Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Chinese government bans emotions?

Beijing has found an interesting way to prepare for the 2008 Olympics. From the Star-Telegram:

Starting next month, Beijing shopkeepers who vent their anger, act impatiently or glance at customers disdainfully are in violation of the law. Also forbidden under the draft regulations are sarcastic or ironic comments, vague explanations and grabbing customers to coerce them into buying something, according to a report released on a state media Web site last month.

Okay, I understand not allowing shopkeepers to physically grab customers. I can be convinced that is assault. There is no need to touch people in an attempt to sell your goods.

I'm not so sure about the others though. Is it really necessary to ban a shopkeeper or an employee from giving bad looks or being sarcastic? When I run across people like that, I just make sure that they don't end up with any of my money. I can't imagine that I'm the only person who reacts in such a manner. After seeing money fly out the door, I'd think that people would start to get a clue.

"The ancient capital has produced residents with a reputation for generosity and big gestures, but it's also fostered a tradition of arrogance in Beijingers reflected in the commercial and service industry," the China News Service reported.

A tradition of arrogance? Um...okay. I have an inkling that some of the 2008 Olympics tourists will be bringing their own brand of arrogance to the city as well.

Song Xuelei, 27, a student, said he applauds the idea. His pet peeve is getting dirty looks from shopkeepers when he's window shopping.

But enforcing the new rules, which take effect Feb. 1, could be a bit difficult. "People get emotional," Song said. "Maybe the shopkeeper had a bad day. It's a bit hard to control. And I don't really think this is the government's business. We just need to change people's behavior over time."

Comments in Internet chat rooms appeared to be running roughly 90 percent against the regulations.

I don't enjoy being on the receiving end of dirty looks myself, but come on! Aren't we all guilty of "shooting daggers" from time to time? Banning the expression of human emotions is just insane.

If a person gets offended by receiving a look or comment that doesn't please them, like I said above, simply take your business elsewhere. Even better, put in a complaint.

My favorite part of the article was found in the beginning:

Apparently frustrated by its limited success in persuading Beijing residents to stop spitting, act more courteously and show a friendlier face...

Stop spitting? Is this directed at all Beijingers, or only at the shopkeepers that the law seems to be aimed at? 'Cause if it is the

If I were to walk into a store and witness an employee spit on the floor as a way to show disdain toward me, I think I'd be more amused than anything. Just imagining the clean-up time after hours would be enough to take away any anger I would have at receiving the supposed slight. I can already see the conversation I would have with my best friend upon coming back to the States:

Red: Uh...CC, why is there a picture in here of spit on a floor?

CC: Dude! You wouldn't believe what I saw! I walked into this store and...

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