Miscommunication but it can be fixed.
you wrote unnecessary vitriol, which implies there is necessary vitriol…? Cool -
Nobody can really, properly; advise you or this relationship without knowing the full (all sides) story. Maybe you’re boxing him into a cultural stereotype. Rude is all about customs. Maybe the co-worker senses, or has sensed, rudeness on your part. Or just doesn’t understand western sensibilities. Maybe he has heard from too many ‘too professional’ foreigners?
Reasonable cause or not, I don’t think he appreciates/recognizes your sensibilities. ‘Too professional’; then you know how to deal with this: see it as an opportunity. Being as ‘professional’ as you indicate, you will have no problem asking an honest question about the perceived hostility when it next happens, in a manner that highlights the problem and your willingness to make things better. At least you’ll have the immediate issue front and center and then it will work itself out.
We have almost the same experience, I am working mostly with Taiwan locals and let met tell you, most of them are kind and are willing to communicate, some pronunciation is difficult to understand but they will try their best to meet in the middle, in your case if the co-worker is getting hostile when asked to explain himself then it might be that he don’t like you as a person or simply he is a person that is easily offended. You may also change your approach on how to tell him that he needs to repeat himself.
Anyways, I work with mostly men, some are chill and some are shy to talk to due to communication barrier, I noticed that they try to say some new English word that they just learn so I try to speak their language too and they like it. In my case though, 1 guy at work seems controlling and likes to command on what to do, he will notice single thing that is not even necessary and he will immediately pinpoint at it, this colleague of mine wants to be followed in terms of his work practice, and mind you he is not even the leader of the department. So, I kinda relate to your post. I ignored this guy and continue my work base on what the leader says.
No wonder I have tons of friends. Being fat and lazy is the way to go. Now give this guy a shirt!
Shirts are for pussies
That horse was already sent to the Ukrainian front.
He kind of looks like me.
In my previous work, I am one of the highest earner among non-managers. Most likely due to either, I know how to work and I was one of the most experienced working there.
Some colleagues liked me. Some throw apathy by avoiding me. While, there’s always people in minority that will try to throw me under the bus, whenever chances arise.
One of the latest, he insist that I have to make a proper report (in Chinese) that should be given to government. At this time, my department only consist of myself, alone. He repeatedly saying the word “neilong” to a fellow colleague (that has the best English). Neither of them talks directly to me. The English speaking colleague eventually looked at me and say, “You are a problem.” Without saying/explaining what I should do. Luckily, at that point, I was experienced enough and has enough credits in the eyes of the big bosses. So, I walk away unscathed.
Borscht more likely.
Horse tartare is a winner. Very healthy, apparently
This is the answer to 99% of work-related issues you’ll face here.
So one of the bosses of this company was an angry idiot. He would send lengthy, angry messages to group chats and he really sounded deranged, partly because of the contents, partly because of his English, which was very poor and his ideas were not well articulated.
I was hired for a position in which you’re kind of in the middle of everything and everybody, but you don’t focus on managing people or implementation details, just features. I think this description is enough. I was definitely not the engineers manager and not a technical position. I did notice however that code was shitty, documentation non existent, error control and logs non existent or very lacking, etc… and I did bring this up a couple of times, even if it wasn’t really my area of responsibility.
One day the emails system didn’t work and many clients couldn’t access the product, recover password, etc. I don’t remember the details but it was something like that. I supposedly had or should have had the authority to give some instructions re what to do, but they were overriden by the said boss. Also he sent a very angry and confusing rant about the technical problems and the situation as a whole, directed at the engineers.
Next day we had a meeting scheduled for discussing about other stuff, higher level. However the idiot wanted to discuss about what to do with the problem the previous day, and he wanted me to come up with solutions. In broken English, he managed to tell me that he wanted a “flow” or a “flow diagram”. I understood that, but what the diagram should be about wasn’t clear. Also, it shouldn’t be my responsibility at all, since he was talking about either technical issues or processes. I tried to make him understand that the topic wasn’t clear, since there were at least three very different things involved in the discussion, and he didn’t make clear what he was talking about:
- Broken logic for sending emails. Guys weren’t using a queue with retry system, which I suggested as a (partial) solution
- Lack of logs, which made very difficult to understand and assess the situation so any action could be taken
- Lack of process for emergencies and important events / hot fixes like what happened the previous day
The guy was increasingly getting nervous and angry, and in broken English he explained me again that what he wanted was a flow / flow diagram, and to my embarrassment he gave me an example, probably taken from Google search, in which some cunt checks what’s the weather, and depending on whether there’s rain or not, takes an umbrella or not, etc… I was really embarrassed and hoping for a better job. The guy BTW was almost shouting already.
I explained him again that I understood what a flow and a flow diagram were, but that the problem was that we had to define what we were talking about, because there were at least three possible different topics to be discussed and modeled with flows, and that I didn’t mind to help with those even if neither was really my responsibility (it really wasn’t!), and I tried to explain him how these topics were separate issues.
The guy exploded, closed his camera (bosses were at the office, me at home), and stormed out the room shouting things like “chou laowai”, etc. Meanwhile, the other boss who was sitting next to the angry cunt, was looking at her computer pretending to do something and that nothing was going on. She excused the angry idiot saying that he had problems with the wifi and that’s why his webcam was off. I could see the whole scene, including the idiot running and screaming in the background, through her camera. It was so pathetic and depressive. Funny, comical, but really sad to be in that job. I was probably looking depressed, holding my forehead with my right hand, looking to my keyboard.
Once the angry idiot was back, I tried to reconduct the session to the original topic, which was features roadmap. The guy kept quiet and then awkwardly said in broken English that if I “didn’t understand what a flow is, then there’s no need to discuss the roadmap”.
I was depressed. It was so ridiculous.
There are several other background stories to this one, which kinda conditioned what happened that day, but just a bit. That company had some serious communication issues (you didn’t suspect that, huh?), and there was a guy, another manager, who couldn’t really work with many other people. I had individual talks with pretty much everybody relevant when I joined, so that I could understand the dynamics and how we could work with each other, and everything pointed in that direction. But I don’t want to discuss the details here. Another guy was very friends with him but I didn’t know, and I naively let him know what I saw. Then this guy kinda helped the other boycotting me on the way, and also telling the bosses that I was avoiding responsibilities and doing work. But this guy didn’t really have an understanding of what my position was, what this position usually entitles and I really doubt he had ever worked in an office before. He was hard working but not the brightest bulb in the mirror, and I’m sure that his shit talking played some role in this situation.
It was probably the most toxic working environment I’ve ever been in, and with the highest number of plots of people against each other, and I have been in very uncomfortable and complicated work situations before, with politics not really playing in my favour. Still, this one was the worst I’ve ever seen.
Anyway… it was funny, and sad. I removed that work experience from my resume and now I have a gap (including before and after that experience) that I can’t just explain, and I think that really puts off recruiters.
A simple, on-the-spot solution might be to have him speak Mandarin into Google translate and see what comes up. Could be possible you’ll be able to better understand what he’s trying to get across to you.
The other boss’ English was quite good. I wouldn’t think a translation software should be needed in that situation.
For the gap you ran your own consulting business.
.Simple, there is no gap.
Sick grandmother needed care dog died and the wife ran off with the cousin.
Not being Einstein myself, it’s appalling the amount of idiots and assholes I’ve seen in Taiwan. Seriously