Loyalty in the Corporate World

The interview on Monday went smoothly and the candidate was more or less satisfactory.  My boss left it to me to decide if I wanted to take him or not.  Spent a good part of yesterday thinking about it.  Finally, I decided that the answer was no.  The problem wasn’t with the candidate but with his pay expectations.  Although my boss was willing to consider what he asked for, I felt it wouldn’t be fair to our current staff.  Reason being that even if Meeneon stayed on in the company for 3 years, I highly doubt he would get the amount of $ this candidate was asking for.  If I thus hired this candidate, I would be penalising Meeneon for his loyalty (assuming he stays 3 years) & rewarding this candidate for job hopping (this would be his 3rd job in 3 years).

I thought long & hard & eventually decided that as a matter of principle, I would rather deal with the higher workload, then to go against something I believe in, i.e., loyalty should be rewarded.  I told my boss about my thoughts today and thankfully (and coincidentally), the same thought was on his mind – that management has not been rewarding people who have stayed on with the company.

I haven’t decided where I might want to move on to next.  But I can safely say that if things do not improve come next increment, I will definitely leave the company.

Long Birthday Weekend Dashed

I originally wanted to take leave on my birthday (coming Mon) so I could enjoy a long weekend.  Main purpose was to just relax at home & indulge myself with hours & hours of watching TV/ DVD.

Unfortunately, all plans have fallen apart.  Ok.  That sounded a bit melodramatic but I have cancelled my leave because:

1) 3 colleagues have resigned (jumping ship together) and I need to accompany 1 of them to a meeting with an important client on Mon to ensure she doesn’t say anything detrimental to our company,

2) We’re currently tendering for a job and though the deadline is on Fri & I have done up the first draft of the report, I need to meet an underwriter to discuss some issues & he will only be in Singapore on Mon &

3) We’ll be interviewing a candidate on Mon.

With regard to the mass resignation, all I can say is people come, people go, and it’s how you conduct yourself that matters.  Some of them have disappointed in this aspect. 

Despite the increase in workload (I think I’m taking over about 2/3 of their workload), I don’t really think that will be an issue.  I don’t think anything could be worse than the working hours I was subjected to in my first job. 

I also see an upside to this because I’m now forced to learn whole turnover trade credit.  Not that it’s difficult or anything, but I’ve always been more interested in my side of the business – political risk, structured trade credit , bonds & crisis management… and so I was never motivated to learn the specifics of whole turnover trade credit.  With this mass resignation, however, I’m quite motivated to learn the tricks of the trade so that I can excel in this area too.  After all, only my boss knows all the different products that my department handles… and once I master whole t/o trade credit, I will be the next person who knows all the products.  I think that’s quite empowering.  Haha. 

I’m also pleased to see that Meeneon is taking this positively and is also looking forward to learning something new.  I’m confident we’ll tide this over, and we’ll come out as winners.

So bring it on!  I’ve read up & familiarised myself with the policy wordings of 2 insurers (there’re 5 main insurers for this line of biz).  I intend to finish another 2 tomorrow, and the last one during the week. 

I’m very excited.

Insult to my Intelligence

I met a Nigerian Australian scammer today, whose plot was so paper thin, I felt it was real insult to my intelligence.  So this old man turns up without appointment at my office and said he was looking for an insurance bond.  Our receptionist sent a management trainee from our Business Development team to speak to him, and mgt trainee in turn called me to join them in the meeting room.

Mr Scammer showed me a letter that says he’s representing a public construction company from Australia, to look for a “good country overseas, with favourable tax laws & ‘of course it’s all legal’, to set up a new company so as to do many more projects and business”.  His search brought him to Singapore.  In order to raise capital for this new company, he would like to find a Standard & Poor’s rated ‘A’ or similar Moody’s rated insurance company, to issue a payment obligation guarantee, that this new company has the ability to repay USD200mil worth of financing, at the end of the 10-year bullet maturity date.

Focusing all my energies on not rolling my eyes at Mr Scammer, I told him that this structure was not possible because insurers can only issue performance bonds, and not financial guarantees.  Moreover, even if insurers could support this structure, there’s no way any one was going to issue this sort of bond for a company with no financials.

Mr Scammer would not give up.  Insisted that he’s done this sort of structure many times before with insurers such as Prudential in USA , Zurich in Switzerland, Lloyd’s in London, etc.  He said the only reason he is approaching us in Singapore is because he’s from Australia and he’s here in Singapore now and so he felt that this was good business for us to earn.  He even had the audacity to add that the credit standing of the company was “irrelevant”.

Irrelevant?  What the heck!  When you go to a bank to borrow money, is your credit worthiness “irrelevant”???

Once again, I reiterated that insurers do NOT issue financial guarantees.  Trying to find a more polite way to tell him to get lost, I asked if he has tried approaching the local banks to lend him money (which obviously would not be possible).  He said he did but they refused as they were “unable to think out of the box”.  So I repeated myself.  Insurers do not issue financial guarantees.  Gosh.  I must have said that line like 20 times.  I could sense his frustration but Mr Scammer would not leave!

He tried to take the high & mighty route and said that it’s a pity that this is good money but our insurers do not want to earn it.  He said he could not think why an insurer would not be willing to take the USD90 mil his company would pay, in exchange for a guarantee that they will be able to repay USD220 mil in 10 years.  Good grief.  I didn’t know to give him credit for re-working the Nigerian lottery scam story, or to feel even more insulted that he thinks I’m gullible enough to buy the story.

So I used this line that all insurers use when they want to decline a risk – “I’m sorry we could not be of more help”. 

I think I must have said that 5 times… and repeated the line about “insurers cannot issue financial guarantees” another 10 times… before Mr Scammer finally gave up & left our office.

After he left, the management trainee showed me his name card.  I only have one phrase in Hokkien to describe it – WAH LAU EH.

The name card was printed out this dull gold paper (the sort I used to use to make greeting cards with when I was in secondary school) and everything was typed in this cursive font:

“JTown Capital Limited

Mr J Molley

j.molley@gmail.com.au/ j.h.molley@yahoo.com.au

Goodness gracious.  Couldn’t he at least spend some money to print a more presentable name card?  And “gmail.com.au”?  Aiyoh… since when got this domain name? 

I forgot to mention that the letter he showed me was also typed in this super old English.  Totally not a writing style of this century.

While recounting the incident to Iceman, a thought came to me – maybe this guy is some old-time scammer who was just released from prison after 20 years or so.  Hence his old style of writing, crappy presentation & obvious lack of IT knowledge.

Whatever the case, I really think he needs to work on his con job skills.  He definitely won’t be seeing USD220 mil from any one at this rate!

Defending Beliefs

I wanted to blog about this earlier but somehow didn’t get down to it. I’ve been a PAP supporter by and large but I’ve never really studied their policies in an in-depth manner. I never really bothered before cos their policies made sense to me so I was too lazy to give deeper thought to it. I guess you can say I was politically apathetic.

During the recent elections, however, people online seemed to be slamming the party left, right, centre, to the extent that the PAP started appearing like an underdog to me. That got be curious. Were they really that bad? Were they really the arrogant scums people made them out to be? I had comments on my facebook saying things like, “PAP disgusts me”.

These sort of unsubstantiated comments ignited my curiosity. So I started researching into the accusations thrown at them and the more I read up, the more baseless I found accusations to be. That made me a firmer supporter of the party and I’m glad I went through the process cos when I put that cross on my ballot paper, it was with full confidence in them.

I’m thinking of doing more reading on apologetics now. I feel it’s only when we seek put answers to naysayers that our faith will grow. 🙂