Monday, January 26, 2009

Send more positive business vibes please! (plus fotos - vids during the party in Palazzo)

Coming back to reality after two self-indulgent excursions in a month and now facing the grim business climate in Europe is like waking up inside the cave full of shimmering silver and gold in the Ali Baba fable and getting struck with a huge falling rock, then getting amnesia, and realizing painfully that you have no idea how to get out of there. Sucks.

Well, I am not back to work yet, not until tomorrow Tuesday and I am pleased to report that I have successfully resisted the ‘easier said than done’ temptation to open my work emails today, which I am sure will pour over in the hundreds. It’s too tempting to work from home but I am reminding and persuading myself that I am still officially on holiday, and that I have many errands to run for the home, for myself and for the Dutchman who’s back at work today, and that I should, for once in my life at least this month for a day, stop being a corporate slave.

So it worked. I had all the errands done today except for my two boots that needed the soles repaired because in this darn country, many of the mom and pop shops do not open on a Monday! Goodness holy gracious, the retail sector has already been suffering in many countries but here in the Netherlands it seems the shops are stuck, glued to their ancient ways. Maybe they are crisis bullet proofed or they just don’t care at all?

In Palazzo during the company dinner party - the shots I have with me in them were all blurry! This is one of the better shots.

We’ve been watching CNN in Austria (no BBC in our chalet) continuously as it was the only English Channel and have been up to date with the crèche murders near Brussels, the historical Barack Obama inauguration, the stormy winds in Europe (many ski lifts were closed due to the winds in our ski resort) and the subject everyone feared, the bleak world economic forecast.

On the headlines today Monday, companies are cutting jobs like there is no tomorrow. ING, Philips, and Corus sent out a notice that they are laying off thousands of workers and many firms have reported sharp drops in profits, even my local car dealer has sent me a letter that they are closing all their outlets and pointing me to their head office for maintenance and repair which happens to be the only surviving outlet.

With the harrowing financial times we are now experiencing, there’s a timely musical that everyone can use for therapy. Mary Poppins, the twinkly-eyed ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ (ah, a childhood favorite!) nanny as described by BBC is the most apt musical – a tale of our times.

This is Ramana who levitates in the air! He was the intro act in Palazzo and he sat there in mid air for a whole half an hour. Very, very impressive indeed!

If you are aware of the story of this Disney musical, Mary Poppins’ employer, a certain Mr. Banks was suspended from his banking job, later summoned back and lauded by his superiors because he kept his integrity and did not fall into the deathly hands of high finance, in other words, sub-prime, shameful derivatives and get-rich-quick schemes like that of Maddoffs’.

Mary Poppins is currently playing in London so I quickly googled Mary Poppins in my Dutch browser and found that the Dutch version will soon come! Ooh exciting! They have been busy since December 2008 searching for the Mary Poppins role and it’s said that the musical will be held in the Circustheater in Scheveningen.

So, for a change from all this crisis uproar, I am so going to watch the developments of this musical, just like the Davos world economic forum, like an unwavering hawk.

My favorite act and my favorite girls! Check out the short video I took of them below this entry. They have all my praises, a marvelous act!

Back in November to December 2008, I wrote a few times in this blog about the imminent downturn and the higher sales target I will be taking on in 2009. Everyone in the ICT business is saying it’s going to be a bloodbath in 2009 and perhaps 2010 too. It’s going to take 3 years, maybe 5 years even? Moreover, being in sales at this point in time is already a difficult job. Accompanied with very high stress levels, selling and convincing customers and prospects to invest during economic hardships and mass layoffs will be a daunting challenge that must be conquered.

I, on the other hand am quite positive for 2009, and believe me, I am trying to shake myself as I write this. A colleague once described me as having the tenacity without losing sight on the details. Tenacity could mean many things and I don’t know what that is in her books, so I’d like to put it as drive. Times like this, we need DRIVE. Bring in the force!

So with the economic slump on our doorsteps, I see this more as an OPPORTUNITY, for greater things.

Anyway, you got to see these vids that I took in Palazzo (the 2-Michelin star restaurant and theater of Ron Blauw) last December during our company dinner. They are my favorite aerial acrobatic acts during the entire show:

This is the Kontorsion Act by ‘Three Style’ girls from Ukraine. They are my favorite! These girls have the force.


Next on my favorite list is another aerial acrobatic by Anastasiya Nasridinova, also from Ukraine. She has an amazingly flexible yet firm body!

Last but not the least, the Hand-to-Hand Act by the ‘Duo In Motion’ guys, also from Ukraine! Ukraine definitely rocks when it comes to aerial acrobatics, gymnastics, and figure skating.

I’m quite looking forward to the next weeks and months and see how the business will fair. When it comes to my gut feel, I always trust her as she never fails me.

Cheers to the business in 2009, and please do send more positive energy along my way. I need them ;-)

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