In Your Face

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There are days when I do get to turn the tables on these guys, and then it’s pay back time!

We were outside the office, grouped in noisy clumps, trying our hand at socializing. One guy keeps interrupting me, teasing and making what he must think to be funny comments. Now, I can take more than my share of ribbing, and I do take a lot of abuse from these guys, but I also like to dish it out. I decide this is just too good an opportunity to pass up.

So I compose my face into a quiet, somewhat pained expression and interrupt him in the middle of a joke.

Using my formal, I-mean-business voice, I say “You know what, you shouldn’t say those things to me. I’m Asian, and you know we take loss of face very seriously.”

He is taken aback, and begins sputtering and stammering out a string of profuse apologies. I let him stew for a while, and then I was laughing so hard, I could hardly say, “I’m just messing with you, big guy.”

The look on his face was priceless–shock, disbelief, a momentary feeling of faintness, I think.

He blurts out,”Oh my god, you’re a mean, mean woman!”

I smile and get the last word in: “You’d do well to remember that.”

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