Hong Kong or Hker impression

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It has been an awful long time since I last came here and today, I returned, for good.  I am not sure if anybody would miss my writings.  Following will be some clues available for you to keep track of my whereabouts of the past months.  

1, stressful life

I have been having a difficult time in finding myself back in this fast-growing but agitating mega city of Guangzhou, not to mention keeping myself updated with the constant-evolving knowledge and striving to live up to the expectations the company placed on me.  Going to the office with loaded of work to be completed, getting various assignments done as if in a rush and coming back to the dorm in late evening sort of stressed me out. It seems you could never have the job completed even if you are given 48 hours a day working nonstop.  Working twenty seven is like burning the candle at both ends and I am sort of done.  Now, the specter is hovering over my mind that my health would fail me one day if the condition continues.  It definitely will if I keep being oblivious to this question and addict myself to overtime work oftentimes.  Be alert if you are in a position like mine and start to take some time ponder it over, slow down a bit and stop consuming your life.  And now you have my word that I will not have time for enjoying sun beams till the sunset of my life. 

Tomorrow I would like to say hello to the rising sun, to the morning dues and to myself.

2, principles

More often than not, working overtime in my spare time is nothing to fuss over.  You know why?  When the company purports to practice the “people first” corporate culture, basically working overtime is something not in their consideration unless under the circumstance of a project of paramount importance.  They say never would they go against their purported principle unless they feel compelled to, but on the basis of not breaching the labor law and protecting employees’ rights.  I was thrilled at the first conference where we were taught this.  This is, per se, a good thinking and commendable business philosophy. And how effective will it turn out does have a lot to do with the way we practice it.                                                                                                                                                         

I was worked on to believe this, and I tended to be in the first place, because it is entirely tempting and sort of sweet.  As days go by, I know it is, as always, easier said than done. Some good ungrounded wises have to be turned into pie in the sky.  Trust me that I am not complaining or whining.  This is only a statement that I am trying to deliver some facts.  When the company presents itself as principle abiding, or say, it tries hard to be. It is never easy to be so ideal though.

 In the beginning of one grueling project- profit share that will take at least 3 months to complete, we were given an unbelievable tight schedule.  Added the Chinese New Year holiday of a week, the whole plan should have been rescheduled but it wasn’t.  There was only a week to go before we were finally supposed to submit the primary data for the first stage of the project.  We proposed the overtime work idea during weekends that was, in no time, turned down.  The managers from HK strongly felt there is no excuse to occupy our holidays.  In another case, we were also turned back on to take the assignments home to finish due to the concern that the company’s information is highly confidential and any ways possible to divulge it were to be avoided.  Their sensitivity of keeping information confidential to their best should be highly appreciated and commended.  Yet truth was that no way were we getting closer to complete the project if we took no action against their disapproval.  Eventually, we had to secretly take the work home in order to complete it on time.  I was sort of discouraged at working home at weekend.  According to statements in the New Chinese Labor Law, OT payment should be compensated twice as much.  Working home granted me no pay.  And I didn’t buy the company’s self-purported mission of no overtime work unless necessary.

It was against my own will, but would it come as shock if I told you working overtime during weekends was no yesterdays’ news? 

3, truth behind

I remember it’s said that never hire somebody who talks ill of his previous company.  Sure that we will not do so in the process of hunting a new job.  Companies want good rating from its employees and well said that employee complaints would lead to the damage of image of the company in public.  This is very good and natural thinking.  But does the company do enough to earn this?  By far, colleagues, both at and off office, are complaining.  And the worst whining is straightly pinned upon the relationship between the local office and HK headquarter.  Being in this company exposes me into the real world of cut-throat competition and double standard for performance evaluation. HK headquarter boasts its professional work style and lays out overly strict rules on colleagues in non Hong Kong offices.  In school days, we were taught this in class, but I told myself I was not to believe in such preconceived ideas for the sake of fairness when we were actually not in that circle.  But now, I am convinced of it.

I am not downplaying HK’s achievement, nor demonizing Hongkongners. I would not undermind its value.  This is a real issue worth the whole world’s attention.  And now can I have your attention for this?  From what I have experienced, Hong Kong people with relatively inferior positions and lower job grades had the tendency to be fussy and their strong penchant for shenanigans were way too transparent and sick.  It will not take you long to discover their strong interest in picking out minor mistakes others committed, but losing sight of their firing mistakes.  I cannot figure out why they are keen on doing such things not directly related to job completion.  Why would you spare no effort to take others down in every way possible only to have an advantage over others in promotion and salary review?  Why not investing more in acquiring more knowledge and doing more practice to make you stronger?  What exactly is going through their mind?  And with deeper collaboration and communication, we are on the verge of thorough disappointment to witness HK colleagues turn out to be less skillful than us in most ways.  Their sky-high standards do push us to be more caution and careful at everything we are on.  In this background, we are driven with better output and we are ready to take it to the next and higher level.  This makes sense and we, too, feel highly graceful.

.  Then it would serves you the most ridiculous laughing stock that HK colleagues are actually the lower achievers in terms of reaching goals at work, largely dragged down by their easy standard on themselves.  Usually when you slack off, you lose track of your performance history and success will pass by.  It makes them more like a jackass to make a fuss over the comma thing in numbers, kind of big issue though, while trying hard to cover their asses and hush up the public in dealing with huge mistakes they made, such as miscalculation of monthly salary for HK employees.  Sometimes they just sit back and enjoy letting you fall by not giving you the updated information on your tasks.  This is the most annoying when only by relying on the information they pass to us can we get our job well done.   Is it fun to play dirty or are you trying to tell us this is the way the ball bounces?

Being managers in the headquarter entails a lot of responsibility, and this should remind you to set a good role model for other offices.  But the ways you handle inter and intra communications disappoint me to no end.  Be fair and square and no double standards please.  Base your judgments and decision on the whole facts but not what nationality they hold. 

4, HK in hot water?

   Hong Kong is being swept through by what is called the worst economic downturn in a century, so is mainland China with no exception.  In this economic slump, bleak employment prosperity arises as one of the top concern, when production suspension and factory closure are being more widespread.  Governments on both sides are doing whatever they could to slash job cuts, avoid laid-offs and keep the workforce market stable.  As far as my job is concerned, I can see HK is as hard hit as most with rising job contraction and increasingly more workforce made redundant or terminated.  Out of the concern for cost cuts, more and more local workers, as well, are getting relocated to hub offices in areas where capitals, land resources and workforce are less inexpensive.  Trust me few people would be doing this of their own free will.  However reluctant, they have to abide by for survival’s sake.  To go or not to go-this is a question.

You know why Hong Kong fall so much today while Mainland cities are booming in spite of the global economic tsunami, incessant unrest and protean unpredictability?  Hong Kong succeeded in the time when it was ambitious, advantageous and down to the earth.  But the island mentality of overbearing attitude and shortsighted judgments has gained strong foothold and is apparently all the vogue today.  This is the way I feel after almost a year’s communication with Hong Kong colleagues.  Some are really good that I cannot point my figures at.  But more are arrogant and present themselves as riding the high horses.  We say there are at least 2 manifest root causes behind such acts.  One lies in the prosperity of HK, both economically and culturally, late last century by a strong comparison to mainland’s economic Archie’s heel.  Another is that differences in culture spell backward, which I don’t really think could be their trump card to act at discretion.  Do I seem to criticizing HK too badly?  Maybe.  I just built up a lot of discontent with the irresponsible and self-important way of speaking and behaving of our HK distinguished colleagues.

  The superiority complex eventually is putting HK in an adverse position.  Be a real man and confront the reality is the first and foremost thing to do.  Eventually, it is your attitude, not anybody else, has eliminated you from this competition.  Currently Hong Kong is at a bit of a crossroad.  Media, Press and Experts in Hong Kong tend to lure the mass to be of the theory that Hong Kong is being marginalized by mainland China if it doesn’t step up efforts to mingle into this big family and make itself a factor for plans by the Central Government.  This marginalization theory might be over-exaggerated.  Their initial concern is good, but incomplete as always. Did Hong Kong people realize what they should improve to keep the promise and dream of Hong Kong alive for the years to come?  Guess most of them never do.  Drop that cocky attitude and get down to earth.  It is your easy and perky attitude that fails you.

Training is something needed for better job efficiency. From time to time, we received training by Hong Kong managers like system user training and related ordinance updating.  Due to consideration that Hong Kong headquarter colleagues prove to be inferior achievers and mistake committers more often, we feel the imperative need to go to Hong Kong and give them sufficient training lessons as what professional work style is and how to be better players.  We will be more than glad to do so.  And apparently Hong Kong colleagues know how it feels to have a tiger by the tail.  Nobody could be so insensitive to their own huge mistakes and marvelous performance of others they looked down upon.  For sure we are not in a position to do so out of our inferior positions, but we would like you to know a humble attitude, more input and effort at work and communication with sincerity and harmony is what you are in dire need of. 

I do not wish HK goes down. No way!  I would like to wish it sustainable and perpetual prosperity.  But I do believe there are a lot of problems to be sorted out and when and only when they come to realize this with pragmatic input in the wake could their wish come true.

For sure, the same is true for Mainland China. 


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