Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Communication Gap

A judge was interviewing a lady regarding her pending divorce,and he asked her, "What are the grounds for your divorce?"
She replied, "About four acres and a nice little home in the middle of the property with a stream running by."
"No," he said, "I mean what is the foundation of this case?"
"Why, it is made of concrete, of course," she responded.
"I mean," he continued, "what are your relations like?"
"I have an aunt and uncle living here in town, as well as my husband's parents."
He said, "Do you have a real grudge?"
"No," she replied, "we have a two-car carport and have never really needed one."
"Please," he tried again, "is there any infidelity in your marriage?"
"Yes, both my son and daughter have stereo sets. We don't necessarily like the music, but the answer to your question is 'yes'."
"Ma'am, does your husband ever beat you up?"
"Yes," she responded, "about twice a week he gets up earlier than I do."
Finally, frustrated and at the end of his rope, the judge asked, "Lady, why do you want a divorce?"
"Oh, I don't want a divorce," she replied. "I've never wanted a divorce. It's my husband who does. He says he can't communicate with me."

Inspiring - Volvo

An interesting reflection someone sent me -

It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalized processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to posses a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x number of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.

Said in other words:
1. Sweden is about the size of San Pablo, a state in Brazil.
2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants.
3. Stockholm, has 500,000 people.
4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies the NASA.

The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think? Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe named Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week.

Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being". French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!".

This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living.

It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do. It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of spirit.

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minute now". To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance to a tango.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time.
As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

An Ex-Wife's Revenge

She spent the first day packing her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases. On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things. On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table by candlelight, put on some soft background music and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar and a bottle of Chardonnay.

When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp dipped in caviar, into the hollow of the curtain rods.

She then cleaned up the kitchen and left. When the husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss for the first few days. Then slowly, the house began to smell. They tried everything; cleaning, mopping and airing the place out. Vents were checked for dead rodents and carpets were steamed. Air Fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which they had to move out for a few days, and in the end even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.

Nothing worked. People stopped coming over to visit. Repairmen refused to work in the house. The maid quit. Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and decided to move. A month later, even though they had cut their price in half, they could not find a buyer for their stinky house. Word got out and eventually even the local realtors refused to return their calls. Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.

The ex-wife called the man and asked how things were going. He told her the saga of the rotting house. She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly, and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back.

Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad t he smell was, he agreed on a Price that was about 1/10th of what the house had been worth, but only if she were to sign the papers that very day.

She agreed and within the hour his lawyers delivered the paperwork. A week later the man and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home....
including the curtain rods.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Aaram Karo

This is a famous poem, that I read as a child...saw its link on Facebook today and was instantly transported to my childhood. Enjoy!

आराम करो
एक मित्र मिले, बोले, "लाला, तुम किस चक्की का खाते हो?
इस डेढ़ छँटाक के राशन में भी तोंद बढ़ाए जाते हो।
क्या रक्खा है माँस बढ़ाने में, मनहूस, अक्ल से काम करो।
संक्रान्ति-काल की बेला है, मर मिटो, जगत में नाम करो।"
हम बोले, "रहने दो लेक्चर, पुरुषों को मत बदनाम करो।
इस दौड़-धूप में क्या रक्खा, आराम करो, आराम करो।

आराम ज़िन्दगी की कुंजी, इससे न तपेदिक होती है।
आराम सुधा की एक बूंद, तन का दुबलापन खोती है।
आराम शब्द में 'राम' छिपा जो भव-बंधन को खोता है।
आराम शब्द का ज्ञाता तो विरला ही योगी होता है।
इसलिए तुम्हें समझाता हूँ, मेरे अनुभव से काम करो।
ये जीवन, यौवन क्षणभंगुर, आराम करो, आराम करो।

यदि करना ही कुछ पड़ जाए तो अधिक न तुम उत्पात करो।
अपने घर में बैठे-बैठे बस लंबी-लंबी बात करो।
करने-धरने में क्या रक्खा जो रक्खा बात बनाने में।
जो ओठ हिलाने में रस है, वह कभी न हाथ हिलाने में।
तुम मुझसे पूछो बतलाऊँ -- है मज़ा मूर्ख कहलाने में।
जीवन-जागृति में क्या रक्खा जो रक्खा है सो जाने में।

मैं यही सोचकर पास अक्ल के, कम ही जाया करता हूँ।
जो बुद्धिमान जन होते हैं, उनसे कतराया करता हूँ।
दीए जलने के पहले ही घर में आ जाया करता हूँ।
जो मिलता है, खा लेता हूँ, चुपके सो जाया करता हूँ।
मेरी गीता में लिखा हुआ -- सच्चे योगी जो होते हैं,
वे कम-से-कम बारह घंटे तो बेफ़िक्री से सोते हैं।

अदवायन खिंची खाट में जो पड़ते ही आनंद आता है।
वह सात स्वर्ग, अपवर्ग, मोक्ष से भी ऊँचा उठ जाता है।
जब 'सुख की नींद' कढ़ा तकिया, इस सर के नीचे आता है,
तो सच कहता हूँ इस सर में, इंजन जैसा लग जाता है।
मैं मेल ट्रेन हो जाता हूँ, बुद्धि भी फक-फक करती है।
भावों का रश हो जाता है, कविता सब उमड़ी पड़ती है।

मैं औरों की तो नहीं, बात पहले अपनी ही लेता हूँ।
मैं पड़ा खाट पर बूटों को ऊँटों की उपमा देता हूँ।
मैं खटरागी हूँ मुझको तो खटिया में गीत फूटते हैं।
छत की कड़ियाँ गिनते-गिनते छंदों के बंध टूटते हैं।
मैं इसीलिए तो कहता हूँ मेरे अनुभव से काम करो।
यह खाट बिछा लो आँगन में, लेटो, बैठो, आराम करो।
- गोपालप्रसाद व्यास