Zut alors!! Smokehouse pan-European operations being introduced to cut costs in the value chain (is that a cheap bicycle?). Doing business with the Continentals is like the light bulb; we have a bayonet fitting in Britain and they have a screw fitting - the trick is to bayonet them before they screw us. The point of Europe is somewhere to go on holiday with good bread, not to do business with countries whose banknotes look like subway murals. Personally I love the Europeans; the French play great rugby (when they're not gouging your eyes out), the Italians make great cars (if you ignore the rust) and you can't beat the Dutch at drugs and prostitution. And then of course you've got the Germans, but you won't find me knocking them; when you're up against the Latin Mafia in these Euro-meetings, they're your only ally.
Hayley (secretary) has organised first Euro-meeting. Travel broadens the mind and I find the extra width is filled with impure thoughts. There's nothing like clearing customs to get the old testosterone racing. That's the great thing about us Eurobusiness types; a lot of meetings in exotic capitals with uninhibited Eurototty. Had lunch with Bill Peters (chemicals) and we agreed that women are the ultimate marketing triumph: a unique combination of functional and emotional benefits in great packaging. But I'm good at being faithful (in the past have been faithful to three women at a time!). Of course I'm happily married, but what she doesn't know won't hurt her. It's what we call 'knowledge management'.
Flew to Charles de Gaulle for first Euro-meeting. Easy to spot the Europeans; the men wear brown shoes and sports jackets and the women look like models.
The Italian guy used the 'No Smoking' sign to light his cigarette. I told one of the French guys that this had a certain Je ne sais quoi. He didn't understand so I said sang froid, elan. Still nothing. His English obviously wasn't that good. Got chatting with Uwe the German and reassured him we were all on the same side now. Checked all the women for rings; a wedding ring is shorthand for 'I have the sex life of a dog blanket' (going by my wife, that is). Clocked a fantastic French girl and felt my mind broadening immediately. You know what they say about French women; they may be strangers to the old Philips Ladyshave but they go like a TGV, if you'll pardon my French.
All-day meeting with the Europeans including the top French totty. She had an accent that made you want to weep, so I agreed to everything she said (turned out afterwards I agreed to relocate major manufacturing plant to Grenoble). Asked her to come for a drink a deux cheveaux as we Eurobusiness types like to say, but pas de joie. Just before end of meeting we decided on new Euro-strategy - we will meet four times a year in a major capital, agree high-level pan-European strategy, do our shopping and then go home and do what we've always done. That way the highly paid 'help' get their European matrix management and we get our shopping. Voila!
At the airport remembered to buy some Coco Chanel for the wife to show sensitivity etc - not sure if it's the one she loves or absolutely hates.
Bumped into Uwe in lounge and we agreed what a fantastic piece of totty the French girl was. Asked him whether he had a problem being faithful.
Uwe then let slip he was married to the 'fantastic bit of French totty' in question. That's taking European integration a little bit too far, I told him, and explained that totty was English for 'businesswoman', in case he took offence. Typical bloody Germans. Always pip you to the post. Then he told me I should see the funny side. No sense of humour the Germans.
You can contact John Weak at: firstname.lastname@example.org.