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English / 27.05.2020 / 1227

How are the coolest among us being controlled?

Nikolay Mokhov, author from the Dark Side of Business

School teachers remind me of elephants on a rope. Do you remember this urban myth? In Africa, a small elephant was tied to a tree with a rope, so that he couldn’t run away. The elephant grew up, but he got used to the rope’s power, which he could now easily tear off. Nevertheless, the habit was stronger than common sense. At the same time, the latter isn’t something they lack. Elephants are highly intelligent animals. They could teach some humans a lesson…

Let’s go back to school teachers. Some of them would tear off the rope and run to freedom, away from the classrooms stinking of children’s sweat. All the way into business. Ever seen people like them? I’ve got to tell you, it’s one hell of a view. I’ve been on principals’ meetings with an ex English teacher. Back in her days she was in charge of an exemplary school, but the yearning for power and big money led her into big business.

Being able to give out grades is the greatest management skill one could acquire

Under her management, construction bosses turned into obedient children. Her orders were treated like homework — they would often forget to do it, and when they did, they’d blush as if they were young girls being told off. So, I was sitting down and contemplating:

— How? How can this woman make forty-year-old men turn into small boys and explain themselves, as if they were C students standing by the classroom board? What is the deal with that? Maybe she had some kind of a special voice? A posture? The most advanced hypnotizers would not be able place themselves that way… What is her secret?

Destiny, as if it was some kind of a mockery, always made me bump into other teachers.
Some were in control of millionaires, other hypnotized bigger audiences, and if gentlemen in suits were raising their hands to ask questions… then they were simply laughed at.



Brasileiro

His fingers were freezing from the cold. Gauntlets over the gloves, winter boots… None of this protected him from the harsh wind. The arctic ocean is nearby. Is that where the wind is blowing from?

— Brasileiro, why did you get distracted? Hook it up... — commanded the crew chief. He was making sure that the workers were quick at hanging the fish to dry.

Brasileiro looked at the cod with hatred. Cod, cod, cod... Those who never lived in northern Europe would not understand the significance of this fish. It would be shocking to find out that in the second half of the 20th century, there were three times when Iceland was ready to start a war with England over codfish.

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Queen of the spoken word...

Tanya’s mother beat her weekly. She tried to restrain herself, and not hit her child every day, but it didn't always work out. It was all thanks to her daughter being so different with her fantastical stupidity and incredible self-confidence.

“You realize that you can't even work as a janitor? Today, even they have a higher education... And you can't even string three words together," shouted the fat math teacher.

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Superstar of Conversational Writing

Oh! Were you expecting something? That’s odd. So many people gathered, and nothing’s happening. No-thing. Absolutely nothing. Can you imagine it? You might have thought we’d have a new text for you here, maybe even a story. One with elements of philosophical and theological discussion, one filled with real stories and adapted for practical use. So many expectations, and here I am, unprepared. I didn’t write a single word. It’s embarrassing, really. Well, don’t you worry. We’ll find something to “snack on”. I can’t promise a real feast of the mind, but there will be some food for thought. Like a diligent housewife who wasn’t expecting guests, I’ll have to come up with something on the spot. That’s not a problem. I just have to find the first Word. The second one will find itself. And before you know it, we’ll have enough for some salad and a couple sandwiches. It’s no Christmas dinner, sure, but if you pull out that bottle you have stashed away…

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Leonardo’s Notes

“The problem is, Nikolai, that you never finish anything you start. You don’t even have a degree,” my girlfriend scolded me. We were on the subway.
She had just received some money to make a website, where she would eventually put up some boring local news. The site had dramatically less subscribers than even her Facebook page. In a couple years, the project went bankrupt. But she never lost her faith in the magical formula:

“You need closure. Every beginning has an end…”

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