The Henan factory boss remained prone on his office desk when the phone rang, but Stephen nonetheless froze in alarm. It was true the workers on the assembly line rarely disturbed their employer in his private enclave, but a failure to answer a direct internal call would unquestionably attract attention. Which was when the spy realized his original escape plan was doomed, and damned his superiors at Langley for their failure to purchase a discounted group subscription to Popup Chinese.Note: we're not saying that this Chinese lesson is actively designed to fill a critical gap in Western intelligence training. It's actually a snippet of something we caught in our recording studio. But we do marvel at the lack of practical Chinese lessons elsewhere on how to impersonate chain-smoking middle-aged Chinese capitalists. Because while anyone can talk about their hobbies in mandarin, it's the ability to answer the phone like a power broker that separates the rhetorical men from the boys. Which is why we touch on this today, if only after covering how to say hello on the phone and some other basics.