rumor has it…about “guanliao”

Here’s a story for a Monday morning: My husband and I recently bought a condo in Dali, where we plan to retire. This past Chinese New Year, we opened the condo, calling the gas company to send someone over to connect our gas line. A team of three people showed up. The best dressed of the group carried a clipboard and explained to us what was happening. One of the electricians set to connecting the line. The third was there to oversee the young man making the connection and insure that he didn’t make any mistakes. The entire process–explaining, connecting, and checking the connection–took about ten minutes. Once they had finished their work, they moved on to the next condo.

I found it ridiculous to send three people to complete the job. However, when I told a 20-something friend this story she half-jokingly responded, “Wow, Dali is really efficient!” She then told me that most government and central enterprises had an even higher ratio of bureaucrats and supervisors to actual workers. At her company, she explained, actual work didn’t start until Wednesday because on Monday mornings top level executives met to decide on the week’s work, Monday afternoons, vice-executives informed managers of their responsibilities, on Tuesday mornings, managers further refined jobs for office heads, and then on Tuesday afternoon, office heads assigned tasks to actual workers. I laughed (as I was supposed to) and then clarified, “You’re exaggerating, right?” And she said, “Not really. There are at least four or five levels of management above my level, where the work actually happens. Even in Shenzhen, it has all become too guanliao.”

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the tale of hotpot waters…

For a brief moment, the following bit of satire circulated on the Chinese web:

Rumor has it that after Hotpot was swept away by the Direct Line to Heaven, Noodle Master Kang of the Mother Company was openly fighting with Tire and Heaven Direct. The morning fireworks on the 20th were also part of this fight, with the result that the Noodle Master Kang took a serious hit. Even though these past nine years Heaven Direct has charged his way into the silver screen, nevertheless he’s well intentioned. After all, twenty years ago just outside the preserved ham shop, he was the man who stood behind Yangzhou Fried Rice. If y’all sing and eat hotpot again, his nine years of blood and sweat will be as nothing. Thus, it’s a good thing that Tire has the camouflage firmly in hand and soundly thrashed those instant noodles. [original: 听说火锅被天线端掉之后,母公司康师傅正面死掐轮胎和天线,20日凌晨炮竹声也是此事,结果是康师傅惨败。天线这九年虽进军影视,但人心向善,毕竟20年前腊肉馆外他是站在扬州炒饭背后的男人,你们再唱歌吃火锅,人家九年心血全没了,所以幸亏轮胎紧握迷彩涂装不放,才狠摔方便面。]

Traces of the passage remain in google cache but can no longer be accessed on Baidu (image below).

Why was the spoof so quickly removed from Baidu? Continue reading