Generally speaking, meetings at work are a good time to discuss the various issues different departments are having. They come to a conclusion when all issues have been rectified, or at least have a plan towards finding a solution, and everyone goes home happy.
Not in China.
First, we start with a welcoming that names every man/woman/child/dog/radiator/plant/water jug/ridiculous phone cover/molecule of air, present. We clap at every name. Then we mumble ridiculous Aesop fable inspired crap about turning students into pools of water and providing them with the stream. Why we want to sodden students is beyond me. But we clap to this as well. Then around the table each department leader whines about typical university student discipline and how nobody is working hard or doing their job or how the sky is falling down. Every subsequent leader who is demanded asked to speak increases the amount of time they spend talking by another 5021%, measured against those who have finished, so by the time Mr. President has his say at the end, I’ve aged three decades and my ass has molded itself so far into the chair that there is no hope of me standing ever again.
Goodbye ass, though you were no Beyonce, I still shook you like a Polaroid picture on the dance-floor.
Never mind the fact that absolutely no one gives a damn what you are saying at these meetings. We had one girl taking photographs at every angle known (and unknown) to physics of her face, and the group around the table. We had one girl watching a Chinese soap drama on her Galaxy S4 with the sound up loud enough to annoy you, but not distinguish any words. We had my interpreter co-worker giving me a verbal shitstorm talking about spilling Chanel perfume and the diarrhoea epidemic of 2012 that went through her friends. We had the leaders playing footsies, well, I imagine they were, they kept smiling all the fucking time.
At the closing of the meeting we had one big dysfunctional family portrait photograph, which is basically a ‘spot the two foreigners in our group’ game disguised an as official record keeping document. We then all went out to lunch in the countryside and I became intoxicated with the leaders on Baijiu, which for those who are new to this liquid, if you think of a hybrid devil child between paint thinner and battery acid, you’re getting close.
For those who know me, I am obsessed with time. I do not enjoy being late, and I do not enjoy it being wasted on tedious bullshit face-making spectacle circuses like Chinese meetings.
Next time, I’m calling in sick.