Sunday, November 18, 2007

American SHELL

Thanksgiving 2000. Picture this: Hans having diner with the parents of by than his girl friend Maria Teresa. Diner at the dining room in a suburb of San Antonio, Texas. Discussion topic: retirement. Mike the father (a fervent Nixon, Reagan and Bush worshipper) complains to me that he has to work like an idiot to get a normal pension. He as a chiropracticer had to take care about his pension complete on his own. Than suddenly he told me that from 1966 he worked several years for an American company which gave him great benefits, including pension fund. But after 3 years he was looking for another job since he wanted more challenges in his life, despite the fact that this American company offered him a hugh raise in salary, a better position etc. I asked him which American company it was. He replied: 'SHELL', the oil company. I replied: 'Royal Dutch SHELL'? He said: 'yes'. I was surprised and asked him why should an American company call themselves Royal Dutch. He said that he never thought about that but that there were often 'Dutch people' coming over to his office in Houston (they were drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico). I told him that when a company call themselves Royal Dutch, they must be a Dutch company, right?! And that only Dutch companies which provides extra ordinary services to the Royal Dutch family - in this case the family has a lot of shares of SHELL - are allowed to use the word Royal. And that if he didn't leave the company by than, he probably by now he would be a hot shot in Houston, with an ever bigger house than he had now, and with a yacht etc. And that he not had to worry about his pension. Mike looked at me and said: 'You're damn right, son'. And: 'Hans, we always disagree about politics, but you know, I like you, especially how you explain some things..."

Day Opening - November 18

Pictures of Mongolia.