Warnings in November 2006

Last month was a mind bender. I got to see some of my family for the first time in more than a couple of years, and I was slapped in the face. My brother, in particular, consumes and produces like a pregnant pig with diarrhea. He produces fine cuisine, and not streams of brown, but I think you get the picture. Though as children, he often drug my face across the carpet claiming it would make me tough, for the last several years I have had only the greatest admiration for the dude. He works very hard, has a wonderful family, is creative, finds time when you need it, and though bald, could still probably pull the hottest girl in most any joint – yeah he got the looks in the family. Of course, he wouldn’t pull because he’s married, but I think you get the picture again. But this isn’t a fling about my family. I’ll get to the point. People work hard, and they know what they’re doing. In his neck of the woods, that’s all you have to do as long as you’re not a pregnant dinosaur with diarrhea. I told my brother what I do and make, and he nearly dropped his kitchen knife. When I told him how much my employees get and how much the rent is, he looked as if my team were down by six, and I had dropped the ball on the goal line. Alright, I’m stupid. I spent the golden 1990’s learning Chinese while teaching English. Had I only been the immoral and heavily jaded person I am now, I would have taken advantage of those days. I didn’t. People say I’m working hard. At least I’m confident I know what I’m doing, but it’s tough now. I’m warning you all that things are not that easy these days.

Back in the old days (How many times have I said that?), you just had to be half-decently bilingual and you’d be in business meetings as the local company partner. You’d call the office abroad about there being no ketchup here, and they’d give you a hardship raise. I once impressed someone on a train so much that I was offered a totally cush job. I really only ordered a hefan in Chinese. It was totally like that. I personally know people who single-handedly opened companies and hit the mother vein within a year. They now drive those Hummers you see everywhere. Taste was not a prerequisite to making money in the 90’s. These days, you’ve got to be much craftier than you did in the old. The line of those waiting to be successful is packed with highly motivated folks. I used to know an old dude who did all of the orders he got out of his hotel room with his partner/secretary/translator. Now he hires a huge team and runs a monster operation. That’s more for him, and less for us. Enough already though. I’m not writing this to make you put your head between your cheeks and sulk on home. After my brother dropped his knife, I immediately began to think about things in a different light. That’s not to say my original light was bad or anything. Hey, you’re reading this aren’t you? You got this magazine in some swank hotel now didn’t you? How about all those cool ads we have in this month’s issue? Look into the magazine, and you’ll see that I didn’t write all the stuff I used to. We’ve got people to help now. Would you take that time machine back ten years and be that dank factory boss in exchange for a few dollars? Forget it. Welcome to the here and now. Being tough might be difficult, but it’s sure better than having it easy with no ketchup.

By Tim Hoerle