Got to love fireworks in the middle of an apartment compound. Makes for some interesting noise.
March 24th, 2013 § 0
December 6th, 2012 § 0
October 27th, 2012 § 0
I got a new camera that allows me to take photos without anyone knowing. Which helps because it’s hard to be a foreigner here in China and be ignored. And to be a foreigner and taking photos, even harder.
So stay tuned for some real photos of the streets of China. Even Chinese photographers themselves would be hard pressed to get shots like these.
March 23rd, 2012 § 0
Well like every Saturday or there abouts we go eat spicy food at the local Sichuan place.
Today there were remodeling. The boss lady was out mixing the cement. How’s that for awesome. I want to see any lady boss in the States get out in her nice clothes and do work..
I guess it’s ok to mix cement on a sidewalk. No harm no foul right.
Get in there girl..
And of course, it’s sunny today. So hang your fish. This one was on the corner hanging on a power pole.
March 23rd, 2012 § 0
First, I probably have written about this but I will write about it again with a new real world example. Planning. It seems to me that, Chinese for the most part do not plan. Wait before you say anything, I mean by and large. Yes people different places may not plan either but, over here, no one seems too.
Take what I am having happen now. I met a girl. We want to go and do something together. She says can’t plan anything. So hanging out with me, well, can’t plan that, she might have something come up.
To me, and possibly to other American guys that sounds awfully like she is trying to blow me off. Well, she isn’t. This is one of those things you learn with language in different countries and what specific things mean. At least I don’t think she is..
A couple thoughts come to mind. First, she probably doesn’t want to write it in rock. Because if she does she will lose face, and or have to let someone down, me, if something comes up. Well, what could come up you ask. Well let’s see, her work could call her in, because it’s China and workers are treated way differently here. Their lives are run by their work places. Some companies more than others. Her parents could beckon her, which she would have to drop everything. Her friend’s could want to go out. She might have some other things she already promised to do.
You see it’s not that easy. In fact, it probably me to some extent. I am the type of person that if I say I will be there at 8. I am there at 8, Greenwich Mean Time +8. But most everyone else doesn’t run like that. Especially Chinese. Most stroll in whenever they want. The bosses are always late etc.
So, to me this is simple. On the first day of the holiday, at 10am we meet and start whatever we are going to do. But no. That is not how Chinese work at all.
Is it confusing, yes. Does it make sense, no. I mean if she want’s to get to know me she should do that right. Meet me and what not. Yes, but then again, she could still want to know me. She could be protecting me also. Which she probably is. Let’s say you play the odds. Let’s say that there is a 40% shot that she will have free time and everything will go perfectly. But that would be that there is a greater chance that she won’t be able to do anything. So by not promising me anything she is actually shielding me from the inevitable heart break that my fragile teenage girl heart would endure. Sweet huh?
She said that Chinese people seem like they don’t plan more than a week out. So she will have to see what she has going on. Right now we are at about 2 wks I think.
I see this every day. The store that doesn’t see that they are getting low on OJ and doesn’t order any until it’s out. They then lose my business. The manager that forgot to order the material, even though he has known that he would need it more than a month prior. Now the order ships late. No one ever firmly promises anything here. I will be there is something that you probably won’t hear here (may or may not be true, but it seems that way).
You have to remember in China, I am the minority, I am the nail sticking out. And trust me, everyday someone wants to hammer me back down..
March 22nd, 2012 § 2
Working in a Chinese company can be pretty cool, interesting, funny, insightful, but also, a living hell.
Here is a list of things that have happened recently. And, to be fair, I am not directing any of this at China, or at Chinese people. The people that I am going to write about are Chinese, and work at a Chinese company, but perhaps it’s just this specific place of employment that is different from everywhere else. And not a specific China issue. But I will say that on some level they are a sample of what Chinese people can be. So take it with a grain of salt.
We are switching some roles around at work. The gentleman that owns the company asked one worker to do a new set of job tasks. He outright refused, and had the balls to then tell the boss that he will not change his job, and will continue to do exactly what he was doing. Which was nothing.
A little back story to the next tid bit. I ran a department and did a specific task. I then switched departments. A Chinese worker took over my old department. This was all last year. His workers still completed the same task that I did. Now he has decided that he shouldn’t have to do the task anymore but my department should. He then states that he didn’t do it at all last year. I then show him the papers showing him that he did. He refuses to do it. Even after his boss says to him to specifically do it, he doesn’t. I am not lying in the least when I say that this worker does NOTHING. Literally nothing. If I was the boss I would fire his ass faster then making instant noddles. But apparently that would be less than harmonious.
One of our workers heard that another worker was getting a raise. So he writes a letter and wants about a 30％ raise or so. His reason, well, as I interpret them, are because he is doing his job. I do this, I do that, I do a lot, I need more money. Interesting approach. I guess we will see how that goes.
Interesting things happen when workers scrap products. Like no one tells anyone. So when I am looking for 3 specific items, I find two, only to find the third thrown to the side because they completed a step wrong. Do they tell me, no, do they care, no.
When widgets need to be inspected and no one inspects them. Because they thing it’s not their job to inspect widgets. The reason is because they only inspect production widgets and not anything else.
How orders come in and a month later we find out we don’t have the material for the last step. I guess it’s no ones job to make sure you department can actually complete the order until the order arrives at your department. We could of saved a month but, now everything is late because one manager didn’t look at the information that is given to him and deduce that oh, let me check to make sure I have enough material, oh I don’t. I guess I have to tell someone. Nope I guess he is too busy playing chess online to do anything worthwhile.
Oh did I mention that the guy who wants a raise can be caught playing games, and on the internet and not actually working. But he does get things done. I wonder how he feels sitting next to a guy who does absolutely nothing.. Hrmm..
Anyway, I have enough material to actually write a book. Which I am thinking about doing. Whenever I get a massive amount of free time.. so about never..
March 21st, 2012 § 0
I took this photo while walking to the bus stop in Hangzhou. Two men crossed the 3 wet pipes over the toxic looking brown stream. Last to cross was a women in her child. Perhaps one of the men’s child as well.
So much for helping. And what did they need to do that required them to take a short cut over a potentially dangerous crossing with a child. Beats me.
March 19th, 2012 § 0
So I checked out Hangzhou’s West Lake yesterday. A mere hour bus ride to Hangzhou and then another hour bus ride to get halfway across town. Doesn’t make sense, yep, that’s right. Takes longer to cross town then it does to get there from a different city.
Super cheap too. Around 80RMB round trip. Or about 11-12USD. nice day trip. I plan to head back this summer. But for now there are some photos.
Always looks like rain.
March 14th, 2012 § 0
As you can see from the last post time isn’t worth much of anything in modern day China. Or perhaps it’s just the average persons perception of it.
To someone of the caliber of a high level exec, or businessmen, like my boss. Yes time is worth something. He can only do so many deals per day, potentially thus, he has to choose to spent his time wisely. This is on par with the States as well.
Now, I realize that I am saying this about China. American’s also have some notions about time. But by and large, I think there is a level in the States that time is worth money, thus if you spend your time inefficiently you lose money, or the opportunity to do something else. Opportunity cost.
But in China, since for the most part the country isn’t as rich as other countries, time can be squandered away. Also for the most part here labor is cheap. Thus time is cheap. You can have a worker do something instead of a machine because the worker costs less over 10 yrs than a machine would.
The bank. They had to of, had to of lost more than 4 mao getting the 4 mao back from that gentleman. They could of saved time if they just reached into their own pockets and paid the 4 mao.
Anyway, why am I posting this today. Well, there was an accident on the way to work. At 815 I say a women standing next to her pink car that was crashed (lightly grazed) by a SUV of some kind. It’s 10 now and they are still there arguing. I think the guy in the SUV want’s to get the H out of there, perhaps he can make more money in the 2 hrs or so that they are there than it would take to repair his car. Quite the possibility. But the women, judging from her car, I am going to go on the limb and say she can’t.
So she is willing to hold up traffic, wait for the insurance company, or police, or whatever for 2hrs so that she maybe gets something out of it, maybe not. But that’s the thing here. Time isn’t worth as much, or if anything at all here.
I had something like this happen to me in the States. I was on my way to work one day when I didn’t see a truck in a intersection. I started to go and skimmed his tire. Nothing big at all. We stopped assessed the damage which was a scratch on my car and nothing on his tire. He said I’m good if you are. I said yep, sorry for the trouble. And we both went our own way. Why, well, how long would it take for the police to come, the insurance agent? Longer then it would take me to earn the amount that it would take to repair the small amount of damage on my bumper.
Most people I’ve come into contact with in China, do not think this way. I don’t know if it’s a new way of thinking, or what it is. But I’ve never seen anyone take time into consideration besides a high profile boss.
I see examples of this time failure in most every decision that a manager makes here. Usually they take the waste time route to save pennies when little do they know that the customer will pay more, or give a potential order that will more then make up for the pennies you spend getting it out the door faster. But, I guess that’s why I do what I do. If they knew that I wouldn’t have a job would I. Quite possibly.
Anyway, just calling it like I see it. Can’t speak for everyone here, trying not to stereotype. By and large it seems like a good observation.
I was just thinking about how this is a good thing as well. Think of a toaster. Someone in the States spends, say, 20USD on a toaster. Let’s say they make 20USD an hour. A person here may spend, actually they wouldn’t buy a toaster, but let’s say they also spend 20USD or about 150RMB. Most people make 150RMB a day or less. So, it would be worth their time to fix the toaster if it’s broke. But the person in the States, if the trouble is more then an hour, or worth more to them then the hassle, could just go buy a new toaster.
So this can be a good thing. There are a ton of repair places here for repairing just about everything. Also it means that it’s pretty easy to get things fixed. Try that in America..
March 9th, 2012 § 0
I don’ t know this guys name. But he’s the gate guard guy.
He’s got a pretty good gig. He opens the gate, he closes the gate. He eats lunch and drinks some Chinese white lighting, then sleeps. Everyday or thereabouts.
I talked to him today, I can barely understand what he says. If my dad thought I mumbled bad, you should hear this guy. He understands my Chinese which is pretty. We are from two totally different worlds. He’s seen things that I can only begin to imagine. Not that I think about it, maybe I should do a photo story on him.. That would be pretty awesome.
We talked about girls and that since I am 30 I better hop on the horse and saddle one up.
He laughs, it’s funny. I like him.
I’m not mocking him in anyway whatseoever.
Sometimes I wish I could do what he does. Laughing away, bullshitting with the delivery guys about the weather, and getting blitz at lunch. Not a care in the world.