Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

I Have A Foreigner Boss

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, May 4, 2007

Whilst it would be untrue to say that anything surprises me any more, it is a fact that I am constantly awestruck by the constantly expressed xenophobia and hatred towards non-Han Chinese here. You can see it (and hear it) walking down the street, you can feel it in the air at times. One place you will see it day after day, is on the internet.

ChinaDaily (the Party mouthpiece) operates, in addition to their ‘news’, a forum. One section of the forum is in English. Now, it being a Party mouthpiece, you will of course understand that every single comment that appears has passed scrutiny by a team of moderators. Forget criticism of the Red Gods, it’ll never appear. Essentially, what you see passes muster and is approved of at high levels. It is, therefore, a good barometer of the current state of affairs in China.

Check out this thread. Some young girl has a new job with a foreign company, and is asking for advice on how to deal with a foreign boss. I reckon it’s a stupid question – do your job and work hard – but it ain’t nearly as bad as some of the replies:

my boss is a foreigner and he is not so well to get along with,nothing about the language

Don’t worry about the language barrier, your foreign boss should understand or he’ll just be an IDIOT.

Be sure of the scope of your work, not so that you would be calculating but so that you will not end up a slave labour in your company. I understand that some bosses like to exploit their staff.

Your boss should learn the Chinese culture …. if you are referring to working in China. If your boss, working in China, cannot adapt to the ways in the China and her people, then I think the company has sent the wrong guy to manage the company. He/She should be shipped back immediately home to handle domestic chores.

In the West, the quickest way for the employee to move up would be to sleep with the boss. Better yet, sleep with the boss and then sue the boss and the company for millions for sexual harassment. Quick settlement, early retirement.

American bosses are demanding and unreasonable. The excuse they often give for criticising others – they are from the “advanced” country and you are just a “developing” nation. I have heard those craps from American bosses, many times. One more thing, when it comes to axeing staff or retrenchment because the company is making losses (due to their poor financial management), the American bosses are merciless. They are quite well-known for that

American PRESIDENT exploiting an underaged INTERN sexually. He is writing books and still making his rounds to make speeches. That’s the kind ROTTEN FREE society you have. To protect NOT those vulnerable but those in POWER. Perhaps, it doesn’t matter a s-h-i-t to you yankies that Lebanon (also Iraqi) children and women are bombed and killed so long as the doer is your prodigal son, Israel. And you go round giving the BS about Human Rights, whose rights exactly?

my first job is aslo a foreigner boss. he is from uk, 25-year-old, not so tall. in my mind i feel all foreingers are tall and robust. when i meet him first time, what i saw hit me a heavy blow. my boss nearly has the same height with me, and he is thin. so i am not afraid of him. at first i am so happy. i think i get a perfect chance to make money and practice my oral english. but the guy is so smart that he gave me little money, and he even learn chinese from me!

Generally it’s not easy to get along well with a expatriate despite you can speak english very well.

And on it goes. Well, I’ve got advice for any Chinese wanting to work for a ‘foreigner boss’:

1. Do your fucking job. That’s what the company is paying you 2.5 times what any Chinese company pays you to do. So do.

2. Work, in this context, is a verb. It is something you do. It is not where you go to sleep from 2pm until 5pm.

3. When your employer asks you to do something and you don’t understand – say “I don’t understand”. It’s far better than saying “I know, I know, I know” when in fact you don’t know your arse from your elbow. When you eventually fuck up, giving the blank ‘I-don’t know-nothing-and-I-won’t-lose-my-face’ stare is not going to help much. Unless you want to see yet another laowai reduced to incoherency, in which case it helps plenty.

4. When you have a deadline, it means that you are expected to complete a task by that time, not begin it then.

5. Sorry to be picky, but get your mother to iron your shirt, and learn to brush your teeth. And roll down your shirt and trousers, for goodness sake!

6. You being able to chat on MSN and QQ is not the primary reason your company opened a branch in China. Quite possibly, they actually expect you to do something more productive. Like your actual job, for instance.

7. Sleeping with your boss may well be a job requirement in China, but in most cases your ‘foreigner boss’ has better things to do with his time. There are more than enough whores, slags, and ho’s for him on the street, without him having to deal with them in his business.

8. Contrary to 5,000 years of experience, 60% complete is not 100% complete.

9. Your boss doesn’t give a flying fuck whether ‘this is China’ or not. He wants you to do what you have been paid to do, not ‘negotiate’ the details with him.

10. When your contract says you are supposed to work from 9am to 5pm, then it means that 9am is the time that you should be at your place of employment. It is not the time that you get out of bed.

Honestly peeps, it ain’t rocket science. Why make it so hard?

It’s no wonder we drink.

8 Responses to “I Have A Foreigner Boss”

  1. TaiTai said

    So very true. Check out our very own 10 commandments for Chinese working with westerners:


  2. mylaowai said

    Good post you have there, and far wittier than mine, damn your eyes!

    Actually, I just read back through your archives, and tarnation! You’ve already covered another four things I was at a draft stage with. Curses!

    You guys still are, in my book, the best bloggers around. Keep it up.

  3. TaiTai said

    We are nothing if not been-there-done-that merchants ourselves. We try and keep it fresh, but there is little in this corner of the blogosphere that hasn’t been done to death already. Still, we hope a Sinocidal view of things is at least worthwhile; at best entertaining, and at worst it brings out the best in the worst people!

  4. Jenn said

    Haha. The “It’s China” has to be the best/worst/most enraging excuse that I hear all to often here. It’s China, 没办法。

    Really? Because it doesn’t have to be this hard. Lots of other places do it differently!

  5. max said

    The Chinese of Singapore and Hong Kong seem to have no problem working out the above ideas. It must be something particular to the mainland. I have often heard my Singaporean and HKer friends also complain about the problems they have when they deal with the ‘mainlanders’.

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