Diversity Spotlight: Dealing With Strange People Who Are Not The Same As You (Page 2)
3.) Asian Coworkers
Above: Asians are known for their love of exotic mustaches.
You may recognize Asians from their frequent supporting roles as wacky, hilarious characters in movies. However, studies have shown that they do not appear to be more or less funny than other, less Asian workers. See more facts -- and things to avoid saying -- below!
"You must be the new IT person."
What's wrong with this sentence? It should be obvious: there's no greeting. Just because you're talking to an Asian doesn't mean you can skip basic etiquette. Next time, say "Hello!" before pointing your new coworker in the direction of your broken computer.
"Can you recommend a good Chinese restaurant?"
In this scenario, the polite answer for the Asian to give you would be, "Why, yes. Do you know of a good American restaurant?" The problem is that there is no such thing as an American restaurant. Don't put your coworker in this awkward situation.
"Wow, you're from India? My neighbor is also from India! Do you know him?"
Of course your coworker knows your neighbor -- they are both from India, after all. But this question forces him to remember his days of living in a place that can never be as good as America, and he will resent you for dredging up the bad past.
4.) Older Coworkers
Above: this man is not only old -- he's ready to steal your children.
You're in luck: older coworkers are traditionally more difficult to accidentally offend, because they often cannot hear or understand what you're saying. However, you can't always rely on a hearing aid malfunction, so we recommend closely following the tips below.
"You know, WalMart is hiring."
It's possible that your older coworker would instead prefer to work the day shift at McDonald's.
"When can I start planning your retirement party?"
Don't assume that you have to plan a retirement party yourself. Although your coworker may be old, he or she is perfectly capable of helping you with the party preparations.
"You are just warming that seat, gramps."
Elderly people actually tend to be cold all the time -- this is why they are constantly wearing shawls. Remember, getting a person's body temperature wrong is illegal and grounds for dismissal.