Jesus said love thy neighbor. Buddha said have mercy to all livings. Mums around the world say be friend to everyone. Beatles said all you need is love. Allah said everyone is brothers and sisters, all equal in front of him. However, for some bizzare force of nature, we always have someone who does not click with you, no matter how hard you try. You just do not like the person, with no particular reason.
HS, a Canadian-Korean newcomer of our office, and also the second oldest person, is that person to me. Let me share the stories.
1) Out of friendliness, she once asked: “boy, how many bags and purses do you have?” To be honest, it can look like I have a lot of bags since my mom is a bit of fashionista and we share our items. However, hearing her question, I was thinking…why do you care?
2) Another time, I felt like she was trying to teach me about international shipping (maybe I was just not in the best mood), making me think “you know I lived abroad for 9 straight years, no?”
2) Someone assigned her to write a formal e-mail in English, bearing director’s name. If a document bears one’s name, I think that person at least try to write the draft. Doesn’t happen here, not surprised. HS asked me if there is any sample letters in the office, because she is not used to writing such a letter. I said: “try google.” “Huh? You can find that stuff on google?” What can I say…
3) HS said, “how do you say 홍보 in English?”
I: Well, can you tell me the context?
HS: Er, not needed, I just want the English word for 홍보.
I: There are lot of words, and I don’t know which word to use unless you give me the context.
HS: No I just want the direct translation.
I: (sigh) then I guess the only word I can give is “promotional.”
HS: (expression of enlightment, mixed with vacancy) Oohhh.
4) Yesterday was a chaotic day. I, EH and HS were trying to re-arrange the snack table and we were saying how our snack maker makes really good cookies. I said, “well, let’s eat them after all events are over, if there is any left.” Even before I finish talking, HS quickly approached the snacks, saying “I’m having one now!” I seriously thought she is on narcotics or smoked too much weed.
5) Director: so how does CEIBS deal with this matter?
HS: What’s CEIBS?
For those of you who live away from Asia and/or working in profession that is not related to business schools, CEIBS is the China-Europe International Business School, boasting a very nice currifulum, faculty and everything. It has been on the newspaper serveral times (at least in Korea). Please remember that HS is working at one of the best biz school exec education center as a program manager…
6) HS will be managing the EC program. Due to the EC requirement, I told her to introduce her to our foreign partners, with her CV attached. On her e-mail, she said: “I’ll be assisting her with EC program…sort of.” No wonder why our French partner replied, “okay, can you please clear your role?” In addition, I did not tell my foreign coworkers abroad about my leaving – I wanted to tell them around January or February. She told everyone before I did, and I had to deal with frantic e-mails from Europe, asking “OMG! Why are you leaving!? When?”
Now I truly understand the meaning, definition, application and concept of facepalm…