Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Best Salesman*

This is a true story. 

Johnny Carson was a famous host of a late-night TV program. He was the host of the show called “The Tonight Show”. He used to bring lot of famous people and interview them. You can see many of his programs in YouTube. Once he interviewed a person who was named best salesman in the world. Here is how the conversation went. 

JC: I understand you sold more than any other salesman this year at your firm. How about you sell me something?

SP: What do you want me to sell you? 

JC: (Looks around and sees an ashtray) – Sell me this ashtray. 

SP: Why would I sell you this ashtray? 

JC: It is good looking. It is useful thing to have around. Lot of our guests use this. 

SP: How much you think this ashtray is worth? 

JC: I don’t know may be $199. 

SP: Tell you what. You can have it for $50.

Nowadays, in some job interviews, stupid question like "sell me this pen/pencil" is asked.  The candidate can reply similar to the above.

* There was no "salesperson" in those days.  It was either a salesman or a saleswoman.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

House Speaker Election Circus

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative is second in line to become President of the United States (after the Vice President). 

In the concluded November 2022 election, out of 435 members, Republican Party has 222 members and Democrats have 212 members with one vacancy (due to death). To be elected Speaker of the House, one needs to get 218 votes. The Republican Party nominated Mr. Kevin McCarthy to be the Speaker. With a 4-member majority, he should have won without any problem. But 20 Republican members do not like Mr. McCarthy. They decided not to vote for him. (They are Trump supporters but Trump wanted McCarthy.) Funny thing was opponents of Kevin McCarthy nominated at one point Jim Jordan. However, Jim Jordan supported and nominated Kevin McCarthy. 

I said in the title "House Speaker Election Circus". Actually, I should have named it Republican Party Mutiny. It took 15 rounds (for 4 days) of voting to finally elect Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. About 160 years ago only, it took more than this many rounds to elect the Speaker. 


I digress. Late President Ronald Reagan, who was a Republican, once said: My most terrifying words in the English language are: I am from the Government, and I am here to help you. 

These newly elected Republicans to the House who are now the ruling majority now saying (in my imagination): I am a Republican and I am here to help the country. Trust us. 

They cannot even agree to elect a leader to be their speaker. And it took 15 rounds with lots of concession to the mutineers.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup Final – Argentina vs France – One of the best matches I have seen. Both were equal. Finally, someone has to win. Argentina won in penalty kicks – score equal (3:3) after regular-time and extra-time. Congratulations Argentina. 

I watched most of the matches on TV. Here are my observation and thoughts: 

Cannot imagine Argentina losing to Saudi Arabia (initial rounds) 
Tunisia upsets France, defending world cup champion (initial rounds) 
Morocco upsetting Portugal (quarter finals) 
The mighty and favorite Brazil eliminated by Croatia (quarter finals) 

When smaller countries like Senegal, Croatia, Morocco can qualify for world cup, why can’t bigger countries like India, China, Pakistan qualify? 

Japanese spectators cleaning the stadium after the match. They are the classiest fans. 

A friend of mine went to Qatar to watch couple of matches. He said all the stadiums were fully airconditioned. 

One thing I loved in all the players from every team is their theatrics. Any slight contact with the opponent player, they will fall down crying as if every bone in their body was broken. If they were in such a pain, medics and ambulance should take them away from the game. But they get up and continue to play. 

These are only games. Are famous and popular star players being bigger than the game? Not with Portugal’s Coach Fernando Santos. 

Fernando Santos dropped their world-famous player and Captain Cristiano Ronaldo for the last round 16 game against Switzerland due to Ronaldo’s attitude problem. Santos made him a substitute for the quarter finals against Morocco and allowed him to play late in the second half. 

My thought goes: Will any of the Indian cricket team’s coach/manager has the guts to drop a world-famous Indian cricket player during the world cup quarter finals because of his attitude problem?*  Just leave alone the Indians. 

Will any of America’s National Football League’s coach/manager has the guts to drop their famous quarterback during playoffs towards Super Bowl because of his attitude problem? I think not. 

Salute to Fernando Santos.

* I was informed by Mr. KP that an Indian coach dropped a female cricket player for the semi final match during world cup.  I do not know if she was dropped for disciplinary problem or any other issue.  In the case of Ronaldo, I was mentioning disciplinary problem.