CC Jen Wang
I was flying from Dallas to NYC a few months ago, and in attempt to travel lightly (a concept entirely alien to me), all I had were my laptop and coat, both stored in the above compartment. Little did I know this would be the first time I would want to be entertained instead of conking out before take-off, like I usually do.
As the flight attendant started motioning her diligent fingers down and across the aisle, movements both polite and life saving, my eyes started roaming towards the pocket in front of me. In attempt to be a good passenger, I feigned interest in the Safety Manual. But I just couldn’t get past the part where they tell you to put the oxygen mask on before helping others.
The only other thing in the pocket was the Skymall Catalog. Lesser of two evils, I thought, as I sighed and lazily pulled the magazine out. Who knew, that just 30 minutes later, I would find 12 products that would alter my life forever.
1) The Telekinetic Obstacle Course $99.95
Feel like testing the strength of your brain waves? The Telekinetic Obstacle Course makes your scientific wet dreams come true, with its eight obstacles of hoops, teeter-totters, baskets and chutes. Perfect gadget to get if you happen to run out of things to do. Or say. Or make fun of.
In my line of cross-border work, I meet a lot of frustrated Western managers. Many have stepped straight off the luxury-boat from countries where land is made of gold, and citizens are actually armies of critical thinkers, attacking problems with endless amounts of strategic common sense. In those lands, time is money, business is business, and contracted employees are expected to have experience and street smarts. At the same time, those expectations have created a fleet of senior managers who take for granted what it actually means to manage (i.e. being involved beyond mere delegation). Sail that fleet to China - where bosses find themselves surrounded in a sea of tiny, polite, circuitous citizens -and there will assuredly be (and already is) a sub-culture of supervisors who have replaced communication in the work place with indignant grumbles and long-distance therapy sessions.
The Problem: Stunted Results
The sales managers, of the catering department of an international five-star hotel chain in a second tiered city, were flat-lining in performance. Despite their failure to deliver, they left their boss, Steve*, the Marketing Director–a charismatic fellow from Australia–in the dark. Luckily and unluckily, cash-flow exposed the situation. Having no luck in clarifying things with his staff, Steve called us.