Ben in Hong Kong©

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Do you like food??

I made a reasonably stupid mistake at work today involving the new human resources guy in the office. My mistake involved giving him the task of going through every university website we have on file and posting adverts to work in Hong Kong.

My mistake was that he is Chinese and I am English. I asked him to do something in English, but did not double check he understood. So what happened was that he then sent out ten emails to university career services, instead of posting adverts on their webpages. These emails were outdated and contained the wrong information. It was no huge deal, but a classic example of the communication difficulties that can occur out here.

This general subject was raised at dinner this evening. With Korean, American, Chinese and British people round the table, it was bound to get amusing.

One story that Laura told involved a Greek member of our gang called George. He was at a party with Laura and she introduced him to a friend of hers. During the introduction she mentioned to the friend that George was Greek. This resulted in the friend assuming that because George was Greek, he could not understand her. She looked at him and started shouting "HELLO GEORGE, NICE TO MEET YOU, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT FOOD, DO YOU LIKE FOOD? (hand gestures of eating took place at this point) WHAT FOOD DO YOU LIKE???"

After this George quickly whispered to Laura in perfect English, "why is she speaking to me like i'm a retard"?

I think that amusing mistakes and stories involving language must happen every day in a place like Hong Kong. I bet that the really serious mistakes never get reported though!


ps. Hello George, I know you read this every day, do some work!

1 comment:

George said...

That was really hilarious...:P