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Deserving a Fresh Start —Cagle

May 2008

Quebecor World deserves a fresh start, on its own and away from Quebecor Inc. It has some talented people at the local level, and solid group leaders like Doron Grosman and Kevin Clarke. But most observers agree that the company has been a victim of poor management from the mother ship; the revolving door that has been the top position at Quebecor World, resembling the New York Yankees’ managerial post in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Thousands of good, hard-working people need this reorganization to go smoothly. There’s no reason for Quebecor Inc. to undermine what the printing arm is trying to accomplish, especially at such a delicate juncture in its existence. It’s already been made clear that Quebecor Inc. doesn’t want to be associated with World and is asking for the name to be dropped.

It says here that the sooner Quebecor World can disassociate itself from Quebecor Inc., the faster it can embark on a brighter future. When you’re trying to get back on your feet, the last thing you need is a stab in the back.

DO THAT MATH AGAIN: Dropped in on Dresden, Germany, last month for a KBA press conference and marveled at not only how bad a beating the U.S. dollar takes on the exchange rate with the Euro, but how much more expensive everything is in Europe, or at least this part of Germany. It would seem Germans need to have an annual income of €100,000 just to break even.

Alas, that’s hardly the case. Some of the slums on the outskirts of Dresden resemble chicken coops. So sad to know people live there...

When I saw the price of gas, my mood brightened, temporarily. I was then reminded that the €1.30 rate was not for gallons, but liters. That’s roughly $10 a gallon. Yikes!

SPEAKING OF EUROPE: I’d like to take this opportunity to vouch for the reputation of Americans. On the world stage, we’ve been called “ugly” for various reasons: our nation’s politics, inability to speak foreign languages, etc. But, apparently we’ve set the global pace for manners.

At a buffet dinner in Germany that featured journalists and guests from more than 50 nations, several U.S. and Canadian folk returned from the buffet line shaking their heads. Apparently it is not out of line to cut in front of people, or even bump into them, without as much as an “excuse me” or an apologetic nod. And this wasn’t an isolated incident; oafish behavior was prevalent throughout the night.

It seems the concept of forming a “line” is strictly a North American phenomenon. PI

—Erik Cagle

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