Friday, September 28, 2007

From Solemn to Hilarious

Just got back from a meeting.

Chair-person (lady) was pretty serious.  New on the job, oozing with enthusiasm and eager to make a good impression.  But half-way through the solemn affair, someone saw a nice blind-spot in her field of vision and decided to toss in a banana peel.


Chair-person:  This item has been on this minutes for the last two weeks.  Why can't we proceed with the sample build?

Project guy:  We're still short of some raw materials.  The parts are coming in soon… within these two days. 

Chair-person:  When is the deadline?

Project guy:  Yesterday…

Chair-person:  Did someone request for an extension?

Project guy:  Done…

Chair-person:  Any other surprises that can stop us?  Equipments ready?

Project guy:  Done.  We'll run the process as soon as possible.

Chair-person:  Soon? 

Project guy:  Can't promise until I see the parts are OK.

Chair-person:  How soon?  Can we have a date?

Project guy:  I'm flattered…but..

Chair-person:  ???  Come again?

Project guy:  Sorry, you're not my type...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Ramblin' Prose 3

"When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and true maxim that 'a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.' So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great highroad to his reason, and which, once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing him of the justice of your cause, if indeed that cause is really a good one."

-Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

Alas, but how few use such wisdom nowadays.  And how few actually would respond positively to such soft approach anyway.

Of course during his time, in politics, dear old Abe had only to deal with men.  Therefore his statement was only made in the masculine context.  Can't fault him for that.  Our political landscape now is totally different.  On top of having to deal with different sexes, cultures, religions, we also have to contend with double-speaking and spin-doctoring. 

Then there are the actors who can play dumb, shed tears on demand, or scream and shout abuses at you even when you see no reason for them to behave the way they do, in spite of your diplomatic approach.  The fact remains they're making statements to reach a larger target audience.  Being seen as idiots by a small part of the public doesn't diminish their worth in the eyes of a bigger section of the population.  In other words, principles have no more value than a teaspoon of salt in the ocean.  Political dexterity is of utmost importance.  While getting voted is the bottom-line.  How you 'sail with the wind' decides how well you survive politically. 

And also that's why the regime in charge always intend to keep more of the population poorly educated by all dubious means they can get away with, while maintaining that they're always updating and advancing the standards.

For us ordinary folks, we tend to either shoot first and talk later or we don't say anything offensive to those close to us.  That's why we are either quarrelling most of the time or we just cold-shoulder each other when we don't agree, until one of us decides that the other could be right and makes a move for further discussion. 

It's only when we can thrash things out openly and maturely that we can solve common problems without involving highly charged emotions.  Otherwise unhealthy conditions just fester and anger and frustrations grow until relationships finally fall apart.

Perhaps, that's why it's terribly difficult to find sincere friends nowadays.  Value the ones who dare to give you the medication without sugar-coating it.  Of course you have to be the type who can take it straight.  I don't mean to say that those who can sugar-coat things before they throw it at you, are insincere.  On the contrary, these are the very people you should thank heaven for.  They are a rare breed who are honest yet diplomatic with you.  Consider yourself very fortunate if you can count them on the fingers of one hand.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

No holes barred

Chairman of the Bored just sat down in front of his PC.


Bad Company = too many executives, too little execution.

Bad Equation = Too many managers = too much management = too little being managed

Crisis Management = Pay consultants for some rubbish which helps to sweep the problem under the carpet and hang a certificate on the wall where there's a lose brick showing.


Quick Returns

Guy went into washroom and met a colleague coming from one of the stalls. He sniffed the air and made a face.

1st guy: Waaah! That must have been you. What an awful smell!!

2nd guy: So, what do you expect to get in a shit-house? Baking cookies?


Meanwhile, wish I could join the lawyers@Putrajaya If they pull this through, I'll never make another lawyer joke again, ever. Promise.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Leaving the vicious circle

My blogger friend Bengbeng brought up an issue about teenage boy problems, to which I wrote this response:

As I read this, I think of Elvis’ song "In the Ghetto". The vicious circle goes round & round from one generation to the next, unless it gets broken by one that gains a good education in between.

I grew up in a generation that was moulded by a school system that seriously looked into moral &/or religious education that went hand-in-hand with other basics. Save for a few die-hards, even those who dropped out after primary 6 had enough moral training in them to make good in life. I’m quite disappointed with our current system that has left out, or poorly implemented this vital part of education. Even the emphasis of religious education has been very lopsided in favor of only one religion. At the risk of being controversial, I have to state that the rest of the population has to look for their own solutions, it seems.

What I didn't add was that our parents instilled in us the habit of learning, working hard and being disciplined. Dad insisted our most important goal at that stage in life was to gain an education, without which we'd be like boats out at sea without rudders, letting the wind and waves take us whichever way it blows, without our control over our own destiny. And he didn't spare the rod whenever we violated the rules. That was the same rod that even some governments today want to outlaw. When we went to school, our teachers took over from where he left off. And that is the school system together with those dedicated teachers that I believe we miss nowadays.

And look at what kids dare to do nowadays. Would you put the blame entirely on them? I would look at myself first.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

When Cheap Costs More

Living in a safe neighborhood made me complacent.  “Safe neighborhood’ means we only heard of one case of snatch-robbery in the last 3 months.  After all my precautions of not leaving any bags, hand phones or costly items in view inside the car, I get the feeling that nothing bad is ever going to happen anyway.  So complacency sets in and carelessness takes over.  And that’s when bad things happen.  Maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s costly and troublesome.

I was on the way to Penang Island to visit my old folks and other relatives along the way.  Remembering that I may need a larger trolley bag for my probable, upcoming, one-month trip to Deutschland for a project transfer, I decided to get a discounted 24-inch unit at Carrefour.  I don't travel that often anyway.  (If you think about the way baggage are being tossed around, broken into or stolen at certain airports, why bother with expensive bags?)  Well, cheap ended up costing more for me and my luck on this day of 14th September 2007. 

At 12 noon, a younger brother who was also going the same destination called to inform me while I was still shopping around, there was a heavy jam on the bridge (later found out to be caused by a broken down bus since 9.30am).  He opted to abandon trip.  So we changed course and went to a brother-in-law’s place in Kota Permai in BM instead.  While there looking over his new house which was under renovation, I left my car by the roadside under a cool shade of a tree, about 2 houses away. 

When we came out 30 minutes later, I noticed some broken glass beside my rear tire.  My right rear window was smashed.  My brand new cheap trolley bag was gone from the backseat, together with my daughter’s denim jacket, 2 pairs of new shorts, and a thermos bottle stuffed inside the bag. 

A guy from a house opposite said there are at least a few cars broken into each day on this same street, and the highest score was about dozen cars in one day.  A few guys on motorbikes are prowling the neighborhood, day in day out.  Well, sir.  Thanks for that piece of news.  Huh!

It just wasn’t my day.  The service center told me the replacement glass can only get here next Tuesday.  To cap my misery, dark clouds hovering overhead threatened me with a drenching.  I managed to make it back to bother-in-law’s place before the storm broke.  I wanted to stick a piece of plastic over the window but sis-in-law suggested using her daughter’s Kelissa.  I had to abandon the Myvi at her place and come back for it later.

On the way home after the storm slackened, we got caught in another traffic crawl from Auto-City, Juru to Sebarang Jaya.  There was a badly mauled-up twisted whatever-model-is-it on the overhead bridge of the 3-tier interchange in front of the immigration building.  Whether whoever drove that car deserved it or not, it looked like some people had it worse than me. 

But still, I went home and nursed the pain of loss, frustration of helplessness and regret I took the wrong day off, or to be where I shouldn’t have been in the first place, for the next few days until the story has been told and retold for the umpteenth time whenever someone asks the question: What happened to your car?  One of my girls even laughed at the image of me driving a Kelissa.  So did I. 
Que sera sera. 

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Go, Punch that S.O.B.


We have an improvement program called "3 I's" which stands for Innovation, Inspiration and Initiative.  Everybody tries to dream up a few ideas on how to improve things: like productivity, safety & health, work environment or whatever to do with the company.  


We got to discussing how some employees are frustrated by the abusive behavior of their supervisors or managers but have no way of venting their anger.  Thus, due to the fact they have to "cari-makan" (earn their bread & butter), they bottle their anger, swallow their pride and get hypertensive, ulcers and/or depressively crazy.


So, here's my suggestion for this week.