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It is an urban myth that those working in Hong Kong’s Central district think they are better than others, and everything seems to be better in Central.
Over the years, local television stations have produced several soap operas, telling stories of young men and women who grew up in public housing dreaming of getting a job in Central.
Whether everything is better in Central is up for debate, but the snobbishness of Central’s office-goers is certainly something that is hard to swallow for most Hong Kong workers.
Have you ever had your ego crushed by a friend who works in Central? The team at job review site Stealjobs has revealed the snobbishness of office-goers in Central. We have highlighted a few examples below of what they consider to be the traits of a high-flyer.
Programmers at Google, Facebook and Linkedin are considered top of the class, followed by investment bankers, doctors, lawyers, administrative officers in the government and Big Four accountants.
Or in short, people who are able to afford a Ferrari.
Without any doubt, the prime location is in Central. Locations close to Central like Admiralty, Wan Chai North and Sheung Wan are considered to be second class. Further down the list are Quarry Bay, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kwun Tong and Ngau Tau Kok.
Job search channels
Top talent gets offered a job directly by senior management of the organisation. Second-tier talent is recruited by a headhunter. Third-tier talent looks for jobs on JobsDB or Linkedin.
The “losers” look up recruitment advertisements in newspapers and consult the Labour Department. Or worse, they are referred by a relative or a friend.
The big shots start their day playing golf, then return to the office to sign some papers before heading home. Someone who works seven days a week including overtime on Saturday and Sunday is not yet a big shot, but is an important asset to the company.
People who work five days a week are also considered to be fine. Those who work six days per week or on alternate Saturdays and work from home are considered to be at the bottom of the class.
Language of instruction in the office
Admit it! People who speak English at work and report to an expat boss feel like they are better than others. As a result, people who speak English at work are those with the highest status. They are followed by employees who use both English and Chinese, those who speakers Japanese, and workers who use only Chinese.
Whatever language one is using, it has to be effective in communicating. The worst kind of language is spoken by those who pretend to be ABCs (American Born Chinese) or BBCs (British Born Chinese) and love to slip a few English words into a Chinese conversation here and there.
Grabbing a sandwich or salad to go and eat at one’s desk is considered a classy move. Second options include eating out at a western or Japanese restaurant. Visits to Chinese restaurants and fast-food chains are considered poor options.
Location of home
The report of a candidate being rejected for an opening at an investment bank because he lives in Sham Shui Po is by no means shocking to some office-goers in Central.
For these snobbish colleagues, The Peak and Shouson Hill are at the top of the class. Homes at Kowloon Tong and the Mid-Levels are also considered to be luxury. Further down the list are Residence Bel-Air, Happy Valley and properties near the Kowloon MTR station.
It is awful to judge someone by the way he or she dresses, talks, where they they go to lunch and whether they rent or own a home, but at some point in our career we have all done it, haven’t we?