Movies: Overworked for nothing

Sunday 6 April 2014, 6.00am HKT

Originally 05 APR 2014, 11.56am local time, 24°C (75°F), sunny

HERE are two more movies that I’ve watched during this week.

No, I’m not making a regular habit of this. And this isn’t a movie review of two movies (one classic and the other a modern one) with my “conceptually unique” take on them.

To Have and Have Not (1944) via wikipedia

To Have and Have Not (1944)

Warner Bros., black & white, 1 hour 40 mins

The plot seems to me:

A street-smart skipper-for-hire who’s old enough to know better on the inconsequential island of Martinique becomes romantically involved with a beautiful drifter. The drifter cleverly manoeuvres him into helping the pointlessly patriotic French Resistance by smuggling clumsy Resistance operatives with overly nice etiquette into Martinique after the fall of France in 1940. The lazy, overweight Vichy French turncoats who administrate the island are nastier than the Nazis, who are nowhere to be seen.

The whole point of the movie:

All things good and bad happen all the bloody hell at once at the least opportune moment. Those you depend on have the nasty tendency of being clumsy, ugly or stupid (or all three). If you’re about to do something mildly complicated or dangerous (preferably not both), do one thing at a time — not all of them at the same time. Have an escape plan if and when things go horribly wrong. When in doubt, know your way out. Beauty may be before the swine, but the swine makes for better chow.


Other than the title, the movie has little if any resemblance to the Hemingway novel.

My private name for it: Stop Screwing Around With So Many Things”

(Image above via Wikipedia)

The Devil Wears Prada (2006) via Wikipedia

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

20th Century Fox, colour, 1 hour 39 mins

The plot seems to me:

Superstar magazine editor creates strife-ridden work environment with her rude, supercilious, demand-all-that’s-demandable attitude. One particular underling who’s not in the traditional mould of the magazine’s dog-eat-dog culture comes out unscathed, didn’t sell out, and all the more wiser (even after going on a company junket to Paris Fashion Week). Meanwhile, the underling’s boyfriend is pissed off — and who the hell wouldn’t? The girl gets to wear all the brand names FREE at work, and she didn’t even bring home a nice belt for him. Bitch.

The whole point of the movie:

Srsly, DRESS FOR THE JOB YOU WANT, not the job you have. Your highflying paper credentials generally means dick if you can’t even dress ‘proper.’ (I’ve been telling people this for years.) Do what your job actually requires, not what the job specs say. Think conceptually about work, not regard it as a set of procedures to obey or live through. There is no such thing as ‘job duties,’ only duty to the job. Job security is fiction anyway, therefore offer job loyalty. Life is too short to work in anything that you don’t like or cannot do for more than a few months. Backstabbing IS the farkin’ workplace, so wise up, bitch. You don’t have to be slim or a Size 0–2; you just need to be fit and tummyless. If you’re going to sell out, sell out in some semblance of style, please. As your professional life improves, your private life deteriorates. “Let me know when your life goes up in smoke,” you three-fifths of a human being.

Teachable lesson:

It’s like a septic tank — the big and worst bit always float to the top. And if you don’t sell out after going to Paris on ANY KIND OF company business, you’re in the wrong business or living on the wrong planet.


Not one of my favourite films. It would be a far more interesting (and less stuck-up) movie if the studios made one about my former boss, Jacqueline Bouvier (a.k.a. Jackie Kennedy Onassis), who was once an editor. (Bet you lot didn’t know that…)

My private name for it: “I Exchanged My Life for Shoes, Belts, Etc”

(Image above via Wikipedia)



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2014. (B14102)

Burn your bridges before arriving there

Monday 27 January 2014, 12.51pm HKT

11.30am local time, 20°C (68°F), warm and humid

THERE are many things I’m not terribly fond of about my hometown, but most of the time I keep my own opinions to myself because it’s not the done thing to bitch about them in the open.

But sometimes I’m faced with such insultingly insane work specifications (and/or insanely insulting attitude of the customer himself) that I’d rather burn my bridges on the spot even before I get to my bridges.

Such as yesterday morning’s drama with a prospective customer. In the end, it came to this:—

the bitch slap

Me: “What exactly am I being called to do here? It’s not cool in the eyes of others to work like that. You’re looking for some general dogsbody to carry your workload, and I’m not it. That hopefully will short-circuit the inevitable ‘like-it-or-lump-it’ discussion.

B(w)anker (pausing): “Then we can’t use you.”

Me: “Thank you. I’m glad that you can see it from my position.”

(image via c4c)

Sometimes you’ve got to fight fire with fire.

Fire works well enough for the normal run of assholes. Against industrial-strength assholes, napalm is the only answer. Ergo, my ‘short-circuit’ phraseology.

Somebody friendly took me aside and asked that I try to change this personage’s mind somehow.

Goddamit, I don’t want to change his mind! I can’t use or work with a man who NEEDS convincing or persuading — he might just change his mind once too often.

I don’t want to change MY mind either — not after the crap and the airs that he’s been giving everyone once too often.

assholes bitch

(via c4c)

Uh-oh, here’s comes the digression, like in every one of his post

One of the top things I hate and detest about Hong Kong has always been the way it gets things done.

Don’t get me wrong — The Hong Kong Way gets results, no question about that. It’s just that I don’t like how it gets results. It’s uncool and, not to put too fine a point on things, insulting more than a little once in a while for those at the receiving end.

Now if a place could be sung as a song — for instance, a pop song that could represent the national identity, the cultural psyche — then it’s something that reflects the people and society of that place.

Many songs do exactly that.

There being nothing else to say, that should lead in nicely to my next post, which is about the signature tunes of this ex-British/now-Chinese ring-a-ding-ling colony of Hong Kong.

Be here or be queer for that story.

are the assholes still in charge

(via c4c)



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2014. (B14037)

Only if it’s not a sinking ship…

Tuesday 27 August 2013, 12.26am HKT

rats deserting sinking ship

(image via AllVoices)

I actually have a checklist for behaving like an ungrateful rat deserting a sinking ship in broad daylight.

(This should be relevant if you’ve read yesterday’s post: “Too comfy in your job lately?”)



When your company is in a scandal (regardless of seriousness).
Quit early before the news hits the decks

… and drag your name down along with it.

The official requirement of a scandal is a SCAPEGOAT. Let that not be you, even remotely. If YOU yourself is involved in a scandal, then leave even quicker. Be nice, don’t sacrifice others when you depart — leave something for the company for scapegoating.


The moment your employers look like they’re going to belly up.
Kind of obvious, no?

Trust me, you don’t want to delay this. The law firm of Sue, Runn and Grabbit recommends you run while there’s still cash in the till…


If you’re not ‘being challenged’ enough in your present position.
That’s assuming you’re not ‘challenged’ yourself. If you are, then you might rethink this.


If or when you’re learning nothing new, or
if there’s nothing new to learn.
Your job is likely to be replaceable by a robot anyway in a few years’ time.

Not suggesting that your place of employment should be treated like a school or a place for learning things, but if nothing new’s happening, then your job could easily be automated anyway. Witness the automated ‘customer checkout’ tills (cashier points) in American supermarkets in recent times.


If upper management is into the Mushroom Theory of Management.
“They keep you in the dark, feed you shit, and then pick on you.”


If and when the supervisor or manager starts
keeping you out of the loop.
It’s also a sign that they’re planning to get a scapegoat (you)
for something.
Why else would they do it, if not that?


If the work actually makes you ill.

It’s not that your well-being is important (it is). It’s more because that which can make you ill typically isn’t covered by your company’s health-and-safety insurance or your own medical insurance. Witness the workers in fossil-fuel power stations vs. nuclear power plants: the ‘fossils’ typically get nothing.


When you’re no longer passionate about the work you do.
That assumes you’re not a swellhead to begin with.
If you are, you need to unstick your head out of your bum
take some kind of antidote to your own self-importance.

If your CV says you’re ‘passionate’ about something that you were hired on, then you’d better ditch the place when you’re sick and tired of the fuggin’ work and the fuggin’ people. You shouldn’t let the company use this ‘passion’ excuse on you first.


When there’s no room for advancement, if there’s no pay raise.
What’s the point, right?


If the company is changing the original goals
that you were hired to help achieve.
(Or ‘has changed,’ as the case may be.)

If not the goals, then the job specifications that you were originally hired to do.

Broadly speaking for any job, the work responsibilities and the job title rise up but the pay sinks down. That’s just not acceptable in the least. Seriously, if you’ve joined a company that does this to you, then it’s probably trying to shaft you with something un-get-outtable (like making YOU out as defrauding THEIR customers). Get my point, old son?

“Alpha Mike Foxtrot” *

Because you got a better job elsewhere.

* AMF = “Adios, motherf@cker(s)!”

Preferably AFTER the new employer has hired you for your passion, integrity, etc, in your chosen field, on the job specs stated, for the remuneration package promised.

And then the bloody cycle begins again!



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. (B13278)

English Legal History

Making English Legal History easy and enjoyable to digest.

Diary of a Psychokiller

take a trip with me to the darkside

Lipsync Lawyer

Stop bitching and know your law differently

Daring Fireball

Hearing ordinary lives talk

An English Man In SF

a diary of life as an immigrant

MB Forde

Ghosts, Legends, Folklore and Writing

Motorcycling in Hong Kong

On two wheels in Asia's World City


Making her way back to Neverland one day at a time...

The Naked Listener's Weblog

Hearing ordinary lives talk

Basti in China


Making Maps: DIY Cartography

Resources and Ideas for Making Maps

Pointless Diagrams

A new, meaningless diagram drawn daily, just 'cause.

The London Column

Reports from the life of a city, from 1951 to now, compiled by David Secombe

Vintagerock's Weblog.

Just another weblog

Shirley Chuk

Chuk Yin-yuk 祝燕玉 of Hong Kong

%d bloggers like this: