Monday, August 13, 2007

Send Your Boss to China!

Today I was reading through and came across an article on the Mattel Toy Recall. In short, a Chinese toy manufacturer was at the heart of this recall as they produced Fisher Price Sesame Street toys that were decorated with paint that contained massive amounts of lead. This recall was huge, involving over 967,000 toys sold in the United States. The Chinese businessman that owned the company that manufactured the tainted toys was found dead after he apparently hung himself in his office over the weekend.

You may also recall a few months ago, the huge pet food recalls which also originated in Chinese plants. In case you didn't know, the Chinese government executed their Head of Food Safety after he was found guilty of accepting bribes from firms to register their products without making them undergo the necessary safety checks. In the U.S. we use the term "getting the ax" when someone is fired, but this guy is really headed to the chopping block for his actions. A spokeswoman for the Chinese Government issued this statement relating to the problems:

As a developing country, China's food and drug supervision work began late and its foundations are weak," spokeswoman Yan Jiangying said.

"Therefore, the food and drug safety situation is not something we can be optimistic about."

She said Zheng Xiaoyu's case had "brought shame" on the department, adding that anyone who abused their power would be punished.

Hey, how about that, they not only admitted the issues, but they also laid out the expectations for the future. Novel idea!

I guess you are wondering why I'm writing about two Chinese businessmen that met unfortunate ends. Well, it amazed me that the Chinese culture just doesn't except failure or incompetence. The businessman involved in the toy recall knew he was finished for sending out toxic toys, so rather than deal with the shame and humiliation, he killed himself. When the Head of Food Safety tried to lower the standards and skip the safety checks, the Chinese government didn't just fire the guy, they killed him. Yikes.....pretty harsh society.

Now I'm not saying the United States should adopt such a culture because even though I know the big shots above me are idiots, I certainly wouldn't want to see all of them put to death for their incompetence. Hell, my boss alone would have been executed over 20 times this year for all of his screw-ups. We don't have the execution squad at my work, but we also don't have people willing to admit mistakes and flaws. It is this failure to realize failure that we continue to flounder. At my company, people don't learn from their mistakes and our big shots would rather cover things up to save their own ass.
The crazy thing is that everyone in the U.S. knows there are way to many incompetent people running companies, yet nothing changes. My blog is an example and the many of you that comment or email me deal with incompetent bosses or co-workers and just can't take it anymore. Then you have movies like Office Space and comic strips like Dilbert that everyone laughs at and agrees with, but again nothing changes.
Maybe we should start importing Chinese business people instead of their products. Maybe if my boss was Chinese I wouldn't be a Turtle at Work because he or she would actually be competent and disciplined. Or maybe we should start sending our incompetent executives to China. In a matter of days, they would all be sentenced to death for their idiotic decisions and behavior. What a perfect world that would be!


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