Expat Dad: Communication is worst

When I was young(er) and studying(sleeping) at university, I went for an interview for a part-time job in a clothes shop. I did not get that job.

The 21 year old ‘Manager’ who interviewed me, had clearly been on a variety of courses – maybe even ‘workshops’ – and was firmly focussed on the buzzwords and bullshit that he had learnt there.

‘Out of the stock, the staff, the managers and the customers – which is the most important in a store?’, he asked, clearly proud that he already knew the ridiculous answer.

‘Erm, they’re all equally important?’ I proposed.

‘No’, he smirked.

‘Erm, the customers are most important?’ I said, desperate for – more than anything – that precise moment in my life to be over.

‘No. It’s the stock. We could open a store with low staff numbers and few managers – but we have to have something to sell’.

Now, I know that you, fellow human, will be wondering, as I was, why this young chap was such a complete twat, but let’s not get into that.

The point on this rather meandering introduction is in fact his next stupid remark.

‘What’s the most important part of being a staff member?’, he quizzed.

‘Customer service?’ I said – already knowing that it must be completely the wrong answer.

His now-trademark smirk replied: ‘No’.

He then – Yoda-like in his benevolent and enigmatic teaching of such wondrous wisdom – prompted: ‘When a team mate on the football pitch shouts to another – what is it a form of?’

‘Communication?’ I cried.

‘Communication’, he confirmed. This man was a complete asshole.

Nonetheless, I’m sure that he has an excellent morning washing routine and has been promoted up through the levels of middle-management taupery.

Anyway, his workshop-taught love of communication is our starting point today, readers.

It is a common theme to promote communication in any relationship.

This is particularly true in marital relationships.

Communicate – we are told – and it shall set you free.

However, this is, of course, bollocks.

All men realise this at some point – so if you haven’t, then please do.

Women have a stereotype of nagging until they get their way, and men have a stereotype of being insensitive. Both of these stereotypes exist because they are completely accurate, and true of the vast majority of men and women.

In a relationship, discussions will arise in which the man and the woman differ in opinion. These discussions may go on for days, weeks or longer. If the issue is still brewing and unresolved, one party – let’s say the man here – will bring up the subject to talk about it again.

Or, this may be a new issue. Something that the man has an opinion about, and wishes to air.

At this point, the woman will then state her point. However, women generally use different types of conversational strategy than men. This is when the nagging stereotype comes in. At this point, the man will be literally locked in a conversation or argument.

This, my friends, is an undesirable situation to be in.

Allow me to digress for a short while here to say that this is not chauvinistic, sexist or other – I’m not saying that any party here is guilty or in the wrong.

This is merely a small tip, offered to men worldwide, on How To Avoid Locking Yourself In Undesirable Conversations With Your Wife.

So, how to do so, is this: not mention them in the first place.

A man might be a breadwinner, feel himself to be the Head of the Household and such, yet, there will always – always, in any variant of culture worldwide – be points on which the wife is absolutely, 100% sure that this issue is going to be as she wants it to be.

What you must do at this point is make an ultimate and absolute decision regarding if you want to be in a relationship with this woman, or any other women at all. If you do, then you have no other option but to remove your ego from the situation and do what your wife wants.

This is your only way out.

I’m not saying that every man ‘has to do this’. But if, again, he wants to have a wife or female partner, AND an easy life,  then just let this one go – or better yet – don’t even bring it up in the first place.

The 21 year old Management Supremo was, and is, an asshole; communication is terrible.

Never forget that.

You’re welcome!



Categories: Expat Life


Foreigner in Shanghai


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