Friday, May 24, 2013

The working life: Photos

Want to know another thing that stinks about going to an international convention?

There are many. One is that in some cultures, punctuality is not a virtue, so you are waiting and waiting for them to show up for your meeting.

Then you sit in your meeting and their head guy talks and talks and then your head guy talks and talks and after 45 minutes, you're done but nothing was accomplished.

It sounds like this:

Chinese head guy: You guys are sooooooo great. [In Chinese]

Interpreter: You guys are soooooooo great. [In English]

Our head guy: No, you guys are so great!

Interpreter: No, you guys are so great! [In Chinese. I assume that she translates what our head guy said, but I can't be sure. She says something in a language I do not understand.]

Chinese head guy: No! Really! You guys are sooooooo great. [In Chinese]

Interpreter: No! Really! You guys are soooooooo great. [In English]

Our head guy: No! Really! No, you guys are so great!

Interpreter: No! Really! No, you guys are so great!  [In Chinese]

Chinese head guy: Uh-uh. I mean it. YOU! You guys are sooooooo great. [In Chinese]

Interpreter: Uh-uh. I mean it. YOU! You guys are soooooooo great. [In English]

Our head guy: Uh-uh. I mean it. YOU! No, you guys are so great!

Interpreter: No, you guys are so great! [In Chinese]

And it continues while the other eight Chinese people, all of them wearing dark, poorly-fitting, cheap suits (bless their hearts), the women with no makeup, no jewelry, and home haircuts, write furiously, taking down, I assume, every word their Head Guy utters.

We sit through 45 minutes of this. The only people who talk are the Head Guys. At the end, they decide they really want to Work Together For The Same Cause. The End.

Except no. Even though we are all now almost an hour late for the other appointments we had scheduled, we have to Take The Group Photo.

Y'all, I have never worked anywhere before where people took photos at work.

Who the heck cares if they have a photo of a bunch of people who attended the same meeting?

I promise I have never thought, "If only I had a photo of those people in the meeting I had at that produce trade show in Ought 4!"

Never.

I had my photo taken more times in seven days of this conference than I have in the past five years. I am now immortalized in Singapore, China, Korea, and Japan.

I thought I was Done With Photos. I hate this.

4 comments:

Gracie's Mom said...

At least you aren't one of the poor women immortalized with a cheap suit and a home haircut! Imagine how they must be feeling. : <

I hate all the schmoozing and time wasting at conferences too, I would rather be at home at my own desk at work and sleeping in my own bed at night with my own cat purring beside me.

LPC said...

In the Chinese business culture meetings like this are ceremonial, photos to commemorate the event. The real negotiations happen elsewhere. I imagine you knew that:).

Class factotum said...

Gracie's Mom, you're right - at least I have decent clothes and jewelry! Those poor women. I just wanted to take them to the mall.

LPC, I actually didn't know that, but it makes sense. But then the question is, why do they make us sit through all that crap? Is it a power play? I have nothing to do with any of the decisions about China. I don't even want to do business with the Chinese!

But still, we are all forced to sit there, BORED TO DEATH, while NOTHING IS ACCOMPLISHED.

Gaylin said...

I guess it would have been terribly rude to use your iPod.

I am the receptionist at my office, when they have meetings, I go and close the door to the boardroom, I don't even want to overhear a meeting, never mind be in one!

Aren't you all supposed to have an equal number of people in the room to show you are equally important?