Thursday, 2 October 2008

Nemesis Watch: Part 1

Princess disease struck in the office yesterday as my nemesis once again showed her true colours.

There is one person that I do not like much at work. I don't speak to her and won't until she gets my name right. Yesterday I had a rare break during teaching time, alas I had to share the office with her. As soon as everyone left the room she leapt at the air conditioning and turned it off without asking how I felt about this. It was as if I didn't exist or perhaps more likely she just didn't care. If I was Korean, would she have asked? At the time of the deed she moaned "I'm cold" in Korean, when it clearly wasn't. But what left me speechless was seventy minutes later in the office with everyone in, she opened her window - this was at around 7:30 pm so it was cold outside. Are you hot or are you cold? Make up your mind and don't complain about it. I don't understand and don't want to.

As well as getting my name wrong she rarely smiles which I find odd. Her demeanour is not that of a likable person. It would seem that nobody else in the office shares my reservations about her. Am I imagining this, or is she really as bad as I think? I am convinced that she hasn't talked to the person who sits next to her yet (2 months and counting!)

Also, this must be said, she has made the ugly office place even uglier. As evidenced in this picture. Is there any need to cover the windows with paper AND paper that has pictures on it that we can all see - of assorted vegetables! I have worked at my academy for nearly a year now and nobody has complained about the sun in their eyes but her.

Many Korean people openly express their emotions to people around them. Such as "I'm cold, I'm hot, I'm hungry, I'm full". This is fine but after a while you start to think, "so what". I somehow doubt people in Africa or Alaska complain about the temperature. To some people it's always too hot or always too cold and life is never what they want it to be. Perhaps this is why so many Korean women don't have boyfriends and there are so many quick, seemingly loveless marriages of convenience.

Of course I am exaggerating this a little and it's a bit tongue-in-cheek. Tensions can rise in the workplace. People don't always get on and you can rarely choose who you work with. There is both the language and the cultural differences too which I should try to bear in mind. She's probably a very nice person who just hasn't shown her true personality yet. Some people are just shy aren't they. We'll see.

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