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When moving to a new job, the first thing snobbish colleagues want to find out about you is where you live, what kind of car you drive and what watch you wear.
In a recent post on Hong Kong Discussion Group, a newcomer complained his colleague asked him: “Are you poor?”
He was stunned by the question, then the colleague showed him her iPhone 8 and said: “The iPhone X is going to be released soon and you are still using an iPhone 4S so I thought you don’t have much money to spend.”
The writer of the post said his iPhone 4S instantly became the centre of attention in the office, with some colleagues looking at him with sympathy in their eyes for the “poor” colleague who was not able to afford a new phone.
Some respondents of the post argued that those who blow cash on chasing the latest models are “poor people”.
It is really pretentious to judge a colleague by the kind of phone he or she uses. And this behaviour can be unbearable.
One reader said a male colleague of his was asked if he was too poor to afford shoes because he wears the same pair of shoes to work every day.
Another reader of the post said a colleague was labelled poor because he eats a HK$30 lunch box every day. There were also colleagues who were discriminated against for using pirated versions of branded handbags.
The best way to stop this type of condescending behaviour in the office is to ignore those co-workers, since you can’t stop people from judging you.
In another post on Hong Kong Discussion Group, a poster said he had concluded three characteristics of poor colleagues.
1. Living in a public housing estate or a rented property.
2. Bringing lunch from home regularly.
3. Low pay and low qualifications.
Speaking of bringing lunch from home, netizens started a discussion on “Do you agree colleagues who bring lunch from home are poor?”
The writer of a blog post said he overheard a colleague saying that his wife was not working, making him the sole breadwinner, and as a result, he brings lunch from home every day to save money.
But many respondents did not agree that those who bring lunch from home are in a bad shape financially. One reader of the post wrote his supervisor brings lunch cooked by the domestic helper every day because nobody wants to go out for lunch with the boss.
Another reader of the post pointed out bringing lunch to work is a healthier choice for people with food allergies or who are vegetarian.