China, an Argument Based Society

In china you often see people negotiating about things that in the US would be non-negotiable. Near my house there's a little alley outside a gated school compound. Along the side, cars are parked, and empty spots are blocked with concrete blocks.

There was a guy out of his car, moving the blocks, when a 15 year old guard came over. They began to argue - you can't park here why not, blah blah

In the US the guard would just say "to park here you have to have ~~ license" , or "to park here costs X", and everything he'd say would be pretty clearly backed up with force. After he says this there is no argument. If you park here we'll have you towed.

Yet, they went on talking for 5 more minutes. What can they possibly be talking about? Either you have the authority or you don't. There is no convincing.

Not only that, but people are comfortable being around people they've just browbeaten.

Other things people argue about:

I know the elevator only serves floors 5-20, but can you stop at floor 21 for me?

I know we signed a contract promising delivery of the goods on date X, but we're very busy and so we can't do it.

I know the air conditioner doesn't work, and we are the building managers... but you see, the problem is that the AC can't vent properly, so you have to understand that it can't be fixed.