Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Have you ever felt so pissed off with your friends who use business language when they talk to you? Like when you tell your friend that petrol prices has gone up and she goes, “Thanks, noted.” Sure, she said thanks but why did she have to say, “Noted”? You almost feel like you’re bothering her, and that she had absolutely no need for such information. What about some friends who tell you that they had roti canai “this am” or I’d be able to make it for drinks “this pm”. Or please let me know if we are meeting up by COB today? Please let me know what are the plans for her birthday ASAP? Good gosh! I feel like I’m talking to clients and that we’re making some important business transaction when actually it’s just supposed to be a friendly conversation, between FRIENDS.

Have you ever had friends (I would say this happens a lot when I’m with girl-friends), they say something to you, but you know they are not actually listening to what you have to say in return. You know this when their eyes stray behind or to the other person next to you, just about anywhere but you. At first, I wonder if maybe she just lost track, and I would repeat my comment. But then you realize, that it’s not true because she’d continue her story, making no link to the comment I had previously made. Hummph! I had foolishly thought that when somebody says something, they want to know what you think, your VALUED remarks. Having ‘listened’ to your remarks, they’d say something back, to relate to your comment, either for or against. I just need to know, why these people bother telling somebody something when you don’t want to listen hard to his/her comment? It was perplexing at first, but I soon realize that some people just like to hear themselves speak. They speak and expect no comments from you. Even if what they say is actually a question.

Have you ever had friends pose questions, or make remarks to fish compliments out of you, or so that they can boast about their achievements? Example? Like when someone says “Oh no, I forgot to send in my Travel Form”. Instinctively, you’d ask “Oh where are you going?”, wouldn’t you? And she or he will begin telling you that they’re going somewhere ‘fantastic’ and that it’s an all-expense paid trip. Or when someone asks you if you had noticed that property prices are so attractive now, and you’d ask whether they were planning to purchase something, when actually they already have and were just asking that question so that they would have an opening to begin telling you of their decorating plans?

Have you ever had to sit through a conversation, in which you didn’t understand a word of? No offence to the millions of Chinese-Mandarin speakers, but I really hate it when people start speaking in Mandarin when they well know that I don’t speak it. I know the whole bloody drill about how I am Chinese and that I am such a shame to my fellow wonderful Chinese friends for not knowing how to speak Mandarin. But let me ask you this, how is making me furious because of ‘your’ lack of social grace is going to somehow motivate me into learning Mandarin? It doesn’t, ok? Let me assure you that it doesn’t, AT ALL. I don’t mean just the language Mandarin. It could be an Indian having lunch with his/her Chinese colleagues.


Anonymous said...

hey, I was just talking to your sis this morning and at the end, she said 'bye, good info sharing' :)

Anonymous said...

You know..the same shit happened to me...surrounded by insensitive hukkien speaking ppl when i was working in this chinaman company..They even conduct their meetings in Hukkien..gosh..I'm all for Malaysianism..but this is far too much (and note that at that time there was this malay employee). I left that company after 5 gruelling months of pure torture...its like COMMUNICATION SUICIDE

Anonymous said...

I attended several meetings conducted by big shots in my company, be it a senior manager, VP, GM, etc .... only to find out that they don't even try to speak proper English! NEVER attempt to be casual in a meeting, a professional meeting should be professional period.

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