16 December 2008

Whiny LaoWai ExPats

Recently at Hao Hao Report, (A site like Digg and Mixx for English language China stories) a story was mercifully buried where a foreigner in China was complaining that the average foreigner wage for someone with a degree and experience was "only" 131,000.00 RMB (Chinese Yuan Renminbi). Currently, that equates to over $19,000.00 USD (United States Dollars). Now, that very well may be low for an Americans working and living in the United States of America, but this is for people living in the People's Republic of China where EVERYTHING is cheaper! Keep in mind, that the average Chinese citizen earns only 10,000.00 RMB a year. I mean, even university graduates are only asking for 18,000.00 RMB a year!

Now at Lost LaoWai's community blog, a site I respect and enjoy a lot, one of the great authors is complaining about having to work 6 Sundays a year, meaning there are 6 6-day weeks to allow for some week-long holidays! I would love to work a 6 day week to get a week-long holiday! Wouldn't you?

Don't get me wrong, I am glad that Christianity gave us the popular 5 day work week (Saturday off for the Sabbath and Sunday off for the Lord's Day, the day of Jesus' Resurrection), and I am glad that Henry Ford started the standard 40 hour workweek of 5 8-hour days, with 2 days of rest, but occasionally working 6 to get 3-7 days off is not a bad trade-off either!

Seriously, anyone who goes to China should know what they are getting in to, but this complaining about making "only" 10 times as much as the average Chinese person, or occasionally having to work a 6-day work week, because you have a week-long vacation strikes me as whiny and petty. Am I alone in this opinion?

For the record, I work every Sunday and Saturday and work 5 days a week. 4 of those days are 12 hour days, and 1 day (Sunday) is a 7 hour day. My wife works 7 days a week. She works 12 hours a day, from 9:00-21:00 like me, but she gets the standard 2-hour Chinese lunch/siesta time in the middle of that day (like these complaining expats most likely have) too. For this, she earns 12,000.00 RMB annually and 2 vacation days per month that can be accrued and used all at once. Maybe that is why I have no patience for this seemingly petty whining?

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