Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Is the Emperor Naked?

  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    561
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 49 Times in 32 Posts

    Is the Emperor Naked?

    The tale once told by Hans Christian Anderson goes as follows:

    Once a very vain Emperor who placed much emphasis on the exterior trappings of success was approached by a few swindling weavers. Their aim? Much wealth.

    To achieve this, they had to convince him that their product is so special, that only the elite few would ever be able to see it for what it was… unique, a cut above the rest and obviously immensely desirable. They meant it literally. Only the elite, the informed, the royalty as such, would be deserving of laying their eyes upon the beautiful cloth that these gentlemen could weave and therefore to the rest of society the cloth would remain invisible.

    Not much has changed…

    Along come the trendsetters, the go getters, the awesome phrase makers and within a day or two they have wooed the world. With their clever talk of moola and muchness of gadgets and gizmo’s they call them “must haves and desirables” and just like the swindling weavers they start to build their product.

    This product is often without substance or truth and in the case of the weavers, without even the basic raw ingredients.

    So the colours having been decided by the aforementioned smooth talkers, green (for the envious potential client), red (for the client’s bank balance once product has been purchased) and white (for colour of client’s face when he realizes he is broke) and don’t forget black, the colour of the smooth talkers bank balance and preferred colour of his Mazerati, the next step in this great swindle of all times is to validate the truth of all the nothingness being sold.

    Enter the consultants…

    The consultants scoring high on theory and knowledge are keen to demonstrate to their clients, (the swindling weaving smooth talkers) just how impressively high THEIR knowledge levels and subsequent invoices can be. Therefore they investigate the theory and the market or voters impact of the move or business decision and within moments they too, just like the Emperor’s advisors are caught up in the suggestion that only the very best will be able to ascertain the value, beauty, worth or appeal of the product and as for those poor souls who cannot SEE it, well, luckily it is 2010 otherwise the dungeons would suffice!

    So the consultants concur. The product is awesome! The colours are appealing, they too have now joined the elite few who can recognize the flamboyant and artistically unique qualities of the product on offer and therefore they too, must surely be awesome and will soon have black as the predominant colour in their lives.

    In fact the consultants even suggest the pattern for the colours. The weave they say is perfect in colouring, but if they were to earn their keep they would suggest a slight alteration in the pattern…and there ladies and gentleman you now have an invisible cloth with four colours and a pattern to die for, ready for the advertising agencies.

    The launch is imminent. So, whisper the crowds, the underlings and the followers. It’s coming. The advertising agency naturally trained to do just about anything with even the most boring of product, have surpassed themselves. They have created an ad campaign taking the very weakness of the product (the fact that it has no substance) and have turned that into a strength by suggesting that it be sold not only as cloth but also as completed garments, light as silk and impossible to feel once on your body. You can even win a “free fitting and alteration” if you buy within 7 days.

    So a number of Emperors from the most wealthy of Empires all come together around and they buy. They buy lock stock and barrel, rolls of cloth, as after all the more they can stockpile, the more they can drive up demand and later they can sell at tremendous profits.

    Then finally the day arrives. The day that the Emperors parade their newly acquired garments and the day the public finally come to meet the product…and here dear reader is where we can certainly by now should have learnt a lesson or two, but alas, it is not to be.

    As the Emperor in Hans Christian Anderson’s version marched through the street cloaked in “nothingness” a young child calls out “but he is naked” and so the naked truth emerged. The underlings and followers saw it all for what is was, pure nonsense. The Emperor and those around him continued their silly charade though as not one of them wanted to admit that they couldn’t see the garment, after all, they were superior beings.

    And in my version in 2010, the ending is EXACTLY the same. The underlings, the followers, the people like you and I, we see the economy and the world leaders and we see the lack of substance, we laugh about it and we point fingers, yet the Emperors continue their silly charade, as not one of them want to admit that they, their products, their leadership and their little playgrounds lacks the essential ingredient of substance.

    What happened to the good old days? Have there ever been any, or is it time that the human race takes a good and honest look at itself?

    Honesty, humility and wisdom together with lack of greed and ego gets my vote anytime. Well, at least I can try to exercise that in my little sphere of influence and encourage you to stand by your truth, no matter how tough it sometimes is. Who knows, maybe one day one of you may become the Emperor and remember this story…I truly hope so!


    © Debbie Engelbrecht 1 February 2010
    Debbie is the owner of Staff Training a soft skills training company. Her goal in life is to inspire her fellow humans to stay true to themselves
    Regards

    Debbie
    debbie@stafftraining.co.za

    From reception to management training, assertiveness, accountability or interviewing skills, we have a wide range of training workshops available for you!
    www.stafftraining.co.za

    Find us on
    Facebook

  2. Thank given for this post:

    Butch Hannan (08-May-10), Dave A (22-Feb-10)

  3. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,977
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,462 Times in 2,067 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    The ultimate emperors simply must be our BEE tenderpreneurs - the ones getting tenders at 30% and more above the next highest price by having a business in name only

    The consultants wove their magic by claiming that it would prejudice the state if the actual price of the bids tendered was released - the theory being that when no-one knows what the winning bid was last time and they didn't get the tender, they'll price cheaper next time. Conveniently this also clears the road to giving the tender to a higher priced bidder without risking a protest from someone who genuinely could (and perhaps still will) do the actual job required at their more competitive price.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  4. Thanks given for this post:

    Butch Hannan (08-May-10)

  5. #3
    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durban
    Posts
    1,328
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 561 Times in 410 Posts
    Blog Entries
    7
    Would that be a reference to Dear Julius?
    Yet another indication of how senior leaders blatantly lie and do not practice what they preach. The Sunday Times carried an excellent article with Malema quotes which are in direct contrast to his actions.
    When will the leaders realize that respect is earned by actions not becuase of titles or position. It works like that in business as well. Other than the blatant lying, saying one thing and doing another, the constant covering up his laughable. This morning Mr. Zuma says leave Malema alone. However, surely, the investigation in an open light should be encouraged. If he has done no wrong, what is their to worry about? Malema's, like other before, position of hiding and not commenting, is to most people an indication of guilt. These people might say it has nothing to do with anyone, but the truth is it has everything to do with us, as it is OUR money being used to fund these tenders, and hence we have a right and a legal entitlement to know if it the work has been required and tender granted fairly.
    Leaders should welcome investigations and co-operate, this immediately sends a signal that all is well, although of course transparency from teh beginning is preferable.
    The TRC was an emotionally draining event for many people. But it was neccessary to bring everything into the open so that healing could take place. By the same token certain things have to be done in the open, and thus trust and respect can be gained.
    I dont care how much Mr. Zuma talks about morals and corruption, if you do not insist on all being revealed such as in Malema case, and you want to protect the individual, then you are sending a message that is teh opposite of rooting out corruption. Let the leaders know, that if there is even a hint of wrong doing, we will conduct an investigation, no matter what your position, political standing or connections. If you have done nothing wrong, then you have no worries. Furthermore an open investigation with co-operation will create far less ripples in the sea, tahn the I deny route.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

  6. #4
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,977
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,462 Times in 2,067 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by sterne.law@gmail.com View Post
    However, surely, the investigation in an open light should be encouraged. If he has done no wrong, what is their to worry about?
    Precisely why there aren't open investigations. Even if there was a matter which was above board, you'd be setting a precedent as to how it should be done all the time - and the connecteds know that there is plenty that won't bear public scrutiny.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  7. #5
    Bronze Member Butch Hannan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Middelburg Mpumalanga
    Posts
    184
    Thanks
    45
    Thanked 21 Times in 19 Posts
    I had the dubious pleasure of attending site meetings for some some government educational institutions. I was one whitey amongst about fifty of my fellow South Africans who attended this meeting. They use a very flawed system when adjudicating tenders. I was told that a budget price was established for the tender. Any tenders that deviated more than 5% from this figure were not considered. I had the cheek to question this by asking who established this budget figure. I was told that it was the procurement department. When I questioned their competency to establish a value for engineering products I unleashed a torrent of verbal support for the procurement department from the other people present. My engineering products for which I quoted R1.2M were purchased from an individual with a cell phone and briefcase for about R3.2M. This person in turn purchased them from us. At this meeting I felt rather threatened.

  8. #6
    Bronze Member Butch Hannan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Middelburg Mpumalanga
    Posts
    184
    Thanks
    45
    Thanked 21 Times in 19 Posts
    I have really enjoyed this one and I must thank you Debbie. Who said fairy stories are not true.

  9. #7
    Moderator IanF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Jhb
    Posts
    2,615
    Thanks
    191
    Thanked 520 Times in 398 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Butch Hannan View Post
    My engineering products for which I quoted R1.2M were purchased from an individual with a cell phone and briefcase for about R3.2M. This person in turn purchased them from us. At this meeting I felt rather threatened.
    Butch
    Why don't you send this to mail and guardian or investigative journalists.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

  10. #8
    Bronze Member Butch Hannan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Middelburg Mpumalanga
    Posts
    184
    Thanks
    45
    Thanked 21 Times in 19 Posts
    Ian, I will consider doing it but I have to think about the safety of my family. I was involved for many years in Prison Ministry and I saw what happened to "whistle blowers". It was not pleasant. The status that you hold in life determines the price that someone would pay a hit man to take you out. I doubt whether I would warrant more than a R1000.00.
    I asked some very specific questions which I am sure that they would be able to trace back to me and they know exactly where I live.

  11. #9
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,977
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,462 Times in 2,067 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Enough to make you ill, Butch. I hope you raised your price - I'm sure they budget 50% for getting the job done.

    It begs the question though - what is the difference between collusion on the bread price and what is happening at the tender boards at the moment?

    When the bread cartel was exposed, the chorus calling this shameful exploitation came from far and wide. How many of those same voices are involved with the pillaging of tenders?

    This is money that could be spent in state programs helping improve the living conditions of the "poorest of the poor". Instead government departments are struggling to deliver within budget and it's the connected few that get the benefits - no doubt spending the money on fancy cars, flash houses, overseas holidays and the like.

    Where is the value-add?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

Tags for this Thread

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •