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Thursday, October 23, 2003

Listen. I run a $500million company. This is serious. When my people travel, if they’re not downloading their email in the taxi from the airport, if they’re not up till 2 or 3 in their hotel room answering emails, catching up on the time they’ve missed on the flight, I consider that gross negligence. That kind of lack of respect for their own time is really unforgivable. Listen, if a client calls me, asking for top-line data, and I say, I’m sorry, so-and-so is compiling the report, but they’re in a plane over Indonesia, that’s no good whatsoever. That is a relationship abused. Trust disappears quickly you know. We’re not talking about small amounts of money.
Listen. I know what I’m talking about. I was in the army. Listen. I’ve given the order to kill a man you know. In Bosnia. That’s right. It was a split-second decision. Them or us. One of my men was standing there with a rifle pointed at his head, some trigger happy teenage border guard. He’s on the radio. What do I do? He says. No time to waste here, no time to get emotional. Kill him I said. Act first, take the initiative, show you’re in charge. That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But I did it. Of course it wasn’t easy but in war that’s the reality. The kid lost his nerve, dropped his weapon, so it was OK in the end, nobody got hurt. But these lads. I felt sorry for the Serbs you know. My boys – these psychopathic Brummies and Geordies, itching for a scrap, I tell you, they were some hard bastards. I used to watch them ride out in the morning on their reccies, tooled up, joking with each other, staring at the hills, waiting, and I thought, the poor Serbs aren’t going to know what’s hit ‘em!
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