Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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Posts Tagged ‘Business’

Blame Game

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

From the Vault
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Blame Game
By ChouChou

Exhibit A: A small innocent young boy sits in the casualty department of his local hospital with a saucepan stuck on his head. His howling cries can be heard throughout the hospital, and the doctors try desperately to calm him down, lest the flow of tears should build up within the pan and cause the young boy to drown within his own misery.

Who is to blame? Whose negligence or greed caused an innocent per-pubescent child to suffer the humiliation and pain of getting a saucepan stuck on his head? Let’s follow the trail of how this saucepan arrived on the boy’s head, and see if we can assess who is to blame.

Scene One: A dingy living room.
Mrs. Woman sits on her fat arse watching Trisha on Channel 5 on a 68 inch plasma screen TV and waiting for this month’s giro cheque to pop through the letterbox. As she lights up another Benson and Hedges, she contemplates how many Lucky Lotto scratchcards she can buy and still have enough money left over for a three litre bottle of cider. All of a sudden, her son – dressed in the latest designer sports gear thanks to a winning claim against the council for emotional damage caused by too many streetlamps – runs into the living room in a state of agitation.

“Mum, Mum! Can I have one of those new Sega Nintendo Saucepans please? Please Mum, all the other kids have one! Pleeeeeaassssee!”

“Can you fuck, you little shit,” Mrs. Woman grunts between puffs. “What do you think I am? Made of money? These high definition tellies don’t pay for themselves, you know.”

“Awwwwww, please Mum. I promise that I’ll tell the court Dad tried to touch my cock once, that way you can get more benefit from him.”

Mrs. Woman sucks thoughtfully on her coffin nail. “Well alright,” she replies, “But you can’t have a Sega Nintendo Saucepan. We’ll pop down the Pound Shop tomorrow and see what they’ve got.”

Scene Two: The HQ of Global Pound Shops Incorporated.
The elderly gentleman has come a long way for this meeting. Patiently, he explains to the Board members how his hand-crafted saucepans come from a long tradition of indigenous Scottish saucepan production. Only the finest materials are used in order to create the highest quality saucepans imaginable. The gentleman personally travels around the world looking for wood gathered during the Winter Solstice by fresh-faced Vestal Virgins, and only purchases aluminium with a shininess equal to the sun. Their saucepan factory is small, but it employs a team of skilled craftsmen whose families have been loyal to the company for countless generations. As the elderly gentleman concludes his presentation, he briefly mentions the prestige and well-deserved good reputation that his saucepans enjoy. The Queen herself uses his pans to fry her chips in.
The Board members of Global Pound Shops Incorporated stare in silence.

“How much is this going to cost?”

Again, the elderly gentleman explains that although his prices are slightly higher, this only reflects the exceptional quality of his product.

“Fuck that,” exclaims the CEO. “How am I going to maintain my crack cocaine habit if I’m only making ten pounds profit off each of your pans? Geoff, give ASS a call. We’ll buy from China.”

The elderly gentleman is hit by a car on the way out and dies on the way to hospital.

Scene Three: A Sordid KTV Room.
(Davey Five Times – Managing Director of Asian Supplies Solutions – sits with two prostitutes on either side of him. Mr. Wan Ke – boss of the I Can’t Believe It’s Only One Dollar Aluminium Products Factory – is sat opposite getting sucked off by a twelve year old dressed as a bottle of Chivas. Davey Five Times’ long suffering assistant, JoJo, stares miserably at his own feet.)

Wan Ke: So, Mr. Five Times. Thank you very much for the order for fifty million billion saucepans. Even though we have agreed to a price of just one penny, our factory promises to supply a good quality product!

Davey Five Times: No worries there, my friend. That ISO9001 certificate I just signed for you should allay any of the customer’s fears.

JoJo: Erm, boss. Haven’t we been here before? You know the last time we placed an order with this company they just sent us two containers filled with soiled bandages. Why are we working with them again? Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Industrial Products offered us a reasonable price, and we know they have the necessary control checks.

Davey Five Times: Are you fucking stupid? If we go with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Industrial Products, ASS will only get a 200% profit margin, and then I can’t buy that new lime green Jaguar sportscar. And anyway, if we seal this deal, you’ll benefit as well. Based on a 0.2% commission basis, you should be making 14 dollars next December!

Wan Ke: Hey, Mr. Five Times, why has your assistant just shot himself? No matter: Waitress! New whores please!

Scene Four: The I Can’t Believe It’s Only One Dollar Aluminium Products Factory.
Imagine the worst place in the world. A nightmare fusion of a Nazi concentration camp, a Hieronymus Bosch painting, and Rhyl on a Bank Holiday Monday. Increase the horror and despair of that scene by eleven, and you are still not even close to picturing the true terror of the I Can’t Believe It’s Only One Dollar Aluminium Products Factory. Row after row of mindless worker bashes away at crude saucepans with chipped rocks, all to the rhythm of a naked fat man sat on the podium above slowly banging on a drum.

Carelessly scattered across the floor are bags of material. At first glance they appear to say “ALUMINIUM”, but a closer look reveals that this has hastily been drawn over the top of the original title that originally read “HUMAN SHIT: DISCARD IMMEDIATELY”. Laughing cheerfully, Mr. Wan Ke and the other managers take it in turns to throw cigarette butts and bottles of piss into the material mix, seemingly unaware of the stench emitting from the five dead bodies lying in the Quality Control Room. All is well in the world, and business between East and West carries on as normal…

Well, readers? You’ve seen the evidence. Who do you think is to blame?

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Trade Fairs

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, December 9, 2007

China, as many of you may be aware, is home to an increasingly large number of Trade Fairs. A few of them are even worth going to. Some of them, of course, are merely put on to allow the local Party boys to claim expenses, and a large number are attended only by a handful of local companies who have been instructed to attend by the local Party bosses, in order to make them look good, but there are nevertheless a few that actually are important. Some, such as the Import and Export Fair in Canton, are quite useful.

China likes to think of Shanghai as being it’s premier business city. Never mind my personal views on that for now, let’s just go along with it. Shanghai, in turn, likes to think that the New International Expo Centre is it’s numero uno exhibition venue. And I will admit, it isn’t a bad place – apart from the obvious issues with poor access, hopeless organisation, and all the usual gripes, the place itself is large enough and modern enough to cope with most demands, and in fact there are events there almost every week.

Now, every time I go to a trade fair in China, I see the thieves at work – not the commercial thieves who are there just to steal your product ideas, but the petty thieves who steal whatever isn’t bolted down and then sell it in the street outside. Shanghai’s New International Expo Centre is a favourite haunt for these guys, and their number one target is not, as you might expect, the buyers. Oh no, it is in fact the exhibitors themselves. In particular, the notebook computers that the sales guys use.

If you are exhibiting at a trade fair in China, and your notebook computer goes missing, simply walk outside, and buy it back. It’s that easy. If you are exhibiting at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, then you will need to walk a couple of blocks to the Long Yang Lu subway station.

Every year it is the same. Waves of petty crime and theft. Until this year. This year, the police had finally had enough of this petty crime, and took steps to bring it under control…

They took over the theft themselves.

Now, when you exhibitors lose your notebook computers, and you go outside to buy it back (Long Yang Lu subway station when at Shanghai’s New International Expo Centre), look for the nearest uniformed police officer. He is providing protection for the guy who stole your property, and he will make sure that the thief gets a fair price (how else will he be able to afford the protection fee?).

Welcome to China, enjoy your stay.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, Corruption, Rules of the Road | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

MacArthur Was Right

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, August 25, 2007

I haven’t written much lately. Well, I’ve been quite busy, as it happens. In fact, if the truth be told, I’ve been busier than a one-legged man in an arse-kicking competition.

Why?

Let me put it to you like this:

There are two methods to deal with any situation. They are:
A. The simple, efficient, effective way.
B. The excessively complicated, massively inefficient, hopelessly ineffective, overly expensive, time consuming, way that doesn’t work.

Which option do you think 99.99% of all Chinese would choose? B, you say? Correct. Efficient and effective methods make it harder to extort, steal, pilfer, blackmail, embezzle, defraud, filch, fleece, misappropriate, rip off, swindle act like a normal Chinese, and you are more likely to be held accountable for your lies, distortions, deceptions, fabrications, dishonesties, falsities, fibs, porky-pies, inaccuracies, prevarications, whoppers normal Chinese language statements. Which is why Chinese don’t like efficient and effective methods. Put bluntly, the vast majority of people here are as crooked as a dogs’ hind leg. They lie, cheat and steal in much the way as sheep eat grass, bee’s buzz, and you and I breathe. Hell, your ordinary Chinese couldn’t lie straight in bed. Yes, there are a few good ‘uns, but they are in a minority so tiny, and they suffer for it so much at the hands of their countrymen, that you’ve little chance of encountering more than one a year. And none at all in business.

The point of all this, is that I’m the guy who has to pick up the pieces when my customers (who are not Chinese) get shafted by the rough-sawn length of 4″x2″ timber that is normal Chinese ‘business practice’.

The thing though, the actual thing that really pisses me right off, is that no matter how badly a Chinese fucks you over, they will always consider themselves the victim when the subject is brought up. You certainly can’t hold them to account for the things they’ve promised. “Oh no”, they will tell you, with that lying mouth of theirs, “I didn’t promise. It was just a suggestion. It’s not my fault that you misunderstood. It’s not my fault”.

It’s never anyone’s fault but yours. And in a way that’s true. Anyone who gets involved in any dealings with these lying, deceitful bastards has only themselves to blame if when it all goes pear-shaped. And that applies to me, too. I know better, I understand how these evil-minded pricks operate, I see them for what they really are, and I run the risk of doing business with them. I’m buggered if I know why, sometimes.

In other news, here are just three of the other things that have pissed me off this week:

1. Someone I know works at a Consulate here in China. I won’t say which one, but it is European. I also won’t detail what I know about the relationships certain high-level people have with certain ‘Snake Head’ human smuggling gangs. What I will say, is that two Chinese illegal emigrants (a husband and wife couple) to the country represented by this consulate, returned to China for a holiday. Possibly they also wanted to see their daughter, whom they had abandoned as a baby and had been in the care of relatives for the last four years. Anyway, when they attempted to return to [unknown European country], they were stopped at the airport. So off these people went to the Consulate of [unknown European country], where they started complaining about the treatment they had suffered. The theme? They were the victims. Illegal immigrants who abandoned their child as a baby, who have had a number of good years at the expense of a foreign country, who were too fucking stupid to even get a fake visa stamp – and somehow they are the victims?

2. There’s been yet another mine disaster, in which 172 miners are admitted to have died when the mine flooded. It’s been several days now, and only a token effort has been made to ‘rescue’ the (probably now dead) miners. Officially, about 5,000 miners die every year in Chinese coal mines, but the true number is somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 (including those who die of ‘Black Lung’ and other related diseases). At this particular mine, management have now put up a banner over the South Gate that reads: ‘Heaven is merciless, but we love you and the Communist Party loves you most’.

3. A friend of mine, who has a business here, employs a cook. The cook works in the kitchen, providing meals for the Chinese staff. Free meals. A couple of days ago, this dumbfuck cook is shuffling across the road without looking, and gets hit by a bus. This didn’t happen at work, it happened in the cook’s own time, near his home. He didn’t die, but he was injured a fair bit. His entire extended family immediately swarmed in from all over China. Not one of them went to the hospital, though. Oh no. They all went to pay a visit to my friend, the cook’s employer, and demanded compensation from him. Paid directly to themselves.

General Douglas MacArthur was right – we should have nuked this place when we had the chance. I see in my mind’s eye a great glass-floored, self-illuminating carpark, stretching from Beijing to Guangzhou, and it makes me smile happily. This week in particular.

It’s no wonder I drink.

Posted in Lies & Damned Lies | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »