@Alistair Zhao
I worked at an international bank in London ten years ago, with my team spread across the globe, notably in China, Korea, Japan, and Singapore. Despite being an international team with similar tasks, our work ethics and approaches varied widely, often fitting comical stereotypes.
In London, we were somewhat privileged, typically finishing work by 7 PM and rarely staying until 9 PM. However, we could almost always count on receiving a reply from our East Asian colleagues the same day if we sent an email before 5 PM London time, which was midnight in East Asia.
One time, I was emailing different teams around midday to gather information. The Singaporeans responded immediately, and the Chinese and Japanese replied promptly as well. However, the Koreans did not respond.
The next day, I ed up with the Korean team. Seconds after sending the email, my phone rang. It was a private number, not from within the organization. A murmuring voice on the other end said, "Alistair, I am your colleague from Korea. I forgot to send you the information yesterday. Could you please resend the email without the chain?"
Without much thought, I agreed and forwarded the email. While doing so, I recounted the strange call to a colleague sitting next to me. He gave me a serious look and explained that the head of the Korea team required all emails to be replied to the same day and would scream at anyone who failed to do so. He suspected the poor guy was calling me from the toilet using his personal phone. My colleague ended by saying, "I hope you agreed to help him."
At that moment, I realized something important: I did not want to go back to East Asia to work.