I just got 3 ties and 5 keychain from a friend today in Bangkok. I have worked with him for the past 6 months that I have been doing the project in his company but he has been a good friend to me. He has been very helpful though unrecognized.
It is just sad that because he could not speak English as fluent as people expected, he is misunderstood and often blamed for things he does for the sole purpose of helping us out finish the job faster. It’s a sad fate for him.
I got really hurt for him when some foreign colleagues tagged his as a couch potato just because they see him sitting on a couch every time they try to look for him. He worked so hard but it is just unfortunate that he is on the same spot every time. Well, I have my favorite spot as well to take a break anyway!
I know he is offended by the way he is being treated but just because he is a silent guy, he never even complain about it. There was one occasion when people would talk to him in English and he would respond yes though he meant the other way around. I cannot blame him. Language and culture is something that is quite difficult to change overnight. At the end of the day, he should not be laughed about.
At one point, one technician who I believe never even had a college degree questioned the poor guy’s educational background! I felt it was way below the belt so I had to stop the conversation. How could you accuse a guy of not being educated properly when you yourself don’t even have a good education to show off or at least the right attitude to treat people right!
In Asia, you will not become a manager if you do not have the credentials, experience and educational requirements. Maybe I am right and maybe I am wrong. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were dropouts but they were known to be good managers. Nonetheless, I am sure that they have not insulted people the same way as how this poor guy has been treated. It’s a saddening experience.
After finishing the job with him, we both had a short talk. I apologized for whatever behavior that our colleagues had towards him. In return, he handed me 3 ties and 5 keychain as a token of appreciation and friendship. He asked me though not to give any of them to the others who maltreated him. From there I knew that he was indeed hurt by the way he was treated. I gave him a pat on his shoulders and said goodbye.
I left him that day with a sad heart because the person whom they have laughingly tagged as Mr. Couch Potato has a heart too!