Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 3rd, 2018

BUSINESS Visualisation


Behind this really harmless title, you will find a truly exciting non-fiction book. I would call it a book for people between six and ninety who want to have more joy and success in life.

The sub-title

A tour guide for curious and visionary persons
already gives an idea about the book being something really special.

Special? Well, I read it and I would call it revolutionary. It is about a trip into a new world I very much love and cherish. It is a world full of creative and appreciative communication and of “living together”. And it leads into a world that will continue to change and grow.

Basically, it is not a book you will read, but more a book you will feel your way through. In an exciting and humorous way, the trip of a young lady whose name is Barbara (Babs) into an agile adventure is described. This trip brings her through the world of modern communication, beginning from listening and understanding and ending in a very rounded way via the creative when the results are documented.

For me, it is quite clear: communication is the basis for all kinds of “social systems”. And communication will work better if we make use of innovative formats (some of them are actually very old). Part of this concept is the use of images and haptic – as part of a new and very sympathetic mental frame.

During my activities, I am often surprised to see how many people simply ignore the “agile change” that takes place around them, or else they are almost overrun by it. The book, which was written as a co-operation project between Botta, Reinold and Schloß, could be a solid introduction to this “new world“ for non-experts. But also the “experienced agilest” will find quite a few innovative ideas.

I can guarantee that this book will remain exciting from the first to the last page. It is not one of those works where the message is clear after the first fifty pages and where said message is then artificially lengthened and repeatedly proven in a boring way. No – you will find something new on every page. It remains full of humour at all times and the joy of reading will never end.

I would wish that the authors were to write more books about more trips, because the wonderful world of modern communication is endless. The book really contains a lot of it – but naturally not all of it. Barbara (the hero an inspiration of the authors in real life) could easily take us with her on many more great trips.

That would be nice. But I already very much recommend the first trip. For entrepreneurs and (project) managers, the book is a must.

(Translated by EG)

You know, even as a child, I rather liked Rumplestiltskin! It was such an exciting thing to listen how the fairy was dancing in front of the fire in the dark wood – and how it sang “Lucky me that no one knows that my name is Rumplestiltskin”. In fact, it was so exciting that I really cannot find words to describe it…

Yes, and then, a few sentences later, when the fairy self-exploded in front of the princess later in the story – that was just great! What a consistency and courage – to just self-explode! I never forgot this impressive image!

But here comes the moment of truth! This unappetizing “Rumplestiltskin Affair”. I am sure you, too read about it in the media: it is about an affair between the European upper nobility and a German Mr. Müller!

The kings and the Müllers are said to have behaved quite evilly and a lot of money was allegedly involved!

European money – of course!

To be precise, said Müller – i.e. a certain ’Soy-Bean Müller’ – who has the world leader soy bean mail-order house in his backhand, is said to have tried to make gold out of straw together with an extremely respectable European dynasty!

Mind you, this was regardless of the fact that he, Müller, does not even own straw. He only owns ’soy bean cake’. That is basically just the waste from soy flour production – but no straw!

However, for straw, the European Commission would have granted considerable subsidies from its agrarian fond. But not for cake, i.e. ’soy cake’!

Naturally, this was not good news for the soy flour mail-order house and its stock. In fact, it was actually a catastrophe. After all, stock, too, is just human, i.e. there are persons hidden behind the stock.

Persons with all their strengths and weaknesses. Just like with Müller’s small daughter Annegret who had always had a certain weakness for everything that smelled of royalty.

That is especially true for last year’s ’Vienna Opera Ball’, where she danced left-waltz with an extremely sweet young king. Left-waltz until she was dizzy and sank into the blue-blooded arms of the young king.

Due to the low stock-exchange rate, those same arms need much persuasion before they led her to the marriage altar. It did not come as a surprise that not only the love of these two doves immediately grew, but also the stock exchange rate of the ’soy flour mail-order house’. Did they grow, or what?

Consequently, it took only a few days until this activity caused a grumbling in the world of the financially potent oligarchs and a so-called ’Rumplestiltzkin ’ appeared. Nobody knew who it was and where it came from and what its name really was.

But being an industrious person, said ’Rumplestiltzkin’ had no problem getting the delegates of Romania, Bulgaria and of the newly wed kingdom to vote in her favour at the European Commission. Consequently, a majority supported the concept that ’soy-cakes’ are to be declared straw in the future and thus they are gold-coated with EU money!

It is unbelievable what Rumplestiltzkin can do and it is certainly a good thing that nobody knows its real name…

The news that the Austrian rum producer ’Straw’, too, allegedly was part of the deal in that he is said to have delivered a considerable amount of 85% ’Straw-Rum’ to the president of the European Council Junker and thus also acted in the role of Rumplestiltzkin is only one of those fake news from Russia. After all, we all know that Russia constantly aims at destabilizing the European Union!

Which, under Putin, does not come as a surprise to anybody!

The same applies to the news that the newly married ’soy flour queen’ was now allegedly impregnated by this suddenly appearing Rumplestiltzkin – rather than by the European High Nobility?

What additional shameless defamation! Those lousy Russian hackers were not even kind enough to give credit to her handsome Pilates coach in their disinformation campaign against the young queen. It is truly something that could give you offspring!

Which is exactly what happened.

But this evil pregnancy defamation is at least a good explanation for Rumplestiltzkin by all means wanting to get hold of the new-born child of the young queen, isn’t it? Of course, it is because it does not want a paternity test, and it was not at all eager to pay alimony for an entire Rumplestiltzkin life on top of having acted extremely beneficial. This is absolutely clear!

The queen was in a similar situation: she wanted to keep her new-born child without proof of paternity. And she did not hesitate to rub Rumplestiltzkin’s nose into what she wanted via twitter, along with 10 million followers!

Maybe she should not have done that. Being nobility and all! Twittering all the time! Because the Russian secret service read it all and then threatened the allegedly Russian Rumplestiltzkin with filing suit before the European Court of Law for prince robbery …

What is not really believable – and for me personally, this is rather a disappointment – is that this unknown Rumplestiltzkin is said to have angrily self-exploded afterwards. Just like the one in the fairy tale!

And they say it happened right before the blue eyes of the soy-floury queen who did not want to let go of her child. Isn’t it awful? Just self-exploding and ending up in two parts. From top to bottom. Atrocious!

After all, today, after 300 years of cultural evolution, you can do the job far more elegantly by tying an explosive from the internet to your belt!
Such a method would also have been far more media-friendly!

And we all would have certainly been able to download the atrocious event in no time through our smartphones from some video supervision camera or other immediately after Rumplestiltzkin’s self-explosion. In other words: we would all have been there – in fact, all Europe would have been there!

Thee usual stereotypical condemnation of the deed by all the politicians, too, would have been noticed by far more citizens – than this silent, ego-maniac ’Rumplestiltzkin self-exploding’!

Even the IS did not find it worthy of claiming responsibility!

It really is a pity! What a pity that Rumplestiltzkin failed so miserably! Everybody would have benefited from a proper explosion? I mean You, You and You! All of Us! Europe would have been truly united by such an explosion! At long last, what belongs together would have come together. What a pity …

(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday May 18th, 2017

Falling Down

I no longer remember who told me this story. Perhaps it was the tourist guide when we drove to the ’Manrique Museum’? Or that female professor of geology from Brandenburg? She has been coming to the ’Lanzarote Park Hotel’ in Playa Blanca in March for eight years now and also reads Spanish Daily Newspapers, not just this stupid island magazine Lanzarote 37°. Or was it maybe Pedro who told me this story a one of his inimitable ’language cocktail’ variations at the pool?

I simply cannot recall exactly …

But it was always about that toothless street musician!

He is a true disgrace on the never-ending boardwalk close to the ocean in the south-west of Lanzarote. With his dirty and unappetizing appearance, he should not be permitted to sit there. This is simply not tolerable! Not on this fantastic EU-financed boardwalk! After all, hundreds of people pilgrimage here until late into the night.

Besides, this ’music-playing pig’ does not restrict his appearance to his rusty folding chair in front of the last stretch of fallow land, where hardly anybody would notice him anyway. Instead, he can now be almost exclusively seen on the stone boardwalk balustrade.

What an exhibition: a ’music-playing rubbish heap’ in front of the eternally sparkling, sunny ocean! With a greasy hat lying on the floor and a cap on his sun-burned head! And two watery eyes that look like puddles …

Mostly, he dribbles into his melodica – which is some kind of key flute – from which the same melody is released at all times. But it is strangely alluring! You have to give him that. Perhaps it is even by Mozart? Even if it is perhaps a little too sad? Unfortunately, I was never able to really find out.

Seven years ago, when the concert building Lava-Bubble in Jameos del Agua was closed due to stones falling down from the ceiling, this disgrace had already been playing on the Playa Blanca boardwalk. In those days, he allegedly had a rather rich musical portfolio.

And while the volcano rocks were being glued together with special resin above the roof, he also sat there every day. Perhaps even the occasional cent out of all those six million euros this roof cost found its way into his shabby hat. Who could know? Definitely not the ’music-playing rubbish heap’.

And the inauguration concert given when the renovated concert hall in Jameos del Agua  was ceremoniously re-opened will definitely also have been something he was totally unaware of. As must have been the fact that the famous English conductor John Miguel Smith was going to be at the baton and that even representatives of the Spanish Crown had accepted the invitation.

However, he did notice that the rather pompous John Miguel Smith with his much too young female companion had had a stupid accident where he stumbled right in front of the ’music-playing heap of dirt’ on the day before the concert and fell fully on his nose; yes, that was something he had definitely noticed.

And the Spanish cursing of the noble Brit was probably also something he noticed!
Mind you, Betty had even cried out “attention John“, because apparently he had recognized a strangely alluring melody and consequently only had eyes for the shabbily dressed source of the melody. But at that moment, it was already too late! He fell full-length onto the dignified brown cobbles of the boardwalk here in Playa Blanca…

Ranting, he immediately jumped up, was appalled when he inspected his atrociously grazed hands and elbows, moved his badly ailing fingers like a maniac and kept shaking his head while he smoothed the damaged, bloody t-shirt over his stomach.
He only noticed that he had also torn his rough silver Greek Knot Cross from his neck during his fall when Betty tearfully offered it to him. He gripped it like a bird of prey and threw it into the greasy hat of the street musician, who was totally appalled.

He was quick to pull Betty after him in order to get away from this upheaval among the nosy masses of people as fast as possible. Probably his only remaining worry at this time was tomorrow’s inauguration concert at the “lava bubble”! In Jameos del Agua! And his wounded arms, his injured stomach, his bloody hands and his lacerated chin. And he certainly hoped that nobody had recognized him – the famous John Miguel Smith, when he kissed the boardwalk lying on his stomach like a fallen frog …

What mortification!

However, in at least one case, this hope seemed to have been in vain; because when the ’music-playing rubbish heap’ had overcome his shock paralysis and fished out the cross that lay between the few coins in his hat, there was suddenly a strange sparkle to his alcohol-marked face. A sparkle that even continued when he opened his toothless mouth out of which came a questioning “Miguel?”…

And then again “Miguel – Miguel, is it you?“

The street musician got more and more excited and even panicky. He dropped the soiled melodica and started using his left paw, too, for squeezing the silver cross – and again and again, he croaked: “Miguel !…Miguel !!…Miguel…!!

But John Miguel Smith was far beyond hearing and being seen. In fact, he hurried like a wounded animal along the boardwalk accompanied by his totally hysterical companion. All he wanted was crawl into his lair at the Hotel Vulcano as fast as possible!

Since, as everybody knows, the famous conductor Smith strictly forbids all attempts at finding out about his life and mercilessly deplores even the smallest public assumptions, the desperate calls of an old man, too, were lost in the rippling of the ocean that ran along the lava coast near the boardwalk balustrade.

But still, as I said, I heard somewhere that this incident is the reason and the only reason why the street musician, since that time, only plays this one ’endearing melody’ that, to this day, I could not identify. It is because he still hopes that his Miguel – whom he could not have cared less about when he was a child, in fact whom he even gave away for adoption – might one day pass by and invite him, his alleged father, to drink a brandy ’Carlos III’ with him…

Well, I am not sure if it is really the ’Carlos III’ this rubbish-like musician dreams about, but I would like to invite everyone who can tell me something new about John Miguel Smith to have a ’Carlos I’ with me in the pre-warmed glassed of the Café ’Gilbert’ on the Playa Blanca boardwalk. As I see it, the old ’music-playing piece of dirt’ should get some help, so why not through a good brandy?

Please note that all persons and activities in this story are fiction. But still, I will continue to look for this melody that caused the famous conductor to fall down. I have to find out more about it …
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday April 13th, 2017

IT-Treff – Nostalgia 1999 – It was Awesome!

Among the IF Blog documents, you can find a very special article. For a long time, it was hidden at the very bottom.

It is a satire on New Economy – a theatre play titled:

“Can we be saved?“

Norbert Weinberger and yours truly wrote it. The idea originated when we were on a flight from Munich via Zurich to New-Delhi with Swiss Air.

Swiss Air was a compromise that had taken long to agree upon. My friend and partner Norbert always flew Lufthansa Business Class as a matter of principle. And, just as true to my principles, I always flew Economy. Since we wanted to fly together, we compromised on Swiss air Business Class, because at the time the price was almost exactly halfway in between.

Incidentally, the reason for our flight was the official opening of our joint subsidiary company “AMPERSAND limited“. The trees grew into the heavens at the time.

The Business Class of the Swiss Air plane to New Delhi was completely empty. In those days, Swiss Air was still an independent airline and suffering from losses – but that did not matter to the friendly crew. The service was excellent, we were really mollycoddled. During the entire flight, charming stewardesses served us champagne. That was also one of the factors that made us bold. Consequently, we developed the rough concept for our theatre piece while flying.

Together with friends of ours who were also entrepreneurs, we had the first performance on June, 29th, 1999 with an audience of considerably more than 500 at IT-Treff 99 in the over-crowded Munich Schlachthof. It was great fun and the audience were enthusiastic. For us – the cast – it was mania. And additionally, it was a great outlook towards what happened around the turn of the millennium.

How did the IT Treff come about? In the mid-1990s, it was not always quite so easy for IT enterprises in Germany. The general feeling was not too good. Consequently, a few courageous IT entrepreneurs wanted to do something to improve the mood.

Their names were: Muschka Utpadel-Domdey, Alfred Bauer, Hans Nagel, Dr. Christian Roth, Markus Winkler and yours truly.

Our idea was: let us celebrate against the crisis. So we initiated the IT-Treff and invited the entire Munich IT scene. And alas – they all came.

Stars with names like Gerhard Polt and Django Asül performed for us and extended their programs to include IT-specific topics. The Bavarian Government was always on board – I remember well how Secretary of State Hans Spitzner gave us very special welcome addresses. There was always hot music – we even produced our own CD in the Schlachthof with the George Greene Hotline Band. In fact, to this day I enjoy listening to it.

And the entire IT sector danced. That was in the years 1996, 1997 and 1998. We had our last IT-Treff in 1999 – and we (the organization team) made our own cabaret IT-Treff Satire (1734) “Can we be Saved?“ – for you to read and imitate.

Since is it such a nice piece and was such a huge success, I offer a bonus for small and big theatres if they play it. You can call it a “negative performance fee” (royalty), which means you do not have to pay 10% of the turnover, but instead get something back. It is short and very much to the point – the prelude can also be used for other occasions besides celebrations.


Here is the IT Treff 1999 flyer from the outside

And from the inside

(Translated by Evelyn)

Roland Dürre
Sunday November 23rd, 2014

The End of Collaboration

Today, I am writing a fictional story which in fact could have happened.

220px-Jekyll-mansfieldThe story is about two important and famous protagonists working in the same field. They both work on the same topic. It is an innovative idea with which you can earn money. Let us call the two persons Mr. Je and Mr. Hy.

Both of them write about their ideas in their blogs and develop new ideas in the sense of “sharing knowledge” and “improving wisdom by sharing it”, both by themselves and together.

Mr. Je finds some ideas in one of Mr. Hy’s posts exciting. Consequently, a dialogue between the two gets under way. The dialogue is happening in Mr. Hy’s blog in the form of comments on this post.

The result is a significant extra insight, including a valuable basis for a business model. In fact, the constructive, critical and supplementary comments by Mr. Je are to a huge extent responsible for the making said model seem realistic.
Mr. Hy utilizes the thus gained insight for his business, thereby successfully promoting his business model. However, he never tells Mr. Je any of this.

Instead, he removes the dialogue between himself and Mr. Je from his blog.

Mr. Je has no problem with the fact that Mr. Hy benefited from the shared dialogue for his business. This is quite ok. After all, it is why “sharing knowledge” and “open collaboration” have been invented. However, he would have found it nice to hear from Mry. Hy and perhaps receive a cooperation offer.

As a matter of facts, he is really annoyed about the removal of the dialogue!

Of course, the story is totally fictional. Any similarities between actual events or living or even dead persons – if they can be found – are totally coincidental

(Translated by EG)

I took the picture from Wikipedia:
en:Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London, England) – / Originally from en.wikipedia;

Roland Dürre
Sunday November 2nd, 2014

Wasn’t the Last Millennium Totally Crazy?

In the last century, before the turn of the millennium, everything was different.

In those days, managers still believed in the predictability of the future. What is more: they were convinced that growth is something that can continue endlessly.

People living at the time had the impression that everything can be done and that, thanks to technology and progress, all problems can be solved. After all, humans as the crown of creation felt they were omnipotent – far above the animals. And they believed everything can be controlled.

The motto was: faster, higher, bigger, further and more comfortable.

Engineers and technocrats were in charge. A life without cars was unthinkable. Individual traffic with heavy vehicles and a combustion motor, also for individual persons, was a self-evident human right for everyone – just like the short vacation in the “DomRep” or in Thailand. A society was considered “developed” if the poor, too, could afford to buy a car!

Weekend trips to London or Madrid, just like short vacations to New York or Abu Dhabi helped the people to overcome their boredom in a mundane fashion. Consumption was the method you chose in order to give yourself importance and buy happiness. Regardless, stinginess was considered cool and money was the new religion. Using this concept, it was quite easy to destroy the world.

Professors at university taught us that good managers will never have to react. Instead, they will always act. Because the good ones will see into the future. Just like, in 1968, the chain-smoking and therefore constantly coughing driving instructor, who, due to his looks, was nicknamed “Old Death” had taught me that a good (German) driver will always foresee what will happen in the next second.

The universities also taught us that a manager always has to be free of emotions and personal feelings. Decision making science recommended that, first and foremost, we always collect enough information. Afterwards, you had to evaluate and analyse them absolutely objectively. Only after this step, you would then have to decide in a very rational and logical way, without all emotion. And while doing so, you have to ignore intuition and heuristics as deceptive factors.

This was also the reason they gave why a “normal woman” had no business in management. Because women – with very few exceptions – are just too much driven by their emotions. Obviously, women in “high” management positions were the exception from the rule. And those who were actually looked like men.

Textbooks also said that an organization is good if and only if the highest manager is able to control the entire system as he desires by “adjusting just a few screws”.

Consequently, the companies oriented themselves at military ideals when forming their organizational structures. Hierarchy was the standard, only very few ultra-modern enterprises were bold enough to try a matrix cooperation and even fewer were courageous enough to try “cooperative leadership”. Terms such as self and network organization were out of the question, just like transparency and agility were feared. Everything was dominated by “simple-mindedness instead of diversity”, rather than the “wisdom of the masses”.

Taylorism, moralizing processes and globalization were held to be the success recipe for the economy and to guarantee prosperity for the entire world. All the big enterprises aimed at world market leadership at all times. At the same time, the exploitation of humans and all kinds of resources grew geometrically.

On the other hand, the mass was considered a primitive mob. Citizens were said to be stupid and taken for fools. Marketing manipulated the masses, lobbyism removed their interests. Those who voted in a democracy were considered election-booth fodder. Their wish for peace was overruled with invented and hugely propagated anxieties.

Those who reigned, along with the governments knew a lot better what is good for everybody. They even drew up laws which ignored existing judicial practice and constitutional rights. This is how the citizens were spied on and made fun of in masses. More often than not, this happened in order to satisfy interests and demands of foreign power or powerful concerns.

In extreme cases, even courts of justice were declared no longer responsible. In their place, obscure arbitral courts were instituted. Citizens who had violated tax legislation were severely punished. At the same time, the exact same countries created “tax oases” for concerns.

And worst of all was: the governments believed they could shape order in the world with wars and create peace with weapons.

Well, I am happy that those times are now over.


(June, 20th, 2030)

Tuesday November 12th, 2013

Stepping on Virgin Soil.

A friend of mine sent me the following story “from the internet”:

On the planet Virgin Soil, the mainland foundation Transmissio, also known as TCP/IP, surrounded by the ocean communication, has been built. Around this foundation, various islands rise over the water of the communication ocean. The streams and rivers all flow into said communication ocean, which means they are all connected.

Virgin Soil researchers found out that the mainland foundation, along with the islands, has layers which, as time went by, rose higher and higher.

The most important and biggest of those islands are Mailanesia, Usenetasia and Minor-Complaint-City. Apart from those, there is also Efteponia, Telnetia and several others. Almost all the islands are or have been inhabited. As usual, the peoples of Humanum drifted apart over the years and now they speak different languages.

The cultures and behavioural codices of Mailanesia and Usenetania are closely related, so the people living in both islands can mostly understand each other. Whenever they want to talk with someone from the other group, the Mailanesians use SMTP, whereas the Usenetanians use NNTP. Both peoples speak languages which – apart from dialects – are rather similar to the language Mailanesians and Usenetasians use when communicating with each other in their own dwellings.

Some of the Mailanesians live rather lonely lives and have contact with only a few other Mailanesians. They are called “One-to-One-Mailanesians”. Other Mailanesians have contact with many of their fellow citizens, which gives them the title “One-to-Many” or “Listo-Mailanesians”. Consequently, the rules the Mailanesians gave themselves outside the SMTP culture are rather few and far between. The One-to-One Mailanesians decide among themselves, the Listo Mailanesians mostly leave it to a higher authority to come up with rules or to occasionally remind them of rules that had been agreed upon.

With the Usenetanians, it is different. For them, the public system and protection against alien intrusion is important. So their culture, called “NNTP”, created many places with identical design, which guarantees that an error at one place will not cause the entire public system to collapse. Instead, it can always switch to other places. For the Usenetanians, it is important that their culture and their many locations are not owned by anybody and that any person at all can join at any time. In order to be able to understand each other and exchange ideas, they made rules which make it possible for everybody to reach each of their locations and to be a free citizen with equal rights of their island.

However, we must admit that the population of Usenetania has now suffered from a dramatic demographic change for some time. This is not true to the same extent for some individual, remote Usenetanians who settled on small islands and, although still nurturing the NNT culture, no longer have any connection with the proper Usenetarians.

Minor-Complaint-City is an island the landscape of which is far more broken than that of the others. There are numerous layers and summits, all of which, of course, are based on the same series of layers as the other islands. However, the higher you climb, the more the structure will differ – and on the top layers of the mountains, the differences are rather significant. The Minor-Complaint-City culture is called HTTP. It is a place where they like it sharp and colourful. There are uncountable places and locations, but the public system and reachability is not as much of an issue as in Usenetania.

Every clan has its own place and its own special niche and an outsider will not find it easy to find it. This is how, in Minor-Complaint.-City, many dialects developed and nowhere near every inhabitant can start contacting any other inhabitant of his liking. Besides, the inhabitants of Minor-Complaint-City are not very interested in questions of ownership on their island, which means that they do not come up with so many prevention regulations concerning the closure of places or the restriction of their freedom. For them, the meaning of the word “freedom” tends towards being permitted to camouflage their own identities. In fact, the latest fashion is the “digital Burka” – which they call “locking mechanism”, because they found out that they are spied upon by unwelcome guests who never asked permission. Incidentally, they share this experience – along with the annoyance about it – with the Mailanesians.

Another characteristic of the people living in Minor-Complaint-City is that many of them believe they are the only inhabitants of Humanum and there are no other islands on the planet. In fact, some inhabitants of Minor-Complaint-City actually never leave their mountain. They expect others who have a question to come and climb their mountain. After having made this special effort – for which, more often than not, you need special equipment – you will find them a fairly friendly people. Provided the guest takes pains to speak in their dialect and does not belong to the aforementioned “unwelcome guests”.

So much on this. In my opinion, it is rather nice and you might find it easy to continue in the same manner. I looked for the source and found out that it is by Sabine Baer <> in the Newsgroups: The subject is “Post Card from Virgin Soil”.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday December 19th, 2012

Women and Men. Found on Facebook.

Logics 2.0 (f/m).

Basically unrivalled – told by a lady (?).

I (female) go home by bus. It is rather crowded, so I would like to save myself the trouble of having to squeeze through the crowd in order to get to the ticket-cancelling machine. I am starting to ask the lady in front of me to do it for me. But how to address her? Can I thou and thee her?

Since she did not get up at the last stop, I can safely assume she will be riding with me to the final station. I take a closer look at her. She carries a bottle of wine, which means she is on her way to meet a man. The wine is not of the cheap sort, so it must be a handsome man.

In our street, there are only two handsome men: my husband and my lover. She cannot be on her way to meet my lover, because I myself am going there. Consequently, she must be on her way to meet my husband. My husband has two lovers – Katrin and Andrea. Katrin is currently on vacation. …

I: “Hello Andrea, would you be so kind as to cancel my ticket for me?”

Andrea: “How do you know me?”

From the facebook feature Nackt gefällst du mir besser through Matthias Wühle über.

What I like about the story is the unemotional and not-at-all male view of a still very emotional topic… And I hope it is neither anti-masculine nor anti-feminine, but just plain stupid.

It has been slightly modified by me (Roland Dürre).

(Translated by EG)

Tuesday April 24th, 2012

The World of Insects …

Here is another article I found on the internet.

For many years, the industrious ants have been gladly coming to the enterprise each day. They love their job, are hardly ever ill and work happily all day long. All jobs are done quickly and to the greatest satisfaction of the customers. Since they like their job, the ants will hum their song whenever possible.

But times change.

One day, the managing director (a big stag beetle) realizes that he actually has no idea what the ants are doing.

“This cannot continue in this way!”

He generates a new post for a supervisor and employs the dung beetle who has tremendous experience from his various dung heaps. First and foremost, the dung beetle starts with the agenda: office hours. He standardizes the beginning and end times and comes up with a complex rule for working hours. Diverse reports are introduced, the job descriptions have to be described minutely with much effort.

The incoming reports are processed and analysed. This causes overwork for the dung beetle. The managing director stag beetle employs a beautiful ladybird beetle secretary for the dung beetle. Said ladybird beetle also institutes an archive and controls the on-time processing of all the complicated reports.

Regardless, the ants keep working happily and enthusiastically, because they still enjoy their work. Their song, however, is heard less and less often.

The managing director stag beetle is enthusiastic about the work of the dung beetle. At long last, he has numbers he can read in the evening when comfortably sitting in front of his chimney. Since, however, these numbers look jumbled up, he also wishes to get graphic representations and analyses. And, above all, he wants a nice quarter-year prognosis.  Consequently, it is now necessary to employ another assistant for the supervisor, on top of the secretary ladybird beetle. A fly is found. She gets her own colour printer in order to be able to print nice and colourful reports.
The industrious ants hardly ever sing these days. They complain that now they have to fill in so much paper rubbish. In order to manage all this extra work, overtime has to be accepted. At the same time, general manager stag beetle notices that the customers are now less happy.

“We need an administrator for the department where all those ants are working!”

For this responsible job, the cricket is employed. Her chirping is louder than the humming of the ants. First and foremost, she demands an office of her own. The cricket also brings her own assistant, the locust. Because locust always worked as the secretary of the cricket.

The ants no longer sing. They get more and more restive, nervous and sceptical. They fear for their future and call in sick more often. The enterprise goals increase, the to-do list is growing and the planned numbers are climbing.
However, the managing director stag beetle notices after looking at his graphics that, though the cost increases, the turnover does not. Consequently, he has an idea that, from his perspective, makes sense:

“We must see that we become more productive!”

They are looking for a counsellor who isolates savings potential among the ant production. Done as said. They find a mosquito as counsellor. She measures all the production steps of the enterprise. Both the structure and process organization undergo modification. The activity is expensive, the actual benefit minimal.

When reading all the reports and prognoses, the managing director stag beetle realizes that the costs increase while the turnover does not. During the coming quarter year, great losses are threatening. Consequently, he asks “The Glow-Worms”, a famous and expensive counselling company. They get the mandate to analyse the enterprise and work on a plan for saving it.

The Glow-Worms spend three months inspecting all the departments of the company day and night. Eventually, they present their final report. The result is:

“There are too many employees in this enterprise!”

The managing director sticks by the advice. Several sectors are either laid to rest or sold out, some sectors are outsourced and many ants are given notice.

I do not know the author of this story and I made only a few changes.


Monday January 2nd, 2012

Rolo’s Favourite Story

It was Rolo who pointed me towards this story and its author:

Jobber’s Story

We jobbers assembled wires and spirals, put small plastic discs into oval red-painted metal pieces – and at the opposite end of the assembly line sat Mehdi. He drilled a hole through the eggs with his machine, then the thing was finished.

During the first few weeks, I still tried to find out what it was I made. After all, you wanted to find something that made sense in what you did – or at least that was the idea. Well, said one of the jobbers, a politics student from Sierra Leone, the piece is obviously for car motors. It plays an important role in the carburator. The Polish student of religions said it is for export to Japan, where it will be part of a shintoistic sect cult and highly venerated.

The only thing we knew for certain was that the finished pieces were rather expensive. Behind closed doors, it was said that they cost 300.- Deutsch Marks per piece. But nobody knew for certain. The eggs had different sizes. They varied weekly. Our foreman adjusted the machines to fit and we had to do everything exactly as he ordered it.

He enjoyed being in charge and ordering people around. Soon, these students would leave the university and then play boss with their bizarre theories, but here, in the practical world, it was still he who was boss.

His favourite sentence was: »We do not pay you for thinking, but for working.« He was really one of the old types. For him, the phrase “co-operative leadership” belonged in the same category as homosexual swinishness.

One morning, shortly after seven o’clock, Mehdi, the exiled Iranian, called to the foreman: »The machine is not correctly adjusted.« The foreman’s reply was: »How would you know that, you stupid Turk. Shut up and do your work.«

Around eight, Mehdi again called the foreman: »Can’t you see! The machine is not properly adjusted. The angle for drilling is too steep. I think if you…«

The foreman said: »We do not pay you for thinking, but for working.«

Mehdi drilled. He drilled and drilled. 120 eggs per hour. The smile on his face got broader and broader. Occasionally, he shook his head with an air of incredulity: »Rejects«, he said. »Friends, do not waste hard labour on this«, were his words to us, »I am turning all your work into rejects, anyway. These are all rejects.« He chuckled softly. We started wondering when they would discover it.

They found out half an hour before the day’s end. The department head yelled, sounding like he had fallen into the skip. Mehdi was already cleaning his machine when the hierarchy approached him: the department head, the master, the foreman. Well, said Mehdi, hadn’t he told them that the machine was not properly adjusted? The foreman asked how Mehdi assumed he would know this kind of thing.

Mehdi said: »Well, I study machine engineering in the eighth semester.« With tears in his eyes, the department head asked Mehdi if he was aware of the fact that he had produced rejects to the tune of a quarter million Deutsch Marks. »Is that how much it was?«, said Mehdi. The rest of us who were standing around quickly did the arithmetic. Well, it meant that the 300 Deutsch Mark per piece were true.

I think this is a truly beautiful story!

The author is BOV BJERG
Bov Bjerg, born 1965. The former truck driver is now editor for the magazine »Salbader« and columnist of the Berlin city paper »Scheinschlag«. He reads at the »Reformbühne Heim & Welt« and at the »Mittwochsfazit«.
(On the internet:

(Translated by EG)

Rolo is  Rolo Zollner, a cherished friend and excellent photographer. Occasionally, he permits me to publish pictures he took in the IF blog.