By Wayne Chan
Northwest Asian Weekly
Some of you may have run across a recent video that’s gone viral — of a trainer, lining up a group of employees working for a Chinese Bank and spanking them with a wooden paddle in front of their peers for poor performance evaluations.
It’s a shocking display. It’s demeaning. It’s humiliating.
And yet, I have mixed feelings about it.
Of course, I’m sympathetic to those poor folks on stage getting thwacked on the backside. I don’t see how any performance evaluation should ever incorporate corporal punishment as part of its training method.
On the other hand…
In this day and age, with all of life’s inconveniences, politicians with too much political correctness (and some with too little), and all the little injustices in life, I can’t deny the satisfaction I would get if I had the power to administer at least a symbolic thwacking to some of those on my list. Yes, I have a list — it’s a theoretical list, but a list is still a list.
So here goes…
To the waitress in Shanghai who took too long to clean up a table for us, so we could be seated. We started cleaning up the table ourselves, which led to her complaining that we didn’t do a good enough job — Thwack!
To the salesperson who came to our home to give us a really outrageously high estimate for replacing a window and then to find out the same exact brand window was 30 percent cheaper at our local Home Depot — Thwack!
To my teenage son, who plays tennis and recently said, “I want to beat you in tennis, while you’re still young enough to play.” — Thwack!
To the same teenage son, who said while playing tennis with me a couple of weeks, “You know, you don’t have to hit the ball so soft to me.” I replied, “I wasn’t trying to hit the ball soft to you!” —
To my teenage son (yes, the same one), while playing tennis with me weeks after that, who smiled at me sheepishly and said, “You’re hitting the ball much harder now — good for you!” To which I said, “I want you to stop talking to me now.” — Thwack! He’s probably getting pretty sore by now.
To a certain presidential candidate who was also a first lady, senator, and Secretary
of State, who said, “I’ll try very hard to tell the truth,” when asked if she will tell the truth to the American people. — Thwack!
To another presidential candidate who made a name for himself by firing people on a reality show, and has said — well, there’s just too much to mention, so I’d like to administer a number of thwacks set to the beat of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” Thwack! Thwack! Thwack! Thwackie, Thwack, Thwackie, Thwack!
Finally, a few thwacks reserved for some inanimate objects.
For the scale in my bathroom, which manages to show a higher number after I’ve eaten only an apple, two walnuts, and a glass of skim milk all day — Thwack!
For the air conditioner in my home that seems to turn on randomly in the winter, but decided to stop working on the hottest day of the year — Thwack!
Finally, for the GPS navigation system in my car, that seems to routinely reroute my drive to head into the middle of a lake or on a 36-hour journey to Milwaukee — Thwack!
Now, I feel much better. Hands a little sore. Next time, I’ll wear gloves.
Wayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.