I know this guy . . .
He’s a Korean guy and he speaks English really well but not perfectly. Anyway, he has this really weird tendency to over-misunderstand any favor that I ask of him. This leaves me backpedaling, and him thinking I am incredibly presumptuous. The first time it happened like this:
Me: You know I am looking for jobs and I have started applying to a couple stock brokerage houses in New York. Do you think I could put you down for a reference? I don’t know whether they’ll actually call you or not.
Him: (Stunned silence) . . . Well, I suppose I could make a few calls to all the Korean stock brokerage houses in New York and put in a good word for you, but I don’t really know what you’d do there. They usually only hire Koreans. I will do what I can.
Me: Oh, no, no, I’d never ask all that, all I need is . . .
The next time (today) was like this:
Me: So I got two interviews at brokerage houses, and they will expect me to intelligently talk about the stock market and stock trading in Korean, so can you recommend any good basic books that would give me all the vocabulary I need to discuss the field?
Him: (Thoughtful contemplation) . . . Well, I suppose I can give you a few books on the Korean stock market, but I must say that there are major differences between the Korean stock market and the New York Stock Exchange, People spend their whole lives learning about the different systems used at each market, I really don’t think there are any basic books that can teach you everything about the Korean stock market.