Friday, May 11, 2007

Word of the Day: Guo Laomo

Chinese mainlanders are usually known for not being as industrious as their southern cousins in Hong Kong.

Some eat lunch quickly and then put their pillow on their desk and nap for the rest of the hour.

But nowadays in the big Chinese cities, there's a new phenomenon called guo laomo which means "over-worked models". Guo means "past" and "lao" is "work".

This terms refers to white-collar workers who are in the office well beyond the eight hours stipulated in the labour law. Some sacrifice their weekends and health leading to long-term physical and psychological illnesses.

Apparently there are three reasons for these people to be guo laomo:

1. They think working overtime is going to fast track them to a promotion or increased salary;

2. Because of cost-cutting or not enough resources, there is not enough time during the work hours to finish everything;

3. They see everyone else working late so they think they should do the same.

If they are in situation 1, then it could possibly lead to a brighter future, but those in the second scenario need to get another job soon.

Those in the third group should get a life!

I guess they haven't heard the term work-life balance... yet.

1 comment:

Louisa said...

Hey, thanks for telling us about this new term. I find it a very good description! In HK there are far too many Guo Laomos! One of the reasons is that they feel "obliged" to stay after the boss has left the office otherwise it wouldn't "look good". It is sort of an unspoken rule. Pathetic isn't it? When will people learn to work smart and efficient rather than just work hard!