Life has scrabbled forward since the last post. Shinkansen opened! The Secret Mermaid opened! American craft spirits are now flowing from bottles at Ocean Financial Centre. Hmm, no wonder it’s been a few months since the last post.
During my usual forays around the internet, I stumbled onto two pieces I felt offered great realistic advice for new graduates.
“8. Don’t model your life after a circus animal. Performing animals do tricks because their trainers throw them peanuts or small fish for doing so. You should aspire to do better. You will be a friend, a parent, a coach, an employee—and so on. But only in your job will you be explicitly evaluated and rewarded for your performance. Don’t let your life decisions be distorted by the fact that your boss is the only one tossing you peanuts. If you leave a work task undone in order to meet a friend for dinner, then you are "shirking" your work. But it’s also true that if you cancel dinner to finish your work, then you are shirking your friendship. That’s just not how we usually think of it.”
Letters to a Young Engineer: How to Decide Where to Work (written by a friend of mine, who is eminently qualified so these words have weight!)
“This is the first branch in the decision tree. If the answer is that you’re not happy about going into work, you need to scratch that company off the list. It’s a non-starter. I don’t care if the company is super-popular or has 10 Nobel Prize winners that you revere. If you’re not excited, you’re not going to do your best work. Then those 10 Nobel Prize winners will see you as a non-phenomenal colleague, and that’s the reputation which will spread about you.”
I’ve never believed in titles meaning anything significant in the workplace.
Was musing over this after reading an article about Goldman Sachs.
“In a subsequent memo to staff, Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and chief operating officer Gary Cohn said Mr Smith’s views were in the minority among his 12,000 fellow vice-presidents around the world.”
Twelve thousand vice-presidents!!
If you haven’t read Greg Smith’s OpEd about why he is leaving Goldman Sachs, you should.
I just got off a phone call with Daikin Air Conditioning. I’ve been a customer of theirs for many years (around 6, ever since they took over the aircon company that used to maintain my air conditioners).
In Singapore it’s a necessity to get air-con maintenance done every 3 or 4 months. If not the air-conditioner starts choking up and becomes inefficient. It also begins to leak water.
My service contract expired in December. I didn’t get a call for renewal so I overlooked it and unfortunately this morning woke up to a leaky air conditioner.
I called Daikin and they told me my contract had expired. Which is fine, I’m set to renew it and have someone come as soon as possible to fix the air-con. Uh-oh… they say that it will take at least 2 weeks before they can get me a new contract and send someone. I remark that each previous time they just sent a repair guy and I signed the contract on the spot.
It was explained to me that their new system does not allow this.
I asked the lady what kind of system is this? It doesn’t seem to improve things for the customers. She said, “Some things improved, some things not.” So I asked her what part of this new system made any improvement for the customers. She didn’t have a response. I pointed out that while the system may have improved things for their internal workings, it made things more difficult for customers.
Looks like it’s easier to turn to another air conditioning maintenance company rather than wait two weeks for Daikin to figure out how to renew my contract.
Rule for business – if your system makes it harder for a customer to give you money, it’s probably a bad system.
“The future of business is pure chaos. Here’s how you can survive–and perhaps even thrive.” – catchy subheading!
Good essay about ultra-successful people and how they made the most of their lucky moments.
I have registered and listed my first item for sale on ebay. I am trying to help my dad sell furniture online.
How exciting. I am now part of the global marketplace.