Thursday, March 4, 2010

Daily Report: Bad Idea Them, Good Idea Us


I got an e-mail from my boss at work the other day: "I'm taking you off of the ________ Hospital account. I get more complaints about your work than any other transcriptionist."

This particular account has 16 transcriptionists working on it. I do about 20% of the work for that account while the other 15 transcriptionists do the remaining 80%. My manager apparently was too dumb to look this information up.

Now, of course, this account has gone kerplooey, 50% of the work is returned late, my manager is pleading for everyone (except me, naturally) to work overtime to help this account, and I'm laughing.

The thing is that this hospital is the centerpiece of a much larger medical center spanning 4 or 5 hospitals and various dozens of clinics, and it is a very finicky customer upon which it takes a very long time to bring new transcriptionists up to speed. I have a feeling that now they'll be gone soon, and probably take a huge chunk of my already-bankrupt company's revenue with them. I like to think that it will mostly be my retarded manager's fault. I've really never worked for a blatantly stupid person until this particular manager (this is the third or fourth such display of intellectual dysfunction on her part) and I'm finding it a unique mix of frustration and personal satisfaction.


Warren had the idea to import a shipping container full of generators from China and sell them to hardware stores here in Cagayan De Oro. I set up a meeting today with a friend of mine (through The Eagles Club) who works in Customs, and Warren and I met with him for an hour to discuss what was involved.

Essentially, we need an agent to get things through customs; we can't do it ourselves. However, we are still waiting on the actual tariff rate: My friend (although high up in Customs) doesn't handle tariffs, only inspections. He needs to get in touch with the assessor to get a quote, which we are waiting on. But, even if the tariffs are as high as 50%, it should represent a 100% return on investment for what should amount to 20 hours work in total.

And Chetumaire: We looked into importing solar panels, but unfortunately solar kits are too expensive. The time-to-break-even point, where people would not have to pay more for solar than their current electric bill is in the range of 10 years. In other words, if we wanted to sell solar panels to people, we would have to do it on a 10-year payment schedule in order to make it a "better" deal than electricity.

After the meeting with the Customs official, it was back to Warren's house for the evening, where we went over construction plans for the chicken barns. (Warren works in construction, and had some fantastic ideas for barns which had never been considered before, which will reduce construction costs and make barn expansion and cleaning much easier.

Oh... then we had "Chicken Tonight" over rice. Warren had bought some of the "instant dinner sauce" from Australia on his last trip. I know it sounds rather "macaroni-and-cheesish" and plebian, but oh it was a beautiful change from the norm.

I bought a bottle of sake rice wine at the store as well, since Warren had never tried that before. He didn't care much for it.

Then he gave me Vegemite, which I had never tried before, to get even.


By the way, I had one of my two recurring dreams again tonight. The first one I have is the running-through-the-airport dream, trying (and always failing) to get to Brazil (of all places... although I have been there twice), a dream which I have about once a week. The other one, which I had tonight, and have about half as often as the Brazil/airport dream, is being forced to re-join the Navy, being stuck back on my old aircraft carrier with no uniform, no job, no friends, and no clue where to go, and just wandering around the mazy corridors trying to figure out to where I'm supposed to report, and hoping that I don't get yelled at for being out of uniform.


charish said...

Haha...I love the dreams. I think we all are looking for ways to make some money. I love the photos from you walks.

Anonymous said...

Why do you have to import solar panels into the Philippines, when they manufacture them there by one of the largest solar manufacturers. The company is called Sun Power. You can also just by the solar cells and make your own panel or pay a Filipino 250 pesos a day to do it for you.

Jungle Jil said...


We looked at manufacturing them here as well, but the price was no better: Still at roughly $2 per watt, not including batteries and installation. A 500 watt system would cost around 60,000 pisos, and it would replace a 400-piso electrical bill; thus a 150-month breakeven... before profit.