- Announcing: War Stories
- Steve’s War Story: It’s All Going To Burn
- Tamara’s War Story: What the Hell? Don’t you knock?
- Tell Us Your War Story
- Vanessa’s War Story: DDoSed in Vegas
- Dan’s War Story: Focus, no matter what!
- Priya’s War Story: Taking empathy to a whole new level
- Tom’s War Story: Go with the flow
- Mary Ann’s War Story: Be Prepared
- Leo’s War Story: No, We Really Meant the User
- Nicolas’ War Story: Do you want me to act?
- Diane’s War Story: Interrupted Interview
- Kelly’s War Story: Pictures are language independent
- Susan’s War Story: The trust dance
- Gavin’s War Story: It’s 4:00 a.m., Do You Know Where Your Ethnographer Is?
- Dan’s War Story: Shanghai Surprise
- Fumiko’s War Story: Goodbye cruel world
- Greg’s War Story: Taking notes, getting detained (sort of)
- Jon’s War Story: Beware of Trap Doors
- George’s War Story: Skyfall (or A View to A Kill)
- Lisa’s War Story: When Rapport Goes Too Far
- Sean’s War Story: Pockets full of cash
- Francoise’s War Story: Black glances cast our way
- Brandon’s War Story – CATastrophe
- Greg’s War Story: Biting off more than I can chew
- Michael’s War Story: The glass is more than half full
- Raffaella’s War Story: Learning to deal with expectations
- Greg’s War Story: Culture shock
- Elaine’s War Story: I thought my client was going to die
- Dennis’s War Story: Negotiating between sympathy and empathy
- Debbie’s War Story: Sometimes Ignorance is Bliss
- Carla’s War Story: A dirty diaper sitting in the mud
- Apala’s War Story: Whose side is the researcher on?
- Jaimes and Aico’s War Story: Sumimasen!
- Elysa’s War Story: Keep The Swiffer On Your Right
- Sharon’s War Story: Broken Windows Theory
- David’s War Story: Footloose
- David’s War Story: Suit yourselves
- Prasad’s War Story: Skin in the game
- Daria’s War Story: Human Thresholds
- Jen’s War Story: Trust your gut, it can save your life!
- Ryan’s War Story: Enthusiasticus Interruptus
- Valerie’s War Story: Rank order
- Rachel’s War Story: Subject Matter May Be Inappropriate
- Cordy’s War Story: A Crisis of Credibility
- Marta’s War Story: On confronting judgement
- Whitney’s War Story: Stories of War
- Kavita’s War Story: Managing money, oh joy!
- Ilona’s War Story: First Stop the Bleeding!
- Elaine’s War Story: They call me Mister
- Tom’s War Story: House Rules
- Alicia’s War Story: Don’t hate on a tinkler
- Lena’s War Story: The Researcher and the Banana Thief
- Michael’s War Story: All About Face (Sichuan Adventures)
- Raffaella’s War Story: A hot day in a bank
- John’s War Story: An Ethnographic Encounter with Occupy Wall Street
Elaine Ann, the CEO of Kaizor Innovation in Hong Kong tells a story about consciousness – both cultural and physical.
One of my most memorable research experiences was ten years ago in China. My Western client fainted in broad daylight in the middle of our Beijing field trip. We had completed field research work and were touring an exhibition. She just plopped on the floor without any previous sign that she had any health problems.
We called the ambulance and a white van came along. There was nothing on it – no ambulance emergency lights, no oxygen equipment, no CPR equipment, only a stretcher. Not knowing what was wrong with my client’s health, we (me, my colleagues and her co-workers) decided to take her to the hospital anyway.
Upon arriving at the hospital, we had to first pay for the ambulance fees in cash (this is China). Then the client was carried onto a hospital bed. I was caught in between cultures at that point as my client’s Western co-workers were dubious about the medical standards in Chinese hospitals and refused an injection from the doctor; while the Chinese doctor was quite annoyed by the Westerners’ attitude (reading their horrific facial expressions) and challenged them whether or not they really want to be helped after coming to the hospital. Meanwhile, I was trying to translate everything in both English and Mandarin, amidst all the chaos, trying to not offend either party (who couldn’t communicate directly with each other).
Finally, the client’s co-worker decided to take a risk with her boss’s health rather than risk it with the Chinese hospital, so we had to shuttle the client back to the hotel instead. (We then discovered that five-star hotels usually have English speaking travel doctors for emergencies – a handy tip for researchers doing field trips in China). In the hotel elevator, my client fainted a second time and we had to drag her off the elevator, along the corridors and into her room like a dead fish.
My client finally became conscious again and luckily we found out this was caused by a low blood sugar syndrome and happened all the time. All she needed was a candy. We had to decline her request to visit the Great Wall the next day. I really wouldn’t know how to carry her down from the Great Wall if she fainted on top of that, as it’s a defense wall designed to make it difficult for invaders to climb even in ancient times!
Seriously, I would have made the national news if my client died on our China research trip! Phew!