Content © 2012-2017 by American IronHorse Owners Organization.  Use of AIH Logo Licensed by American Ironhorse, LLC
The Great Depression   I took a job as an accounting manager in 2000 with a company that manufactured railroad maintenance equipment which turned out to be a serious strategic error.  Manufacturing is a horrible place to try to make a living.  It turned out to be a walk on the wild side.  They had a layoff within two months of my arrival which scared me to death.  Everyone knows last hired, first fired but I was safe for the moment.  I got my first promotion seven months later under rather bizarre circumstances.  I was standing up reading someone the riot act into the telephone when the CEO walked by my cubicle.  He heard me raising ten kinds of hell and decided I would be the right guy to salvage a dying product line.  I traveled all over the lower 48, Mexico and Canada pushing my product, doing R&D and marketing.  A couple of years later I was promoted into International Project Management.  My boss called me into his office on a Monday and this is the conversation we had: Boss: “We need someone to head up a six million dollar project in Singapore. How would you like to be an International Project Manager?” Me: “International Travel?  You bet!” Boss: “Good.  Go pack your bags.  I want you there on Wednesday” Me: “Uh…  Actually, I can’t leave right away.” Boss: “Why not?” Me: “I’m getting married on Saturday” Boss: “Oh.  Hmmm….  Can you put it off?” He was kidding, of course, but at the same time I could tell that he was hopeful that I might say yes.  I got married and the following week I was on a plane to Singapore.  The flight was brutal: first to Chicago, then 14 hours to Tokyo and then a few more hours to finally get to Singapore.  From start to finish the total travel time was 22 hours and the worst part was that I am unable to sleep on any moving vehicle – not even an airplane.  I arrived in Singapore at 11:00 P.M., a walking zombie with a full-on case of jet lag.  Fortunately, my new #1, a Spanish guy named Jose, was there to meet me and bring me to the Holiday Inn where we had set up residence.  Our equipment consisted of three large machines, each the size of a locomotive.  They were being offloaded at the same time I was flying over.  I asked Jose how it went and he just shook his head and said “Let’s get you into your room and we can meet in the bar for a drink.”  When we sat down he told me that the brakes on the tug used to offload one of the pieces gave out and it went over the rail into the ocean.  I didn’t believe him.  Practical jokes are big in this company and I was convinced my boss told him to say that just to mess with me.  Unfortunately, it was all too true.  It was a delightful start to my new job. Since I had just been hitched I was commuting back and forth to Singapore.  One month on and two weeks back home.  Singapore is on the other side of the planet so there is a 12 hour time difference.  My metabolism stayed messed up the entire time I was managing the project.  My boss was great and allowed me the flexibility to tend to the home fires.  Singapore is a true multicultural place with people from all over the world.  It was a former British colony, so almost everyone spoke English.  My own crew was Spanish, Mexican, Indian, Argentinian and American so we fit right in.  We were regulars at the Holiday Inn and knew all of the staff.  They kept us on the 7 th  floor which is also where the Hospitality Suite was located – free booze!  The girls were required to serve our drinks on their knees with their heads bowed – I never did get comfortable with that.  Once they got to know me they did get a little more familiar.  They still did the knees and bowing thing as they served but they might say “Mr. Scott – you see that woman over there?  She is such a bitch!”  There was a swimming pool, hot tub and steam room on the roof.  I didn’t understand the steam room.  Singapore is a tropical jungle so the entire place is essentially a steam room…  There were also shops, a massage parlor and a fantastic Indian restaurant in the basement.  A short walk out the front door took you to Orchard Road which is the main drag.  It was, far and away, the most comfortable field accommodations I ever experienced.  Sometimes I have been required to stay in places where you have to pay by the hour.  I once stayed at a motel deep inside Mexico where the floor was carpeted in brilliant green outdoor carpeting – just like the stuff you hit golf balls from on the driving range.  The bathroom was interesting in that there was no door, no seat on the toilet and the “shower” was a rusty pipe sticking out of the wall at waist height. It occurred to me more than once that I picked a bad time to get married.  The best thing to be in Singapore was a tall, Caucasian American man with money to spend.  Prostitution is illegal but not prosecuted and those girls were beautiful.  Asian culture views sex very differently than we do in America – not nearly as many hang-ups.  The women were very forward.  My #1 even had a hooker living in his hotel room.  He later married her so I guess that was all right, if a little unconventional.  Women were all over the place.  I joined a gym called, interestingly enough, “California Fitness” and it was a true meat market.  I got hit on frequently.  My wife may have been home sleeping around but my morals were a little better so I minded my P’s and Q’s.  We frequented an American themed bar that played a lot of Lynyrd Skynrd and other southern rock.  It was built in the shape of a “U” with the open end toward the door.  Women would enter and then make a tour around the bar to check things out before settling on a place to hang out.  We were parked on bar stools in the back when one of the women approached and ran her hand up inside my shorts as she passed.  I was flabbergasted.  Jose and his lady were with me and I said “Did you see that?  That woman just reached in and grabbed my junk!”  Jose said, “Oh yeah, that happens occasionally.”  Others would come up to me and say something like “You very handsome man – you go with me?”  To be clear, these weren’t prostitutes but regular women just looking for some fun.  If you wanted to join them you had to be careful as sometimes the packaging was deceptive.  We were in a restaurant once when four stunning women walked in together.  They were dressed to impress.  I might have been married but I damn sure wasn’t blind and was delighted to see them seated at a table near ours.  Then they began speaking and their voices were deeper than mine.  That’s right.  They weren’t women.  They may have had nice butts and big boobs but they were definitely packing something else, too.  Asian “lady-boys” take it to a whole new level. In 2006, as a precursor to the economy crashing, the railroad business dried up.  My boss, the operations manager, was told to let 28 of his 30 direct reports go and I was one of them.  He was a great guy and it just killed him to do it.  After he was done gutting his staff he was called in and laid off as well.  Nice.  After that I would get a job in manufacturing somewhere and the position would be eliminated, over and over again.  The worst was landing a job as the Plant Controller at a recycling company across town.  High pay but long hours so on my own dime I sold my house and moved nearby to eliminate the 45 minute commute.  During the interview process I grilled them on the health of their company and was assured that everything was just fine.  Four months later I was laid off again.  By now the economy was in a free fall and I knew I had to get out of manufacturing.  I took a massive pay cut to go to work for the state with the prime motivation being job security.  I was secure for all of 11 months before budget cuts got me riffed again.  I don’t like to think about how many jobs I have had since the depression started but the last one was eliminated a couple of years ago.  Rather than getting back on that merry-go-round again I liquidated my 401k and began trading futures for a living.  So far it has been providing a living for me but the stress of putting your own money on the line is unbelievable.  The upside is that I can go to work without shaving, showering or getting dressed if I feel like it.  Oh, and I can’t get laid off!
March 08, 2014
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ORGANIZATION ORGANIZATION OWNERS OWNERS For All American Ironhorse Motorcycle Owners
Fat Max
© 2012-2017   American IronHorse Owners Organization Use of AIH Logo Licensed by American Ironhorse, LLC 
The Great Depression   I took a job as an accounting manager in 2000 with a company that manufactured railroad maintenance equipment which turned out to be a serious strategic error.  Manufacturing is a horrible place to try to make a living.  It turned out to be a walk on the wild side.  They had a layoff within two months of my arrival which scared me to death.  Everyone knows last hired, first fired but I was safe for the moment.  I got my first promotion seven months later under rather bizarre circumstances.  I was standing up reading someone the riot act into the telephone when the CEO walked by my cubicle.  He heard me raising ten kinds of hell and decided I would be the right guy to salvage a dying product line.  I traveled all over the lower 48, Mexico and Canada pushing my product, doing R&D and marketing.  A couple of years later I was promoted into International Project Management.  My boss called me into his office on a Monday and this is the conversation we had: Boss: “We need someone to head up a six million dollar project in Singapore. How would you like to be an International Project Manager?” Me: “International Travel?  You bet!” Boss: “Good.  Go pack your bags.  I want you there on Wednesday” Me: “Uh…  Actually, I can’t leave right away.” Boss: “Why not?” Me: “I’m getting married on Saturday” Boss: “Oh.  Hmmm….  Can you put it off?” He was kidding, of course, but at the same time I could tell that he was hopeful that I might say yes.  I got married and the following week I was on a plane to Singapore.  The flight was brutal: first to Chicago, then 14 hours to Tokyo and then a few more hours to finally get to Singapore.  From start to finish the total travel time was 22 hours and the worst part was that I am unable to sleep on any moving vehicle – not even an airplane.  I arrived in Singapore at 11:00 P.M., a walking zombie with a full-on case of jet lag.  Fortunately, my new #1, a Spanish guy named Jose, was there to meet me and bring me to the Holiday Inn where we had set up residence.  Our equipment consisted of three large machines, each the size of a locomotive.  They were being offloaded at the same time I was flying over.  I asked Jose how it went and he just shook his head and said “Let’s get you into your room and we can meet in the bar for a drink.”  When we sat down he told me that the brakes on the tug used to offload one of the pieces gave out and it went over the rail into the ocean.  I didn’t believe him.  Practical jokes are big in this company and I was convinced my boss told him to say that just to mess with me.  Unfortunately, it was all too true.  It was a delightful start to my new job. Since I had just been hitched I was commuting back and forth to Singapore.  One month on and two weeks back home.  Singapore is on the other side of the planet so there is a 12 hour time difference.  My metabolism stayed messed up the entire time I was managing the project.  My boss was great and allowed me the flexibility to tend to the home fires.  Singapore is a true multicultural place with people from all over the world.  It was a former British colony, so almost everyone spoke English.  My own crew was Spanish, Mexican, Indian, Argentinian and American so we fit right in.  We were regulars at the Holiday Inn and knew all of the staff.  They kept us on the 7 th  floor which is also where the Hospitality Suite was located – free booze!  The girls were required to serve our drinks on their knees with their heads bowed – I never did get comfortable with that.  Once they got to know me they did get a little more familiar.  They still did the knees and bowing thing as they served but they might say “Mr. Scott – you see that woman over there?  She is such a bitch!”  There was a swimming pool, hot tub and steam room on the roof.  I didn’t understand the steam room.  Singapore is a tropical jungle so the entire place is essentially a steam room…  There were also shops, a massage parlor and a fantastic Indian restaurant in the basement.  A short walk out the front door took you to Orchard Road which is the main drag.  It was, far and away, the most comfortable field accommodations I ever experienced.  Sometimes I have been required to stay in places where you have to pay by the hour.  I once stayed at a motel deep inside Mexico where the floor was carpeted in brilliant green outdoor carpeting – just like the stuff you hit golf balls from on the driving range.  The bathroom was interesting in that there was no door, no seat on the toilet and the “shower” was a rusty pipe sticking out of the wall at waist height. It occurred to me more than once that I picked a bad time to get married.  The best thing to be in Singapore was a tall, Caucasian American man with money to spend.  Prostitution is illegal but not prosecuted and those girls were beautiful.  Asian culture views sex very differently than we do in America – not nearly as many hang-ups.  The women were very forward.  My #1 even had a hooker living in his hotel room.  He later married her so I guess that was all right, if a little unconventional.  Women were all over the place.  I joined a gym called, interestingly enough, “California Fitness” and it was a true meat market.  I got hit on frequently.  My wife may have been home sleeping around but my morals were a little better so I minded my P’s and Q’s.  We frequented an American themed bar that played a lot of Lynyrd Skynrd and other southern rock.  It was built in the shape of a “U” with the open end toward the door.  Women would enter and then make a tour around the bar to check things out before settling on a place to hang out.  We were parked on bar stools in the back when one of the women approached and ran her hand up inside my shorts as she passed.  I was flabbergasted.  Jose and his lady were with me and I said “Did you see that?  That woman just reached in and grabbed my junk!”  Jose said, “Oh yeah, that happens occasionally.”  Others would come up to me and say something like “You very handsome man – you go with me?”  To be clear, these weren’t prostitutes but regular women just looking for some fun.  If you wanted to join them you had to be careful as sometimes the packaging was deceptive.  We were in a restaurant once when four stunning women walked in together.  They were dressed to impress.  I might have been married but I damn sure wasn’t blind and was delighted to see them seated at a table near ours.  Then they began speaking and their voices were deeper than mine.  That’s right.  They weren’t women.  They may have had nice butts and big boobs but they were definitely packing something else, too.  Asian “lady-boys” take it to a whole new level. In 2006, as a precursor to the economy crashing, the railroad business dried up.  My boss, the operations manager, was told to let 28 of his 30 direct reports go and I was one of them.  He was a great guy and it just killed him to do it.  After he was done gutting his staff he was called in and laid off as well.  Nice.  After that I would get a job in manufacturing somewhere and the position would be eliminated, over and over again.  The worst was landing a job as the Plant Controller at a recycling company across town.  High pay but long hours so on my own dime I sold my house and moved nearby to eliminate the 45 minute commute.  During the interview process I grilled them on the health of their company and was assured that everything was just fine.  Four months later I was laid off again.  By now the economy was in a free fall and I knew I had to get out of manufacturing.  I took a massive pay cut to go to work for the state with the prime motivation being job security.  I was secure for all of 11 months before budget cuts got me riffed again.  I don’t like to think about how many jobs I have had since the depression started but the last one was eliminated a couple of years ago.  Rather than getting back on that merry-go-round again I liquidated my 401k and began trading futures for a living.  So far it has been providing a living for me but the stress of putting your own money on the line is unbelievable.  The upside is that I can go to work without shaving, showering or getting dressed if I feel like it.  Oh, and I can’t get laid off!
March 08, 2014
Want to contact Fat Max? email Fat Max ...
ORGANIZATION ORGANIZATION OWNERS OWNERS
Fat Max