Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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

The Christmas Guest Post

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Christmas Post

As I am in the business of understanding people, I had a moment of clarity today, seeing two corner-stones of how to work in China as clear as never before and want to share them with you all:

Never assume common sense, about anything and everything ever
If not specified, it will be wrong. Be as specific as you can possibly be.
Example: I was expecting a brief spreadsheet today summarizing a couple of numbers. It’s truly simple and the person doing it is very experienced. I only would have a quick review and will pass it on. I open the spreadsheet and find my eyes raped; Yellow font on dark blue, pink headings and a solid brown for the total columns. On top of that, all is in conditional formatting. Took me over 2 hours to fix this.

Never assume anyone within the total chain of command is committed to doing a good job for the sake of doing a good job.

The true credos are as follows in this order:
1. Most money for me
2. Least work for me
3. Least risk for me

This is actually quite impressive if read out of context as these are very smart business guidelines. How they translate into reality however is very different.

1. Most money: Most workers have a fixed income, and for those this one is taken out of the equation essentially as their output and effort do not really impact their earning. In a large array of companies neither your chance of promotion (it may take a year longer, but based on seniority you will be promoted eventually even if you do not know how to tie your shoes).

2. Least work: For those with fixed income, this is truly the variable to tweak. As I cannot increase my earnings, decreasing my output is the best way of tilting this equation to their favour. This unfortunately translates into a strong work avoidance behaviour that resides between a genuine lack of interest in whatever topic or creativity-fuelled list of excuses why work cannot be done. Note here, it is never about wanting; it is always about an external force that hinders the work. It is accordingly not possible. It has gone so far that people wanted to tell me there are no flights between Shanghai and Beijing… (No joke!)

3. Least risk: There are two kinds of risk of success and risk of failure. I basically understand them as follows:

3.1 Risk of failure is the more obvious one. Failing at a task given equals losing face and losing face is bad. It is better to not actually do the task and bring some excuse why external factors hindered you from doing it, than actually failing on it. Rule of thumb, the greater the responsibility the greater the willingness to avoid the chance of failure through avoidance.

3.2 Risk of success is closely related to the initial credo of least work for me. Success is dangerous as it may result in more work. Given the steady pay, success is rather risky and needs to be timed very well to achieve the desired outcome, i.e. briefly before promotion season, or when highly senior people are involved.

Let’s seize another day in this theoretically beautiful country and enjoy it as long as we are welcome.

Cheers,

The Hans!

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35 Responses to “The Christmas Guest Post”

  1. 0112337 said

    And you thought those on a fixed income without bonus should NOT act according to point 1, 2, and 3?

    Who is their boss? Their mother? Father? Uncle?

    Aren’t you the one without common sense?

    If this is all that you come up with after studying people, you got a long way to go buddy.

    • MyLaowai said

      The fact that you say this, proves the author’s point very well.

      I’m glad you don’t work for me, you crooked, work-shy tosser.

      • 0112337 said

        And the point is what? That Chinese people who work for others do point 1, 2, 3 given those conditions? Nobody else does that? What are you six? Stupid? Naive? Or communist?

        Tell me, why do you make them work on a fixed wage system and not reward them for hard work?

        Wake up. You will find workers doing that anywhere, it’s called human nature and common sense. Workers did not sign up to sell their soul. They signed up to do their job, so they can get paid. Successful employers know that workers refrain from doing their job unless there are clear, tangible, punishments put in place to check them. Their interest lies in getting income, not helping you. How can you NOT know this? No, how can you expect something different? Have you never worked before? Did you think your workers should treat you as their father?

        Laowai, if the banking world did not give workers bonuses, bankers would slack off a lot more and there would be a lot less politics floating around in the work place. Very few people go into this industry because they wanted to help finance debt for large companies. This is the truth and this will not change. It is human nature.

        American bankers do not slack off because there are bonuses and clear rules written down for punishments. However, this does not stop them from trying. A few years ago, when Lehman Brothers was still around, I read about a woman that sued the company for sexual discrimination at a party. She was part of a sales team, after pulling through a giant deal that generated major bonuses, the team decided to celebrate by throwing a party. Since nearly everyone else on the team were guys, they got a huge cake that was made in the shape of two large Caucasian breasts. This made the woman very uncomfortable so she sued the company for compensation. Lehman reached a settlement with her for tens of millions of dollars.

        That’s not slacking off, that’s stealing from the firm. American style.

        In Central America, my colleague and good friend tells me that workers usually do not come to work the day after payday, and in France, you have powerful unions that work together to, well, lets just say steal from the firm.

        Bankers that work for BNP Paribus enjoy an obscenely long coffee break during the day on top of their lunch break thanks to the socialist nature of the E.U.

        And of course you know more than I about just how good paid vacations are, how well workers are protected in the E.U., and how people generally do not work over there. Perhaps this is why you set up your business in China?

      • 0112337 said

        “I’m glad you don’t work for me, you crooked, work-shy tosser.”

        I am a banker right now, but I helped my family bag a multi-million dollar manufacturing company in China. I have about 30% stake in this company and I am a board member as well as a co-executive.

        But you are right in making that statement. I will not work for you. I do not work for petty misers, those who do not reward me for hard work, those who do not appreciate my expertise, and those people I don’t respect. Knowing you from your blog, I will absolutely refrain from working for you in any form if I can.

        In fact, now I see why your workers steal from you. I will too, if you think like this. I will lead the wolf pack, in bringing you down.

      • MyLaowai said

        And once again, you immediately try to justify your lack of a proper work ethic, rather than admit you might have a problem. How Chinese of you!

        My workers came to me to get paid for doing a job of work, at least in theory. Unfortunately, the Chinese definition of ‘hard work’ rather differs from the definition everyone else in the world has. Chinese see ‘work’ as a noun, rather than a verb – it’s a place to go (and ‘have a rest’) instead of something one does in order to justify being paid.

        As for you, maybe you are a big shot business dude, and then again maybe you’re not. Either way, you’ve made it clear that you’re work-shy, untrustworthy, and without the ability to behave in a rational manner. That’s about par for the course with you people.

      • 0112337 said

        “Chinese see ‘work’ as a noun, rather than a verb – it’s a place to go (and ‘have a rest’) instead of something one does in order to justify being paid.”

        Sometimes your writings make me doubt whether if you still live in China. Everything you say seem to be about how things were twenty to thirty years ago.

        Of course, there might be another reason to this. I get the feeling that the rest of China has moved to a standard of living that was like Beijing twenty or thirty years ago. And from my travels, I find that the Chinese people from the outer provinces are thinking and behaving like how we did back then. So maybe you are right, you see the complete picture.

        If you go to a major city like Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, or Guangzhou today, your statement would be considered ridiculous. There are no more “iron rice bowls”. The competition is so fierce that workers are willing to do anything to keep their job. Nobody dares to go goof off during work.

        But then again, I really don’t know enough about you or your company.

        “As for you, maybe you are a big shot business dude, and then again maybe you’re not. Either way, you’ve made it clear that you’re work-shy, untrustworthy, and without the ability to behave in a rational manner. That’s about par for the course with you people.”

        Anybody that gives the straight forward truth about themselves on this trashy blog is a fool. I didn’t come here to chat with you people originally, but to vent my frustration. I barely know you or anybody else here despite your attempt to understand me.

        I am a young man who is lost and unhappy with his life despite having so much. All my life I strove toward lofty goals to satisfy my egoism but only realized recently that I have gained absolutely nothing. I hate what I do, feel no sense of moral fulfillment from doing it, and thus, I feel very little self worth. I don’t love anyone or anything more than my accomplishments. I made no contribution to the world because of my work, I have not made an impact that made the earth a better place to live or made other people’s lives better in a meaningful way and that is why I come here. My life is selfish and meaningless. It is about one selfish goal after another. I don’t even love my girlfriend as much as I should despite her kindness. She is an infinitely better person than I and I am not worthy yet I wish to marry her. I am a total failure yet I cannot escape because of my egoism… I have tried turning to God. It didn’t work.

        I am not a big shot business dude. I am a slave working for someone else and I am still working right now at 4am. If that reflects the fact that I am work-shy, then so be it. My work puts me at a position where I am subject to the whims of someone else. I make great gains for the firm while taking in very little. I do all of this for my family like a true Chinese person.

      • Alexandre said

        Wow, you are really harsh on yourself.. I don’t know if you are currently going through depression, but I hope you will continue to oppose us with your challenging views. As much as I love this blog, and hate many aspects of Chinese society, I am always glad to see views that challenge my own conceptions.

        If all you said on this blog is true, at least you have enough money to drop everything, and start anew. Go study medicine as you wanted… Go through the “non-traditional” path (that is mid-life career change). It’s never too late!

    • 0112337 said

      Alexandre, how do you think Don Vito Corleone would respond if he found out that Michael wanted to be a medical school professor? How would Sonny and Fredo respond?

      Now imagine if the five families were once part of the same family, but separated due to the changing times and became five factions of the same family, each competing with one another for fame, power, wealth, influence, and glory in a rapidly changing society with much potential. How do you think they will view the Corleones if Michael became a humble, scholarly, medical school professor, Sonny beats his sister’s husband, and Fredo was a cowardly loser?

      Do you get the picture?

      • Nips Are Great said

        0112337 said:

        I am a wanking right now, and I helped my family rape others in a multi-million dollar manufacturing company in China. I have fucked about 30% of the little girls in this company. I love fucking all the little yellow girls and I am a board member as well as a co-executive so I can get off scot-free ’cause all my buddies are CCP assholes. Often they want me to send some girls to their office so I do. They never come back in the same condition, so I often wank.

        But you are right in making that statement. I will not wank for you. You are far more brilliant than a wretch like myself. I wank for truly great wankers, not those who do not reward me for wanking good and hard, those who do not appreciate my wanking expertise, and those people I can never dream of lording it over. Knowing you from your blog, I will absolutely not wank for you in any form. Ok, maybe I will if you promise to post the pictures of me wanking.

        In fact, now I see why everybody loves and adores you. I will too, if you bend over I will lead the wolf pack because I swing both ways and will be happy to see your pants down.

      • Alexandre said

        I get the picture, you are equating your family to mafiosi… with all the family pressure that comes with being the son of a powerful man. I understand the pressure, but sometimes you have to forget what people think of you. (Easier said that done, I admit it) If they don’t accept your choice, then so be it. I guess you fear losing your face or the face of your family, right? I have a very small family (5 people), so I can’t really put myself in your shoes, but if I were you, I would just forget about the extended family and go about my own business. I believe the smaller the family, the merrier.

        All that is taking me back from making my dreams come true is money. By chance I can get a loan to get to medical school, but I’ll have to pay it back later. You don’t have this problem, take advantage of this asset.

        Life can be easy, all you need is will power. In the unlikely event that your mafioso family sends a commando to take you down after they realize you want to quit your job and functions, just repudiate them all, change cities, change your name, and start a fresh, new life! :-) Jiayou

        Otherwise, don’t change anything and just go for it. As one saying goes: “looking a fool never killed anyone”.

      • 0112337 said

        Alexandre, you have no idea how insane my family is. You know about the movie Godfather right? That’s my family, except we don’t dress in suits and we don’t kill people. But everything else is pretty much the same. When the men gather, there is a strict hierarchy and we always talk about business. The women in the family serve the men, and know their place, and there were no such thing as a an “extended family”, we were always together. However, that changed as a result of China’s rapid rise and the fact that my family members no longer have the time to interact with one another, those ties are weakening and we now have something like an extended family.

        When I was in college, I discussed with my parents about studying medicine. They were flabbergasted. How could one of us go and become a doctor? That doesn’t happen in our family. We are all business people. My mother, who was a medical school professor at PKU, said to me, “son, you are a –, banking is in your blood. I have been watching you since you were a kid, and you never demonstrated to me that you had the potential to be a doctor. You hated helping others when you are young, etc., etc. Besides, do you realize that being a doctor is a great commitment? Do you know how many years of school is required? You will be treating the dirtiest, ugliest, and sickest people you can find. You can’t even handle your cousin puking, how will you be able to save someone who came to you in the ER with a spouting jugular vein? Hm? Being a doctor is a great responsibility, and at times it can be very, very, monotonous.”

        My grandfather, who is the head of the family, showed me a giant black and white picture of my great great grandfather. The point was for me to admire him and imitate his greatness. He was a great landlord before the revolution. When he was alive, his domain amounted to one and a half times the size of the state of Rhode Island. New governors had to pay him a visit first before they take office. When he goes out into the field at night, one cough was enough to scare away the little ones lying in ambush (local bandits of the night). The emphasis was on “one cough”.

        But then we lost everything due to an evil accountant that managed our wealth. When my great great grandfather died, he divided his wealth equally among his three sons and he entrusted his will to that accountant. However, none of the three sons ever got a penny of that wealth. The evil swindler liquidated the assets into gold and silver ingots and got away one night on a donkey cart and was never found or heard about again. As a result, the three sons became beggars.

        Fate works in mysterious ways. This piece of bad luck turned out to be a blessing. When the communist red army came, they favored my grandfather and brought him into the army because his father was a beggar. My grandfather quickly rose through the ranks due to his good background, and eventually ended up as a lieutenant general in the Dongbei Field Army. He even saw action in Korea.

        That’s my family, and according to the family hierarchy, I am the first born son of my father, who is the first born son of my grandfather, who is the first born son of his clan of five sons and four sisters, so according to tradition, I will be the head of my entire extended family in the North. I have a relative who is three years younger than me but is technically my niece according to the family hierarchy. She calls me uncle every time we meet, to my great embarrassment.

        As the head of the extended family, it is my duty to look out for everyone else, set an example, and to regain our past domain.

        I hope my story can make you understand how important family means in Chinese culture.

        As for medical school, have you considered studying in Russia or Eastern Europe? I heard the Moscow Medical Academy is ranked by UNESCO as top 10 in the world. They have an English program and the total fee for six years study is $6,000 dollars USD. Some Americans who are financially challenged go there for their medical education and come home for residency. All they have to do is pass the USMLE.

      • Alexandre said

        Your story is very interesting, but I guess it is so unique that it will only help me understand traditional Chinese family values as opposed to contemporary family values which seem to be completely different. Most families today in China only have one child and none of the Chinese people I met in China told me of such stories.

        What your mother said to you, though, seems to be typical of Chinese parents or counselors. They seem to always have a drive to bring down the people they are supposed to take care of. My girlfriend, who is Chinese, told me of many such instances where her school counselors would do nothing but constantly belittle her or her achievements, and her parents and grand-parents criticized her for many of the decisions she made in her life, one of them being that she was dating a foreigner. They used harsh words that in the end left a trace on her.

        The problem with foreign medical schools, especially those in non Western countries, is that once you get your diploma, however qualified a doctor you might be, you will always be subject to an anti-IMG bias in your workplace back home.

  2. Hans said

    @0112337
    holy shit you need to learn to write shorter answers given the crap you write I am so unwilling and unable to read through all this garbage. Ironically the weak content, the blunt lies, the self-perception and reality distortion are all perfectly in line with my initial post.

    @all, ever noticed that all Chinese posting on English blogs are investment bankers with massive incomes? it’s a crazy world huh? ;-)

    • 0112337 said

      I am on the verge of resolving a serious issue that has bothered me for over a year now, so I may soon bid you all farewell.

      This problem is completely unrelated to what I wrote here, it is regarding my revenge toward an enemy that wronged me and caused me massive losses. I was deliberating whether if I should destroy him, along with many other unfortunate people that got caught in our fight, or let it pass. One of his good friends has already been forced into retirement by me.

      Last time I saw him on the street, he was trembling and clearly still in shock. He hid from me. What happened was I knocked out his bishop but was unable to check mate him. Perhaps he will suffer from knowing that his foolish actions caused his friend’s retirement?

      I don’t know. What do you think Laowai? What would you do? Would you wreck him if he was your enemy? I know Jesus would probably forgive them and move on which is what I think I will do.

      The rants I wrote were mostly manifestations of my emotional musings as well as my attempt to add to the overall humor. Did you enjoy the multiple acts I put up? I certainly enjoyed them, especially how you all tried to guess who I was and what my life experiences were. Thanks for keeping me company during this difficult time.

      Believe it or not, most of my rants were true. I am a banker in real life but I don’t make as much as you think. I do private equity and not ASB securitization so I don’t make like…I don’t know…20 million a year.

      I own that company I bagged, but it is not doing well, so I might sell my stake soon. If you want to know how I bagged it, you can ask.

      That bit about medical school is also true. Although it is a bigger issue which is not so much a problem but a thought for later. Perhaps when I retire.

      I hope you all had a good new year celebration. Good luck in whatever you are doing.

      • MyLaowai said

        I’ve read all your posts carefully, as I do everyone’s. I thought you were a bullshit artist when you wrote them and I think you are a bullshit artist now. You’ve told so many lies it’s hard to even try to take you seriously, even if I thought this most recent bleat might be true, which I don’t.

        Hells bells man, you don’t even lie well. You are so Chinese you could be the original blueprint.

        You wouldn’t know a straight story if it bit you on the arse. You probably don’t even lie straight in bed.

        I think I will go and fire a worker now, for not washing the Aston properly. I’ll be sure to think of you when I kick his sorry hide out the factory gates…

      • 0112337 said

        Now, now, Laowai, don’t be an angry fenwai eh? It’s not good for your health.

        Tell me, do you really want the blood of another man on your hands? Are you comfortable with it?

        I am not, but you are pushing me toward it.

        Tell you what, I will let you fools decide the fate of this American peasant, the democratic, western, way.

        That should be fun.

      • MyLaowai said

        As I said. A bullshit artist.

      • Hans said

        You are so amazingly ridiculous :-)
        Do you have wanker-awards? Give him one!
        ‘Tremble in fear American peasant, mighty China-man will destroy you!’
        I bet you masturbate to this thought~

        Go on! Make him tremble in fear! Kill the unworthy! He who has brought shame to great nation of China! Make him pay for make China lose face!
        lol, go get scared of a bunny

      • 0112337 said

        Okay, I take that as a Yes. Done.

        May God have mercy on your soul.

        Sucker.

      • Hans said

        Can you send us a picture of him trembling in fear? Stuff like that gets me hot if you know what I mean ;)

      • justrecently said

        There’s little one can say about bullshit artist online, but I can safely tell that 011 is unusually unstable, even for a commenting fenqing, and that he’s guzzled tons of evangelical tracts from the Bible Belt.
        Pretty explosive mixture.

      • 0112337 said

        I find this very humorous so I will share it with everyone here.

        What is it with you Brits and Aussies? Why is it that your only preferred way to insult others is through topics related to sex? Is your culture fundamentally homosexual or sexually repressive?

        It seems the economic downturn and the timely demise of the British empire peeled back the layers of civilization and released the true, confused, barbarity of the Brits.

        Let us examine the familiar swear words in English shall we, “fuck, wank, screw, suck, cunt, dick, balls, arse lick.” What do you do when you get really angry? You bloody extend your bloody middle finger, making the grand gesture of a bloody upright penis, with the rest of your fingers forming the balls.

        Yeah! Look at me! I hate you so much that I want to make love to you. It’s developing into a real hard-on you know and it’s bloody still developing. Damn right! look! Look! it’s going upright now! Almost there! Look at me finger! Aren’t you appalled yet? I insult you with my SYMBOLISM!!!

        There, I just made love to everyone reading this.

        RESPECT.

        lol….

      • Hans said

        My middle finger is bigger than your cock. Think about it.

      • 0112337 said

        There is more to a healthy relationship than animalism, girlie.

        Try reading a book with your boyfriend and then connecting with him on that.

        It’s much more fun and maybe even more fulfilling than sex! Consider that!

        ;)

      • Hans said

        You joking right? Just cause you cannot satisfy a women, that doesnt mean women dont want to be satisfied!
        Sometimes women tell you these things, but deep down they know they want it, of course they do, we are animals after all. And deep down inside of yourself, you know, you will never be able to truly satisfy a woman. This must be such a burden. ALL women love wild rough sweaty sex, just not with all guys…

        but yeah, books are fine too ;-)

      • 0112337 said

        Whatever girlie.

        Hey, if you really are who you write yourself up to be, I recommend the books Microeconomic Theory by Mas Collel, Macroeconomics by Robert Barro, and anything by Modigliani (I consider him the Lord of Finance). The first two books are what top economics PhD programs use for their first year textbook. You can buy them through Amazon or download them online in pdf format.

        I always wanted to read those books but never got the chance due to having too many obligations. But if you have time, certainly consider!!

        Best wishes girlie!

        :)

      • Hans said

        Are you trying to impress me by reading fancy books?

        you go ahead and read ‘Small is beautiful’ from E.F. Schumacher , there u got a great book that fits your natural composition as well :D

  3. Hans said

    @0112337

    What is it with you? I say don’t unload you verbal diarrhea and you go all over the place again…

    No one cares who you are, what you do, what you have done, or what you plan to do. This is the internet! Just for the record, I am a woman by the way (and quite a hot one ;)

    Why you bagged your company? Obviously, just read my initial post again!

    • 0112337 said

      You know miss, I was about to write something sarcastic, but I have decided otherwise since you claim to be a woman. It’s against my principles.

      Don’t worry, be happy.

      :)

      Have a good, beautiful, and blessed day!!!

      • Hans said

        @0112337

        ^_^ how nice of you to treat foreign lady with respect, little bunny :-)

        I shall remain rude nonetheless, we don’t want to ruin the moment won’t we?

        @Mylaowei, I am amazed, this is the third time we posted exactly at the same time.

        PS: please reread my post and dont hit on me ;)

  4. justrecently said

    011’s comments aren’t useless at all, Hans. They are a live continuation of Wang xiansheng, especially his wet fantasies about wrecking his enemies and leaving them trembling and in shock.
    The commenting threads of your blog are a bonanza for new stories, Mylaowai.

  5. justrecently said

    That said, I must admit that the volume of material can be daunting, and cause writer’s blocks.

  6. Hans said

    I truly enjoy this to the fullest :-)

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