Saturday, April 26, 2008

Air & Ground

The company that I am working for has recently merged with another company.

In case you're wondering, these are not 2 small firms looking to survive in the competitive business world, but rather, 2 large multinational companies looking to become an even larger giant in its field, striving to dominate the market. If I did not remember wrongly, during the merger Day 1, we were told by the senior management that we (ie. the merged entity) are now larger than Nike, than Starbucks, and many more established names in the world.



Should the employees be excited about the merger? Well, if you asked any of us - Note: and I am not refering to the top tier of senior management, but rather the people "on the ground"... you see, these "top management" folks seem to be always "in the air". They never see what is going on on the ground, and are always happy enjoying the fresh air above. And why shouldn't they be, with the millions continuing to flow into their fat pockets..

Anyway, I digress... back to the point - ie. the people "on the ground".

Ask anyone of us, and you'll definitely detect a thinly veiled sense of uncertainty and nervousness. The common worry, obviously is "will I still have a job after all the hoorays (about how great the merger is supposed to be) are over?"

Even for people, who are seemingly "safe" (although I'd venture to say that NOBODY is absolutely safe in such circumstances) due to their job roles, have to start thinking about how their jobs are likely to change after the merger. For instance, will the department have a new manager, and if so, how will the management style of this new person be? Will the measurement metrices (known sickeningly as the much hated "KPI"s) of our jobs be changed henceforth? How will the culture of the company change after the merger?

Thus far, the guys in the air have been sufficiently transparent and honest about things. They did not shy away from direct questions from the ground regarding possible job cuts. All they'd say is that in ANY mergers, there will inevitably be restructuring and realignment of business needs. Some jobs will definitely be impacted, and all they can promise is that people will be treated FAIRLY and with as much DIGNITY as possible.

Fair enough, I thought.

Still, it is scant consolation for many of us. It is hardly surprising that every time there is a merger (and/or acquisition) of companies, the ONLY people who benefit are the shareholders and the "air folks". (in this particular case, we have read reports that guy in the highest stratosphere is getting a bonus that is similar to what Rio Ferdinand cost for Man United to sign him from Leeds a couple of years back... do your Math..)

In business terms, these stratospheric bonuses are derived from "cost savings through the synergy and integration advantages from the 2 companies coming together". Sadly, we on the ground are painfully aware that a major source of the so-called "cost savings" are the result of thousands of broken rice-bowls (around the world).

Cruel reality? It's purely business, my friend... purely business.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baby bear and the DIVO

Friday, April 18, 2008

Guitaresque Blog

I have finally decided to set up a separate blog for Guitaresque. Will be putting all guitar-related information on that blog from now on.

You can find it at:

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Found this on the web:

I want to go listen to their performance!!! sigh.. (just wishful thinking again)

* Wonder when they'll come to Singapore again.. *

Colleagues at work

Read an article on 我报 a couple of days ago, regarding the relationships between colleagues and friends.

The piece basically centred on the dynamics of office/worker relationships (not in the romantic sense lah), and whether it is considered "wise" to develop friendship beyond the necessary level of office-etiquette and so-called 'niceties'.

It correctly (IMHO) pointed out that with the passage of time, it is inevitable that people would become closer to one another, and would tend to share some personal information and opinions, and this has its pros and cons. The good side of becoming friends with your colleagues (it states) is it promotes better office friendliness and a more welcoming environment for one to step into, rather than the cold, greyish void filled simply with tables, chairs and cabinets. In a way, it makes going to work (ya, don't we all hate it!) more bearable, if you think of it as going to see a group of friends and having that nice and enjoyable lunch/coffee break with them.

On the other hand, the article warned against forming obvious cliques in the office, as that may cause unncessary division and related tension within the office. One "no-no" was excessive gossips about the usual gripes - such as the manager, the almost MIA colleague, the "cheapskate" colleague who refused to buy lunch, etc..

Actually, I believe all these interactions (be it positive or negative ones) with fellow colleagues are actually what makes the whole job experience what it is. It sort of "defines" the job, really, and without these necessary 'ingredients', the idea of getting up, and going to work each morning would be dreadful indeed!