June 15th, 2009
02:39 AM GMT
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HONG KONG, China – How many of us have day dreamed of getting even with a back-stabbing colleague or a bullying boss?

Sticking voodoo dolls with pins.  Throwing darts at their photos on a board.  Playing a practical joke.

Here in Hong Kong, we have another fine option - hexing our office enemy with a shoe.

Under a bridge in the crowded shopping district of Causeway Bay, frustrated locals visit little old ladies who offer to curse that nasty co-worker (or anyone else giving you hell) for a bargain price of U.S. $6.  These geriatric mystics are busiest during the lunar "Waking of Insects" holiday, which marks when animals end their winter slumber.  However, "beating petty people," as it's known here, is now attracting those burned by the recession.

I recently visited one of the clairvoyants, Mei Ngan Leung.  She asked me to write a name down on a flimsy strip of paper.  She chanted a few words, took out a worn leather sandal, and beat and beat and beat the sorry-looking slip before torching and tossing it into a pail.

Who did I curse? Watch the segment on CNN.com.

The curse, Leung told me, will cause my enemy to change his behavior, to disappear from my life, or just leave me alone.  The hex, she said, cannot be undone and could, if the gods will it, last for eternity.

I'm not encouraging bad behavior, but I'm interested in hearing how YOU deal with the office pests.

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. James

    I had a boss who was ultra touchy about her chair; as though it were a sacred object and she its high priest. I understand the whole dominance thing, but there were simply not enough chairs in the office.
    So for April Fool's, I snuck into the office, took apart her chair piece by piece, wrapped the pieces individually - including the screws - and left the base up on a couple cinder blocks. I then mailed the pieces to her individually, paying for express shipping for some, snail mail for a few, and mailing them from different locations so they arrived at staggered intervals.

    June 15, 2009 at 3:44 am |
  2. Lee

    As long as the person is doing the assigned job, then I don't care. Remember, these pests are people, too. and in today's recession, it's all the more important to understand that humanity and being humane should not be sacrificed.

    June 15, 2009 at 3:46 am |
  3. wan khih liang

    Leave the honkies to hongie,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:55 am |
  4. PFC Hildreth

    I have a particular sgt. that has continued to give me hell during deployment here in Iraq since day one. I placate him whenever possible. I prayed about it and got transfered to a different unit. The sgt's. and NCOs are much nicer and I am enjoying defending my country. A-men for faith in any form.

    June 15, 2009 at 5:00 am |
  5. Tammy from HK

    I went to school in Wan Chai, I always walked past the bridge when I went to Causeway Bay from my school, so I see that a lot. I'm still a student, but if I have to deal with the person/people giving me hell at work, practical joke will be my number one choice. It's funny, and surely can embarrass them in the public.

    June 15, 2009 at 5:58 am |
  6. Dora P

    Karma people, Karma.... If you don't believe in Karma, then believe in What goes around comes around, Wheel of Fortune. If you harm others, expect worse for yourself. These people who go and put hexes on people WILL get what's coming to them. It may not be anytime soon, but know, they will get it, and they'll get it really bad. These so called hex women will burn in "well you know"!!!! And the people who go to them, fill follow. Simple thing is ..... "don't do any harm to others, be respectful and always nice, just the way you want others to treat you....and believe me when i say, the people who've been hard on you......will pay the price but without you initiating it, which is much better, that's the sweetest revenge.

    June 15, 2009 at 7:23 am |
  7. cha

    This is funny... and odd!

    I used to have this habit of munching in my office desk and the office pest happens to be beside me and a glutton. The solution was easy- bring great tasting food and make her drool!


    June 15, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  8. LResendez

    Karma & WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND is true, but the question is at what cost & why does it take so long? Karma,~ It's the familiarity with the letter K for our company right now in regards to havoc that is being spilled over from uneducated, ignorant and unqualified people having been put into positions where they are ill qualified and treat other tenured, veteran employees with little to NO dignity nor respect & get away with it. HOW LONG IS TOO LONG to put up with the abuse is the question.......to keep from being pulled into someone else's madness is the real question.

    June 15, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  9. Jad

    I had a boss who maybe was the meanest creature to walk the planet.
    she used to time my stay in the WCs and checked my drawers each time I left my desk... She used to give me impossible jobs in an impossible time frame.
    Even after she was fired she continued to call me and try to put her nose in my business.
    i'd love to cast a curse on her, cant rely on karma alone.

    June 15, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  10. Yongyuth PAD-Songkhla

    Kudos to most agreeable with Dora P's comment, but wondering of how soon would that "Karma" will ever happen in reality. As far as most unscrupulous department heads in power serve the ball of "Talk Show" every morning meeting. Sycophantic colleagues play a greater role in office politics. Back-stabbing is a kind of dessert that always draw authorities' attention with their great interests and dreaming of castle in the air project to cut costs. That is! How would you deal with such a situation? The best way... sometime ! you have to think that this is the real "Karma" of the boss.

    June 15, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  11. ijeoma O

    Dats really an evil way of gettn back at ur office enemy,be it ur boss or collegue.who ever does dat should know dat wat goes around comes around.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  12. George Camacho from Tumon, Guam, USA

    It is so important to know your legal rights. If you don't know just visit a lawyer for a free consultation - generally in the US the first consultation is free - to find out if your bad boss has broken any laws and if so, you will be armed with the knowledge and know-how to sue him/her if that is what you want to do.

    Even if you don't sue but instead just show him/her that you are armed with the knowledge and know-how to sue, that might be enough to scare them into stopping his/her illegal behavior.

    Know your legal rights!

    June 15, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  13. paolo

    there are a number of other ways of trying to dress a person down especially in offices and schools. In Italy for example teachers who regularly try to bring themselves up tp date by taking part in courses or just studying by themseleves, are not seen as begloning to the 'strong team' of those who just spend their time 'counting flies' and reading newspapers all the time. That's why especially good Italian teachers teach abroad.

    June 15, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  14. Anne

    Dora P- what if you are all that is courteous and only get all that is crap? Eventually, i'll get you. I am karma, in heels and a huge chip on my shoulder. You better believe i'll get you back. James...that is the funniest (you know what) ever!! Too bad we have CCTV everywhere!
    Lee if you don't care then clearly you have very nice colleagues and won't believe what the rest of the world goes through.

    June 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  15. Scott

    I truly look forward to when CNN starts reporting the news.

    It would be a refreshing change of pace.

    June 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  16. elba gutierrez

    ha ha ha we are back in the stone age... ha ha ha ha

    June 15, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  17. Scott

    Oh and how moronic is it that I get a previous message which was moderated (read: deleted) for making an assumptioin that Geithner and Co. are undermining the US financial system on purpose, whereas 'wan khih liang' may make the racial slur "honkies".

    Nice job, CNN. Your colors shine true.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  18. Manuel Vilhena

    Sometimes I believe that mathematics and physics are not difficult, what is difficult is people get on with each other.

    One thing is certain it is impossible to please everybody.


    June 15, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  19. betty boop

    I have worked with two women (at different times) in my current office who claimed they were bi-polar. Cant tell you all the fun that caused. Our office was drama central and as the saying goes, "Everybody that comes into our office makes us happy, some by entering-others by leaving." is so true. My advice is keep interaction to a minimum, do as much as possible via e-mail, it keeps the lying to a mininum. Dont retaliate in kind, what goes around...., is true. If they get out of hand and /or abusive, elavate and complain with documentation. Try to see them as flawed and not take it into you, not personal. Try to stay centered and know you are doing the best you can, see it as a challenge and try to beat them at their own game. Use the experience as a test to see how resource full you are.

    June 15, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  20. Da Lou

    I used to have a boss who is selfish, arrogant and an ultimate prima donna. Just how privileged she is? She can't even put the damn staple wires in her own stapler. She whines A LOT over petty things like, "my phone's not working!" or "my internet connection is really slow" or "my outlook's offline!." She's really selfish when it comes to sharing info about our work when in fact I was her marketing assistant. How did she expect me to assist her if I don't have the slightest clue on our marketing events? Like she expects me to know mental telepathy and automatically know these things. She's also an ultimate freeloader, sometimes she would tell me to take the freebies offered by vendors/suppliers without any real intention of buying their services. It's been 3 months since I left that company and you know what? I heard she's just been promoted as a marketing director. I'm sure by now she has tails to match her evil horns.

    June 16, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  21. Ian

    Karma is not something out there. You are an agent of karma, either wittingly or unwittingly, all the time. So enjoy passing on what is going round – be creative. Otherwise keeps a detailed record, incidents, times, places, witnesses for the most obnoxious

    June 24, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  22. Andrew Bailey

    I'm a firm believer in what goes around comes around. Call in Karma or whatever you like but its real. So many times managers of sorts gave me hell, but in the end, they way they treated me while I was with the company was the way they got treated at some point. This might be a religious saying but 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Religious or not, that's always been my motto in life.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  23. Andrew Bailey

    I'm a firm believer in what goes around comes around. Call in Karma or whatever you like but its real. So many times managers of sorts gave me hell, but in the end, they way they treated me while I was with the company was the way they got treated at some point. This might be a religious saying but 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Religious or not, that's always been my motto in life.
    Andrew Bailey

    August 5, 2009 at 10:52 pm |

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