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Region Conference of A Beer Company

Conference

Every February prior to the financial yearend, the brewing company would engineer a massive regional conference for all its divisional director grades in the South East Asian Regions. The meeting is presided by the CEO of Asia Pacific Rim. All executives are thrillingly looking forward to such a gathering for it is a golden opportunity to prove one’s versatility. The schedule is usually designated on the last week of the month, whereas the destination differs from time to time depending on company’s current finance and the market sentiment. The destination is always kept confidential until the very last minute as far as possible. The strategy has two significant impacts. One is to create a sense of mystery and the other is to discourage prior arrangements for personal activity before and after office hours that the company thinks would have a certain negative bearing on its employees or their performance. The main theme of the meeting covered the following topics that had to be thoroughly discussed and mutually agreed by all divisional heads.

1. To provide Earning From Operation (EFO) for the current financial year.

2. To solicit market niches and evaluate if they are applicable to other markets.

3. To discuss marketing strategies and detail advertising budgets for the coming years.

4. To finalize an effective advertising slogan for large Regional Summer Sales Promotion.

The financial achievement of the following year depends much on the effectiveness of item (4) mentioned above. Therefore, the Chairman-in-charge is relatively fastidious about the effect of the advertisement and he expects a rather outstanding and successful advertisement. As a normal procedure, all the participants including the CEO are strictly confined to the conference room without any means of outside contact such as email, facsimile, mobile and the like. A whole week is assigned for the mission. If the agenda could be achieved satisfactorily before schedule, remaining hours could be managed freely according to individual preference with board and lodging at company’s account. The company favours this strategy with a hope to promote pragmatic results with the shortest time possible and it does not wish to stress all its employees unnecessarily. Experience proves that the bonus hour system has a positive impact on their progress.

The location chosen for the year was a resort-hotel in Shanghai in the suburban area. After a whole day’s excessive discussion in the conference they were quite weary. They had manipulated item (1) successfully and part of item (2) was pragmatically discussed. They all had their unique dinner in a deluxe suite of the hotel. The CEO practised his Mandarin playfully by stammering (give me a beer) without specifying the brand that was too difficult to master and simultaneously all the rest followed suit. Normally, under such a circumstance, locally brewed Tsingtao Beer was offered as a token of patriotism. They did not swap to the company brand because of linguistic hindrance. Providentially, they had a good excuse to taste the rival’s products without being blamed for lack of patronage. Everybody enjoyed the typical Chinese cuisine very joyfully. Before breaking up, the CEO reminded them not to linger in a nocturnal rendezvous and they had better attempt to spend some time figuring an effective and innovative strategy for the next day’s meeting. He promised them a very exciting deluxe boat-ride to a spectacular remote island before their trip home if the agenda could be satisfactorily accomplished well ahead of schedule. He perceived that encouragement always works better than punishment. He expected his bonus entertainment would serve as a stimulus.

Johnson was the only executive who entered China for the first time and found everything was abnormally extraordinary. He dared not venture to a sleazy area all by himself for fear of getting into trouble, because he learnt that anything could happen in China no matter how absurd it seemed especially amidst the lower strata of society. Therefore, he ambled desultorily along the harbour to view the hustle and bustle marine traffic of the Shanghai twilight. Though his sight was panoramic yet his thought was nostalgic because he could not have any chitchat with the populace and it was his only experience of solitude. At 10 o’clock, he returned to the hotel and got ready for a good rest with a hope to restore his energy for a stringent meeting the next day. Though he was tired yet he could not sleep after hours tossing in bed. May be the big boss’s reminder had a certain constraint on him and caused him not only jumpy but also restless, besides, he was still gloating over his promotion and his new twin boys who were said to be endowed with good omen.

His wife encouraged him to behave adroitly in the conference before his departure because he was newly promoted to the present grade and his performance would have a substantial bearing on his future career. That was why he was fidgety. He had no tranquillizer off hand and he knew from experience that he might end up in a scandalous implication as a result of linguistic inefficiency if he attempted to request for some sort of medication. He thought that the best choice was to have a bottle of company beer which would help him doze off imperceptibly. Therefore, after a careful consideration, he buzzed for room service. No sooner, a room boy trainee tapped gingerly on his door that was soon opened ajar and the following dialogue was exchanged without anything ambiguous. The atmosphere seemed a bit queer but either party cared about due to linguistic problem. It was the hotel’s culture not to cross a guest if the situation was avoidable.

Johnson : San Miguel please, a big one. (He said casually)

Roomboy :Yes Sir.I know every man loves a big one.Ha!Ha!Ha! (Page one)

Johnson felt the response of the trainee pretty eccentric and was wondering what was wrong with him, but he thought it was a peripheral issue to be bothered with for the commonality could not understand English especially in the out skirt of town. As a result of this, most room boys had a tendency of repeating a guest’s order before it was forgotten. With the order book tucked under his armpit, he muttered while he was alone in the corridor. He was indulged in fantasy and was thinking of his extra income from his immoral link.

“ Send-me-a-gal-please, a-big-one.”
again, he repeated the order slowly.
“ Send-me-a-gal-please, a-big-one.” he mumbled deliriously.

Soon after, a young radiant girl with stunning bosom in a low cut gray evening gown tapped on Johnson’s door. She was the type of girl you could normally found on the cover page of a playboy magazine and was dressed in such a way that would make every man dizzy after taking off her shawl. He was in a golden silk robe and was startled to find a striking tart with a flirtatious posture standing right at his doorway. Before he could regain his composure, he was thus steered into his suite by the provoking visitor. He was intricate and behaved very clumsily for he was afraid that his compeers might see him fooling around with a lustful girl. He felt that his privacy might be inexplicable or inexcusable if reported to his immediate boss by his peer. Right after the seductive whore was inside and in his derangement he bolted the door at once. His quizzical demeanor gave the intruder a whim that he was merely pretending a minute ago just to play safe.

Johnson: What is the matter please, I really can’t understand the whole business? (He stammered giddily.)

The girl: Did you say, “Send me a girl?” Is mine big enough? (She inhaled to heave her wobbling breast coyly.)

Johnson: I only ordered a bottle of San Miguel. That is all I asked. You can confirm with the room boy trainee.

The girl: No. You are joking. In any case I would not leave fruitlessly, unless you pay and kiss me good bye.

Johnson: Please leave me alone for I can’t have anything to do with you because I am on company business.

The girl: I will not go until you pay because I have to pay my pander. (While so saying she stripped off her gown.)

Johnson: Please do not spoil my future career, he said tremblingly, because I have wife and kids at home. I have no cash except a company credit card, for all my expenses are company paid. I only have about fifty dollars. (He rummaged in his drawer and she grabbed all his money and the clipper rashly then strode out of the room without retrieving her shawl either was due to forgetfulness or purposefulness, only God knew.)

Abruptly he noted her shawl was crumpling on top of the credenza and he was left lying on bed completely transfixed. At once, he chased her along the corridor wantonly for he did not wish to give her a pretext to return. Though he was annoyed and gasping vigorously yet he could hardly cast his sight off her attractive body which was so fascinating that would likely charm the chirping birds off a nearby tree. Somehow, he was ominous that his unsavoury experience with a mysterious girl of unknown identity might be seen so he flung the shawl to her indignantly. He was feeling very distraught and frustrated in his room because he was unsure the doom of his misfortune. The notion to get oneself drunk was like jumping off the frying pan into the fire and had worsened the boring situation. Thus, creating another sensitive issue which got to be addressed tactfully for he was afraid that his foolery with a buxom whore could have aroused suspicion of his colleagues who could likely gossip the trivia to his jealous wife inadvertently. He was furious because he could not sleep no matter how assiduous he attempted. Curiously, he wanted to disclose his burden and make a clean breast in the next day’s conference since there was nothing fishy in any aspect whatsoever.

After telling the whole story, everyone burst out laughing disjointedly including the President who said the situation was very particular and the whim could be used in advertisement after some minor modification. Johnson felt relieved and was rather excited because his embarrassment would become a fruitful gimmick after tactfully modified. His frankness was highly appraised by the Chairman who said that his encounter would be adopted for international promotion in the current year. He considered the idea was innovative and promised Johnson a 20% additional incentive bonus by yearend if market share could be increased by 2% on a global basis. The purpose was to encourage creativity. He assured all his executives that even a traumatic experience could sometimes turn out to be a pragmatic one if everybody was honest and faithful to his work and his virtue. Everyone was deeply moved by the sincerity and integrity of the President.

In view of the chaotic situation and to prevent similar future occurrence, the President said phlegmatically, “In order to relieve you from the sense of loyalty, from now on, you are no longer restricted to San Miguel when you are travelling regardless the nature of a trip. This measure will release you from any implication of scandalous matter. This policy will be applied to all personnel across the board with immediate effect.” Instantly, they burst out unanimously and chanted without caring for the residual damage, “Can-I-have-a-Blue-Girl-for-tonight-Sir?” Everyone could not help laughing including the charismatic boss whom finally said, “You rascal, mind your nasty tongue. Frankly, I have never held a meeting with such a harmonious atmosphere. I hope we will soon accomplish the agenda satisfactorily within four days, thus, you will have three whole days to linger around with any girl of your personal choice and no longer restricted to a Blue Girl. Is this fair enough, any question?” Finally the meeting ended exceptionally productive and everyone was very ecstatic and gleeful especially Johnson who handled a disgraceful episode honestly and virtually with extra bonus. They all felt a pang of envy and the so call scandal became a butt of laughter thereafter.
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Blue Girl, San Miguel & Tsingtao are popular beer in HK and China.
(wlkthk@yahoo.com 2002-2026)
Published: 2008-12-12
Author: Wilson Lee

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