horn.
7. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.
You Live in Maine when...
1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco.
2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3. You have more than one recipe for moose.
4. Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5. The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.
You Live in the Deep South when...
1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2."ya'll" is singular and "all all" is plural.
3. After five years you still hear, "You ain't from 'round here, are Ya?"
4. "He needed killin' " is a valid defense. 
             5. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, MARY BETH, etc.

You live in Colorado when...
1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and he stops at the day care center
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.

You live in the Midwest when...
1. You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
4. You end sentences with a preposition: "Where's my coat at?"
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"

You live in Florida when....
1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind -- even houses and cars.
3 Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you are often driven by headless people.
More information on American Business Culture

Facts and Statistics
Location: North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
Capital: Washington, DC
Climate: mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest.
Population: 301,139,947 (July 2007 est.)
Ethnic Make-up: white 81.7%, black 12.9%, Asian 4.2%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2% (2003 est.)
Religions: Protestant 52%, Roman Catholic 24%, Mormon 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 1%, other 10%, none 10% (2002 est.)
Government: Constitution-based federal republic
Language in the USA
The United States does not have an official language, but English is spoken by about 82% of the population as a native language. The variety of English spoken in the United States is known as American English; together with Canadian English it makes up the group of dialects known as North American English. Spanish is the second-most common language in the country, spoken by almost 30 million people (or 12% of the population).
American Society and Culture
America is ultimately a nation of immigrants and as a result is a cultural mish-mash in every sense of the word. Not only is the country populated by people from foreign countries but all Americans in one way or another trace their ancestry back to another culture, whether Irish, German, Italian or Scottish. Looking around any major city one will notice the ‘melting-pot’ that it is.
Informal and Friendly
Most people who come to the United States may already know a few things about the people through TV. Although this is of course a skewed reality some of the stereotypes are true, especially American friendliness and informality. People tend to not wait to be introduced, will begin to speak with strangers as they stand in a queue, sit next to each other at an event, etc. Visitors can often be surprised when people are so informal to the point of being very direct or even rude.
Time is Money
The country that coined the phrase obviously lives the phrase. In America, time is a very important commodity. People 'save' time and 'spend' time as if it were money in the bank. Americans ascribe personality characteristics and values based on how people use time. For example, people who are on-time are considered to be good people, reliable people who others can count on.
The Family
The family unit is generally considered the nuclear family, and is typically small (with exceptions among certain ethnic groups). Extended family relatives live in their own homes, often at great distances from their children.
Individualism is prized, and this is reflected in the family unit. People are proud of their individual accomplishments, initiative and success, and may, or may not, share those sources of pride with their elders.

Customs and Etiquette in the U.S.A

Meeting and Greeting
  • Greetings are casual.
  • A handshake, a smile, and a 'hello' are all that is needed.
  • Smile!
  • Use first names, and be sure to introduce everyone to each other.
Gift Giving Etiquette
  • In general, Americans give gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and major holidays, such as Christmas.
  • A gift can be as simple as a card and personal note to something more elaborate for a person with whom you are close.
  • Gift giving is not an elaborate event, except at Christmas.
  • When invited to someone's home for dinner, it is polite to bring a small box of good chocolates, a bottle of wine, a potted plant or flowers for the hostess.
  • Gifts are normally opened when received.
Dining Etiquette
  • Americans socialise in their homes and ‘backyards’, in restaurants and in other public places.
  • It's not at all unusual for social events to be as casual as a backyard barbecue or a picnic in the park.
  • Arrive on time if invited for dinner; no more than 10 minutes later than invited to a small gathering. If it is a large party, it is acceptable to arrive up to 30 minutes later than invited.
  • Table manners are more relaxed in the U.S. than in many other countries.
  • The fork is held in the right hand and is used for eating. The fork is held tines down. The knife is used to cut or spread something. To use the knife, the fork is switched to the left hand. To continue eating, the fork is switched back to the right hand.
  • If you have not finished eating, cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife. Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your plate.
  • If you are more comfortable eating in the Continental manner, go ahead. It will not offend anyone.
  • Feel free to refuse specific foods or drinks without offering an explanation.
  • Many foods are eaten by hand.
  • Food is often served family-style, which means that it is in large serving dishes and passed around the table for everyone to serve themselves.
  • Do not begin eating until the hostess starts or says to begin.
  • Remain standing until invited to sit down.
  • Do not rest your elbows on the table.
  • Put your napkin in your lap as soon as you sit down.
  • Leave a small amount of food on your plate when you have finished eating.

Business Etiquette and Protocol

Business Dress
  • What is considered appropriate business attire varies by geographic region, day of the week and industry.
  • In general, people in the East dress more formally, while people in the West are known for being a bit more casual.
  • Executives usually dress formally regardless of which part of the country they are in.
  • Casual Friday is common in many companies. High technology companies often wear casual clothes every day.
  • For an initial meeting, dressing conservatively is always in good taste. Women can wear business suits, dresses or pantsuits. Men should wear a business suit unless you know the firm to be quite casual.
  • The hand shake is the common greeting.
  • Handshakes are firm, brief and confident.
  • Maintain eye contact during the greeting.
  • In most situations, you can begin calling people by their first names.
  • Most people will insist that you call them by their nickname, if they have one.
  • In formal circumstances, you may want to use titles and surnames as a courtesy until you are invited to move to a first name basis, which will happen quickly.
  • Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual.
  • It is quite common for the recipient to put your card in their wallet, which may then go in the back pocket of their trousers. This is not an insult.
Communication Styles
Americans are direct. They value logic and linear thinking and expect people to speak clearly and in a straightforward manner. To them if you don’t “tell it how it is” you simply waste time, and time is money. If you are from a culture that is more subtle in communication style, try not to be insulted by the directness. Try to get to your point more quickly and don’t be afraid to be more direct and honest than you are used to. Americans will use the telephone to conduct business that would require a face-to-face meeting in most other countries. They do not insist upon seeing or getting to know the people with whom they do business.
Business Meetings
Arrive on time for meetings since time and punctuality are so important to Americans. In the Northeast and Midwest, people are extremely punctual and view it as a sign of disrespect for someone to be late for a meeting or appointment. In the Southern and Western states, people may be a little more relaxed, but to be safe, always arrive on time, although you may have to wait a little before your meeting begins.
Meetings may appear relaxed, but they are taken quite seriously. If there is an agenda, it will be followed. At the conclusion of the meeting, there will be a summary of what was decided, a list of who will implement which facets and a list of the next steps to be taken and by whom. If you make a presentation, it should be direct and to the point. Visual aids should further enhance your case. Use statistics to back up your claims, since Americans are impressed by hard data and evidence.
With the emphasis on controlling time, business is conducted rapidly. Expect very little small talk before getting down to business. It is common to attempt to reach an oral agreement at the first meeting. The emphasis is on getting a contract signed rather than building a relationship. The relationship may develop once the first contract has been signed.


The initial approach
Chinese business contacts are mostly referrals; essentially a business relationship is struck based on another business associate recommendation. The best prices and deals often comes from a strong recommendation.
However, it is common today for cold calls and direct contacts, given the availability of the internet and the competitive nature of Chinese businesses. You may source from the internet, trade fairs, catalogues and brochures, advertisements and approach the Chinese companies directly through a call or email.
Alternatively, if you are seeking to invest in a factory in China, you can approach a investment committee or a business advisory directly. They will be able to advise you on your best location based on your industry, raw material and manpower needs. Please contact us directly if you have such a need and we'll be glad to advise accordingly.

Business Relationship in China
Chinese business relationship inevitably becomes a social relationship after a while. Unlike Western business relationship which remains professional and perhaps, aloof, even after a long time, Chinese business relationship becomes a social one.
The more you share your personal life, including family, hobbies, political views, aspirations, the closer you are in your business relationship. Sometimes, a lot of time is spent discussing matters outside of business, but then a lot of time, the other party is also making up his mind about your deal based on how much he sees your personal relationship with him.

Seniority is important in China
Seniority is very important to the Chinese especially if you are dealing with a State owned or government body. Instead of addressing the other party as Mr or Mrs so and so, it is always appropriate to address the other party by his designation ie Chairman So and So, Director So and So or Manager So and So.
When giving out namecards or brochures, make sure you start with the most senior person before moving down the line. When giving out a namecard or recieving one, ensure that you are stretching out with both hands with the card. Remember to face the card you are giving out in a manner such that the recieving party gets it facing him correctly.

Giving Face or Gei MianZi
Giving face (aka giving due respect) is a very important concept in China. You must give the appropriate respect according to rank and seniority. For example, if you are buying gifts for an initial contact, make sure you buy better gifts for the senior managers instead of buying similar gifts across the board.
Similarly, sitting positions in a meeting room or a dining table is accorded accordingly to rank, importance and seniority. It is good to seek advice before embarking on your first meeting with Chinese business contacts to avoid making the wrong move.

Gifts and Presents
Unlike earlier days when China was very poor, gifts, especially of Western origin was especially appreciated. Today, China produces and imports almost anything imaginable and gifts are no longer a novelty.
However, gifts are always appreciated and especially in the smaller cities or towns, will continue to play an important part in your business relationship. Do note that if you are indeed giving gifts, make sure the senior people get a better gift or at least gifts perceived to have a higher value than their junior staff.
Similarly, expect to recieve gifts from the Chinese, especially Chinese art products. It is polite not to refuse, especially if it is not of too high a monetary value.

Lunch/Dinner in China
There is no business talk in China without at least one trip to a restaurant. Sometimes, a trip is made to the restaurant even before any business discussion take place! Inevitably, the restaurant will always be a grand one and you are likely to be hosted in a private room.
There is an elaborate seating arrangement for a Chinese business meal. There are fixed seating positions for the host and the guest and then they are seated again according to seniority. This is a very important aspect of a formal dinner and it is important that you follow the rules accordingly. However, it seems that the Northern Chinese are very particular to this formal seating arrangement while the Southern Chinese has loosen the formalities somewhat

Drinking with the Chinese
The Chinese are big drinkers especially in Northern and Western China. It does not matter if it is lunch or dinner; as long as a meal is being hosted, there will be alcohol.
Chinese wine is the favourite, followed by red wine and beer. Chinese wine is more like fuel than liquor, having a alcohol concentration as high as 60%! No matter how good a drinker you may think of yourself, never, ever challenge a Chinese into a drinking contest. They will win, hands down!
It is often seen as rude not to drink with the Chinese in a formal dinner. To maintain your sanity, either claim to be a non alcoholic or plead medical grounds as an excuse. This will let you off the hook with little or minimal drinks. Better yet, bring a partner who can drink on your behalf!

After Dinner Entertainment in China
Formal business dinner normally drags for quite sometime as there will be much social talk, some karoake, and drinking contests. Most of the time, everyone is too drunk to indulge in further entertainment after a dinner. In addition, if you are just new to this partnership, you are unlikely to be invited to further after dinner entertainment.
However, once you are familiar with them, you may be invited to a Karaoke, or a Night Club, or a Suana. Do note that if they are the host for the night, all bills will be picked up by them for the night, including all entertainment. It is impolite to fight for the bill or worst, split the bills.
Similarly, if you are the host for the night, you are expected to pick up all bills for the night.

Controversial Issues in China
There are some taboo areas in social conversations with the Chinese. Try to avoid these conversational topics as much as possible. I have seen many nasty arguements as a result of these topics:
1. You must not mention that Taiwan is an independent state or a country.
2. You must NEVER praise the Japanese or be seen to be good buddies with them
3. You can condemn Mao Tse Tung but avoid critising Deng Hsiao Ping
4. You must not praise Shanghai in front of natives of Beijing and similarly vice versa

More information on chinese culture

Facts and Statistics
Location: Eastern Asia bordering Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km
Capital: Beijing
Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Population: 1,298,847,624 (July 2004 est.)
Ethnic Make-up: Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%
Religions: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Muslim 1%-2%, Christian 3%-4%
Government: Communist state
The Chinese Language
Chinese is a family of closely-related but mutually unintelligible languages. These languages are known variously as f¨¡ngy¨¢n (regional languages), dialects of Chinese or varieties of Chinese. In all over 1.2 billion people speak one or more varieties of Chinese.
All varieties of Chinese belong to the Sino-Tibetan family of languages and each one has its own dialects and sub-dialects, which are more or less mutually intelligible.
Why not learn some useful Manadarin or Cantonese phrases before your visit?
Chinese Society & Culture
The Importance of "Face"
. The concept of 'face' roughly translates as 'honour', 'good reputation' or 'respect'.
. There are four types of 'face':
1) Diu-mian-zi: this is when one's actions or deeds have been exposed to people.
2) Gei-mian-zi: involves the giving of face to others through showing respect.
3) Liu-mian-zi: this is developed by avoiding mistakes and showing wisdom in action.
4) Jiang-mian-zi: this is when face is increased through others, i.e. someone complementing you to an associate.
. It is critical you avoid losing face or causing the loss of face at all times.
Confucianism is a system of behaviours and ethics that stress the obligations of people towards one another based upon their relationship. The basic tenets are based upon five different relationships:
. Ruler and subject
. Husband and wife
. Parents and children
. Brothers and sisters
. Friend and friend
Confucianism stresses duty, sincerity, loyalty, honour, filial piety, respect for age and seniority. Through maintaing harmonious relations as individuals, society itself becomes stable.
Collectivism vs. Individualism
. In general, the Chinese are a collective society with a need for group affiliation, whether to their family, school, work group, or country.
. In order to maintain a sense of harmony, they will act with decorum at all times and will not do anything to cause someone else public embarrassment.
. They are willing to subjugate their own feelings for the good of the group.
. This is often observed by the use of silence in very structured meetings. If someone disagrees with what another person says, rather than disagree publicly, the person will remain quiet. This gives face to the other person, while speaking up would make both parties lose face.
Non-Verbal Communication
. The Chinese' Non-verbal communication speaks volumes.
. Since the Chinese strive for harmony and are group dependent, they rely on facial expression, tone of voice and posture to tell them what someone feels.
. Frowning while someone is speaking is interpreted as a sign of disagreement. Therefore, most Chinese maintain an impassive expression when speaking.
. It is considered disrespectful to stare into another person's eyes. In crowded situations the Chinese avoid eye contact to give themselves privacy.

Chinese Etiquette and Customs

Meeting Etiquette
. Greetings are formal and the oldest person is always greeted first.
. Handshakes are the most common form of greeting with foreigners.
. Many Chinese will look towards the ground when greeting someone.
. Address the person by an honorific title and their surname. If they want to move to a first-name basis, they will advise you which name to use.
. The Chinese have a terrific sense of humour. They can laugh at themselves most readily if they have a comfortable relationship with the other person. Be ready to laugh at yourself given the proper circumstances.
Gift Giving Etiquette
. In general, gifts are given at Chinese New Year, weddings, births and more recently (because of marketing), birthdays.
. The Chinese like food and a nice food basket will make a great gift.
. Do not give scissors, knives or other cutting utensils as they indicate the severing of the relationship.
. Do not give clocks, handkerchiefs or straw sandals as they are associated with funerals and death.
. Do not give flowers, as many Chinese associate these with funerals.
. Do not wrap gifts in white, blue or black paper.
. Four is an unlucky number so do not give four of anything. Eight is the luckiest number, so giving eight of something brings luck to the recipient.
. Always present gifts with two hands.
. Gifts are not opened when received.
. Gifts may be refused three times before they are accepted.
Dining Etiquette
. The Chinese prefer to entertain in public places rather than in their homes, especially when entertaining foreigners.
. If you are invited to their house, consider it a great honour. If you must turn down such an honour, it is considered polite to explain the conflict in your schedule so that your actions are not taken as a slight.
. Arrive on time.
. Remove your shoes before entering the house.
. Bring a small gift to the hostess.
. Eat well to demonstrate that you are enjoying the food!
Table manners:
. Learn to use chopsticks.
. Wait to be told where to sit. The guest of honour will be given a seat facing the door.
. The host begins eating first.
. You should try everything that is offered to you.
. Never eat the last piece from the serving tray.
. Be observant to other peoples' needs.
. Chopsticks should be returned to the chopstick rest after every few bites and when you drink or stop to speak.
. The host offers the first toast.
. Do not put bones in your bowl. Place them on the table or in a special bowl for that purpose.
. Hold the rice bowl close to your mouth while eating.
. Do not be offended if a Chinese person makes slurping or belching sounds; it merely indicates that they are enjoying their food.
. There are no strict rules about finishing all the food in your bowl.
Tipping Etiquette: Tipping is becoming more commonplace, especially with younger workers although older workers still consider it an insult. Leaving a few coins is usually sufficient.

Business Etiquette and Protocol in China

Relationships & Communication
. The Chinese don't like doing business with companies they don't know, so working through an intermediary is crucial. This could be an individual or an organization who can make a formal introduction and vouch for the reliability of your company.
.  Before arriving in China send materials (written in Chinese) that describe your company, its history, and literature about your products and services. The Chinese often use intermediaries to ask questions that they would prefer not to make directly.
. Business relationships are built formally after the Chinese get to know you.
. Be very patient. It takes a considerable amount of time and is bound up with enormous bureaucracy.
. The Chinese see foreigners as representatives of their company rather than as individuals.
. Rank is extremely important in business relationships and you must keep rank differences in mind when communicating.
. Gender bias is nonexistent in business.
. Never lose sight of the fact that communication is official, especially in dealing with someone of higher rank. Treating them too informally, especially in front of their peers, may well ruin a potential deal.
. The Chinese prefer face-to-face meetings rather than written or telephonic communication.
. Meals and social events are not the place for business discussions. There is a demarcation between business and socializing in China, so try to be careful not to intertwine the two.
Business Meeting Etiquette
. Appointments are necessary and, if possible, should be made between one-to-two months in advance, preferably in writing.
. If you do not have a contact within the company, use an intermediary to arrange a formal introduction. Once the introduction has been made, you should provide the company with information about your company and what you want to accomplish at the meeting.
. You should arrive at meetings on time or slightly early. The Chinese view punctuality as a virtue. Arriving late is an insult and could negatively affect your relationship
. Pay great attention to the agenda as each Chinese participant has his or her own agenda that they will attempt to introduce.
. Send an agenda before the meeting so your Chinese colleagues have the chance to meet with any technical experts prior to the meeting. Discuss the agenda with your translator/intermediary prior to submission.
. Each participant will take an opportunity to dominate the floor for lengthy periods without appearing to say very much of anything that actually contributes to the meeting. Be patient and listen. There could be subtle messages being transmitted that would assist you in allaying fears of on-going association.
. Meetings require patience. Mobile phones ring frequently and conversations tend to be boisterous. Never ask the Chinese to turn off their mobile phones as this causes you both to lose face.
. Guests are generally escorted to their seats, which are in descending order of rank. Senior people generally sit opposite senior people from the other side.
. It is imperative that you bring your own interpreter, especially if you plan to discuss legal or extremely technical concepts as you can brief the interpreter prior to the meeting.
. Written material should be available in both English and Chinese, using simplified characters. Be very careful about what is written. Make absolutely certain that written translations are accurate and cannot be misinterpreted.
. Visual aids are useful in large meetings and should only be done with black type on white background. Colours have special meanings and if you are not careful, your colour choice could work against you.
. Presentations should be detailed and factual and focus on long-term benefits. Be prepared for the presentation to be a challenge.
Business Negotiation
. Only senior members of the negotiating team will speak. Designate the most senior person in your group as your spokesman for the introductory functions.
. Business negotiations occur at a slow pace.
. Be prepared for the agenda to become a jumping off point for other discussions.
. Chinese are non-confrontational. They will not overtly say 'no', they will say 'they will think about it' or 'they will see'.
. Chinese negotiations are process oriented. They want to determine if relationships can develop to a stage where both parties are comfortable doing business with the other.
. Decisions may take a long time, as they require careful review and consideration.
. Under no circumstances should you lose your temper or you will lose face and irrevocably damage your relationship.
. Do not use high-pressure tactics. You might find yourself outmanoeuvred.
. Business is hierarchical. Decisions are unlikely to be made during the meetings you attend.
. The Chinese are shrewd negotiators.
. Your starting price should leave room for negotiation.
What to Wear?
. Business attire is conservative and unpretentious.
. Men should wear dark coloured, conservative business suits.
. Women should wear conservative business suits or dresses with a high neckline. 
. Women should wear flat shoes or shoes with very low heels.
. Bright colours should be avoided.
Business Cards
. Business cards are exchanged after the initial introduction.
. Have one side of your business card translated into Chinese using simplified Chinese characters that are printed in gold ink since gold is an auspicious colour.
. Your business card should include your title. If your company is the oldest or largest in your country, that fact should be on your card as well.
. Hold the card in both hands when offering it, Chinese side facing the recipient.
. Examine a business card before putting it on the table next to you or in a business card case.
. Never write on someone's card unless so directed.

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