Tag Archives: Cultural Differences

“I’m Sorry, But There’s Nothing We Can Do”

Yeah, uh, WHAT kind of CUSTOMER SERVICE IS that!!!  From the Front Page Sections, translated…

Awhile ago, my wife and I went to D.C. to attend a conference, the day before the conference, we’d arrived in San Francisco, the very next morning, we’d rushed to the airport, to get on US Air flight toward D.C.  About thirty minutes before boarding, US Air had declared, that the flight was canceled.

Then, a female worker handed out a stack of cards to the passengers, asked the customers to call the number on there, to arrange for other flight options.

I’d told this worker, that I was a foreigner, that I didn’t have a phone with me, that it was, their responsibilities, to arrange for another flight for me, for canceling the flight I was supposed to take.

She’d used her own cell phone, dialed the call for me, but, had me tell the other person.  After dialing for over twenty minutes, someone finally picked up, it was a Sunday, I told the airline worker over there, that I must arrive in D.C. by Monday morning, hoped she would find me an alternative flight.  She’d put me on hold for about twenty minutes, then told me, “Sorry sir, there’s NOTHING we can do.”, then, hung up.

The worker from the airport took one look at me, found a computer, keyed everything in, in the end, she’d also said, “Sorry sir, there’s nothing we can do.”

I went downstairs, to the American Airlines counter, to try it again, the male worker typed on his computer a long time, then told me, that the quickest he could get was a flight on Tuesday morning.  I’d told him, that he must be joking, that I was only going to be there, for the closing ceremonies?

He’d repeated that same old line, “Sorry sir, there’s nothing we can do.”

I’d had it, I’d raised my voice now, a female supervisor came over, asked what was going on.  I’d told her, that three workers told me, that “there’s nothing they can do”, that their company shouldn’t be so irresponsible.

She’d tried on the computer for me for a very long time again.  Finally, there was two more seats left on United Airlines, but I couldn’t sit next to my wife, and the flight would be taking off at ten o’clock at night, arriving in Washington D.C. at six the very next morning.

After we’d arrived in Washington D.C., we’d dragged our tired bodies to the hotel, told them, that because our flight was canceled, but we did call the hotel, to let them know, that we were going to arrive early Monday morning.  And, the lady at the counter told me, because you weren’t here, we’d resold the room to someone else.  I’d objected, we’d paid for the room already, how can they resell it again?  She just, shrugged.

At which time, I’m already beat, and, I’d asked her, if she could just, give us a room, to freshen up, to take a shower, to get dressed, so I can make the opening at nine.  She said, that the hotel was fully booked, but, we can go shower by the showers of the pool.  Followed by that same old line, “I’m sorry sir, there’s nothing we can do.”

And, all I can do with my wife was wait, and, finally, at almost nine, there was a room for us.  After this long and torturous day, my youngest brother who lives in Washington D.C. came by, I’d told him the nightmare I’d lived in the last twenty-four hours, and, my tone of voice showed my displeasures toward the U.S.

My youngest brother told me, “Living here, we’d gotten used to it; you’re in Taiwan, not knowing how hard it is, you’re all spoiled.”

After he’d told me that, all of a sudden, my moods lifted.

This shows, how easy it is, to DEFLECT something, with a simple, “I’m sorry, there’s NOTHING we can do”, and, you’re, OFF the hook, and this still has NOTHING to do with customer service skills, it’s just how the culture worked, because, in Taiwan, if something like this had happened, the airlines would’ve put the passengers whose flight had been canceled, into hotels for the night, without charging them a dime, but, this couple were in the States, and, that, is the cultural differences, and, the workers are not being mean, it’s actually because there IS nothing that they CAN do!

Leave a comment

Filed under Cost of Living, Expectations, Interactions Shared with the World, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Reality Clashes with Dreams

Using the Virginity Test to Establish Morality

This is really SEXIST, from the New York Times that came with today’s Chinese newspapers, written by: J. Cochrane…

JARKARTA, Indonesia—Colonel Sri Rumiati made her career in the Indonesian National Police, but the day she was tested for it, in 1984, is one she would rather forget.

During a mandatory physical examination, a doctor administered a so-called virginity test, inserting two fingers to determine whether her hymen was intact.

“I was not comfortable with the test,” said Colonel Rumiati, who is now a police psychologist.  “The test can be stressful on women and embarrassing.”

It mattered little that the doctor who tested her was a woman.  It felt like a violation, she said, one that does not determine virginity, that has no comparable equivalent for male police recruits and that does not achieve its ostensible goal: evaluating a recruit’s morality.

“You learn about the morality of a candidate from prosocial behavior testing,” or evaluating a person’s actions, she said.  “It’s not about virginity.”

Women who apply to be police officers in Indonesia have been subjected to virginity testing since at least 1965.

But the issue has set off heated debate here since Human-Rights Watch released a report and a video last month with evidence that the police was still in force.

The organization said it had interviewed eight current and former female police officers and applicants in six cities, including two who said they had undergone virginity tests this year.  Married women are not eligible to become police officers.

The National Police chief said last month that female recruits did not undergo virginity tests.  But hours later, two high-ranking National Police officials in Jakarta were quoted by the local news media confirming that the police force conducts the tests.

While failing the virginity does not disqualify a police applicant, she “may get fewer points if her hymen is not intact,” Brigadier General Arthur Tampi told The Jakarta Post.

Local women’s and human rights groups have demanded an end to the practice.  Last year, the head of a local education office in South Sumatra Province suggested conducting virginity tests on high school girls to discourage promiscuity and thwart teenage prostitution.  Thousands of Indonesians took to social media sites to criticize the idea, which was quickly dismissed by national government officials.

Colonel Dede Rahayu, who runs the Police Women’s School in Jakarta, said she had never heard of any of her students or staff members having to undergo the tests.

The policewomen “who said they had that tests didn’t understand what a virginity test is,” she said nothing that all applicants undergo a rectal exam and they may have confused the two.  “Or maybe the want people think they were still virgins when they joined,” she said half in jest.  “A single woman not being a virgin is taboo in Indonesia”.

So, if there’s a need for a woman to undergo such examinations, to solidify HER status, what about men?  Don’t they need to also go through a virginity test too?  Oh wait, you LOSERS don’t have HYMENS like we women do, that can clearly SHOW if you’d had SEX or not, and, this idea of how unwed, single women are eligible to become cops is still way too STUPID, and this had happened, in the modern day world, believe it or don’t!  And, hello, hello, hello, virginity is NO determinant of morality, I mean, you DO realize, that someone CAN be a virgin, and act immorally, right???

Leave a comment

Filed under Discriminations, Gender Inequality, Government, Policies, & Politics, In the Army, Invasion of Privacy, Issues on Gender, Legislature, Life, News Stories, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Social Awareness, Social Issues, Validity of the News, Values

Flipping Over the Walls

Moving to and adapting to the lifestyles of a brand new city here, translated…

The first thing I’d learned, upon arriving in Shanghai was learn to flip over the walls.

It’s not what you imagined, a group of people, working really hard, trying to climb over the fences, instead, it’s in the virtual world, stepping over the international websites’ systems.

Especially how the Taiwanese relied on Google and Facebook, YouTube, and all of these systems, are banned in China, and hard, for them to load up, in the country, we can only use Baidu, and Tudou, along with some other servers.  And still, the messages in the systems, the set up, along with the surfing through the pages, are not easily gotten used to, and incomplete; and so, flipping over the walls became my method, to ease my “homesickness”.

The moment I’d gone into our bedroom, we’d placed our luggage down, then, immediately headed to the living room, turned on our computers, and started enjoying the software that allowed us to “flip over” the “walls”—the freedom doors, the school VPN………and, we’d compared the systems too.  Afterwards, we’d started flipping through the news pages, along with interesting news in and out of the country.

And, I’d all of a sudden, recalled how Tsong-Wen Shen had skipped class by flipping over the walls of the school, and found the reasoning of the world.  Then, by flipping over the “walls”, finding the knowledge that satisfies us, isn’t that because of how outside these “walls”, there flowed, the news of our home.  And even though, we’re away, we still didn’t want to miss a thing that happened back home.

My roommate C, told me with worries, that she feared that being in Shanghai too long, she might not be able to adapt to the tastes in Taiwan.  My classmate, B too worried, that if she’d gotten used to the accent spoken in China, how will she readjust her speaking?  To tell the truth, I don’t know, I just wanted to wonder, how long it’s gonna take, for someone to find the self that was before one left home back again?

That scent of nostalgia showed itself in the panic lightly.  It’s just, that rarely anybody noticed how this nostalgia was wrapped up, in being in a foreign place, waited until that sense of newness got washed away, and, the burning desires slowly showed itself again.  Would our accent, our habits, our thoughts, that were Taiwanese, after leaving home for a very long time, be like the rentals in Shanghai, rerooted in another culture, and able to patch things back up with one’s own fatherland after returning home once more?  If the shores broke off from Shanghai, and, everything existed in peace between the straits, like the colonies, could we not ever return to our homeland again?

And so, we’d flipped over the walls.  Break through the defense lines, working hard, to maintain that opening that connected us all, to our home towns.

In this article, you can see the narrator in her/his desperate attempt, to stay connected, to NOT become completely assimilated to the culture s/he had ventured into for whatever reason (school, work, etc., etc., etc.), and this, is the general mindset that ALL immigrants can relate to.

Leave a comment

Filed under Government, Policies, & Politics, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, The Observer Effect, Values