Thursday, March 19, 2009

Strangeness Afoot

Completely unrelated to swim, bike, and running practice, something very strange happened at work this week. A co-worker of ours, a former Chinese National, went on vacation to China three weeks ago with her 2 kids and husband to visit family. She's been with our company for nearly a year-and-a-half. She's a Wharton MBA grad and just recently became a US citizen just missing her chance to vote in the presidential elections by one week.

Well, Wednesday we got an email from her saying she won't be coming back...not just to the job but not coming back at all. She said she's not coming back to America. I know that her and her husband both have cars and personal possessions in their apartment. On a follow email, our boss asked where he should send her W2...her response: shred them.

We've sent emails trying to understand what's going on. She responds immediately. Her responses betray that she's really sad about not coming back. Yet, there's not a lot of other information. We have no idea what's going on with her. We've been speculating like mad. What's more, our department, Financial Analysis and Planning, is chalk full of individuals that are very analytical and speculative in nature--myself included. So, in the absence of any definative information, we've spent the last few days by the water cooler speculating what happened to our former co-worker. Maybe she's being held against her will by the Chinese government as punishment for revoking her Chinese citizenship. Maybe she's just found another job and can't come clean that she's moved on. We don't know and it's driving us nuts. We keep going over the details of our last interactions with her before she left trying to find something...some clue. We cross reference our ideas and impressions with each other. Still there's no finality. Perhaps this is the cruelest way to give notice--no information at all.

Well Tong...I hope all is well and your safe!

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