Authentic

In a (Gazelle) bike shop in Antwerp, Belgium.

My husband (to the shop assistant): ‘I would like a bike for myself – what do you recommend?’

Shop assistant: ‘Now, that I look at you, the Heavy Duty model for sure.’
My husband: ‘Heavy Duty – very authentic. Describes my whole existence. Let’s find a bike to my wife, too. Do you have also models like ‘Easy Life’?’

Gender

With my daughter (13) at the doctor in Antwerp, Belgium.
When stepping in the GP’s office, we are greeted by the female receptionist.
Then we meet the assistant, also a lady.
A doctor comes in the waiting room – female again.
Finally we are called in by our doctor – a woman.
My daughter: ‘Mom, men cannot become doctors?’
At this point I politely ask my daughter to please retrain from any form of sexism.

Yes, we can!

Just seen the invitation to a renowned international event celebrating diversity – meaning very concretely an award ceremony for outstanding women in business, promoting ‘Gender Equality’.

For the indicated dress code please see the photo.

It is still a long way to go, I presume.. 😉

Fit & proper

Dear Mr(Ms) Bicycle Thief,

You were so kind to have very recently visited us – more specifically my vehicle parking on the street in front of my home.

You could eventually not steal it, still you managed to break a piece in the lock, due to which I cannot use it either.

As for the ethical and moral aspects of your profession, I would rather not touch upon that topic now, as I am afraid we have a significantly differing standpoint in this regard.

Nevertheless, I would like to share with you some objective observations regarding your activity:

All professions have some basic requirements – some fundamental criteria if you want to make a successful career in it – and yours is not an exception.

In case you next time consider to borrow a bicycle that happens to belong to somebody else, and thus you do not have the necessary keys to the vehicle, you might want to resolve this situation with your own mechanical devices – which may or may not be proper for this act.

Therefore, before next time you take action, you might want to assess the situation first whether you are technically equipped to successfully engage in the activity of stealing.

You need to know that for bicycles above a certain value there are safety measures built in the construction itself these days, which makes it somewhat longer to complete the action of stealing… in case you have the necessary equipment AND the sufficient professional experience – the above being conjunctive conditions.

Therefore, before taking a next action tonight, I recommend you to do the below Quick Self-Test in order to properly judge the Adequacy of your Criminal Capacities:

Questions related to the objects you use:

1.) ‘Do I have the proper devices?’

including (but not limited to)

a.) Do I have them from a reliable source’ (e.g. whether I have purchased – sorry, stole – them from a top criminal, or somebody lower rated in my industry)

b.) Do I regularly upgrade my equipment to be aligned with the latest technological developments in my profession (e.g. fit to open new generation bike locks, fit to cut the latest chain types..)

Questions related to your person:

2.) Do I have sufficient years of experience in my chosen business line?

3.) Am I fit to get engaged in the planned specific activity?

a.) Am I handy, in general?

b.) Do I regularly keep my knowledge up-to-date? (e.g. follow up professional literature, attend conferences, meet-ups on the newest trends in modus operandi..)

4.) Do I have good professional reputation amongst my peers? (e.g. am I considered a role model for upcoming professionals).

In case – and only in case – your answer is a ‘yes’ to all above questions, should you invest your valuable time in trying to steal a vehicle.

Otherwise it becomes a ‘lose-lose’ situation, perfectly pointless for all impacted stakeholders.

Thank you for considering the above.

International Women’s Day

Today on business trip in Hungary.

The Committee meeting is to begin, approx. 90% of the attendees are male around the table, a big minority being Belgian.

The other female member, apart from me, calls attention on the fact that it is International Women’s Day today. The Chairman apparently hadn’t been aware of this famous calendar event, so he asks back in an ironic tone:

Chairman: ‘Ah, so today is International Women’s Day. And when do we celebrate International Men’s Day?’

Me (not even looking up from my papers): ‘On the rest 364 days of the year, Mr Chairman.’