Tuesday, December 06, 2005

People I Meet at Work

I've met all sorts of people since I started work in Citibank, it's really quite fun, and I think my sian-ing skills had became better and better :) I can crap so much rubbish that I'm amazed at myself.. haha..

Anyway I just went for a meeting with this guy from India, he's from an IT firm which once worked with us. His IT knowledge is there, but he cannot do sales for a very simple reason, he cannot maintain proper eye contact. I feel that in business meeting, actually in all sorts of meetings, eye contact is very important. You must know when to hold it and when to drop it. I have not perfected the skill, I still feel uncomfortable when I hold eye contact with someone for too long. And sometimes I don't really like to hold eye contact with them.

Actually very mean, but I really don't like to talk face to face with this senior colleague from India, coz she's cock-eyed (is this the proper way to say it?), it's really very hard to know if she's looking at you or looking at something else, so it makes me real uncomfortable talking to her. And it's hard to look at her in the eye, so I'll always try to stare at her face in general. I know it's through no fault of hers, but I just feel uncomfortable talking to her.

On the other hand, I love talking to caucasians :) first coz they speak very well most of the time (there are always exceptions) and coz they have very lovely eyes. There was this Australian vendor that I love talking to coz he have the loveliest blue eyes.. very mesmerizing.. and he's very fun to talk to :)

People who speaks well.. I'm really very impressed by the people in Citibank, most speak very well. I have two colleagues, one from Taiwan and one from Shanghai, both of them speak perfect Mandarin and English. I think both my language improved since I've start working here, I just can't help being influenced by them.

But there will always be black sheeps around. I have this Indian IT colleague who speaks gibberish most of the time.. Ok, it's used to. It's not that he does not speak well, his english is pretty ok, it's just that he have a tendency to go very fast, then together with his Indian accent, it's really very difficult to understand him. Most times after the phone call, I'll get him to send me an email to detail everything we had talked about. But he improved a lot already, slowed down to a level where we can finally understand him.

The other day, I found another person whom I cannot understand, and that's another colleague in Korea. He speaks ok in person, but over the phone, I really cannot understand a thing that he said. I have to keep pausing and trying to decipher what he was trying to say. One-to-one phonecalls is still not that bad, but we were trying to do a concall and it was very very bad, especially when I'm the one doing the minutes, I really do not know what he's talking about.

The other thing very funny about this guy is that he likes to ask about the weather. Most people I talk to gets straight to the point when they call, I do chit chat, but that's with people that I've talked to pretty often. But this guy likes to talk about the weather and make small chit chat before getting to the main point, even when it's the first time we talked to each other. It's like so weird and so contrived.

He'll ask me how's the weather in Singapore and tell me the weather in Korea, how it's snowing and it's freezing cold.. err.. I'm really not interested in knowing that. I dunno, is that a Korean thing? There's no need to be so polite, we're all colleagues, just shoot any question you have. We'll talk when we have the time :p

Other than those that are a bit weird, there's the standard obnoxious people, the hypocrites, the back-stabbers, the appearance-very-nice-but-hollow-inside people, the lazy asshole and the works.. But I'm happy to say that my department is really pretty good. First thing coz it's small, so there really isn't much politics, what one person does, everyone else knows. There's not much point playing politics. And coz there's a group of us who are around the same age, so we get along just fine, though sometimes people do get on my nerves, we got along pretty well most of the time.

Most of the "undesirable" people comes from outside my department but works very closely with us. I'm in the Regional office and those people are from the individual country offices. It gets pretty easy to tell who is from which country by the way they handle things. Serious, not all the time, but they have little habits and quirks that gives themselves away. Maybe it's too sweeping, but Hong Kong-ners are really stingy, or it's a matter of principle to them.. they can bug us for weeks just for a few dollars. Thais are very nice but they do not understand what we want most of the time, I think it's a language problem. Filippinos are the warmest people that I've ever met, really very warm and friendly. No wonder Darren liked his Filippino gf that much :p

Indians are split into two parts, one is the cannot-understand-us-at-all kind. No matter how often we call them, coach them through the phone, they will not understand. I think they are more visual learners, need to see the thing before they can understand. The other kind is the super "apple-polisher". And I mean that in a good way, I just can't think of a better word. They are really very good in keeping appearances, knowing how to use email to the fullest, cc the right people on top. Plus the thank you notes that they write are just so.. .. .. It's really very good and it's something that you have to kill me before I can put it down in words. Basically the letter will praise you to the heavens. I can't write those stuff, it's just too fake to me, but that's the way to write in a corporate environment.

It's really fun working in the Regional office, I get to know people from all over the region :) That's another upz for my job :)

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