Friday, February 17, 2012

When you assume...

There's an erroneous deductive leap that my Chinese coworkers sometimes make that I find disturbing.  I'm not gonna lie.  There's a McDonald's in the building where I work, and they serve delicious white fluffy soft-serve ice cream cones that taste like America.  Often I stop there at the end of my munch break and pick one up, so I'm eating it in the elevator when I run into a coworker, who more often than not says, "Oh, you're eating ice cream for lunch."  

Now, this is not a case of lost in translation.  Further questioning reveals that they actually believe I am eating ice cream FOR lunch, not after lunch or as a part of my lunch.  FOR.  It's lunch time, and I am eating ice cream, therefore I must be eating ice cream FOR lunch.  This faulty syllogism worries me.  If I were in the hallway at  two am would they think that I sleep in the hallway?  See?  Disturbing.

Anyway, I haven't written about this faulty deduction yet because so far there's been nothing to tell but what I've already told you.  But today, the faulty leap was combined with...well, this:

Me: Hello.
Random Coworker: Ice cream is too sweet.
Me:  Uh...
Random Coworker:  I would never eat ice cream for (FOR) lunch.  It's very fatty.
Me: I'm not eating ice cream for lunch.
Random Coworker: ...
Me: It's lunchtime, but just because I am eating ice cream doesn't mean this is my lunch.  I just finished my meal, this is my dessert.
Random Coworker: I don't usually eat ice cream at all.
Me: I don't usually walk up to people and criticize what they're eating.
Random Coworker: ...

And for a bonus, this puzzling exchange, which took place just after...

Me: Hello.
Another Coworker:  Lucy, do you know who this guy is?
Me:  No.  Is he Chinese?
Another Coworker: He's an ABC (American-Born Chinese).  He's a baseball player.
Me: Oh, I'm not a big sports fan.
Another Coworker: He plays for the New York Knicks.
Me: That's a basketball team, not a baseball team.
Another Coworker: I know.  I just like calling it baseball.
Me: I can see life is going to be rough on you.
Another Coworker: What?
Me: Nothing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do love your observations, but maybe it's just funnier in China. Here we assume the people are stupid and ignore silly interactions or rail about rudeness, or just don't take it in because it made no sense. Way to be on point, actually listening to the nonsense and making us laugh ;-)
Linda McD