Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Last night I had dinner with an employee of mine who informed me that he would be resigning within the next two weeks. It made me sad, but I understood his reasons.

Or rather I should say reason (singular).

The reason my employee gave me was that the Chinese owner treats his employees worse than animals, and I gotta tell you, from what I have witnessed over the last nine months, that about sums it up.

The hours are grueling, the rules are absurd, the living conditions are questionable, and the pay is a mere pittance, even by Chinese standards. During meetings people are purposely targeted for humiliation in front of their peers (keeping in mind that "face" is of major importance in China). Staff are routinely cursed out by the manager, using the most foul and insulting phrases in all of Mandarin. Needless to say, I understand why the poor guy wanted to leave. We had a nice dinner together and I told him I would ask the foreigners I know about helping him find another job.

Today at the end of lunch when my friend went to hand in his lunch tray, the new chef confronted him as to why he hadn't eaten all of his food.

My friend's responsed, "Because it is badly burnt and I don't like it very much."

At this, the chef launched himself at my staff member, and gave him one hell of a beating. He him him so hard in the wrist that it shattered the crystal of his watch. Finally under a rain of blows, my friend threw one punch in self-defense and leveled the guy.

Why my friend called the Chinese president to tell him what happened, the Chinese owner loudly suggested that he go and have inappropriate relations with his mother and then hung up on him!!

When my friend later told the president he would be resigning, the president cursed him out more, refused to pay him his last two months of salary, and told him he would be charged a fee for all of the training he has received from the company and that if he didn't pay, he would have him arrested!!

And it is a mystery why all of your employees keep quitting and we can't get anyone to replace them?