.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Pil Seung

Location: Penang, Malaysia

May 06, 2006

Five most common lies in business

My friend, Juliet Delta Lima forwarded this interesting stuff to me this morning.

By the way, here is the original source, http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/10/5lies.html by Alice Van Housen, from FC issue 10, page 52.

Paul LaFontaine left Bertelsmann Music Group in March 1997 to advise other business people about radical honesty. He has lots of work to do. "There are as many lies in business as there are people in business," he says. Here are his nominees for the five most common lies:

Lie: "People are our most important asset."

Truth: "People are our most worrisome and unpredictable asset. Our most important assets are really our financial assets."

B.S. Detector: This may be the leading lie of our times. "When management starts talking about how important people are," LaFontaine says, "you can bet there is going to be an unpopular human resources decision coming soon."

Lie: "This was a rational decision."

Truth: "I wanted to do this."

B.S. Detector: People "want what they want just because they want it," says LaFontaine.

Lie: "We judge people by their performance."

Truth: "I judge your performance based on how much I like you."

B.S. Detector: "Why do most people who keep their jobs keep them?" LaFontaine asks. "Because the people they work for like them. And you get fired when the people you work for don't like you anymore.

Lie: "This is business, it isn't personal."

Truth: "Everything's personal."

B.S. Detector: "As people, we get mad at each other," says LaFontaine. "Attempts to avoid it are cowardly. So get mad. Then get over it and move on." LaFontaine believes that any disagreement can be handled with an honest conversation.

Lie: "The customer comes first."

Truth: "I come first."

B.S. Detector: "More often than not, 'the customer' is an abstraction," LaFontaine warns. "People take care of customers when it benefits them and ignore customers when they can get away with it. Nobody says 'I come first,' which is what's usually going on."

May 01, 2006

My April 2006

I officially spent a total of 3 days in the office last month but I did work from home anyway. I was not vacationing at the Carribean. Many things happened and most of the time was spent to admire the beauty of my apartment. In a separate note, I am not a superstitious person and I don't believe in God. However, last month incidents made me to be more "traditional". Stay away from people suffering from bad luck, else you will get some too. Don't dispute this! Maybe, it was just a coincidence. Looking at it positively, it could be a blessing in disguise. I had a lot of time to spend with my family while still getting my salary. I had the chance to do things which I wanted to do long ago.

OK, let's start by blaming it on my friend. This guy was having strings of bad experiences for the past few months. Last incidents was that his car was broken open and laptop in it was stolen. The worst thing was the loss of data, not the laptop itself. Well, this friend gave me something which I wanted to buy for quite sometime. Something which could not be found in the open market, semi-legal stuff (falls within a grey* area). It is legal in neighbouring countries, just the fucking Malaysian government making it illegal to protect the interest of some cronies. I am not going to disclose it here but I guess you know it by now.

Be warned! Don't ever accept gifts from anyone suffering from a series of bad luck in the future. It is my turn now. Please decline if I try to give you something or pay for your meals.

April started with a fine Saturday going on a journey and returning to Penang on the same day, covering a distance of about 400 km. Later, I discovered that my car was leaking engine oil. As I underestimated the amount needed to be topped up, the level had exceeded the "H" mark. My worst fear came true when I saw the engine temperature was higher than usual. I could still use the word "luckily" here. Luckily, no overheating, no broken gasket, but still, money had to be forked out for repair for the leaking problem.

The whole week was a training week. I signed up for a 5-day external course at the island. Damn! It was the worst external training I had ever attended. The fucking instructor was not prepared at all. He had no examples on his own. All the examples were copied from books. The joker typed by copying verbatim and his typing skill was slower than us. With this kind of style, most of us could "deliver" the training better than him.

By the end of day 2 of 5, we were still left clueless. I developed some uneasiness in the stomach. When I reached home, it became worse. So, it was food poisoning. Things started to get "rowdy" on the last day of the training. A speeding Toyota Wish banged my car. According to "undang-undang", I was on the wrong side. I had to pay for the repair, of course. Well, treat this as "破财挡灾" (po cai dang zai), translated literally as "lose a fortune, avoid a disaster". In addition, I had to repair mine as well. Again, luckily, no one was injured at all.

I started to develop a fever the next Monday. Being unable to get to work early in the morning, I called in sick. I still went to the office in the afternoon. Thus, I covered 0.5 day here. For the next 2 weeks, I was quarantined. It was discovered that I was infected with the varicella-zoster virus for the very first time. I got 2 weeks sick leaves from the doctor, for the safety of other employees, especially pregnant women.

Before the end of the month, I had fully recovered and I went to work for 2.5 days. That was how I clocked 3 working days. Although there were so many thing waiting for me to do, I made a point to return the "gift" to my unlucky friend. The very first thing to do when I got to work. Maybe it is just a psychological effect, but I felt that things were going on much smoother after that... Believe it or not?

Well, there could be other explanations as well, such as the "gift" was not compatible with my house feng shui, etc. Anyway, I can sit here with good mood and blog this down. This can be considered as great achievement already, and we have entered the month of May today.

Happy Labour Day!

* Grey is a colour, gray is a color. Understood?