What Do Men in China Do?
I try to get up very early in the morning to call business people in China. They are 12 or 13 hours ahead of East Coast time in Philadelphia depending on the season. I thought by calling them early in the evening at home, I’d show sensitivity to their feelings. They can go to bed sooner and won’t be bothered by my phone calls.
But, to my surprise, I can’t reach people till 10:00 p.m., and often after 11:00 p.m. Sometimes, I called and they were in the shower (note: Chinese people take showers before they go to bed, unlike us, who take showers in the morning before we go to work).
Why are Chinese men not home in the evening? They go out drinking with friends, schmoozing with clients and prospects, singing at Karaoke bars, eating 12-course banquets, puffing smoke in cigar bars, or otherwise entertaining Western customers and buyers. These are normal activities among adult Chinese men in business.
These things—staying out late at night “entertaining” people—are so normal today that a friend of mine told me in confidence that some Chinese men, for fear that their wives thought they were not successful enough, deliberately stay out even though they have nothing to do. They stay out to “look busy,” so their wives won’t tell them, just like the song “Why Don’t You Do Right” composed by ‘Kansas’ Joe McCoy and sung by Peggy Lee:
“Why don't you do right
Like some other men do
Get out of here and get me some money, too”
So, where are your men in China!