Crossing the line of openness

Sharing food -fine! Sharing salary info... I don't think so!

Back in a hot and humid Shanghai. I would lie if I said I dont miss Swedens blue skies, green fields and fresh air, but then again, I only have another 2 or so weeks at work, then Im going back to Scandinavia on a holiday, so Ill manage! In fact, its kind of nice to be back, especially since Ive missed all the everyday craziness (or whatever you should call it? Charm?!) about China. Such as yesterday, when I went to the ladies room (which is located in our office building, rather than inside our actual office, so you have to head out to the elevators to visit the loos) at work.

While I was washing my hands, the ayi who cleans the toilets every day came in. We have a friendly kind of relationship: We greet each other with smiles, hold up doors for each others, small talk about the weather and so on. However, yesterday she took our relationship to a whole different level when she asked:

-So you work over there? (pointed towards where my office is located).


-I bet your salary is high.

-Excuse me?

-You salary.

-Eh, yes?

-How much do you make?

-Eh you want to know how much people in my office earn?


-Its different we all earn different salaries.

-So how much do YOU make?


-Whats your salary?

-Eh actually I dont really want to tell you that. Its kind of private.

-I bet its a lot.

-Eh not really eh Ive got to go. Bye!

Whoa! Whats that all about? Sure, I know that people in China are open about their salaries (in fa! ct, soon after I started my job I found out that one of my Chinese workmates had gone to our accountant and asked to see my pay-slip. Right. As you normally do. Eh.), but to me, this is taking it a bit too far.


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