Bringing out the best and worst out of those around you

January 29, 2014

Early this morning, the millers paid me a courtesy call. They came directly to the point and the leader asked me, ‘why are you transporting your fruit to be milled elsewhere…..are you trying to destroy our rice bowl?’ I told them all, I cannot be held responsible for my actions and it is they who are responsible for this impasse.

After all they are the ones who keep trying to box me up so that I can’t enlarge my estate by buying up more land in the district. They are also the ones who keep on trying to damage me financially by trying to cheat me so that I end up in terminal debt. They are also the ones who keep giving me a lousy price every year so who is really to blame for this?

One of them told me he would use all his influence to stop me. The rest nodded in agreement – I told him, he could certainly try. He went to recount to the others in a sarcastic tone, my actions reminded him of a monkey he and his wife had once come across during a holiday in Bali – the monkey would hold on the skirt of his wife and only let go when she gives him a banana. This man went on to tell me – they would never bow to my request for a higher price since I had been so unnecessarily confrontational.

To which I replied, ‘if the monkey’s stomach is full…why would he even feel the need to hold on to your wife’s or for that matter any other woman’s skirt? After all you have so many banana’s….maybe you should consider giving the monkey what he wants so that he goes away….it is after all only one banana…surely, you will not allow one banana to stand in the way of peace…’

‘It is never a good policy to feed monkeys.’ one of them said to the others.

I went on to say, ‘If you do not give the monkey one banana…then it may just decide to hold on or to put his hand into something more substantial beside the helm of your young pretty wife’s skirt…..’ I chooses my words deliberately. As I planned to unsettle the leader and throw him off balance – it was well known in the village, the seventy three year old miller had recently married a PRC gold digger MILF with big boobs….I knew this would unsettle him and send him off the ledge. As his recent marriage has been the butt of jokes in the village.

Sure enough, he lodged it. As he turned beetroot red with anger and stood up suddenly from his chair and began berating me, “How dare you threaten to seduce my wife, if I don’t agree to your extortionist demands!” That’s when he turned to his colleagues and said to them, “didn’t I tell you all…we are dealing with someone who has imperialistic designs….he means to control all of us by taking over the business we have spent so many years building.”

I told the man before me in a calm voice, “I thought we were talking about the monkey you and your lovely wife came across in Bali….I don’t understand…are you implying by any chance…I am a monkey…really, I don’t understand…do you mean to say, all of you have come here to my house one day before the new year to insult me by calling me a monkey!”

This must have taken the others by surprise, as I had trapped their leader to retract his words – one of them added, “I am sure he did not mean to insult you….besides we all know monkeys don’t go around chasing women…they are a different species.”

I leaned back into my chair and could sense they were backtracking, but decided to push forward, “Oh really! Then how do you explain King Kong falling in love with a woman? I really must insist gentlemen…are you all calling me a monkey?”

In a further attempt to lower the temperature another added, “King Kong is a gorilla not a monkey…I am sure he did not mean it as an insult.”

This was when I turned to them all while ignoring their leader who was still standing and fuming with rage, “Perhaps we can set aside this monkey business and talk about how we may like to work and prosper together…I would appreciate it, if someone could please tell him to sit down!”


“The Harvard Business Review will always advice you and me to pursue quiet diplomacy instead of taking a confrontational stance towards conflict resolution – that is because these people who frequently dish out that sort of be good and do no evil claptrap live in a fairy tale world that bears absolutely no resemblance to how life really unfolds – in the real world, especially in business not everyone is just going to give you the benefit of a level playing field. Or even want to see you succeed in your enterprise or will go out of their way to help you – experience informs me, there will always be no shortage of assholes out there who will always try their level best to set you back a few squares by either tripping you up, making you run around in circles, engineering your downfall or just hope that you will take such a big fall that you will throw in the towel and sell everything for just a song and just return back to the city – to this people you must broadcast the message, do not double cross me, or else! You don’t need to be a hard and ruthless man every time, you just need to do it once or twice and see that terrible business right to the very end and make sure everyone knows your resolve and how committed you are to squaring the accounts with those who trespassed you – once people understand that you are someone who expects others to respect your property, rights and what you stand for and you have absolutely no qualms about prosecuting on those claims – then everything will fall into place very nicely….only don’t expect everyone to understand and look up to you…don’t even expect them to invite you to a BBQ…or expect them to say, ‘he’s a jolly good fellow…’…as when you make a commitment to be that hard and ruthless man – you will always be alone thereafter and that is really how it is…there is no promise of a happy ending or even the Hollywood curtain call of lost and found, it’s just one man sitting on a rattan chair all by himself like a solitary island set amid shark infested waters…all alone…a man lost in his own thoughts…all alone.”

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