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Take It Back Now, Y’all

, , , , , , , | Working | September 1, 2022

The company my husband works for employs and sponsors a large number of international workers, which can sometimes lead to amusing cultural misunderstandings. Recently, he told me of a team meeting in which [Coworker #1], a Chinese national, happened to be the only person who was not American or Canadian in a room of twelve people. Their manager was giving a presentation when he ended a sentence with an unintentional cue.

Manager: “…and freeze.”

Coworker #2: *Singing* “Everybody, clap your hands!”

Cue eleven straight-faced people, manager included, raising their hands to clap in perfect, rhythmic synchronization, while [Coworker #1] looked on with an expression of growing confusion and horror.

Their meeting was derailed for another fifteen minutes while they all tried to explain to [Coworker #1] that the “Cha-Cha Slide” was an invasively popular song played at nearly every public dance function, and his coworkers hadn’t suddenly been brainwashed by a cult trigger word.

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