Thursday, March 31, 2005

Chinese Walking Tall

Encroaching capitalism and modernization come in many forms, but apparently most of those forms have long legs and the ability to watch parades without a curbside view.

Exhibit A: China, where the clamor for additional height has become a national obsession. The Los Angeles Times reports how a growing number of affluent Chinese are shelling out as much as $6,000 for surgery to add critical inches ... and no, not adding inches in that American spammed email sort of way.

From the L.A. Times:

"In the old days, when the government handed out the most desirable jobs, many college-educated Chinese didn't have to worry about finding work on their own. But now the job market is a seller's market, and seemingly irrelevant factors such as height play a role in who is hired.

" 'In China, the competition for jobs is too fierce,' said Xia Hetao, one of a handful of physicians in the country who specializes in leg lengthening. 'All else being equal, height becomes a deciding factor.' Many employers list height requirements in their job descriptions."

Yes, according to the story, even T.G.I. Friday's restaurants throughout China (isn't it reassuring to know that folks half a world away also get to enjoy Atkins-approved dishes?) stipulate that job applicants must be above 5 feet 1 for a woman and 5 feet 4 for a man.

Why on earth would there be a height threshold for Friday's?

Maybe there is a fear that uber-small waiters would injure themselves succumbing to the temptation of carrying fajita platters atop their head. Maybe the red-striped uniforms shirts are hand-me-downs from the NBA. Maybe management is worried that a diminutive employee could slip and drown in a vat of Mudslide. Who knows?


At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't look at me. I'm still trying to figure out what their name means. Plus, the sunset/sunrise thing, that isn't.


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