I was chatting with my friend this morning. We were moaning about depressed sales yet chuckling over her company's incredulous demands, urging her to sell more machines. FYI, these are wafer fabrication machines averaging US$10 million a piece. She says it is easier to make her walk on burning coals than close any sales. "Try harder. Go visit your customers." her boss pressed on.
In times like this when her semi-conductor customers are reducing production capacity, retrenching people and worrying about their finances, they can only tell her to "Come and stir coffee with us."
I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I tell her it is probably more exciting swatting flies than coming to work lately. In good times, opportunities abound. There were many streams of income. During the frenzied days of trading, I couldn't wait to tally up my sales for the month to gauge our performance. I even told myself I could take a break when we hit our annual sales target. In reality, now that we have all the time in the world, what we really want to do is work.
Yesterday, I learned a new Chinese phrase 苦中作樂 'ku zhong zuo le' which means making merry in bitterness. I have heard of people being laid off or waiting to be made redundant but we can't be wallowing in self pity all day long. Might as well make merry within our means.
The government is urging companies to send the employees for training during the lull. Better to stay busy and feel accomplished. I'm planning to knead dough tonight and fill the freezer with lots of pizza. Better make sure the kids don't go hungry while I make merry.