RECONCILING IN CHINESE

Working in the "Dutch Bank" in Bangkok, starting in 1954, the junior Dutch staff
together with the Chinese cashiers were responsible for nightly reconciliations
of the accounts as booked by the Cashier's Department and the Bookkeeping Department.
One man would read the amounts from his set of statements, the other would check
to make certain his set showed the same amount.

We found that two Chinese could handle a same-size stack
almost twice as fast as two Dutch.

Our solution, to avoid using some double syllable numbers
[like zeven (seven) and negen (nine)],
was to switch to Chinese and read out the single digits pronouncing them as if using a chopping knife.

Wich seemed hilariously funny to some Dutch friends dropping by to pick us up one evening.


BLO fecit 20040827 (added illustr.20041225) - stories