11 June 2013

Dear Snake Oil Salesman

I do think that your fashion sense and personal grooming in imitation of Mark Strong, especially in his appearance in RocknRolla, may work in Hollywood infused Klang Valley, but in Kerteh, should serve no further than to tell us you are better paid than us. We who have no choice but to listen to you yarn, do not begrudge your payscale that allows you to rise above the inequities of government social engineering and affirmative action policies, but that is a fellowship that doesn't cover our lot into identifying with you. I really cannot remember the last time we met anyone in Paka Residence Resort's lecture rooms who wore the inner vest to a 3-piece suit to deliver a motivational lecture. And in the final analysis, you should be aware of how the twain shall never meet.  I mean, you could never hit that mark, no matter how strong you think you are. Ok, ok, I am sorry. You're right. Black is a very slimming colour.
I do approve of your deft use of humour, and I am sure you are a beacon in the centre of the barroom, commanding an adoring audience and fawned over by the girls. Ice breakers before the sessions on corporate values were a breeze for you to handle, and you were recognisably glib. You dropped names ever so often like eggs into a linen-lined basket, incurring nary a crack so as to betray your methods of self shoring. I hope to emulate yours skills some day.
However, your divide and rule tactics were as on target as those used by government arms when you categorically carved those who had served long and faithfully from other employee labels of yours as "lost souls" who could not be converted into "agents of change" to spur the company on to greater heights by enhancements to their personal performance in the company heirarchy. You chose to dismiss those who had long service records as being immovable simply because of their age. Or simply because they do not respond with juvenile enthusiasm to your sales pitch.
In most companies worth their human capital, it is the senior workers who matter most. These are the men and women who have seen enough to know how to make things work. Their skills have been honed over time and persistence, where brute strength is secondary to motor skills and mental precision. Managers in such companies make efforts to retain such employees. If they value human capital that is.
Your repetitive slurring of these valuable guys and gals with your branding as "dah 30 tahun lebih" smacks of inherited prejudice aimed at a group who will not be eating out of your hand just because it is you who appears to be the latest agent of corporate bullcrap delivery.
Maybe you need to take stock of matters Senor Presenter.
You have no choice but to believe in what you are selling. And you are not selling a single product of your own crafting, although your wares are dependant on your craftiness. You sell what companies tell you to sell, of mission statements and corporate visions. These lofty terms are not more than repackaged advertisments, with the sole objectve of getting people to part with something of value which they would not under normal circumstances do, till under the influence of such motivational talks and team-building games. You would be out of a job if you did not believe in the product you are peddling, and that voice rings hollow because it isn't a product you have laboured lovingly to make. All you have are sleight of hand and voice and gesture. Do not mistake your access to management heads and giving them a piece of your mind as an index of your business authority. You are a calendar item, to be ticked off in fulfilment of a higher agenda. You are, directly and personally, neither threat, asset nor consequence to them.
The lost souls you dismiss are those who once believed, but have seen time and time again how promises are not kept, and silence is paid for with alms giving. Yet they pressed on, more out of the need to survive than of trust. And over the consumption of the years, faith gives way to delusionment, and drive gives way to inertia. While managers and bosses loot the spoils, they create artificial performance barriers for those who toil, making year-end rewards unattainable while they themselves fill  their carts to overflowing for parties and celebrations to pat their own backs in salutation and credit. And the 30 tahun lebih guys know the gifts so evidently taken. The greatest error of omission then, is treating them like they don't know what goes on in the upper decks of management.
There comes an age and a time, when people pass the point of believing in words and words alone. Words, unsupported by deeds, shall be met with disdain. Perhaps that point is when employees have served long, and have seen the disparity between the two.
 The lost souls are not thereby lost souls. They are souls lost by the corporate heads.
Until you recognise this, your slick presentations will not sell a single bottle.


  1. What a statement. Deadlier than a cobra's venom. True in every word but a sad reality in the modern day corporate world and government sector. Can't elaborate more coz its painful to membuka pekung didada. For us, we can only say, ditelan pahit dibuang sayang. Your sensitivities is very much felt here.

  2. Thanks for your visit, Anon. For you to feel this kinship, you too would have travelled a stony path. I hope that diamonds await you.

  3. Hear! Hear! and it happens everywhere..the money spent on them should be better used to justly reward the faithful instead, even if they have lost faith.

  4. You're quite sensitive about this, sir, and you will perceive that this misappropriation of corporate funding is the expenditure that symbolises the blame game when there is disparity between the truth being told and the willingness of those responsible to listen to the telling.