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有趣的人 needs to hold her tongue?

Popularity 7Viewed 6083 times 2015-6-5 11:33 |System category:Life| conversation, difference, sense of humour

Life is life. And something happened today.

In fact, there are ridiculous things happening my life recently. I started to work and was fired in a week because I don't smoke. And they knew that the smoke disturbs me as early as the interview day. On the first day, we agreed to move my table to another room, and the following day I got fired. So, instead of changing the table's location, they decided to change the person who sits there! Now you see there's no smoke free work environment, and that's a huge clue for you to understand that I'm not within the EU right now. Most places I applied within the EU require me to have a work permit, and they can't sponsor a visa. So, I'm back to job search again.

Anyways... I made a profile on a language exchange website. When I was suffering from insomnia and mild depression, I started randomly browsing profiles and had some good laughs. Hoping that it's a conversation breaker to cheer me up and have pleasant language exchange, on my profile I wrote that I would like to hear funny/weird things people encountered at work or during the interview process in Japanese, Chinese and English. A Chinese guy sent me a message. Yes, you're right, that's how I became a "有趣的人", a funny person (read on to figure out a detailed explanation of the phrase)

This guy, from Shanghai, wrote "You say you spent some time in China and can speak Chinese, so I will write in Chinese", and went on to share a "funny experience" he had at work. I'm briefly summarizing, and writing the English parts in italics:

I work as a game developer, so after work we play online computer games with my colleagues. There is a newbie in the game as well. He is on the helicopter, and he asks "How can I run faster?" and I say "Press F". The F button in that game is to embark or disembark vehicles. When he presses F, his character jumps out of the helicopter, and in the chat box liar appears. After 20 minutes the game says XXX commited suicide.

And I reply,

你好 (his nickname) 在电脑上玩游戏怎么会是工作上的趣事呀。 Hello (nickname) How can playing computer games counts a funny thing at work?
直升机上的人为什么问怎么能跑得快,这个也不懂。Why the person on the helicopter asks how he can run faster, I don't understand either.
不好意思哦,但是我感觉你的幽默感很奇怪。I'm sorry but I think your sense of humour is weird.


Actually now I guess I understand why he thought it to be funny (Because I wrote a more coherent summary of his message); the game made it look like the newcomer called him a "liar" and commited suicide because of him.  But this is by no means "a funny thing that happened at work", maybe if he told it as "something that made him laugh recently" I wouldn't have reacted so... I didn't think he would take my words personally and be so bitter about them. Yes, the "weird humour" part. I know in Japanese "weird" is a heavy insult, but Chinese people around me never showed sensitivity to that word, and I heard it being used often. I admit it might sound harsh to some people... But I definitely wouldn't mind. AND in his reply, he played the "You're a foreigner, your culture is different, so you misunderstood me" card..... In my previous blogs I wrote it many times, that the "Your culture is different, that's why..." type of imaginary cause-effect relationship gets on my nerves and that it's very hard to avoid in China.

He also said my words hurt him (
我感觉自己被深深的打击了:( ) which I took as a half joking protest. He wanted to make a foreign friend, but the foreign friend misunderstood him.

I apologized, but gave him a short but stern lecture that whatever foreigners say or do can't be explained by their "foreignness" and that culture plays no role in my reaction. People's sense of humour differs, and people don't abide their traditional culture in all forms of personal interaction. I also told him this is my personality and that I say things directly. (On my profile I wrote that I'm ENTP) I sent him the link of the Myers
-Briggs test. To me, it was apparent that we can't be friends.

I'm outlining his somewhat long reply and what his arguments made me think:

* I don't want to discuss further to prove my point, it's meaningless. (OK, logical)
* I'm not saying that people should live according to my culture and tradition. (This is completely irrelevant)
* When I want to make friends, I choose people who understand my humour and if they don't, I don't force them. Friendship is not something you can force to happen. (Eh, common sense?)
* When I said "I am hurt", it was a joke, don't take it seriously. (Of course I could understand that)
* I guess he tells me not to build arguments anymore on his statement "Cultural difference makes you misunderstand". But I'm not really sure. It's not only his statement, but anyways. (He wrote 
“我想这是文化差异,所以你才会误会”这是一种台阶 what does 台阶 mean here? 请不要在别人给你的台阶下的时候不下,还要顺着杆子再爬一层。 
* He was offended by my words, because I said "Don't approach foreigners like this", so he wrote "Maybe that's what I do and maybe not" (Irrelevant and none of my business)
* I make friends with people whom I get along well, they accept or refuse my thoughts.... etc. (Partially irrelevant)
* World is big and there are funny people (
世界这么大,有趣的人总会有一些。) (He uses it as a derogatory term! :D)
* You say everyone has a different personality, very complicated and so on, then you say it can be assessed by a test and attach the test under each message? (I didn't! I attached it only once and he misses the logic of the personality test)
* Saying bye to you is the sane thing to do. Bye. (I have to admit, "saying bye" sounds like he's making it a big deal)

And wrote him a very short reply:

The end of my Chinese skills, so the last message is in English.
It's interesting that you say 世界这么大,有趣的人总会有一些 in a derogatory way, and this is a cultural difference. Though sense of humour is not. When I said "you have a weird sense of humour" that was by no means a personal attack. I apologized before and after writing it, it obviously sounded rude to you. 
That personality test is a scientific study, and I sent it to you because there is a significant classification: I don't take criticism personally, but it looks like you do. 贴上各种标签的话? I sent it to you because if you ever take that test it will tell you that you take criticism personally, and strive to maintain harmony, etc.
Bye~

But the message couldn't be sent because he had blocked me! As if I would keep messaging him to disturb... Anyways, he wanted to say the last words, and show his attitude. I don't really mind, there are different types people on the word indeed, and he was one of those whom I'm not going to get along well with... Some of his points are irrelevant or ridiculous (How he makes friends or my attitude about the personality test) but I do agree that I wasn't being my politest... I shouldn't have expected him to react the way I would. 

Being a "funny" person, or marginal, or even "weird" is a compliment for me though. And I enjoy it in the derogatory way he meant as well! But yeah, despite being 有趣的人, maybe I should soften my tone or just simply ignore people whom I can't relate, instead of trying to interact with them... The "funny" gal needs to hold her tongue!

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)

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Reply Report claudeckenni 2016-2-21 20:05
Well, they said you know you have mastered your second language if you can joke with it. And up until now, Im still finding it hard to tell a joke using Chinese language. Vice versa, whenever my Chinese friends told me something funny, most of the time I still can't grasp which part of it is the funny part. I really need to learn more...

Btw if you want something funny about work interview, I have something to discuss
"How do you see yourself in ten years?" ---> The number of years might vary, but this question is the favourite question Chinese companies like to ask. How did I know? I did total seven interviews in China, five last year and two this year, and they all asked this same question.

1) If you were me, how will you answer this question?
2) What do you think they want to hear from us, the interviewee, when they asked this question?

Let's discuss it...
Reply Report Maierwei 2016-4-12 01:27
claudeckenni: Well, they said you know you have mastered your second language if you can joke with it. And up until now, Im still finding it hard to tell a joke usi ...
That question is common worldwide. They want to see if you have vision, if you plan to stay long in the company and take more responsibilities. They want to see how confident you are about receiving promotion, etc. It's not really about where you see yourself, it's more like "What do you hope to achieve in our company in 10 years?" And you should ensure them that you plan to stay put in their company/field for 10 years. Any answer that indicates you plan to leva in a year or two is a bad sign for HR people.
Reply Report samthy 2016-10-9 19:01
never mind never mind that is his misunderstand, may you feel happy and just be you  
Reply Report claudeckenni 2016-12-22 09:30
Maierwei: That question is common worldwide. They want to see if you have vision, if you plan to stay long in the company and take more responsibilities. They w ...
Sorry for the late reply. Interesting. I will remember it in my next interview. Im working as a foreign teacher in China now, teaching my mother language in university. At the interview, they asked me a question like this
"How long do you plan to teach in our university?"

And I answered
"At least for two years"

And they accepted me. I don't know if my answer have nothing to do with it or not, but Im just trying to be honest with them hahaha.

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Maierwei

Whenever I get lost I look super-confident. Whenever I feel so scary, boring and ordinary people tell me I\'m so nice, interesting and friendly.

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  • My Study Abroad in the UK 2017-1-6 22:17

    Hi, Maierwai. Admittedly, it is fun to read your blogs, as some of your stories about your life on exotic lands are intriguing and hilarious. However, I would also like to read about things you have experienced that would be billed as positive. Is there anything that your really appreciated when living abroad, e.g. in China, Japan, the UK and etc. I don't think that you are an overly cynical person, and you simply can't be critical of everything, right?

  • 有趣的人 needs to hold her tongue? 2016-12-22 09:30

    Maierwei: That question is common worldwide. They want to see if you have vision, if you plan to stay long in the company and take more responsibilities. They w ...
    Sorry for the late reply. Interesting. I will remember it in my next interview. Im working as a foreign teacher in China now, teaching my mother language in university. At the interview, they asked me a question like this
    "How long do you plan to teach in our university?"

    And I answered
    "At least for two years"

    And they accepted me. I don't know if my answer have nothing to do with it or not, but Im just trying to be honest with them hahaha.

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