Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Slavery or Simply Chinese Office Politics?

It's been one year since I moved to China; my experiences with Chinese companies are the worst.
Eventually I discovered that it's all based on exploiting employees which explains the high turnover rates in the country.

Even in big national companies corruption and the lack of ethics are abundant. It reaches the level where you can be threatened so you don't complain or take it to court.

One of the things that Expatriates in China struggle to get used to is how to survive 8 hours a day in a company that doesn't function properly, Chinese are known to be hard-workers but that's only in factory production lines however if you visit any other corporate in any job that requires using your brain and not your muscles all what you'll find would be some under-qualified employees sitting around pretending to be working. In a glimpse all the windows full of games on their computer would disappear because a manager is passing by.

The biggest problem is that even the managers themselves don't do shit, it's all full of hypocrisy and of course as a foreigner you can't really adapt to that, it takes ages for you to realize that a task that can be done in 10 minutes by one employee takes 10 days to be finished in China by 10 employees.

You have to follow the complicated Chinese company policies as if god himself sent it to them signed with his name, they know nothing about exceptions but this comes at no surprise considering the way Chinese education works.

And if you dare to complain to the big decision makers then you are digging your own grave because the Chinese culture is based on how you appear to people, it’s all about saving your face so of course if you collect the courage enough to go complain then you opened the doors to hell, how would your manager look in front of his manager?

In my situation I got threatened that if I take my complaints higher then my residence permit would be canceled the same day and I would be reported as one of those foreigners who did the midnight run, but if I just shut my mouth then they would let me go keeping my residence permit.

I’m not talking here about a small startup or an illegal company. I’m talking about a big corporate with a capital that exceeds several billion US dollars.

Now comes the hard decision, should I fight with all my power even though I know I will lose the war because of connections, guanxi and the corruption? Or should I just surrender and get out alive?