又中又英——“eat humble pie”

  Kowloon Motor Bus shot itself in the foot last week by firing four bus drivers who led a strike for better pay after the Tai Po bus accident which killed 19 people. It then had to eat humble pie several hours later by reversing its decision after labor unions criticized the firing. I do not know who made the decision to sack (fire) the four drivers but my advice to KMB is to always look before you leap. KMB’s top management should have known firing strike leaders would hurt its image and create conflict between the company and drivers. Its image has already been badly hurt even though it ate humble pie by changing its decision because even Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor criticized KMB.

  The expression “shoot yourself in the foot” means to do or say something foolish that causes many problems for you. To “eat humble pie” means to admit you were wrong. The expression “look before you leap” means you should think carefully and consider the dangers and problems ahead before you do something. It is clear KMB shot itself in the foot by not looking before leaping. After the Tai Po bus crash, it became known that KMB pays junior drivers less than $12,000 a month. This is shameful for a company that makes a lot of money and is owned by one of Hong Kong’s biggest property developers.

  KMB has put on hold the firing of the four drivers while it carries out a review of the sacking. The four drivers will continue to receive salaries. The expression “put on hold” means to postpone or temporarily stop an action. KMB would hurt its image even more if it decides to go ahead with its decision to fire the four drivers after the review. There is a lot of public anger over low pay and long working hours. One banker told me even bankers are earning less than they used to. Companies make a lot of money but pay very little. That is why there is so much public anger.

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  大埔巴士意外死了十九人,有巴士司機罷工要求更好的薪酬待遇,九巴卻於上星期炒掉四名帶頭罷工的巴士司機,簡直是作繭自縛(shot itself in the foot)。炒人決定遭受工會批評,九巴在數小時後又要忍氣吞聲(eat humble pie)的推翻決定。我不知道是誰決定解僱(sack)四名司機,但我給九巴的建議是:凡事三思而後行(look before you leap)。九巴的最高管理層理應知道炒掉罷工領袖會損害自身形象,兼而製造公司與司機之間的衝突。即使忍氣吞聲(ate humble pie)的收回決定,九巴的形象亦已深受損害,甚至連特首林鄭月娥都有批評九巴。

  俗語“shoot yourself in the foot”意思是搬石頭砸自己的腳,說了或做了自討苦吃的蠢事。 To “eat humble pie”即忍氣吞聲的認錯。習語“look before you leap”即三思而後行,做事前要考慮清楚當中的危險與困難。顯而易見,九巴沒有三思而行(look before you leap),就作繭自縛(shot itself in the foot)了。大埔巴士撞車意外後,公眾知悉九巴給初級司機的月薪少於一萬二千元;對於一間賺很多錢、且由香港其中一間最大的地產商擁有的公司來說,這未免太丟臉了。

  九巴在檢討解僱(sacking)決定期間,已暫緩(put on hold)炒掉四名司機,他們將繼續支薪。習語“put on hold”意指推遲或暫緩一個行動。九巴若在檢討後堅持抄掉四名司機的決定,將進一步損毁其形象。社會上一直醞釀着對「低工資、長工時」的民憤。一位銀行家跟我說,連銀行家都比以前賺少了。各公司都賺許多錢,支付的薪金卻少得很,因此才會有這麼多的民憤。中譯:中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

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