Published: July 5th 2012July 5th 2012
I realize I didn’t post a top 10 last week so I’m going to make it up for that now! I’m currently at work and I was inspired by a rather hilarious occurrence to make this list. You see, we have this internal messenger system, and I’m often included in group conversations. I normally use google translate to understand what’s going on – though this is shady, especially for Chinese to English. But regardless, I can get the jist of a conversation. Well, this morning, I thought I had figured out that a group conversation was about a lecture happening on Monday. However, somehow the discussion devolved into pictures of (wait for it) CATS. I kid you not. The pictures do not lie!
Anyways this got me thinking about some of the funny things that go down here. Now I’ve only worked in one Chinese workplace so I can’t really make broad generalizations (I will anyways but I’m not saying they’re accurate). So some of these quirks may be unique to the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD) and not all workplaces. But talking to other laowai’s (non-Chinese
The emoticon collection
plus Fernanda and Dafne discuss this list
people in China), it seems that many of these are pretty common across the board.
Keep in mind, as always, these are meant to be funny. My co-workers are all smart, hard-working people. But these things do make me laugh.
1. Technically, we work from 9-5, but the work hours go approximately as such:
9-11:30 - work
11:30-1 - lunch
1-2 - nap time
2-4 - work
4-5 - fruit time
2. Nap time...it has to be mentioned again. And the designated nap spot. See previous blog entries for more!
3. Exercise time, at around 10AM every day. They play music and people get up to stretch. My floor sadly isn’t so keen (though Jeff sometimes gets up) but apparenlty the 5th floor is super into it.
4. Fruit time, a new discovery around the office! At around 4pm, someone puts out some fruit and everyone gathers to eat it. My department doesn’t do this, but the guys next to us do so I join in with them.
This may be a seasonal thing as well. It seems people here love watermelons but they can’t be around all year.
5. Cell phones are constantly ringing. We don't really have office phones so it's the only way to get phone calls at the office. But I'm pretty sure 90% of the calls are not work-related.
Also, they'll answer their phone during a meeting - even if they're the one leading the meeting! Very different from the custom back home.
6. A lax attitude towards things like streaming sports, which the guy next to me does a lot. Gotta catch some basketball!!
7. The internal messenger system. This one is just epic.Highlight is the emoticons. See picture for details!
My personal favourite emoticons:
-guy whose head explodes
-pile of poo, complete with stink marks
What’s strange is some of the staple emoticons are oddly absent. This includes:
-guy with tongue sticking out
And lemme tell you, emoticons are SUPER popular around here. My supervisor uses them, people will have entire conversations of just emoticons. It’s awesome.
8. Internal messenger conversations between entire departments which devolve into an emoticon-fest. This is what inspired today’s blog entry! As mentioned in the intro, I usually try to translate them. So it always makes me laugh when they become less and less about work. The best is when they all start making fun of eachother!
9. Middle school cafeteria. I can’t complain, because we get free lunch. But we eat in the second basement, which is where I’d like to be if a nuclear attack hit Beijing. And you wait in line to get a metal tray. And there is often mystery meat (well, the Chinese people can just read the signs). For example, yesterday they served pigeon. Thankfully I have lunch with a Chinese guy who told me cause it looked just like mushroom!
But ya, it looks and feels like a TV show middle school cafeteria.
10. And here’s the thing- despite all this time wasting, people still stay late and come in early. Because they have actual work to do. They just get very distracted it would seem.
Alright it's nap time at CAUPD so time to hit the hay hahaha.