Tuesday, 30 October 2012

A general manager's dilemma

I'm telling you, your days in this office are numbered!

Alex Chan stared at the piece of internal memo he received from the managing director OTT, urging him to explain the down trend report of his in charge in sales of commercial trucks and heavy machineries. The MD Mr. OTT used strong words in showing his displeasure at the disastrous figures in nation-wide sales of their various models of trucks and some industrial machinery vehicles. The memo was rather explicit in telling Alex Chan that as general manager he should detail the causes of the sliding downhill trend of the company’s former highly appraised products in earning. Otherwise he would be ‘advised’ to go into early retirement or be sent to somewhere in rural Eastern part of the nation in the deep interior of heartlands 1200 kilometers away, across the South China Sea. Alex Chan might be required to appear together with twenty branch managers in a meeting came next month to appease the wrath of the board of directors. It seemed that he was in troubled water deep enough to send out a red alert to his team of half-hearted managers.

The Meeting

Branch managers Ahmad Rosdi and Bernard Chan walked into Alex’s office meekly to greet the latter “Good morning”. Not replying to greetings was the widely known usual habit of the general manager, so the two managers just took their seats and waited uneasily. An hour followed the two mangers left with stressful faces and went back to their respective branches. The general manager had reprimanded them for poor sales and would visit their branches soon to streamline their operation.

The boss will find himself in trouble if he keeps on behaving like this. He shall face an empty office greeting him one fine day. Nobody is willing to work for a shouting tyrant.

After going through the invoices and daily sales report Alex Chan was furious to discover that Ahmad Rosdi had ordered 50 trucks from the assembly plant and sold only 8 units! One senior manager Tan Seng complained to the general manager earlier that Ahmad refused to share his stock of trucks with other branches as he was expected a big order which never materialized. An old time seasoned sales personnel CF Cheong angrily called Alex Chan few days ago that Ahmad Rosdi had robbed him of a sales by contacting directly his customer and had the deal concluded at the neighboring McDonald’s outlet. These were the obvious infringements of the correct practice of the company’s guidelines. Alex knew Ahmad had for the past few years been head over heels to be indulged at the stock market. Being a privileged race in the country he was given preference to acquire some IPO and made substantial inroad gains when they were publicly listed. Alex Chan soliloquized and murmured to himself, “Hmm, that’s why this Rosdi fellow is no more interested in his job….since he is close to 55, we’ll get rid of him pretty soon.” Shortly after Ahmad Rosdi received a letter of reprimand from the GM’s office, and that signified that his days in the company were numbered, that also meant that he would not received much in his gratuity and bonus when he retired.

Young people nowadays will not take orders submissively from an overbearing boss.

As usual Alex Chan walked into the branch office of Bernard Chan together with his trusted accountant Yap, he displayed his arrogance by ignoring everybody, set his sight at the ceiling level. “Good morning Mr. Yap!” came the greeting from one senior sales consultant Aaron. Yap quickly replied and pointed at the back of Alex Chan as he stood just at the back of the GM; but Aaron gave Alex a cold shoulder. All the staff there could not bother about the presence of Alex as they had enough of this GM’s snobbishness; after all he was there to see Bernard Chan the branch manager. A few days later Alex gave an ultimatum to Bernard to pull up his socks to place his branch in correct order. In the next three months if Bernard’s branch were to fail in its performance in sales, the manager would be “advised” to retire early as Bernard was close to 55 too.

Take that and wake up!

Vice-president of AXA General Assurance Ltd Augustine Cheong fixed a lunch date appointment with the staff of Bernard’s branch as this had been a regular practice. The branch had always supported Augustine for many years in insurance affairs. Following his usual sycophantic ethics, Bernard informed Alex Chan the GM to be present at the lunch date. Alex Chan came with Yap late and everybody was aghast about it but the haughty GM did not bother to apologize. Instead he used the lunch table as his platform to lecture all the sales staff around about their sales records. He used sarcastic and nasty phrases to tick them off: “Wisdom goes round with age, but as you fellows getting older, I don’t see improvement in your mentality.” The host Augustine Cheong quickly interrupted Alex’s conceit and told him: “Alex, don’t ruin the harmony here. We are here to enjoy some good food with the distinguished sales personnel!” Alex was dumb folded and the lunch went along amidst cheers from the host but clearly the GM was sidelined. Soon after that Bernard Chan was transferred to the Eastern rural shore of the country where the company believed that truck sales should prevail well. Unfortunately Bernard Chan suffered a massive stroke that almost took his life. With his slow but eventual recovery, he became an invalid person with difficulty in his movement and speech. A year later it was a cruel fact this bigot manager faced as he needed to leave the company in such predicament and in disgrace. Fortunately the company paid part of his medical treatment.

In an office environment, many will like to kick their boss at the ass.

During a board meeting with senior directors and the MD Mr. OTT gave Alex Chan the GM a letter of appreciation for his 20 years of undying loyal service (which was actually macabre, OTT gathered.) with the company. He too like his other subordinate managers was due for retirement at age 55. His request for an extension of 2 years was turned down.  The former Colombo Plan scholarship recipient who earned his degree in mechanical engineering from UK left the company a disappointed man. It was all mainly due to his lack of articulate attitude and ethics with human and public relations. He forgot his roots as his poor family background hailed from a small town. His self-centeredness and belligerent character killed his careers prematurely.   

This is The Boss! And he exudes real power and authority yet remains humble to his folks.

Alan CY Kok

Enjoy the great outdoor adventure

                       Playing hide and seek in snowy winter wonderland?
The hide-out of the wildlife photographer was uncovered and the eagle flew into a rage to attack him.
       Nice red car but it offered no food. The herd of lions refused to disperse.
                   Oh Goodness Gracious! The ranger sure was in trouble.
Catch me if you can.........never know the hippo could run that fast; on the other hand it has 4 legs and I have only 2.
        Caught in the act. You're trying to trap my sisters! Now take that!
                 Oh my God, I thought the black swans are lovable birds.
                     What brute force you see in this raging bull elephant!
Stop that will you! I ain't no thief.
                         It's the movie scene of Jumaji - monkey rampage!
                              The Roman Gladiator attack, take that!
Look, that's the Big Croc I've been looking for! Wait, I got to get away from it first!
Ah, this sure is better, more serene and no rush to go anywhere. Crossing shallow water on camel back. Next stop is so far away.


Alan CY Kok


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Babies and dogs, cats and pigs too!

                                       You calling us Mom?
               It isn't that comfortable as this porky's turf is too tough.
                             What are you staring at, we've just met?
........and that one that got away was that big!
                         You won't be that picky when you're hungry.

Alan CY Kok           

Friday, 12 October 2012

Religion, belief, doctrine and shit

S**t happens, no matter what.

Content reproduced here from a mail received
though the net. I am sorry that a foul word is used.
It's a humorous perspective to poke fun at shit. No
offence intended at anyone.
Alan CY Kok


Wisdom Quotes

Thanks so much to Derrick Lim of Penang
Island for sharing these wisdom quotes.

Alan CY Kok


Monday, 8 October 2012

Phil Collins & Richard Branson

7 times Grammy Award winner - no joke!
Sir Richard Branson, Britain's wild horse, hippie styled, enormously successful entrepreneur dressed up formally for a function. 

What do 7 times Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter/pianist/drummer Phil Collins and phenomenally successful hippie-styled entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson have in common? To be very blunt and frank, well, they are both charismatic and talented, and well-known for their chosen respective professional careers. Apart from that they are miles apart and lead different lives. On a fateful day when they first met, they had this peculiar adventure to share a common mode of transport whereby Richard Branson was the passenger and Phil Collins was the cabby!

Richard Branson's double thumps up trade mark. This man is dead serious about his business.
Dressing up as a bride in one inaugural flight aboard Virgin Airline plane.

Flamboyant Sir Richard Branson was a product of the 60s and that explained why his acts and behavior was sometimes out of this world and unconventional. He was known as The Hippie Entrepreneur for the simple fact that he looked just like one. Branson began his business empire early when he was in his teens and he eventually became a magnate tycoon, owning more than 400 companies. He controversially chose his brand name “Virgin” for his business entity as he deemed his young age and freshly new venture into the business world was the first of its kind. He called his business empire “Virgin Group”; he was famous for his “Virgin Atlantic Airways” and “Virgin Records” etc. One of his autobiographies was notoriously titled “Losing my virginity” (Flushed).

         The Virgin conglomerate owner has 400 companies under his wing.

Being a enormously rich man, Richard Branson claimed to be a ‘new-capitalist’ to “do good” for the mass, nature, environment and for the cause of human rights etc. He had propounded that industrialists should apply their resources and technological know-how and facility to confront social woes and environmental problems, and to uphold the values of human rights, discarding the decaying, rotten doctrine of social injustice. Branson projected himself as a philanthropic entrepreneur by setting up some charitable organizations like “The Elders”, “Carbon War Room”, and “CDC for Africa” etc. He truly lived up to his words and image as a capitalist-philanthropist.

This guy was flamboyant and very confident to the point of being conceited; he exudes with ease a natural flair to impress anyone he deals with.
Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways was his first major success
Fooling around with a lady on the tarmac was just him pulling a prank for publicity.

Richard Branson had many times attempted to make record breaking feats. In 1985 he failed in his first attempt to cross the Atlantic by sailing a boat but it capsized and Branson needed to be rescued by RAF helicopter. The next year he got the crossing the Atlantic record broken by two hours, together with sailing expert Daniel McCarthy. In 1987 his hot air balloon “Virgin Atlantic Flyer” successfully crossed the Atlantic. Richard Branson tried a few more daring adventures in hot air balloon and reaped some success but failed in few attempts to fly round the globe in a hot air balloon. Branson outrageously dressed as a bride in one of his Virgin Atlantic Airways inaugural flights, stunning the passengers with his heavy make-up. He repeated that crossed gender dressing act in 2010 when he lost a bet with Tony Fernandez, the owner of Air Asia and Lotus F1 racing; this time he dressed as a stewardess.

Richard Branson has been brewing ideas about outer limit travels into the space for all.

According to Forbes 2011 List of Billionaires, Richard Branson is the 4th richest in the United Kingdom, with an estimated net worth of US$4.2 billion.

Phil Collins is a giant in his own making - a multi-talented musician and singer.

Now let us have a peek over Phil Collins’s achievement; his winning of 7 Grammy Awards is by no means easy feat. All popular song followers who were born in the 70s to 90s could easily hum or sing along his catchy, melodious yet meaningful compositions like: ‘Groovy kind of love’, ‘Against all odds’, and ‘Another day in paradise’. Phil was one of the members of the progressive rock group “Genesis” since 1975.

Phil Collins was the drummer and principal vocalist with
the band Genesis since 1975. He left the group in 1996.

As Phil was becoming a more profound artiste in songwriting and a powerful vocalist, as well as an impressive musician in playing piano and drums, he inevitably contemplated leaving Genesis to become a solo performer.  He left the band in 1996. Phil Collins had a brief reunion with Genesis in 2007 when he joined his band mates for a tour that covered Europe and North America. In 2008 Phil Collins went along with his solo acts and was busy with many more concerts with phenomenal success. Till date he shared the honors role with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney to have sold more 100 million albums worldwide as a solo performer and a leading member of a band.

Doing what he is best known; here Phil performed on his percussion instruments.

Apart from the many faceted roles he played as a musician, (He also plays the guitar and violin) Phil Collins was also into production, films, theatres, and television. There were words of his impending retirement and yes, he announced his retirement in March 2011; saying he was taking time off from his career. One of the reasons known was his sense of hearing was going bad, and he had a spinal operation a year back. Phil Collins later posted a message in his website that he wanted now to focus on his family life. (It was his third marriage when he retired) Still he produced a masterpiece in 2012, viz. Collins Greatest Hits collection, for which it reached no.6 on the Billboard 200, US Charts.

 A young, handsome Phil Collins in sombre mood adorned an album cover.

On that fateful day Richard Branson hopped into a taxi driven by Phil Collins the cabbie.  They struck up a conversation. Phil told Branson as they rode on, “Hey, I know you; you’re the owner of Virgin Records, you're Dick Branson!” Knowing that he was an easily recognized public figure, Branson acknowledged. Phil said it was his lucky day that he could have the honor to drive the boss of a music recording corporation. He made himself known fast to Branson that he was a drummer in a band. With his insistence, they ended up at Phil Collins’ place where his mother served tea. Branson later recalled that it was his motto at work: Listen to everyone. Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress. Even though he was in a great hurry to attend a corporate meeting, he listened to Phil’s demo tape and promptly recognized the taxi driver's potential as a performing artiste. The rest was history that resulted Phil Collins obtained a god sent platform to market his band's worth that led to his eventual stardom. Richard Branson as music recording house owner was certain to have reaped millions in royalties too for his Virgin Records by signing up Phil Collins and his band.

Some infos were obtained from Wikipedia
Alan CY Kok