Life and Other Funny Things

Awkward Work Situations in Foreign Countries

I’ve been working in Singapore for just under a year now. Working in Asia for the most part is no different than any other part of the world. But then, you have those moments when all cultural and language barriers align together in such brutal perfection that you may never live down the embarrassment.

So here we go, MFE’s awkward work situations in Singapore:

Nicknames:
They will use nicknames for you with reckless abandon. My initials are BJ. No really, those are my initials and also the acronym for blow jobs. Nobody has called me this since high-school (oh the horrifying memories).  I’m guessing not a lot of people around here know what it means, or they just do it ’cause they get a kick out of it. They’ll holler to me from across the office floor “BJ! BJ come!” There’s this one guy in the office that doesn’t talk in full sentences, that’s when it’s the worst. He meant to say that I should also join their meeting, instead he said “Let us also have BJ.” Umm…

English names:
A lot of people here choose to have English names. But you’ll always find that one person who wants to be unique and decided to call herself “Kinky”, which would be fine on its own. Her full name became Kinky Ho. But wait, it gets better. Kinky Ho & BJ are hosting this month’s big opening meeting. This is now on our company calendar.

This happens:sin(The airport code for Singapore is SIN, nobody is getting BJs in the office)

 

That’s all I have for you today. I want to hear some of your favorite awkward work stories!

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24 thoughts on “Awkward Work Situations in Foreign Countries

    • We had a guy from Germany come down here one time, and my boss was telling him about the big opening and it’s hosts just as the German guy took a sip of his coffee. Poor guy nearly squirt it out of his nose!

    • You should’ve been at the meeting, it was so much worse.
      “Why isn’t BJ starting yet?”
      “BJ is waiting for Kinky Ho to come.”
      “Oh, when is she coming in the big opening?”
      “Kinky should come any minute now, and BJ can get down to business.”
      At that point the new guy’s eyes practically pop out of his head because he had no idea what was going on.

    • I’ve thought about it, I just can’t bring myself to say it. Can you imagine how that conversation would go?!
      Me: So, um, the thing is BJ means….blow job.
      (Scenario 1) Them: *Gasp* how dare you say such things in the workplace?!!
      (Scenario 2) Them: What’s a blow-job?
      Me: Um…fellatio.
      Them: Fella…what? I don’t understand, BJ, what are you trying to say? Nevermind. Come with me now. Come, BJ, come.

  1. Pingback: Dirty Girl | Miss Four Eyes

  2. BJ haha! Man I would make jokes on that nickname all day long just to make sure that it doesn’t bother my friends anymore.

    My name is Mayur and in Auckland no one can pronounce it properly. So they call me Mayo. Considering the bad nicknames I have had, this one is pretty alright!

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