I could just leave all I have experienced to myself. I hate to gossip. However, I decided to write this out because the past 3 months have been shocking. Maybe someday, someone who is smarter than I am, could do a better job analyzing this. I am not a good writer, nor an expert in the English language, but I still hope the following blogs I post on here are going to give you a glimpse of understanding of China and Chinese office culture. Hopefully from a different perspective than you have experienced.
The following are real stories. I will hide the company name and people’s real name for privacy issues.
It was a small online branch of a famous large global English .edu company. I was in charge of content development and research for the company. My salary was probably the highest among the people in that company, and I got normal working hours, (9-6, workdays only).
It was a new branch and we didn’t have many people working there. The 2 seats on my right hand-side were both empty. One day, a young graduate came and sat in the seat next to me. Sarah was a TA. She was born in 1993, and graduated from a lesser-known university. She had long hair, but her face was quite aesthetically challenging and she dressed like a countryside girl. And yes, she’s the cover picture of this blog. For the following couple of days, we didn’t talk, she was using Andy’s PC as the resources in the company were limited.
In hindsight, I now know what she really was. But at that time I thought she was nothing but an innocent plain-looking countryside girl.
In the first couple of days, everything was fine. Then one day, she asked me, "Do you think Andy’s gonna give me the password of his online cloud drive? I saw he has so many useful documents in it while I was using his PC and I want all of them."
I thought she was a bit crazy. Why on earth do you think the manager’s going to give you the password of his drive after he knows you stalked his PC of all the industry secrets? I was sophisticated enough to not to directly throw that in her face. I told her she could try anyway, but he might have something that he’s not willing to share on that drive.
The other day, she told me her salary. It was low, really low. One could hardly make ends meet with that salary, and then she asked me mine. My payment was perhaps a few times higher, but I told her it was not much. Then she started to guess my salary, which made me uncomfortable. Eventually, she told me her first secret: she’s going to find a part time job. I thought it was good for her, though against the company rules. Anyways, what really surprised me was the next day she got a job as an IELTS personal tutor for 150 an hour. The rate listed on the website with her background was only 100 per hour. Also, she had no idea what IELTS was. Then, she got another PT job as a TA for a foreign teacher. The rate was also 150 per hour. I found her extremely industrious.
She came back from her weekend jobs with a bag full of books. "I got them from my students. I told him I will read the books for him and extract the key-points out. Now I don’t need to buy books. How smart I am," she said. I was a bit impressed, so I also lent a book from her.
The next day, she asked me how much I spent on my monthly phone bills. I told her 46 per month, which is actually really little money. "That’s TOO much!" she said. She gave me a cheeky grin, and told me her monthly bill was only 7. She showed me some really complicated math she did of how each payment goes with how much data she spent and how much data equals how many minutes of call, how many texts and stuff.
She then showed me a QQ group where someone gave her a secret link to a taobao shop where she could get a data package. Then all she needed to do was to do the math and transfer the data into the phone. There was only 3 times that she could transfer the data each month, so she had to make sure she didn't waste the data. I spent my whole afternoon digesting how it worked. It did sound like a brilliant idea, but I hate math and I knew I’d end up with hundreds of monthly phone bills, so I thanked her for the advice.
Until then, I found her extremely driven, impressive and smart. Then things started to go down hill.
I had headphones, good ones, a gift from a student, and usually stashed them in my drawer. Early the next day, Sarah said she broken them. I was a bit frustrated, "Why did she think it was ok to take my things without permission?" Then she apologized and she promised she’d take them to a shop to see if they can be fixed. Then she said if I buy new ones, she’d give me a portion of the money.
Later, she bought headphones for herself. "They're 600 RMB," she said, and she told me it was too much for her, but she was happy to share them with me, and just me. When the headphones finally arrived, I never got to touch them. She took them with her everywhere, and it was always either on her neck or on her head. Eventually I bought my own, and she offered me a 10 RMB meal. I forgave her, as I did not want to bother with little things.
She somehow developed a habit of opening my drawer whenever she liked, taking anything in there, tissue, snacks and everything as if they were hers. It made me very unhappy, but it was only the beginning.
Sarah Tries to Scam Me
If f one has the mind to make money, she’s not going to care where the money’s from. I should have realized it long ago, and it soon caught up to me.
One day, I was planning to move. Sarah, as you might have guessed, came to offer some "Help," as usual. Before this, Sarah once mentioned she bought tissues online as her roommate's company will reimburse him. Anyways, I said I probably need an extra box and she said she had one just the right size for me. I asked if I could borrow it, she said, "No borrowing, I’ll gift it to you. Just pay for the taxi fee, 20 RMB." What???!! 20 RMB for a paper box?! Of course I did not agree.
After that, she offered some more "Help". She told me hiring a moving company for moving is a bit too expensive, it’ll be at least 700 RMB a day. And she said I should rent a car for just 100 and get a driver. She said she could drive, but she's a bid driver and she might damage the car. I refused her. Then she said she wanted to practice her driving. I asked if the practice cars could be used for moving. She said they might, but she must get to know those coaches first. So she told me I could pay for the tuition fees. I refused again.
I forgot to mention, earlier, before I found my new apartment, Sarah told me about her foreign exboyfriend that she ditched. She told me she ditched him even though he came back to China and immediately went to meet her, told her he really liked her, but she told him her Chinese boyfriend was rich, has an apartment and a car here and lots of money in the bank. The poor guy told her she was marriage material. The story about her boyfriend was a lie. She told me to never date a guy who’s not rich. And she then told me about the manager that she’s living with.
When she first arrived in Shanghai, she aimed to find an apartment at the price 1500 per month, but couldn’t find anything in her range. Then she walked into an agency, and still found nothing. While she was about to leave, the manager taking a nap on his desk suddenly jumped up and said, "Wait, I have an apartment that I no longer want to live in. 1500 per month, are you interested?"
Sarah thought it was not a good deal as it did not have a kitchen, so she declined, rudely.
The manager then offered to let her live with him in his new place, each paying 1800 for a room. She said she could not afford 3 months rent paid up front, so the manager paid the money for her. Later, after she moved in, the manager told her she looked like the wife type. He then knelt down and proposed her, but she refused him. He then gifted her his salary card, Sarah said she would think about it, but she took his money anyway. She told me he has no cars or property in Shanghai and he’s 7 years older than her. Plus, he’s not well educated. But he makes 30,000 per month, so she might still consider him.
She still claims to be single. He called a taxi to send her to work every day. When I first heard about the story, I couldn’t believe it. Why on earth would a manager do that? Remember in the beginning of this blog I told you she’s aesthetically challenged? And that she looks like a countryside woman? But now I totally believe it. If you hear the rest of the story.
In the next part, I will tell you how she ruined another TA, and how she successfully avoided any risks when the bosses where having fights. You’ll have to see it to believe it. I leave the space for comments and thoughts to you. Meanwhile, the situation here isn’t very optimistic, I might have to be a witness in the court case. And I might be sent to jail. Hopefully, I’m able to finish my blog and be OK.
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Keywords: bad colleagues office craziness
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"Esthetically challenging"? That's a nasty thing to say. Also, she "dresses as a countryside girl" sounds very condescending. If the writer has such a poor opinion of Sarah, she should not be spending time with her at all. I have to admit how happy the writer sounds in slamming this girl.
May 05, 2016 17:29 Report Abuse
no dick heax, hes is talking about someone, there is a big difference, he is trying to make himself sound perfect at someones elses expense, thats not sharing a story, and you are an absolute dickheax, if you cant see it, we are foreigners here, not perfect by any means, but posting here about peoples traits is a bit childish and smacks of american chest slapping
Apr 28, 2016 07:20 Report Abuse