lostnchina

…because not all of us have our Peking ducks in a row

“Help!” (Wanted): The Story of Boogie Wang, Chloe Chu, Pinky Lo & One Kinky Ho

In Hong Kong, recruiting an English-speaking Account Representative is easier than in China, as English is one of the two official languages.  The issue I have is with the names that the Hong Kong population, particularly young women, have given themselves.

We had ten short-listed resumes.  Four of the resumes had the names of “Queenie” – Queenie Goh, Queenie Tsai, Queenie Tsui, and Queenie Lee.  Two resumes had the name of  “Twinkie” – Twinkie To and Twinkie Gan.   One Boogie Wang, one Pinky Lo, one Kinky Ho, and finally, a normal name – Chloe Chu.

Out of the four Queenies, only one showed up and was unremarkable.  None of the Twinkies were to be seen.  Boogie sashayed into the interview about 15 minutes late and asked if we provided parking for his motorcycle in our office.   When we said we didn’t, he left.

Chloe Chu arrived on time, dressed in a grey woolen skirt, grey tights, and white shirt with a big, flouncy collar, which was buttoned up all the way to her neck and made her look almost Elizabethan.  But she otherwise looked and acted normally.

After the usual pre-interview chit chat, we got down to business.

“Chloe, I see from your resume that you have three years of export experience.  Can you describe to me some of your job responsibilities?”

“Yes…but…sorry…Madam.  It’s CHLO, not Chloe.  My name…the pronunciation.”

“Wait…wait…you…mean….”

“Yes, Madam.  The “CH” is not pronounced like a “K”, but “CH”, like a CHoo CHoo train.”

“….”

“You know, Madam…like the CELLO, what Yo Yo Ma plays.”  CHlo even acted out the motion of playing a cello with her arms.  With her Elizabethan collar, she could have passed for a regular in the London Philharmonic.

“You mean, your name is CHLO CHU, and you don’t pronounce the “E” either?”

“Yes, madam.”

“You mean “CH”, like CHina or CHunky Monkey?!!”

Throughout the rest of the interview, I couldn’t get over the name Chlo Chu – literally.  Every time I said the name, it was like a tongue twister ready to mess me up in the tradition of, How can a crabby clam cram in a clean cream can?  I couldn’t imagine an ESL speaker being able to pronounce it.  And who the hell would spell her name Chloe, only not to pronounce it like that at all?

I also couldn’t see our customers meeting Chloe and having to be educated about the “proper” way to say her name, while getting a Yo Yo Ma air cello performance.  And then our customers stammering through sentences every time they had to address her by name.  I was now desperately wishing I had a Queenie or a Twinkie in front of me.

After Chlo Chu left I was despondent.  I thought the final two candidates – Pinky Lo and Kinky Ho – were some sort of practical joke my Manager had slipped on me.  Like a punchline to a bad joke that your Uncle Lester – the one who still wore 1978 polyester plaid – repeatedly told, but nobody got and fewer cared.  But then I looked at the calendar – September 21 and not April 1.  And my Manager was on the phone with Kinky, giving her directions to our office.

Pinky Lo and Kinky Ho burst into our office the way an Asian pop-star duo would appear on stage in a puff of smoke surrounded by sparkles and shiny stars.  They smelled like strawberries.  Pinky was aptly named, as everything she wore was pink – from her hair beret, to her pink lip gloss, pink purse, pink loafers, and pink, imitation Chanel outfit.

Kinky Ho, on the other hand, couldn’t seem to get her style groove on.  Kinky wore black and white checkered high-tops with argyle socks, a black denim miniskirt with a big green neon belt and an over-sized purple sweatshirt with the words, MISS THANG, in big bold yellow neon.  She had earrings that looked like palm trees or gutted sharks.

As it was getting late, I let my Manager interview Pinky, while I dealt with Kinky.

Kinky Ho had OK oral skills.  However, what finally led me to disqualify her was her English writing test.

For the test, Kinky had to read a letter from an imaginary customer, Mr. X, who had just received a shipment of custom plastic ballpoint pens with imprint on the casing.  The pen cartridge and casing were packaged separately, according to Mr. X’s instructions.  But when Mr. X attempted to assemble the pens, he claimed that the cartridges would not fit in the casing and that the pens leaked.

Kinky was given a rejected pen sample to play with and told to answer the letter in a manner she thought would resolve the situation.  This is her reply:

Dear Mr. X:

I am now your Service Girl with our firm for future relations you want to have with me.  It’s with great super pleasure that I will be the one for serviceing to you only.  Please let me know if I make mistakes!  We only want to please you super extra good! 🙂

For the your last order for the plastic ballpoint pens and writing, we’re so very sorry they are the bad quality for you.  I’m so sorry! We will try to do better!  😦

You know you must sticks the pen ink cartridge very very harder into small plastic open area many times go all the way through.  And do not stop if too tight feeling inside.  You just push Hard!  Or else many inks will come at once and make a big mess on your body. 😮

After you are stuck inside the cartridge, please put on cap fast!  Or else ink will come out, maybe spray!  Be careful here!  It is the mess.  😮

IF you are not sure how to do that, please let me know your Skype and we can chat live about that and I show you pen step by step to screw it tight.  My Skype is KinkyHoHK.  Hope to hear your good news soon! 🙂

Yours truly,

Kinky Ho (you can call me Kinky! 🙂

*****

Today, our Hong Kong office is Managed by Janice, with her assistant Shirley.  Both are transfers from our Taiwan office.  In Hong Kong we have hired Lily, Yuki, Trista and Yendi.  I’ve yet to tell Yendi that she’s two letters away from becoming a “large hairy creature resembling a human or bear, said to live in the highest part of the Himalayas”. (Source: Google web definitions).

So far, their names haven’t detracted from their job performance, which is good.  Sometimes I wish I had a more exotic name than Susan and that my name was known for something other than a big rotating disc in the center of a table.

But judging from the popular names in Hong Kong today, according to a posting on Yelp,  I think I’ll stick with Susan for now:

Bevan, Howan, Irvan, Jamnan, Kenathan, Kerlan, Lidian, Millan, Pian

Addy, Ailie, Alby, Binny, Bonkie, Boogie, Brankie, Bunty, Chammy, Chapi, Charmy, Chillie, Cini, Cliffy, Cordy, Creamie, Danky, Dawnly, Deki, Ducky, Engee, Esky, Euthy, Fandy, Fanny, Feli, Ferqie, Flossie, Fonny, Gally, Garie, Gawdy, Gayee, Glendy, Grandy, Hoiley, Janny, Jassy, Jervie, Joby, Keeny, Kingdy, Kinki, Kondi, Landy, Livesey, Loby, Lomy, Matchy, Milky, Oddie, Pansy, Petty, Piggy, Pinky, Polvy, Queenie, Reddy, Rimy, Sammi, Sheldy, Sicky, Spacey, Starry, Suki, Sunny, Takey, Takkie, Tandy, Tanny, Thankie Yue, Truly, Tucky, Tunney, Twinkie, Vandie, Vany, Vianney, Vigny, Waiky, Wanky, Wency, Wenny, Wicky, Wilkie, Willie Bunda, Wincey, Winci, Winky, Wylie, Yammie, Yuki, Zacky

Aegidia, Camelia, Fawnia, Flavia, Fonia, Lucylia, Rodenia, Shelia, Zenobia

Anman, Chelman, Daeman, Edman, Fatman, German, Goman, Heman, Hillman, Hurman, Housman, Hyman, Iman, Kingman, Lyman, Silly Man, Tasman, Wayman, Zetman

Addison, Adson, Anson, Banson, Bronson, Clemson, Cusson, Dickson, Edson, Edison, Garrison, Glynson, Kingson, Kinson, Nickerson, Parkson, Quonson, Rayson, Samson, Stimson, Twison, Vinson, Winson

Bear, Beauty Bee, Buffalo, Bull, Cat, Dolphin, Eagle, Fawn, Fish, Fox, Frog, Jackal, Lion, Mantis, Raccoon

Bright, Busy, Charming, Empty, Friendly, Fun, Funny, Gay Man, Joker, Lone, Lovely, Moody, Nausea, Normal, Open, Serene, Shaggy, Smart Man, Sterner, Stoner, Tall, True, Unique, Witty

Achilles, Adonis, Andes, Antares, Apollo, Ares, Athena, Atticus, Brilliance, Caesar, Glory, Hercules, Incredible, Ignatius, Jesus Christ, Kaiser, King, Lancelot, Mankind, Maximillian, Midas, Morpheus, Napoleon, Ophelia, Orion, Pius, Pluto, Pollux, Princeton, Professor, Saint, Superman, Titan, Venus, Winsome, Xenophon, Zenith, Zeus, Zillion, Zion

Adolf, Avis, Bentley, Benz, Biggie, Bismarck, Bowie, Brando, Bronson, Cher, Cinderella, Churchill, Clinton, Conan, Darwin, Dickens, Edison, Elton, Elvis, Farrah, Ferris Bueller, Fido Dido, Fonz, Franco, Kermit, Hermes, Hitler, Honda, Iggy, Indy, Japan, Kawai, Kennedy, Lenin, Lincoln, Manson, Ozzie, Piaget, Reba, Ringo, Skipper, Sony, Sting, Tigger, Truman, Tweety, Vienna, Yonex, Yorick, Yugo, Zenon, Zorro

Almond, Apple, Banana, Beany, Cherry, Chocolate, Coffee, Cookie, Fruit, Kiwi, Lemon, Mango, Margarine, Marmalade, Milk, Nestea, Oreo, Pineapple Bun, Potato, Prawn

Autumn, Born, Chlorine, Diamond, Gamma, Glacier, Green, Jade, Icy, Leafy, Maple, Moon, Mountain, Natural, Ocean, Opal, Orange, Purple, Proton, Rainbow, River, Rock, Season, Shadow, Shamrock, Shell, Shining Sun, Silver, Stone, Winters, Yellow

Ace, Alien, Bomber Man, Captain, Fever, Fry, Iceman, Maverick, Pagan, Sonic, Tower, Trainee, Zero

Admon, Aioros, Alphon, Arion, Areta, Arleta, Beacliff, Beel, Belem, Benweird, Bevis, Bocys, Cadol, Cangel, Canice, Cannas, Caris, Carpier, Cornox, Corothy, Corrol, Criff, Deaco, Drizzt, Edein, Ellick, Elves, Enrest, Faene, Feda, Fermat, Fimme, Gallen, Gazz, Gildas, Gorrenc, Gouf, Guyver, Harriam, Henricus, Hermine, Hinkmond, Hovid, Ilyn, Iokepa, Irnen, Jacar, Jackon, Jan Vacter, Jehoash Godwine, Johnivans, Jurjur, Kalaine, Katusha, Kenix, Komix, Lamune, Landes, Laputa, Lenno, Livina, Lufter, Malais, Manus, Marylois, Materno, Mexa, Monita, Moniza, Natalis, Novem, Nyx, Oona, Oyland, Parco, Phynix, Plal, Rayearth, Regs, Rickel, Rida, Rids, Rizal, Roginina, Silla, Tanna, Tannil, Tigo, Tinja, Tyatt, Vallenta, Vanus, Venna, Viren, Waycal, Weels, Wenise, Wingo, Wister, Yeah, Zainil, Zarina, Zodak, Zyle

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46 comments on ““Help!” (Wanted): The Story of Boogie Wang, Chloe Chu, Pinky Lo & One Kinky Ho

  1. I laughed at the thought of ‘air cello’. I also have officially changed my name to Bonkie!! That is all.

    Like

  2. Giora
    November 28, 2013

    I think that your customers will enjoy communicating with Kinky, making your company memorable in their eyes. Best wishes from Canada where we got a little snow in the biggest city. Your business seems to be growing, so good luck.

    Like

    • lostnchina
      November 28, 2013

      “Kinky” would only make our company memorable in a bad way, not a way that we want. But Kinky will have a bright future somewhere in an English-speaking bar, I’m sure

      Like

  3. expatlingo
    November 27, 2013

    Perhaps it’s a generational thing. All the young Hong Kong girls my daughter is friends with are named things like Charlotte, Chloe (pronounced as expected), Teresa, Jessica etc. But then again adult Hong Kong women I know also seem to have normal names like Connie, Abby, Amanda and Michelle.

    Or maybe your accounts manager put something very odd in the job description that attracted a special class of weird.

    Kinky Ho is in a class alone!

    Like

    • lostnchina
      November 28, 2013

      I think these names are for a particular age and demographic group – young adults, recent college grads? The women obviously choose their own names according to what sounds good to them, or what’s in. I really don’t know where KINKY came from, but it’s weird how many people have similar names. BTW, we just hired an Antonia in HK, and we’re thinking about getting rid of Yonny. (Rhymes with “Sonny”, like “Sonny and Cher”.)

      Like

      • expatlingo
        November 28, 2013

        Ha! I just now received an email from a “Pinky Wan.” Obviously I just haven’t been paying attention!

        Like

  4. gingerfightback
    November 27, 2013

    Do you think Kinky Ho could have a regular spot – advice on ink cartridges is in such short supply!

    Like

    • lostnchina
      November 28, 2013

      I’m sorry, Jim. Due to Kinky’s unprecedented popularity, she’s now entertaining offers to host shows, such as “Kinky Ho’s Hoedown – the Top Country & Western Songs of the Week”, but we can say we knew her when. Thank you for the RT, by the way!

      Like

  5. dalo2013
    November 27, 2013

    Oh, this is very good. I have ran into so many great names (great not necessarily being a good thing)…but Kinky Ho takes the cake. Beautiful.

    Like

    • lostnchina
      November 28, 2013

      …and I’ll bet she knows exactly what to do with that cake, too.

      Like

  6. Jean
    November 27, 2013

    I can’t believe I didn’t comment here back in 2012. 🙂

    Zenobia?? Geez..

    “Pinky Lo and Kinky Ho burst into our office the way an Asian pop-star duo would appear on stage in a puff of smoke surrounded by sparkles and shiny stars. They smelled like strawberries. Pinky was aptly named, as everything she wore was pink – from her hair beret, to her pink lip gloss, pink purse, pink loafers, and pink, imitation Chanel outfit.”

    Really, your comparison to Canto-pop stars, was just great here. LOL!

    Aiyahhhhh. I knew a great trilingual Chinese social worker from Montreal with her name as “Queenie”. A caring person.

    When my sister named her son Jackson, I wondered she was creeping into the odd line of cultural misalignment. But no, she was born in Canada..

    I agree Susan, is just as dull as Jean. 🙂

    And we knew a Chinese-Canadian family where they named their 2 girls: Mona and Lisa. 😀

    Like

    • lostnchina
      November 28, 2013

      Thanks, Jean. (And thanks for all the smiley faces, too.) I think Queenie’s OK in my book. And Jackson, though borderline, is great. It would be difficult to be taken seriously as an accountant, for example, with the name of Boogie Wang.

      Like

  7. katechiconi
    November 27, 2013

    Good grief! I thought my past dealings with Wincey Wang (sounds like a slight, er, male problem, doesn’t it?) were bad enough, but those names are just miles ahead. Thanks for another very, very funny post.

    Like

    • lostnchina
      November 27, 2013

      Wincey Wang is a great name! Someone just told me today on Twitter that he knew a guy whose name was “Abcd”, pronounced “ab-see-dee”. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  8. Susannah Ailene Martin
    November 27, 2013

    I had to put my hand over my face to not laugh too loudly when I was reading Kinky’s letter. Please tell me this is a joke. Or at least tell me you explained to her why she had to change her name immediately.

    Like

    • lostnchina
      November 27, 2013

      There are quite a few names that start with “Kinky” in Hong Kong, and “Ho” is a common surname. But truth be told I don’t even know an exact Chinese translation for kinky, and would probably have to use a lot of hand gestures to try and explain to her what her name meant. I once did ask a former Manager of mine why her name was “Fairy” (her last name wasn’t “Godmother”). She just said she “liked it”.

      Like

  9. DUH'Merica
    November 27, 2013

    very funny

    Like

  10. herschelian
    November 26, 2013

    Oh the wonders of naming oneself! Here on the mainland (Beijing) we seem to have more than a few Tiffanys, and any day now I expect to meet a Prada! one young man had to be told that the choice of Hitler as a western name was not doing him any favours..Mind you, I should not mock…I am not 100% certain I know what my Chinese name means- I think I do, but do I understand the connotations? Mai Zhi Ying – anyone want to enlighten me?

    Like

    • lostnchina
      November 27, 2013

      Well, not knowing what the actual Chinese characters are, it’s kind of hard to go by the pinying version of your name and figure out your Chinese name’s exact meaning. At least, rest assured it doesn’t mean “Prada knockoff”, “Hitler”, nor “Tiffany” in Chinese.

      Like

  11. becomingcliche
    November 26, 2013

    How sweet that she wants to service only me!

    I feel better about my job search now. This post was awesome!

    Like

    • lostnchina
      November 27, 2013

      Heather, change your name to Kinky Ho and I promise you, the offers will start coming in.

      Like

    • lostnchina
      November 27, 2013

      …and I mean OFFERS….

      Like

  12. lostnchina
    November 26, 2013

    Reblogged this on lostnchina and commented:

    As the month of November draws to a close, let us be grateful for the cross cultural and language differences with the adventures of one Kinky Ho.

    Like

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  17. Lance burton
    February 10, 2012

    That was really funny. You guys would never get work done if you hired kinky ho. Just would have made my day listening to her on the phone 🙂

    Like

    • lostnchina
      February 10, 2012

      Thanks for stopping by, Lance. Maybe I’ll forward Kinky Ho’s resume to you, if I still have it 🙂

      Like

  18. Chow Main!
    February 5, 2012

    Hello, I’m looking for Anita MantoKissandHug. Hello?

    Like

  19. Grane
    January 30, 2012

    Another two missed names, Polythene and Hunky

    Like

  20. elmer
    January 21, 2012

    I remember this Filipino-Chinese clan who has a law firm here in Manila. It’s called Chu, Chu and Chu Law Office. (CHOO-CHOOO!) LOL. “Call me Kinky” I like that! Kong Hei Fat Choi btw

    Like

  21. Kitchen Slattern
    January 18, 2012

    I once got a resume from an undertaker in response to my ad for a copywriter. “Think of me not as Igor, but as Heathcliff,” was his opening gambit, and a good one it was, too. I was too scared to interview him, so he may still be looking. I probably have his contact info…

    Another screamer. Keep it coming, please.

    Like

    • lostnchina
      January 18, 2012

      Hi Wendie,

      Um… thanks for stopping by, but no thanks on the referral. 🙂

      Susan

      Like

  22. Deano
    January 17, 2012

    Hilarious! At University there was a fellow student named “Yu Chuk”, but “Kinky Ho” and “Wanky” are classics!

    Like

    • lostnchina
      January 17, 2012

      Ohhh… forgot about “Wanky”! That’s a classic.

      Thanks for reading.

      Like

      • Deano
        January 18, 2012

        Your day to day work activities must be enlightening, tiring, amusing and at times downright confusing? 😉

        Like

  23. mrmarymuthafuckingpoppins
    January 17, 2012

    Kinky Ho got me laughing and spilled what I was drinking all over lol. Great Post. I hope you are feeling better too

    Like

    • lostnchina
      January 17, 2012

      Thanks for reading. I am feeling better and catching up on all the celebrating from before 🙂

      Like

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This entry was posted on January 17, 2012 by in China, Humor and tagged , , .
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