Book review

I am pleased to share a review of my book, “What happens in office, stays in office”, that appeared in the print edition of the New Indian Express, a leading national daily, on 22nd October. The content of the review is also visible on the online edition which can be accessed on:

This review has been penned by a fellow WordPress blogger. As he writes under an alias I cannot reveal the identity. But it would be interesting to see if anyone has a guess. A hint – writing styles tend to stay constant.

The book is available, among other places:

– On in the US

– On in India

An image of the page carrying the review:

Look to the lower half of the page on the left. Ignore the photographs on the page, they are not mine!!

Thank you for your support.

Root cause analysis

A “khap panchayat” has announced that they have discovered the root cause of heinous, violent crime like rape against women. It appears they have come to this conclusion after profound research lasting more than twelve minutes and involving an experienced team of four elders who needed to be kept awake with periodic doses of medical assistance during much of this twelve-minute period.

“Khap panchayat”, for the uninitiated, is the union of a few villages, mainly in the northern part of the country, though it exists in varied forms in the rest of the country as well, who come together for attending to the common good of the villages.

So what did they find? What is the root cause of heinous, violent crime like rape against women?


Yes, you read it correctly. It is chowmein.

It is not the mental and moral depravity of men.

It is not the poor upbringing of men at the hands of insecure parents worried about their own old-age security.

It is not the low self-esteem amongst perpetrators trying to demonstrate their power.

It is not a lack of role models in society and our patriarchal notions of masculinity.

It is not the objectification of women as property or as symbols of honour.

It is not even the provocative dressing by women as has long been suspected.

It is chowmein.

This humble dish of pan-fried noodles, foreign originally, but increasingly having become intricately woven into the menus of a billion plus people, has been thrust, irrevocably and firmly, into the limelight on account of the “khap panchayat” recommendation that people stop eating this tasty dish.

And stirred up a storm in a jasmine-tea cup in the bargain.

“To my understanding, consumption of…Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts,” a senior khap panchayat leader was quoted as saying to a media website.

This scientific discovery has escalated into a diplomatic row with a large and increasingly economically assertive neighbour, where chowmein is understood to have originated, complaining to the ambassador to their country. They have firmly stated that they will not take a slight to their rich cultural heritage going back thousands of years, in which chowmein, a recent creation, occupies a prominent place, lying down.

Under pressure from the central leadership, the “khap panchayat” overlords have reluctantly agreed to let women continue to eat chowmein.

It appears, however, that the “khap panchayats” are still smarting under the compromise they have been forced to accept. In a thinly veiled threat, the “khap panchayats” have chided the female population in the state for bringing disrepute to the state and their families by not adhering to the policy of gender equality promoted by the state, by not perpetrating enough crimes on men. If they had, they (the khaps) would not have had to bow to the diktat of the central government.

Though the ban has been recommended in one state, the entire country has been rocked by its reverberations with a sharp increase in attempted rapes, mostly from restaurants with chowmein on their menu. In many cases, if an accompanying male friend has ordered chowmein, girls have called in the cops and had the male arrested for attempted rape.

The sharp increase in attempted rapes being reported from restaurants serving chowmein has underscored the accuracy of the “khap panchayat” discovery and served as a timely prevention.

After this important discovery, the “khap panchayat” has been asked by the central government to undertake research on various important issues that have dogged mankind for eternity, like how immortality be attained, is there a cure for AIDS, how did the universe originate, is there life after death, is there a god, etc..

It is understood that after detailed research lasting more than forty-five minutes, the khaps are ready with answers to all the issues on which the central government had asked for answers, including etc..

Power corrupts…

It finally happened last week.

The event for which our politicians and administrators had been so carefully and assiduously planning for so long, over the course of almost half a century, was unleashed in grand style. It is a testament to the mettle of the people involved that they have pursued this task regardless of the hardships they faced and the money they may have made in the bargain. It is also a testament to the unity in diversity across political parties who got together in pursuit of a common goal in national interest. Despite frequent changes of government, pursuit of this dream continued unceasingly.

The Northern Power Grid collapsed on a Monday, bringing life to a standstill in most of the northern part of the country. As a result, among other impacts:

  • Over 300 trains were disrupted in the affected states
  • Several hundred coal miners were stranded underground
  • Metro train services in the national capital were shut down which, in turn, caused a gridlock on the roads
  • Income Tax returns could not be submitted on time leading to an extension of the cut-off date and delay in revenue for the government
  • Over 600 million people were affected
  • Holiday declared from 3 PM onwards
  • Water treatment plants were shut down

On account of this stellar performance, the Power Minister has been promoted to the coveted Home Ministry.

His next in line have been demoted to inconsequential roles on account of, among other reasons:

  • Only 300 trains being disrupted in the affected states
  • Only several hundred coal miners stranded underground
  • Only Metro train services in the national capital shut down; why was the rest of the public transportation system not electrified so that it could also have been shut down is a question they could not answer convincingly
  • Only Income Tax returns could not be submitted on time leading to an extension of the cut-off date; why were Sales Tax returns not affected?
  • Only 600 million people affected; in a 1.2 billion country this is an inconsequential number
  • Holiday declared only from 3 PM onwards; in a shocking admission, they admitted to letting people work till 3 PM
  • Water treatment plants shut down; unanswered qustion – why no impact on cooking gas?

Justifying the demotion of the people responsible for this state of affairs, a Power Ministry spokesman said “These people been in their jobs for years and had enough opportunity to ensure that this effort did not turn out to be the half-hearted effort it finally turned out to be, like many other similar attempts of the past, sullying the image of the nation once again. Like successful private companies, we want to hold our people responsible to the highest standards of performance, and take strict action against junior employees as and where those standards are not met.”

In a function held to felicitate him on this landmark achievement, the Power Minister lauded the achievements of his ministry. He said that several thousand villages have been electrified, i.e. provided electric connections and joined to the grid. He said it was one thing to electrify villages when you have power to supply, quite another to do so when you don’t have power to supply. His ministry’s achievements were even greater because they have electrified villages without having any power to supply to them.

The crowd broke out into applause.

He said that some misguided people were trying to experiment with solar power generation and stand in the way of development. “We will not let motivated and unscrupulous elements stand in the way of development”, he stated emphatically. In a firm tone he sent out a clear warning to the miscreants and stated, “We are dealing with the situation as it should be dealt with. We are planning to make solar power generation illegal. We have a bright future ahead of us.”

Admitting that he has had to make sacrifices and endure personal hardship over many years in quest of this noble goal, he broke down. His family had ben most affected, he said. He said that his family, as they have always lived in the VIP areas of the city, have had uninterrupted power supply. They have been deprived of the development unleashed on the rest of the country through frequent power cuts. He feared they will be ill equipped to participate in the economic renaissance sweeping across the nation.

In an emotional speech, he said it has been an uphill task to repeatedly avoid facing the facts, ignore correct data, make incorrect projections and parrot out empty promises. It had taken a huge toll on his health and he was happy that he was being moved to a different role which had greater opportunity for the development and welfare of the nation.

With this, he stepped off the stage to a thundering ovation.

(to be continued…)

National Service

Amid the din of rising disenchantment about the government’s inability to tackle the economic woes besetting the country, the cabinet met in secret today to approve the new policy for tackling the economic situation.

In a master-stroke, and through a simple declaration, the government has elevated shopping to the level of “national sport”, ahead of cricket, and hockey, which of course nobody knows about. The doors to the riches that only a few successful sportspersons, particularly of the cricketing variety, could hitherto aspire to, have now been unlocked for the common man. A democratic policy, if ever there was one.

This stroke of genius has taken the opposition by surprise. Everyone may not be able to play cricket, but everyone can shop. The opposition has not been able to call the policy discriminatory and one that panders only to the interests of particular group of society, and not society at large. The only criticism they have been able to come up with, so far, is that the government is blindly aping the West without heed to our culture, where, in many countries, shopping is already the national sport.

The logic is simple. The more shopping you do, the more the economic situation will improve. At least for the seller, if not the buyer. This way, even if half the country benefits, the government would have reduced the economic situation critics to half, from 100% of the population to only 50%. Merely through the act of a declaration.

And, even for the buyer, there is hope. The more he buys, the more he will need to borrow. The more he borrows the more he will contribute as interest income to the banks and financial institutions that are essential services in a modern economy and must be made and kept prosperous at all costs. If not, the government may have to resort to using taxpayer money to prop up these noble institutions. The stronger these institutions are, the more people will be able to borrow from them. Hence, buyers should consider this to be equivalent to a patriotic duty.

Spending more is also expected to have a salubrious impact on the work ethic in the country. The more you spend the more you will borrow. The more you borrow the more rich you will feel. The more rich you feel the more you will borrow to maintain a rich lifestyle. The more you keep borrowing the more interest costs you will need to service. The more interest you service, the harder you will need to keep working, well beyond your normal retirement years. The harder you work the more the work-ethic of the nation improves.

In order to give a further fillip to shopping, the government has also introduced a national reward scheme which is based on incentive points for the amount of shopping done. Weightages have been assigned to various product categories normally shopped for, based on how essential the products bought are to the normal person. All essential items like food will have a NIL weightage. Items like jewellery, fourth car, second house, racehorses, yachts, etc. will be in the highest weightage category. Other items like refrigerators, washing machines, clothes, school textbooks are somewhere in between.

In a rare moment of enlightenment, displaying their complete grasp of the situation and the reality of the modern day shopper, the privileges accorded to shoppers in the national reward scheme will be available even for shopping done online.

The reward scheme will be funded through a new tax that will be levied on shopping done henceforth (the committee disagreed on taxing past shopping), and almost seven percent of the money collected through this tax will be paid back in the form of rewards, after paying for the expenses of the bureaucrats and ministers engaged in administering this scheme, and after purchasing new SUVs for them and their teams, to enable them to smoothly handle this added responsibility.

The opposition has finally been able to find fault with the scheme. They have criticised the government for ignoring the interest of the armed forces, engaged in securing the boundaries of the nation. They have said that the armed forces will not have an equal opportunity of participating in this patriotic programme and contributing to the development of the nation, as they are placed in remote areas. This amounts to discrimination. They have asked that this scheme be placed on par with military service in terms of a patriotism index which they have suggested the government set-up. They have also suggested that all members of the armed forces be given a choice whether they wish to serve the country through risking life and limb in armed combat or doing shopping.

In the eyes of others

In the late eighties, when I started working, in India, there were a handful of car models to choose from and very few cars. An air-conditioner (AC) in a car, though not unavailable, was a rarity. After all, a car was a means to an end. It served the purpose of transporting you from Point A to Point B. Its reason for existence was not to make you comfortable in an AC environment while transporting you, or to ensconce you in a cocoon while shutting out the external sounds, or to enable you to watch your favourite TV programme while travelling, as seems to be the case today. At that time, it was a big deal for a person to have a car with an AC.

One of my many early management lessons was from a senior colleague, who had a Sales job in the company and who believed that it was important to keep up appearances, who once told me “It does not matter that you don’t have an AC in your car. You should still drive with your windows rolled up. After all, you know that you don’t have an AC, but the guy outside your car does not. Hence, when someone outside sees you inside a car with the windows rolled up, he will naturally think that you are travelling in an AC car, and your position in his eyes will grow manifold.”

That lesson stayed with me. And I spent many joyful road-trips inside the car with windows rolled-up, feverishly wiping sweat off my brow and everywhere else my hand could reach, happy that my stock was rising in the eyes of the people outside the car who, of course, I did not know from Adam. Those joyful days of steadily rising in the eyes of the world came to an end as soon as I got a car with an AC.

A few years back, when Blackberry handsets had started becoming popular and one could do emails “on the go”, it was fascinating to watch senior people carry them around and keep peering into them or typing on them, especially when they were inside the elevator, or in a restaurant, or generally in a crowded place. It imbued them with an air of importance. At least they must have felt important. Of course, I could not afford one. 

On one of these occasions my early days lesson came back to me and I heard the prophetic words again “After all, you know that you don’t have an AC, but the guy outside your car does not” which morphed to “After all, you know that you don’t have a Blackberry handset but the guy receiving your mail does not. And I sent the next email from my PC with “sent from my Blackberry handset” as the last line.

Thereafter, whenever I sent an email from my PC, I made it a point to type at the bottom “sent from my Blackberry handset”. So much so that it became a part of my email signature. Not sure if anyone ever noticed that I sent emails only from my Blackberry handset. Certainly my stock would have risen with all the people who received my emails in those days and they would have placed me in the same category as the important people who need to respond to important emails only from their handset even if it after three days of receipt, especially when they are inside the elevator, or in a restaurant, or generally in a crowded place.  After flirting with the Apple iphone message for a short period, these days I am increasingly getting into the habit of typing “sent from my Windows Phone”, the one that I don’t have.

I am constantly window-shopping for newer and more expensive technologies and lifestyle rages that I will never buy. 

This stuff is addictive. I am hooked onto it.

When I am unable to accept an invite for golf I always text saying “Sorry cannot make it.  My Honma set will need to lie in the closet for another week.” Of course, if I accept an invite I send no such message because of the Honma set that I don’t have.

I have now even started writing “written by my limited edition Mont Blanc Meisterstuck fountain pen with an 18K hand-ground gold nib with a platinum inlay” on office documents which one needs to write on. Even where just a physical signature is required as proof of authorisation, I add “signed with my limited edition Mont Blanc Meisterstuck fountain pen with an 18K hand-ground gold nib with a platinum inlay” after every signature or initial. I did the same when I signed on the form I had to fill for renewing my Passport. My application got rejected. Seems like the government folks don’t get it.

Not only that, during meetings in office, whenever I speak or need to concur / differ, I make it a point to remind others who the concurrence has been given by. So, if the meeting organiser were to ask at the end of the meeting “do you agree?”, if I agree I would nod my head and immediately hoist a poster (prepared in advance) above my head that reads “this agreement has been given through a shake of the head that solved innumerable Calculus problems at MIT”. If I disagree verbally I would say “I disagree” and follow it up with “this disagreement has been voiced by the vocal chords that spoke out aloud at Oxford”.   

And it helps one aspire. For example, I am already planning my next email message line which will say “sent from my diamond encrusted Vertu handset”.

I feel great about what the external world may be thinking about me….

The Versatile Blogger Award

Have hesitated on this for many weeks, but am ready to finally give it a go. I was in mortal fear of having to write about me and, fortunately, always had other important tasks cropping up just as I was about to.

Having finally, and only recently, realised that that was not a show-stopping requirement, next time, which is now, when I sat down to write this post, for some strange reason, no other important task cropped up.

So, over to the award.

Firstly, thank you to my fellow bloggers for nominating me to this award and opening up my Blog to their audiences. I hope some of my readers make the effort to visit these unique bloggers and their distinctive styles.

This includes :

Mr MuthafuckingMaryPoppins at who seeks to administer dosages of reality, in his own inimitable way, by softening it up, breaking into small pieces, and many other ingenuous devices.

sorryiamnotsorry at who enjoys taking a lighthearted look at love and life through her Blog.

HaLin at who explores linkages that make life interesting (and liveable) in a manner that makes the humorous, humorously serious and seriously humorous often undistinguishable.

Through the short period I have been blogging, I have had the opportunity of reading some unique and wonderful creations, on a varied set of subjects.These include seasoned bloggers blogging from before blogging was invented to others who started only yesterday.

I hope to spread the joy and pleasure that I get from reading their blogs by nominating a few of them for the Versatile Blogger Award.

These include (in no particular order) :

Carl D’Agostino at for prolific cartooning output on a wide variety of subjects; democrtisation of cartooning if ever there was one.

Hilarius Bogbinder at who has been writing about subjects I would call meaningful. Has been inactive of late. I hope he gets back to what his readers enjoy most; his writing.

Rob Rubin at which, with its bite and sarcasm, manages to even get through to ardent non-followers of American politics (I mean other than American politicians) like non-Americans.

Eric at who has been bringing snippets from the life of Mechanic Leigh from the Singapore of sixties onwards, including some poetry.

Barry Parham at for high quality humour. The subject can be anything he chooses to write on.

“A British expat living in the Algarve” at Very close in subject to my own with his version of happenings at The Firm. Has been a little quiet these last two months. I hope he gets going once again,

Grumpa Joe at A versatile blog on a variety of current events and Grumpa Joe’s family.

Avtarit at who, I believe, is a recent convert to blogging and writes on subjects similar to mine, i.e. the empty spaces in large corporates. Occasionally, he also writes on other subjects.

Five Reflections at for plain old-fashioned good writing and poetry.

Martha B Mills at who, once again, can write about a variety of subjects with equal aplomb. She was one of the first non-family/friend visitors on my Blog and also left a comment which indicated to me that I was getting through. I am indebted to her.

The rules of the award are what have been passed on :

Firstly, the nominated bloggers should make an attempt at carrying on the tradition and nominating bloggers of their liking, in turn.

Secondly, they should contact the nominated bloggers and let them know about the nomination.

Thirdly, they should display the “Versatile Blogger Award” on their Blog.

Though unrelated to the Award, I also want to make a general request to all readers to try and leave comments on the posts they read and which touch them in some way.

Leadership assessment questionnaire

This self-assessment questionnaire has been designed to help you assess your readiness to assume a leadership role in the company. A significant amount of research has gone into each of the questions detailed below. It is suggested that you consider the options carefully before you make a choice.

1. Are you willing to lie shamelessly to your colleagues and subordinates to save your skin in times of trouble for yourself or for the business ?

Always Mostly Occasionally Rarely Never
€          €          €          €          €         

2. How willing are you to keep changing your requirements without assigning any reason ?

Always Mostly Occasionally Rarely Never
€          €          €          €          €         

3. How would you rate yourself on your ability to give vague and misleading instructions

Very high High Moderate Low Very low
€          €          €          €          €         

4. When you see a colleague who has been considered, alongwith yourself, a contender for promotion to the next senior role, in trouble because he has failed to deliver on promised commitments and is under scrutiny from senior management, you will

Feed rumours about his bad habits openly Covertly spread rumours about him Mind your own business Mind your own business, but stop any unfair comments about him Jump to his assistance
€          €          €          €          €         

5. How long can you keep subordinates waiting for a meeting that you have called ?

>2 hours 1 – 2 hours 30 – 60 mins < 30 mins Not at all
€          €          €          €          €         

6. How often do you call a meeting of your subordinates that is urgent ?

Daily Once a week Once a month Once a year Never
€          €          €          €          €         

7. Would you have pangs of guilt if you had to sack an employee without assigning any reason whatsoever ?

What does guilt mean ? Rarely Occasionally Mostly Always
€          €          €          €          €         

8. How often will you ensure that employees work on their day off either because of your slip-up or without there being a need to do so ?

Every week Once a month Once in 6 months Once a year Never
€          €          €          €          €         

9. If you can break rules, without fear of being discovered, for a financial benefit to the company or to yourself, will you do it ?

Always Mostly Occasionally Rarely Never
€          €          €          €          €         

10. How often do you check your Blackberry for messages ?

< 1 min 1 – 2 mins 2 – 3 mins 3 – 5 mins 5 mins
€          €          €          €          €         

There is no answer-sheet for this questionnaire. None is required. As a future leader, you should by now be aware of the traits required for senior leadership. If, after answering this questionnaire you have assessed yourself to be ready, step forward and take a place at the leadership high-table. If your assessment was inaccurate, you will know when you are sacked unceremoniously.

These irksome Headhunter calls

Senior Manager A is in a meeting with his team-members on some contentious issues. The Senior Manager has asked all of them to clear out their diaries for another two hours to ensure they have enough time for this meeting.

During the meeting, Senior manager A’s phone buzzes. He looks at it but it is not a recognised number. He snatches at the phone and barks “Who is this ?”.

A soft voice wafts into the earpiece “Hello. Am I speaking to Senior Manager A ?”

Senior Manager A barks again “Yes it is. Who is this ? Please hurry up ?”

The voice says “I am Jack from the Overtly Crude and Intrusive Placement Consultancy. We are a head-hunting firm and we place people at senior levels, like yours. We are currently working on some interesting assignments which require skills like yours. Is this a good time to talk?”

Senior Manager A looks around furtively and barks again “Thank you for your call. I am not interested. Bye now.”

Turning back to the meeting participants he says “These Headhunters are a nuisance. They think that everyone is for sale. They can call up anyone at any time and people will talk to them just because they are offering a job.

All participants “You are right sir. They are a nuisance.”

Senior manager A : “Well, not me guys ! I told him off. I am not for sale.”

All participants “We heard you do that sir.” 

Five minutes later in the meeting the Senior Manager says : Guys, just remembered something important. Need to stop this meeting here. Let us work on the items agreed so far. I will reschedule asap for the rest. Sorry about this.

The Senior Manager waits for everyone to leave the room.

As soon as the last person leaves, he ensures that the door is shut and dials a number. When the call gets answered he says “Hi Jack, this is Senior Manager A. You called a few minutes back. Sorry I had to be abrupt as I was in a meeting. We can talk now.”

Illustrious career – promotion every year

CEO’s speech on the retirement of Harry

It seems like only yesterday that Harry became an Assistant Vice President (AVP). Before he became AVP, he had slogged for several years as a Senior Manager and impressed one and all with his commitment and capability which is how he was promoted to AVP.

After earning your way through to the position of an AVP, some people tend to slacken and take it easy, preferring to enjoy the fruits of the hard work in the years gone by. But not Harry. He  continued to work with the same commitment and zeal, resulting in a sterling career path which can be held up as an example to many.

From an Assistant Vice President he became an Associate VP (AVP) the very next year.

He continued to grow. Growth to the levels of Senior AVP (SAVP) and Corporate AVP (CAVP) happened in quick succession, in successive assessment cycles.

A year later, he was promoted yet again. This time to the role of a Global AVP.

Thereafter, thanks in part to his efforts during the buyout of a competitor, he was made an Executive AVP (EAVP), the only one so far to have got that position.

He has kept the company on its toes. He has kept performing and we have kept up by in creating new designations to reward him. His growth is an example of what is possible for the right person in this company. He has risen five times in the last five years. Can you hope to get this kind of growth with any other company ? The answer, clearly, is a resounding NO.

In the earlier, unenlightened days of the company, he would have gone from AVP to VP in a matter of three years, a single promotion in three years. In today’s enlightened company, after becoming AVP, he has already been promoted five times, and he could still have aspired for the VP position were he not retiring.

Today, as he retires, he has been instrumental in charting out an entirely new career path not only for himself, but also for many others who follow. I am pleased to announce that the designations introduced in the last five years (keeping time with Harry’s progress) for the growth of AVPs, will henceforth be applicable to all the levels below that.

Hence, a Senior Manager, who would have become an AVP in his next promotion, will now become a Senior Senior Manager (SSM). After becoming an SSM, his next promotion will be to the level of a Corporate Senior Manager (CSM). This will be followed by Executive Senior Manager and Global Senior Manager (GSM). As things stand, if you become a GSM, the next promotion may take you to the level of an AVP. Though there could well be more promotion opportunities introduced between GSM and AVP before anyone gets to the GSM level.

You will never get to say that promotions in our company do not happen fast and enough. I challenge you to compare with any company in the industry. I am sure the promotion opportunities available here cannot be matched by anyone in the industry.

I wish Harry happiness and success in his retired life.

The Very Important Person – how to find him in Office

It is normally difficult to tell the very important from the less important people in office, as the very important ones tend to go about their business in a no-fuss, even self-deprecating manner, letting their work “speak” for itself. Should one, however, need to find such a person at the workplace, even if it is for no reason other than the opportunity to observe and learn from him, a few pointers that may be of help in this pursuit are produced here.

You walk into his office just as he sinks the twelve foot putt into the waste paper basket lying on its side. You need to discuss the project that you are working on. He says “not now, I am busy”. You want to know when you could come back. He says “check with Jenny (his secretary)”.

He is a Manager and his team is working with the team of Manager B, a peer working in another department, on a Project. When he needs to communicate a project related message pertaining to the successful completion of a deliverable by his team to Manager B, he will call up Senior Manager B, Manager B’s Boss, and communicate the message with a request for the same to be passed on to Manager B.

If Manager B calls to give him (Manager A) a similar communication, he will ask him to call up Supervisor A, one of his team-members, and communicate the message.

He can be seen talking loudly into the mobile phone when he is outside his office, especially when he is on the move outside his office. On occasion he will be found to be cradling the mobile phone between his head (craned awkwardly to one side) and shoulder and writing something on a piece of paper likely to be a tissue.

In many cases he can be seen talking to himself. Loudly. He is actually talking on an earpiece connected to the mobile.

He is an effective communicator. In face to face discussions he makes productive use of his hands, flailing them wildly while talking. He also ensures people who don’t need to be part of the conversation hear him talk. His speech is slow, deliberate. If he has to communicate “Eastern is a very big company” he will say “Eastern is a company. Eastern is a big company. Eastern really is a big company. Eastern is a really big company. Eastern is a very big company.” And there will be a pause after each sentence so that the message has sunk in.

His conversation with the Security Guard will be peppered with words like “contract”, “transaction”, “price”, “revenue”, “deal”, “turnaround time”,” target”, “competition”, “market”, etc. interspersed with four-letter words.

He can often be seen holding four simultaneous conversations on four different topics with four different people.