Archive for January 16th, 2009

The Fall Guy ©

Walk In Interview. You could be our new CEO.”
The flyer was dropped out of the sky and there it settled on the hat of Mr. Lazybones. He was lolling in the park on a bench with two others.
He was nattily dressed but he had no place to go. There the flyer had come out of the blue! His companion who was feeding the pigeons knew luck was on his side. “Just as you were complaining you were too well dressed for sitting out, on a park bench!”
Another who worked for the Sanitation Department in the City Hall, Joey by name, sniffed, ”Your Versace gives out a distinct smell of success.” Mr. Lazybones knew luck was indeed in his favor. For didn’t he only think that morning of working from the way up?
He remarked to the pigeon-fancier,”Yes I have plenty of steam left. How do I move up? ” The guy just went on feeding the birds. So he asked the other, ”Say “Joey, you have some idea of the office culture. Haven’t you?”?
Joey modestly weighed what he had to say. He prodded,
“You work for the mayor. So whatever happens in the city cannot escape your notice?” Joey had to be careful so he took his time.
”Stop stalling! You must know something?”he was getting slightly annoyed. “Come, Joey. You oght to know what happens when one is called to be CEO.”  Joey said, ”Shenanigans, that is what a CEO is good for. Believe me I have seen plenty in my time.” He paused and added,” Well I always came at the end. To clear up the mess.”He shrugged helplessly.
“So some CEO made a mess. They sent out flyers left and right to replace him.” Mr.Lazybones could well understand. But it didnot entirely satisfy him.
So Mr. Lazybones persisted,” Tell me where do I go up if I were to work my way up?” “Dunno,”he said helpless, ”You are on your way up. How high?”he shook his head and said,”You must ask those CEOs who are going down. They can well give you the benefit of experience, I guess.”
Mr. Lazybones thought it was reasonable.
Mr. Lazybones knew if he got to be the next CEO he would never settle for the routine: Joey and the likes of him had no goals in life. So they stayed on a park bench. Whereas he was reasonable and had luck on his side. He took out the rabbit foot from his coat pocket. As he moved a few paces he found a horseshoe and he exclaimed, ”Luck is raining on me rather. I shall go as high as any man can go.”
He went over the flyer once more and located the office, all marble and glass. He took elevator to the penthouse. A smart girl in a cubicle looked towards him. He strode resolutely into her office. He played the part of a CEO-on-the-making and cheerily said why he was there for. She asked if she could have his calling card. Jauntily he took out a card and said,”it is just me.” It was the ace of spades.
Poor girl took a double take. He knew he was original. She asked him confused.”business card?” “Yes dearie, just tell them I am here.”
She went in and came pronto. “You may go in now.”Mr. Lazybones knew the card always gave a shock value in his favor. Those conglomorate czars when it came to deal on one to one basis turned out to be so ordinary. Yes, he was before one. He was ordinary but he was seated on a chair so plush that spelt something to him. And the polish of the table gave Mr. Bam’Beau’Zell some respect. On his side was a bottle of brandy and two glasses. And a box of cigar. That got him more respect.
He checked himself and thought his tie was a little out of place. Quickly adjusting it he glanced once again the name. Bam’Beau’Zell. “You may call me Bam” the man said affably. He was the chairman and in him was vested with the authority to choose the next CEO. He was powerful but he had covered well his awesome power in his rollicking and affable person. He looked more like a Buddha in pinstripes.
After shaking hands and exchanging names the interviwer waved his hand to the vacant chair. “You may feel free to ask any thing you would like to know. He held up the ace of cards and sniggered in good humor.”It is n’t often that one comes to face an original.” He also assured he wanted him to feel at home. Mr Bam settled back and kept his feet on the table and Mr. Lazybones knew a laid-back style was what expected of him.
Global Investments, Inc. He cursorily looked at the Company manifesto and brochures all glitzy and facts hidden away with colorful graphs. The pie chart looked so yummy. While intently digesting the diverse operations all across the globe Mr. Lazybones felt he was a CEO already. He put his feet up even as the chairman did. Lazily he reached out for a cigar and asked if he did mind smoking. “Oh no we do well encourage our CEO to set an example.” Mr. Bam’Beau’Zell explained his corporate philosophy and Mr. Lazybones listened to it politely. “Well what do you think? ”
The candidate was very articulate though he never held a job for more than a week or two. He explained what he believed in succinctly and with care. He said thus: ‘Money stashed under a mattress earns no interest; but instead gives you a poor sleep. But being able to spread other people’s money around gives money its run.”
Mr. Bam nodded his head in approval. Mr. Lazybones did not refuse him serving some refreshment. A bumper of brandy he received with a smile and he sniffed it and sipped it with utmost satisfaction. He asked blowing smoke rings,”Come, as a CEO what future holds?”
He could see the founder of the company was rattled.
“I am willing to work my way up.”said the candidate smoothly,” Being a CEO has its pleasant moments. Best quality cigar and brandy so full and fruity, as this,- I could always down. But I am looking for challenges.”
It was the turn of Bam’Beau’ Zell to become very nervous. “CEO moving up!” He was sure there was some mistake. “I do not quiet understand what you mean?”
“ A CEO can do whatever he wants. He can throw parties and meet the rich and famous and entertain in style. So why would he want to move up?”
“But a CEO who cannot rise any higher stays frozen on a block of ice’so it seems to me.” the candidate observed. Mr. Bam’Beau’Zell for all his high flying life had never seen a CEO in that light. It was all new and shocking! Never before he had interviewed one and heard anything like it.
The idea of it! It sent shock waves throughout the wellfed frame and he looked as if he was ready to crumble. Mr. Lazybones asked, ”Is there anything the matter?” Mr. Bam ‘Beau’Zell regained his composure and shook his head.  Mr. Lazybones said, ”Just as I came up a little bird told me, ’Watch out mister. Higher you go harder you fall!’ Well what do you think it could mean?’
The man just stared on. “I was also told by some well informed sources that I could ask CEO’s on their way down.” Mr. Lazybones drew himself up and said,”Thanks for your time.”
“Won’t you reconsider?”
“I smell a rat!” Standing up affably he reached out to shake his hands and he said,” Any company who bents backwards to impress me must be God-only-knows-what.”
‘Looney’ was the word he had in mind. Since the company didn’t offer him scope for going higher he left it unsaid. ‘Why waste time?’
Just as he reached the door he said, ”I shall go down on my own steam. Good day sir!”
The End



Read Full Post »

Analysis: Divisions complicate Gaza truce efforts

(By Lee Keath, Associated Press Writer- Thu Jan 15)
Cairo, Egypt
‘The Arab divisions have erupted most clearly in a dispute over what would appear to outsiders — and even many in the Arab world — an enormously petty issue: where to hold a summit of Arab leaders to discuss the Gaza crisis.

For the past week, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been trying to thwart an attempt by Qatar to host an Arab summit Friday. They fear the summit would turn into a platform for Syria to boost Hamas and undermine Egypt’s cease-fire efforts.

The bickering could have a serious impact on the ground. The multiple divisions could mean any deal reached will be short lived.

Syria and its ally Iran have enormous influence with Hamas. Iran funds the group to the tune of millions of dollars and is believed to supply it with weapons, though Tehran denies arming the militants.

In another complication, Israel holds elections on Feb. 9, and a change in its leadership could mean an even tougher line toward Hamas and Gaza.

A top Israeli envoy on Thursday delivered to Cairo his country’s demands for a stop to Hamas rocket fire and guarantees the militant group won’t be able to rearm. After returning home and meeting with top government officials, the envoy was ordered back to Egypt for more talks Friday.

More broadly, Israel hopes Hamas will be crippled by the offensive, boosting Abbas, with whom Israel hopes to eventually negotiate a final peace agreement.

But Hamas could emerge stronger just by surviving the Israeli onslaught and winning the opening of Gaza’s borders. The movement hopes any resolution will give a tacit recognition of its rule in Gaza. That would force its rivals to deal with it on nearly equal footing with Abbas in the future — an outcome Israel, the United States, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Abbas himself want to avoid’.
Isn’t ironical that each faction approaches with a fine comb to unsnarl any knots that the future may hold for it while Israeli pogrom of civilians and children goes on unchecked? Whatever Hamas may now lose in terms of their ‘martyrs’ is compensated by their reserves the same unfortunate victims of the present conflict. Politics, as I have said in many posts before, is the art of the impossible made to appear possible.

Read Full Post »