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English / 12.06.2019 / 606

Rule of Thumb

Nikolay Mokhov, author from the Dark Side of Business

For many years, we on the Dark Side have been repeating the same advice to our female readers: if you want to woo a man, just give him the scarcest commodity of the modern world – a compliment. The ladies nod in response. They tense their facial muscles and hiss something approving through their teeth, but they can never keep it up. Invariably they end up flinging mud and criticism at their beloved, and with passion at that. And then these fair ladies stroll through their respective cities and see a striking picture:

love can exist in personal relationships, it can exist in business, and it can exist at any point of contact between you and the world

A beautiful, handsome fellow. And by his side, a fat, ugly, short…

“But what about me?” the reader bawls, sniffling. “I tried so hard! I worked out my butt at the gym, I went on a diet, I posted pretty pictures on Instagram. I shared suuuuuch smart thoughts on there…”

What was that Russian song?

“Under the pine tree, chewing a blade of grass. Why was it his path that I chose to cross? He's on a date now, with another girl…”

One beautiful evening on Cyprus, a self-proclaimed “psychologist” (for lack of a better word) friend of mine declared to me:

“I can’t give the gift of love. I don’t know what that means. And I don’t want to know.”

As my sexist friends and I like to joke:

“Chicks aren’t dumb because they’re dumb, they’re dumb because they’re chicks.”

But we say that out of love. And you know, there are men who are dumber than that “psychologist”… Really, I’m the most consistent feminist there is. I firmly believe all my girlfriends are geniuses, each in their own right, and each unique. Like that line from a Russian poem:

“...God doesn’t repeat his mistakes…”

This knowledge gives me confidence that my next girlfriend, too, will be genius and unique. Maybe even in love. But that is, alas, a rarity…

Because I know why there’s such trouble with compliments, both for men and for women. I even got the idea to organize an evening of compliments. The people in that company had just recently met. They’d spent a couple days together in the same villa. They demanded I give them a lecture, about love, naturally.

“What good will a lecture do for you, especially a lecture from me… I don’t know anything about love… Let’s do something else… We’ll play a game. Here are the rules: everyone get into pairs, one guy and one girl, and you each have to give a complement to the other person. ”

It was a sorry sight...



The roads of childhood

— I remember myself from the age of three...

— But I have memories since I was two.

Friends were arguing about who had the earliest memories. And I realized that I don’t remember myself in childhood... Not that I don’t remember anything at all. I don’t remember winter. I only remember summer and the moment when that summer of my childhood ended.

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Whetstone for attention

— So the secret to success is to be in the right place at the right time?" - Someone asked in the Dark Side chat. How can I comment on this? Let me tell you about a multi-million dollar deal I once made. I'm not telling the story to show off as the money was already spent for parties in the city a long time ago — there is nothing to brag about. I'm telling the story to illustrate one principle.

So, here is the story. At a restaurant in Moscow, there was this construction businessman, his PR guy, and me. I had already handed over a report on my work. I was having some coffee, meanwhile listening to them discussing the promotion of business operations abroad.

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The Teacher's Label

A fat writer Dima Bykov in poor health with his head held high has distinguished himself. He has decided to rank in descending order the passed away colleagues. Some of them has been ranked first, others take second and even third places. Sergei Dovlatov has been taken down a peg next to his classmates. The teacher Bykov gave him a satisfactory grade. He even didn’t hide that he wanted to give him a poor grade.

Dima Bykov has unleashed a war on social media by his ranking. Somebody noticed that the teacher is not good even at his own domain. Someone replied that he have been aware of Dovlatov’s bad marks... I was astonished by the desire to make value judgements about literature and even the literary characters. This approach reeks of the judgments of school teachers. It's not the most pleasant aroma...

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Corporations and Attempting to Escape Them

If you think there’s no one behind the success of the latest star, rich businessman, or even talented writer... Then you should probably go to the eye doctor. There’s definitely something wrong with your eyesight.

“We are dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants,” as a very wise man once put it. It’s never been more true: all modern achievements resulted from joint efforts, not from prideful individualism.

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