Reflections on Chinese Men

Chinese men. Interesting creatures really. Often times easily mistaken for women due to the way they dress (skinny jeans, Louis Vuitton “murses,” Vertu “designer” cell phones, etc.), their mannerisms (“V” for victory hand signals), the style of their hair (long, colored, pink). Other times borderline homosexual due to the “camaraderie” they exhibit towards their fellow men when found in groups (leaning over one another REALLY closely, arm over shoulders, etc.), though actual gay Chinese men are equally easy to distinguish. They also seem completely ignorant of women and sexuality, flirting awkwardly with any women that they see, but when pressed further about actual sexuality blushing most unbecomingly and lacking anything to say. Then there are those with “girlfriends” yet their dealings seem so, PG-13. Despite all their or rather these flaws though, they are the least concerning. What I’ve come to only recently be personally acquainted with as far as can be categorized as a flaw in the character of Chinese men is their DIS-regard towards women; they don’t seem to know how to treat them well. At best they ignore them and take them for granted, like when they’re out in a big group all getting dinner or something together somewhere and only brought their girlfriend/significant other/wife along for the ride and proceeds to pay no attention to them whatsoever. At worst they’re abusive, verbally and physically. I bring this up only because I’m having trouble with one of my waitstaff, my only male waitstaff at the moment. Since I’ve stepped back as full time manager, I appointed one of my female waitstaff the position of supervisor since she has the most experience working in a restaurant setting, speaks the best English, and seems to be most motivated to do her job and do it well. This meant that the waiter would be expected to listen to the waitress. Apparently this is a problem with him. He doesn’t seem able to take orders from a woman, and they’ve been having loud and lengthy arguments while I wasn’t around these past few weeks. I confronted him about this today, not in a very direct way, and his response was that “it’s not a big deal, you know how women get,” in Chinese of course; not quite the response I was hoping for. I told him to help me help my female supervisor, appealing to his sense of masculinity at wanting to “provide,” and I thought the matter was resolved. I had thought that all that was wrong was that he isn’t used to working this way yet, having a female authority figure, and that given time things will get better. Evidently I was wrong because I found out late last night that he got into another argument, this time with a another female waitstaff of mine, not even one in any position of power, and actually ended up physically hitting her multiple times. This is not acceptable behavior, and not behavior I would expect under any circumstances. So now I’m going to go and talk to all parties involved tomorrow morning, try to sort things out, with the most likely out come being that I’ll have to let him go, which puts me in a VERY difficult position because I will once again be short staffed until I hire and train his replacement. The point though is that I am rather disgusted at even the implication that he could have hit her, and this whole affair has just soured me even more on the restaurant, the food service industry, and Chinese men in general. I mean, normally they’re relatively cute and harmless creatures; but sometimes they make me weep for the state of women in this country.

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maria | April 5th, 2010 

Well ain’t this just a whole ‘nother set of challenges? You and I are going to be so much more experienced with all nature of vexsomeness.

This whole China thing is an accelerated course in problem-solving. The Sean should be proud of itself for finding ways through these issues.

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