Thursday, June 01, 2006

Business- Science or Art

"Is Business Science or Art?" Joe asked me the last week when we failed to get a RM3 million ringgit deal.

I was a little bit upset and disaapointed over our failure. But in business, you have to look ahead and not grunt over the lost deal. I replied, " It depends."

Joe have been assisting me since last year. We made a team. He is helpful and tolerant. He sees things in a very peculiar way. That's why to him a project given to him, must ultimately be successful. " I believe it is still a Science."

"Why do you say so?" I finally asked him. "Is it because Federick Taylor said "management is a Science" so business is a science too?"

"I see in this way. To get a deal done in business, there is a prescription. See, first you get an exposure. Then you explore, Then an enquiry. Followed by a discussion. Then some exchange of hopes and pricing. Then bring in the discussion and to the higher authorities for approval. Present the case. Get the permission and approval of the other party. Bingo a deal is strike. Ain't this scientific enough?" Joe theorised.

"Sounds proper. A gap left out is easily patched up within the system you have just said. At the surface it is scientific enough. " I said.

"But then why the system failed us?" Joe enquired.

"I'm wondering too. The only reason I can think is because in the system we are dealing, the human factor is in the way. That's where business requires art." I conjectured. He must be sending in his feelers to know exactly why we failed. The boss gave no reason to us why he disapproved the deal, although we have given more than enough explanations on the risks involved. " After all, in business, the risk factor will ultimately be the deciding factor, scientifically speaking." I told Joe.

"But why does boss meant when he said that he is helping us by not getting the deal through. This deal is good and would bring in the required income and acsh flow for the company. The risk is pretty low, much lower than some of the deals we have done earlier on." He felt perplexed.

Knowing Joe is young and aggressive with a clear mind-set to get business done and Boss who is middle-aged and having a clear mind-set with business done, I am certainly going to say that business at certain stage is more art than science. I told Joe, " Well we shall see that the next deal is going to be scientific. Let's focus on the next one."

Joe is a brillant young guy with excellent academic results from a reputable institution. He has been trained to get excellent results and there is no failure in his test. This time a real test is failed. He must be wondering why we can take it when he finds it hard to accept the fact. He sure has a lot more to learn.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dearer Petrol

Sometimes, we listened to our teachers, " Early to sleep, early to rise, It keeps you healthy and wise." So I went to sleep early on 27 Feb 2006, the Monday night.

It was more than a shock the next day when the newspaper stared at me , "Petrol up 30 sen". I started curing and swearing at the bladdy people involved in making that decision, in all kinds of language and dialects I knew.

"When was the announcement being made"' I inquired as I stepped into the office.

" At around 10.50pm-lah." replied Mat, the office boy.

" Why so late made the announcement. Normally, by 6 o'clock, everyone would know the next increment and people would drive to the kiosk to top up before the adjustments are made by the kiosk owners." I said.

" Yesterday's night, suddenly at 11pm, a lot of people drove to the kiosk to top up. A bit too late and so many could not top their tank at 12 midnight. The owners put the sign 'TUTUP'. Then many motorists were unhappy. Best moment to learn all the 4 letters foul words." Mat said.

"What-lah . Want to increase price , also must sneaky, sneaky announce at 11pm. Wait for 80% of the people sleep , then announced. Why like like-wan?" said Tom, the salesman.

Mat said, " No difference-lah. Announced at 6 pm, kiosk owner would put 'Petrol Habis' at 8 pm. Same one-lah. People have to pay high price , that's the rule of the Game."

"No what. Gomen said we are the cheapest in the region." I said.

" They always say that. They find difficulty in saying we are dearer than Brunei." Mat laughed.

Then I walked into my place to do my work. There goes my holiday plan to go to Langkawi. I thought of driving up there and laze around the beaches. Now there goes off my plan and the hotels there must be very frustrated when I cancelled my stay. There goes off another business deal for them.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Why we stop blogging

I must admit that some bloggers have the stamina to continue writing non-stop. Some would stop for a breather, then after an isotonic drink, resumed writing again. Some stopped , and then stopped indefinitely.

Actually, writing a blog requires a lot of self-discipline, of course not that type of discipline of a shaven bald head that was mentioned by a senior police-officer. This discipline requires time, energy and most of all away from distraction.

I must admit time is one of the factors that made me stopped for a moment. At times, I like enjoying a hot drink in a half-torn road-side mamak stall. By the time I knew, it was a wee too deep into the night. Why blog?

At times, I stopped because of job commitment. This is the easiest excuse or fact to give-lah. Blame the boss.

Perhaps another reason could be we got intimidated by some "seow-lan". They thought we made a FOOL out of them. But they saw pleasure when we stopped. But bloggers are die-hard writers , they continue somehow.

The other reason we stopped is we are facing an exam. This is common for the students. But the employed ones when faced a project, learning a new trade, or having a dating course, they take a break. The latter one is the most compelling reason to stop. Wait the steady one reads the blog about her or him, habis cerita-lah.

Then the last reason I may add is beacuse of plain laziness. You know-lah, laziness has become a privilege in life. If we can afford to be lazy, procastinate a bit, take a break, phwee, life is so wonderful. Why blog?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Busy Busy

Ever wonder why STPM, SPM, PMR and UPSR are held between September and December every year? Why not held them in March like what the local universities do with their final exams?

It's only when one is working, they know why. After all, the schools are institutions of training someone to get them ready to work too.

Most working people would agree with me and dread this time of the year. Maybe when the school exams are on, the kids would be busy with their exams, hence giving the elders some time to get serious with their work. Most working people would have to get the daily works performed, and on top of that have to get third quarter reports, the next year's budgets, the next year's strategies and forecasts ready, the current staff-performance reports, well-wishing for clients in the coming festive seasons ( Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa and Christmas) and worst of all, preparing the company's annual ball.

No wonder everyone has to be extra healthy, extra fit and be working extra time in this final quarter of the year. However, the unfairness part is that a lot of heavy-weight executives would be on annual leave, the excuse have to be with the kids for the holidays, and always extend their festive-leaves too. The younger, tougher, fitter, and the unmarried ones WILL HAVE to get everything done and cut-short their off-days. "You will have the days we have now" says the married heavyweight.

So now the training of getting busy at the end of the year has already been happening since in the school-days; so one cannot complain if you have to burn mid-night oil too when you are working. No wonder Cliff Richards sang for "Summer Holidays" and never sing for a happy year-end.

I think I may be wrong here as the end of the year is summer in the South. Or is Cliff wrong?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Going MAD

Boss called for me this morning, bypassing Head. Sure something not so good or very good. So strolled into his room.

"It's time for you to go for a refresher course. It'll be good for you and US." Boss said.
"Have to attend course again." I said, trying to remind Boss that I just attended one at the beginning of this year.
"This time is different. You will be attending a course entitled, 'Make a Difference" (aka MAD)' . This course...(blah..blah..).."

My ears started to ring. The left ear was tuning itself to something like " Nie mm kau chee sin.." . The right ear heard something like, " lu boh kau seow.. so must attend MAD course baru boleh tambah gila sikit."

"I thought this type of course was meant for Human Resourses people or maybe Marketing personnels?" I interjected.

"Ms HRM is unable to attend as her dad-in-law is hospitalized after a stroke. The marketing man is going for his annual holiday that time. The account gal has to get ready the accounts before the year end. You are the most suitable one-lah." Boss said.

Then Boss gave me the letter with a "P & C" on the envelope. Wah some more private and confidential.

I took the letter out and upon stepping out of the door, Ms Clerk, Ms Administration Asst smiled and Ms Steno asked me, " So confirmed you are going for MAD." I showed her the envelope, " P & C - lah". I said. How come 'P & C" matter, boss just informed me, people already knew and I'm still blur-blured-wan.

How I wish to inform Boss earlier that I would like to go for a holiday in Melbourne and take a chance to see Suzen. Then don't have to be a MAD participant. Ghee... this is getting me MADDER. Take a more positive view attending the MAD course, be the MADDEST man and be happy there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sales Gimmicks

Two lady collegues wanted to shop in CarreFour. So Head and I decided to go for our lunch in a nearby chichen rice shop while the ladies shopped. We realized that there many shoppers although it was only 12.40 pm, and it was not the end of the month yet.

After finishing our lunch, we went to look for the two ladies. They certainly were great shoppers carrying loads of goodies inside the numerous plastic bags. They then lined up to redeem some "free gifts" and some fun cards to try their luck for some prizes.

The ghiven fun card given is to be put into a sort of a juke-box where there will be light-bulbs blinking and music accompanying. The bulb light will light up when the music ends and match against the prizes. The prizes include rice cooker, rice, umbrella, cup and mystery gifts which is a pen. The Grand prize for the week could be "A paid trip for 2 to Australia" or "RM10,000 worth of jwelleries" or "RM10,000 worth of vouchers". Of course the unlucky ones would be given a note, "Come again Tomorrow".

Ever since these lucky fun cards are given out for a certain minimum sum purchase, many people have been coming here to do their shopping and at the same time trying out their lucks. The two ladies at the end of the 15 minutes wait, got a pen each. Each of them has at least eight to ten fun cards.

The waiting to try their luck was long, as some customers have more than a score cards. They would care less what the others are waiting and they keep trying their lucks with the fun cards. I saw one man having a stake of the, easily amounted to 30. As the lunch break wass short and the waiting was long, Head and I were worried that the two ladies might have to stay back overtime to finish their work in office.

The sales tactic is good and attracts a lot of customers. ButI think I may ask the management of that shopping centre to limit each player five fun cards each time they play during lunch break. Otherwise those office workers will be fired in due time when they go there for a SHORT shopping trip.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A Day Trip to Penang

A business phone call came and I had to go to Penang. I haven't been there for three years. So I looked forward positively to the trip although it was only for a day.

I reached Penang at 11 am via the scenic Penang Bridge. The appointment was to be at 2.30 pm, so I still had some time to rushed to the sea-side to enjoy the sea breeze. The weather was hot and I reached the Maimi beach only to see it was quiet. I took a short stroll and bought a can of 100 Plus from the stall-operator.

"Today, the beach is quiet. No people-wan?" I asked
"Ya-lah. Working day-mah. Afterwards evening, people will come." he said.
"Why no 'guay-low' here?" I asked further.
"Ya-lor. very few of them compare to last time. But now got some Arabs come." he said.
"So business okay?" I enquired.
"Not so-lah. 'Guay-low' come and enjoy and so speed-boat people got business, parachute-boat people are happy, We are happy too. The Arabs come here and see, see only. Difficult-lah." he explained.

I left the beach and quickly put a stop at LOrong Selamat for the Sister 'fried kway-teow'. The impact of the inflation must have been felt as a small plate costs RM5.00 but it is delicious. An iced-cool glass of Nutmeg juice helped to drain down the spice.

I then drove to Bayan Baru to fulfill my appointment.

After that I took the trip back via the ferry. As it was only 4.00 pm, the passenger portion of the ferry was quite quiet with a handful of people unlike before where it was always full of people. How things have changed. Penang has quiet down a little unlike those bustling moments I had experienced years ago.