I posted this thread in the Living in Taiwan forum, but I am not getting any responses that are worth a damn, save SuchAFob’s. I am at my wit’s end with trying to figure out how to have a harmonious relationship with my TW coworkers and scared to death that anything I try to do to make things better will actually make things worse. I need to know what the correct behavior is. I’m also worried that anything I do to get along with the female TW coworkers will be interpreted by one certain male TW staff member as trying to get down their pants, and he has a bug up his butt about foreign teachers doing this in the past already, so I just have to tread carefully. (Im absolutely NOT trying to get with any of the Chinese teachers, I believe very firmly in not getting my honey where I make my money, but he’s quick to misinterpret actions in this direction) I can’t afford to make enemies at work. I don’t need the stress.
I like my school and don’t want to change jobs.
Here’s the link to the thread: [forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.ph … 218#545218](Polite is Rude! Rude is Polite! Black is White!Day is night!
Here’s what I wrote over there:
I am having a problem getting along with the female Chinese teachers at my school. Nothing bad is happening and they seem like nice people, but lately I sense I am doing something wrong.
And I don’t know wat “rude” is in Taiwan. I know there are different ideas for polite and rude than back home but I don’t know what they are.
I thought I was minding my own business and being respectful of them, and now I worry that they think I’m cold and unfriendly and don’t like them. I’m afraid to be too friendly because they’ll think I’m flirting or kissing their butts. I’m afraid of talking to them. I’m afraid of not talking to them. I’m afraid they’ll think I’m shmoozing. I’m afraid they’ll think I’m not being friendly enough. I’m afraid they’ll think I’m “too noisy”. I’m afraid they’ll think I’m unfriendly.
Will somebody please explain female Chinese coworkers to me? And what is polite, and what is rude? And what I’m supposed to do?
Then, SuchAFob (bless her, she’s the only one who tried) wrote:
Just do what I did. Tell them you need help learning local manners and ask them to help.
Did wonders for me. Really. Try it.
Then they understand that you are trying and they will politely help you understand the culture.
Also mention that you feel somewhat shy…
Then I wrote:
I don’t think they’ll tell me, suchAFob. I’ve tried a bit before. They just smile and wink, or do some other gesture that indicates they are doing something polite without actually telling me anything at all.
They will not take a risk of me getting offended or arguing. They will maintain the peace. I will remain in the dark.
Thanks, though, for your quick response. But I think TW women are more mysterious with us gents than they are with you.
Sorry, mods, if this makes work for you. You can just flounder the other thread if you like. I am just kind of desperate for some answers before I make an unforgiveable mistake. I know that something about my behavior is wrong, and I don’t know what. Whatever I’m doing to make things at work less than harmonious needs to stop. I take my teaching seriously and the kids like me. My boss likes me. However, my boss doesn’t have good people-management skills and so having a talk with him might backfire and cause him to say something to the TW staff that would cause them to hate me forever and make my working life miserable.
Thank you, and sorry for the repetitive posting.
Please, somebody, share your stories, tell me ANYTHING. Anything at all. Throw me a bone. Please?