Friday, 16 November 2018

Comrade Carl travels on British Airways

Our chief nerd, Comrade Carl Marks, returned from a trip abroad which included a visit to a key client, who is unhappy about the delivery delay of our new release. The goal of the Comrades' trip was to announce yet a further delay.

Comrade Carl flew British Airways, business class. The comrade texted me from the flight that "BA hires cabin crew who don't speak English, kibinimat". Later he corrected himself-the cabin crew are Glasgow based.

Comrade Carl sauntered into my room and plopped down on the couch. I never shared the fact that I have a couch in my room. The couch is for nerds who have  a "well-being" crisis.
More on that later.

The comrade asked me,"Gloria, HR is the grand yarn master of them all. How would you announce such a delay of delivery if you had to do my job? What cock and bull story would you tell"?

I was about to answer when Carl continued. "No one dares tell the Brits that there is no solution for Brexit, which was voted in by the peasants. No one tells the world that Gaza and Israel will be at war for at least another 300 hundred years, or more, if you ask me. No one except yours truly has the balls to manage complexity!"

I asked the Comrade how he broke the news to client. Comrade Carl replied, "I used a Russian solution. We told them that we had delivered the solution twice yet their staff was too ignorant to install it. They asked for proof, and I told them that the proof is in the mail. Then we smoked a joint, I gave them a thick manila envelope, and came back home, spoiled rotten by those Scottish lassies on BA".

Comrade Carl fell asleep on my couch, and snored like my Dad used to.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Cynthia Axe lodges a complaint after a taunt by Comrade Carl Marks

Comrade Carl

My down-sizer and modern day slave, Ms Cynthia Axe, caught me by surprise in the executive elevator, which she has no permission to use. However our freight lift has been inoperable for a week due to a religious or tribal festival of the technician responsible, hence Ms Axe's presence as I sallied down to lunch.

"Gloria, Comrade Carl told me that the #metoo movement has removed all critical thinking from the western press. Then, he asked me to replace his morning newspaper with something more reliable, like the Morning Star, which I have never heard of. He told me that sent a nasty email to all his nerds, which I think you should read". Then she added, "instead of delegating, tell me what to do".

I informed Ms Axe that I read all my mail only to have Ms Axe inform me that the mail was sent "at this very minute".

I whipped out my phone and Comrade Carl explicit missive hit my eye. "Boys, one of you idiots told Ms Axe that the King of Saudi Arabia is not a reformer, just another crazy middle eastern despot, many of whom chop off fingers and heads at will. The only reason that he is called a reformer is because he allowed a few ladies to drive. Boys, please understand  that Ms Axe is very sensitive as well as not too bright, so don't go blabbing about what I told you. Spasiba. Comrade Carl."

Axe looked at me and bleated like a sheep, "Lead me, first lady".

True, Ms Axe does do my bidding with great dedication. She downsizes our firm with great diligence. But she does need a performance review. I want to introduce her to the idea of stretch goals and creativity.

Moi and Miss Axe

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

The five stages of mastering HR

Influential people (some of them with PhD's like me) have approached me about how to prepare their birdies and ladies to succeed in the mission-critical role of HR business partnership.

I don't let people down, especially if they can promote me, and as such, I have acquiesced and agreed to share the five agile modules that I use to teach HR at Stanford, McGill, Harvard and Oxford. 

Module One-Madame Therese Defarge as the ultimate HR heroine: The art of downsizing from a master! As a matter of fact, Defarge was the initial first lady of HR even though she was not an American lady, nor did she own a blockchain.

Module Two-Leveraging Illegal Immigration for Diversity: How to hire illegal immigrants at sea to achieve the double whammy of social responsibility and inclusion.

Module Three-Focus, focus, focus: Juggling between transgender toilets, engagement programs, ethnic food day, and the happy hour.

Module Four-Data Mining for the HR lady: How to maintain aesthetics and personal hygiene whilst mining for data. During this module, we visit a data mine in Germany. As time and weather permit, I will bring my blockchain to the mine.

Module Five-Men in HR: This is a short module, void of content, yet provided to be fair for the soon-to-be-extinct HR male.

To register one of your birdies, or if you yourself are an interested birdy, please press 8 followed by the number of the module, then wait for an attendant.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

The end of white privilege

The ever so unreliable Hugh White

When I opened my email this morning, I almost died. I stress almost. I'm still around.
There was an email in my inbox from Hugh White, the straight white boy who manages Diversity and Inclusion, addressed to our CEO Stan. 
Stan is what you would call a white boy, as white a sheet, who studied at Yale to boot. Voila, here is what he wrote.

From: Hugh White
To: CEO Stan
CC: Gloria
BCC: all


I have been watching the Kavanaugh hearings. Suddenly, I feel a strange sense of empowerment. I hear God (or one of his assistants)  telling me that the end of white privilege is upon us.

Since I was hired, I feel like a fig leaf, hiring a few disabled people here and there, and training our staff to show respect to one another, even if they eat smelly oily food. But now, I feel that my time has come to make an impact.

Isn't it time that we hire members of the management team who don't speak good English? Isn't it time that people of colour were hired not only  in development teams, the parking lot and facilities? Isn't it time we close down for Jewish holidays in September so we can have vacations like the French? Isn't it time that all managers bring their report cards from school and prove how smart they were?

And I want to be honest with you Stan my boy. Gloria is my boss and I am fine with that. But just as easy, I could be her boss. HR is dominated by very assertive females like Gloria; even though Gloria herself is white, this too must end. My wife Ludmilla told me it must end rather quickly. She means business.

Finally Stan, just to be clear. I was a virgin until I was 14, then I had a mishap. A minor one. I drank Canada Dry at home and Heineken at parties. And on occasion, a Labatt Blue, Brewmeister or Stella.

Thank you for taking the time to read this epistle. Looking forward to a bright future, free from the chains of oppression.

Hugh White

Monday, 10 September 2018

The Dutch Experience

Wassen-Knippen in Holland
This year was the first time I took vacation since I became Executive Senior Vice President of Human Resources aka Chief People Person. I spent 8 days in the Netherlands, aka Holland. Before I left, I locked the door of my office and took 6 cellphones and 13 batteries so that I could stay "au courant" with what's happening at the office.

Yes, I know that I have used aka twice.

Comrade Carl- "So what?"

Upon my return to work today, I found Comrade Carl Marks (our chief nerd) was sitting in my office. The 21 pictures of my dear old Dad, Pierre Elliot, had been replaced by pictures of Mister Joseph Stalin, Marshall Zhukov and Comrade Lazar Kaganovitz. "Don't worry, Gloria", sprouted Carl, "I know that you are back; I'm moving out. I just wanted to prove that I can do both your job and mine. I learnt that HR is not much when there is no one to fire or brainwash".

On the wall
As Carl was taking down his photos and removing his clutter from my desk, he told that "Holland is an interesting place. The ladies in De Wallen make more that most HR executives and work far less. And they are unionized to boot, which is something that one would expect from Sweden. And there is no private parking, Gloria. If you were Dutch, you would be driving a fucking bike to work, even in the winter."
 Marshall Zhukov on the wall

I asked Comrade Carl if he wanted to hear about my vacation. He said, "let me finish, Gloria, kibinimat".

"The joints in Holland are high quality. The joints are almost as good as the cheese. I think the government there has things right-if you can't beat it, tax it. Not like those stupid puritan two faced Americans who fight wars against the human lusts like drugs, sex, pleasure, sex and sex, and dump a president who pays a hooker a small fee to shut the fuck up."

I reminded Comrade Carl that he is American.

"So what, Gloria, you are Canadian and you are not a socialist. You screw the working class."

Then Comrade Carl kissed me on the forehead, took his gear and departed. "I missed you Gloria, but Miss Axe can do your job and she dresses very scantily, like many of those Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and lovely gaunt Albanian women in De Wallen".

Back at work

Friday, 17 August 2018

A blockchain dedicated summer-camp visits our firm

An HR job

One of our core values is social responsibility. The value is so core that we have not changed it since the Vikings ruled the waves.

We express our core values in three ways. We hire illegal immigrants at high sea (somewhere off the coast of Libya), we serve tribal food in our dining hall & donate the remains to the local YMCA, and each summer we host a group of twelve years olds from a local summer camp dedicated to blockchain enrichment, which is run for the children of the Tax Authority.

CEO Stan asked me to "personally organize the day for the kids, Gloria. That's a pure HR job, isn't it". I tried to delegate this role to Hugh White, the white straight lad who runs Diversity, but since these kids were all white and too young to have a sexual orientation he claimed "that's not why I was hired. My wife stands behind me on this". Hugh's wife, Ludmilla White nee Khrushchev, tends to wear the pants in the White family. Ludmilla's great grandfather worked for a nasty, wicked chap  named Lazar Kaganovitch, who apparently helped form Ludmilla's  "forceful" character.
Formed Ludmilla's character

I planned 3 main events for the kids, who arrived prim and proper at 10 AM. One of our nerds from Scotland described our product to the kids in plain and simple terms, using great pyrotechnics. When he asked if there were any questions, the kids asked "what language are you speaking"?

Then we took the kids to the customer service centre. We put one of the calls on a loud speaker. The client was in Korea and our service engineer was in Bangalore. The client was swearing at the service engineer, who resigned in the middle of the call. Our churn rate for service engineers in Bangalore is 28 minutes per engineer, daily. The kids laughed a lot whenever a curse word was uttered.

Finally we took the kids up for lunch at our company cafeteria. It was Smelly Spicy Food Day, and 5 white Americans from Sales were having severe stomach issues and a strange stench permeated the air. The kids tried to guess "what the hell that smell is"? Then, the police arrived to arrest our kitchen staff, who landed from Syria just a week ago. 

Towards end the day, I ushered the kids into CEO Stan's office. Stan was on the line with an angry customer and texted me, "take those brats up to Mister Herr Krebbs in Finance. He'll handle this for me".

Mister Herr Krebbs told me at the door of his office,  "Ich rede nicht mit Kinderin", or something like that. "In Germany, we send our kids to the Black Forest in sommer, vit no focus on blockchain".

Delegates to Mister Herr Krebbs

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Do tired nerds need mild drugs to improve engagement? - Or is this just Dummheit?


Comrade Carl Marks, our chief nerd, recently explained why our latest software patch will be 9 months late. "In World War Two, there was a massive use by the German army of a very mild drug  called stuka-tabletten ; their troops fought for six days without sleep.  After topping up on Pervitin, most of our blokes could also work without sleep. However, if you look at the results of the war, I would not suggest emulating this practice. So we need to extend our timetable by a few months, a year at the most."

Our CFO, Mr Herr Krebbs who himself is German, said to Comrade Carl: "Hor auf! Vy you not stop talking about ze war, Comrade Carl. The Russian ekonomy is Scheisse. So focus on today unt get ze produkt out ze door. We need revenue. Ja. I am finished speaking."

Our CEO Stan barked at me, "Why did you recruit me a team like this? Comrade Carl is unbalanced and Mister Herr Krebbs is so.........German."!

Then Stan recomposed himself and stated, "I want to sum up this discussion. Clearly, our nerds have a finger up their ass; they are not working hard enough. Comrade Carl is a great leader but he has no followers. He is a false messiah perhaps, no doubt a tragic figure. The nerds appear lethargic; I see that that our engineers have too many somatic ailments from the data HR provides. Gloria, please run a health check on everyone over 30, and see to see if they can work for 18 hours straight, digest pizza at 2 am without getting constipated, and work as hard as hooker on Saturday evening. Then revert to us next meeting with this data. I think we need a clean sweep of our manpower; use a blockchain if needed".

Mister Herr Krebbs mumbled, "Dummheit" Stan bellowed, "speak English for Christ's sake, Mr Herr Krebbs."

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

How my Dad shaped my view of diversity

Were my viewof diversity enabled by my German blockchain? Mais non! Dad shaped my views of diversity "daily", which is a word that I use quite a lot. But this time I mean it. Mais oui! 

My readers know that Dad sold insurance, and he often described his job as "I have a licence to steal".

My late father, Pierre Elliot Ramsbottom, was a mountain of man. As a matter of fact he was a legend in his own time. 

True, diversity wasn't a subject way back then, but dear old Dad constantly educated me vis a vis his diversity Welstanschauung, which is a French word followed by German word.

Dad was a white Canadian, white as a lily as a matter of fact. He never stepped into a house of worship, and in his will, he stated that no "man of the cloth" was to say a word about him when he "croaked". Dad told me once, "Gloria, anyone who tries to ram religion down your throat, stay away. I have never known one member of the clergy who isn't hiding some sordid secret. Christ, Gloria, some of the Popes were sexually active, if you know what I mean". Dad then added, "Gloria don't you dare ask me what sexually active means".

Dad had a way of grouping the Chinese and the Jews together. At first I didn't understand. In my class, I had Sharon Bernstein and Winston Wu, who didn't seem very similar to me. But Dad explained to me one winter night when we were stuck is a snowdrift waiting for the tow truck that "Jews and Chinese both value family, work hard, get good marks, and are shrewd in business. And you know what Gloria, they both like Chinese food". Dad also pointed out that there are far more Chinese than Jews. I have always valued data driven observations.

Dad never spoke directly about the gay community. But he often said to me, in a round about way, "Gloria, when people go into a room and close the door, they can do whatever the fuck they want. Live and let live Gloria". As an HR manager, I do believe in "live". On "let live" I am still a work in progress.

Dad was no fan of the Europeans, as a whole. The French got most of his disdain because of their lack of fierce resistance in World War Two. "Gloria, they all claimed to have been in the underground. That certainly was a big underground, for a country which caved in like a tower made of cards". 

The Germans, claimed Dad, need to be "watched closely", because "they stir up shit every so often".

As far as the Americans are concerned, Dad warned me that "they aren't all that worldly, and many of them have never been out of the state in which they were born, except for Las Vegas".

But Dad loved the Brits, even though he always, always mentioned that "Russian spies know every single thing that goes on in England. Did you know, Gloria, that the head of British counter Soviet intelligence was a Russian spy? Did I ever tell you that? Jesus H Christ, how stupid can you get?".

Dad must have said those words 4000 times, daily.

Anyway, Dad shaped my views on diversity.  Ultimately, I hired Hugh White, a white straight boy, to manage our diversity slash inclusion campaigns. This year, we are focusing on getting the illegal immigrants to learn some English.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Gender bias and the HR lady

When CEO Stan and I sat down for our weekly one on one, I immediately noticed that he had had a hard night. It appeared that last evening, Wifey had read an article about gender bias in hiring in some Toronto based newspaper. 

Wifey told Stan that one CEO had found himself in the slammer for claiming that pregnant women make good candidates, except for the fact that they are pregnant. 

"Stan", Wifey suggested, "meet with Gloria and ensure that you don't end up in the "calaboose". I don't want your name to be all over the front page because of your primitive biases. Do you understand me, Stanley"?

Stan told me even before I sat down that "gender bias needs to be eliminated. Right now." Then he added, "I just want to give you my brief guidelines."

Verbatim, meaning word by word, this is what Stan then said.

"Gloria, we all know that women make good HR managers and great admins. Apparently, this is not enough anymore. There is a jihad going on and I don't want to see you get slaughtered. On the other hand, I do not want to have our schedules delayed due to motherhood related issues, minor attacks of hysteria and overall nervousness. I also don't plan installing more mirrors in the toilet. Finally Gloria, jihads are fine, if you live in the Middle East or France, or Sweden. But I want our workplace run with functional pragmatism, diversity, openness and engagement. Maybe Merkel wants jihad; I don't".

Finally Stan said, "Strike a balance Gloria. Do the right thing. Perhaps hire a few pretty cadets with nice legs to work in my office for the summer".

On the way out of his office, I walked by Comrade Carl who was speaking to Ms Axe. "Cynthia, what a pretty lady you are. Heavens, if I woke up next to you, I wouldn't need to pop a Cipralex each day.``

Cynthia said, "Anything is better than working for that bitch Gloria".

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Traveller assistance HR bot, blockchain based, now available in Asia and Australia

Whats in your tucker bag, Comrade?

Our chief nerd Comrade Carl Marks was on a customer visit to beyond the black stump in  Walawalawalawong Australia where he was arrested upon entry at Sydney Airport because he forgot to declare that he was wearing wooden shoes. Anyone who is everyone (and the opposite) knows that you are not allowed to bring wood into Australia.

To make things worse, Carl had some lice in his nostrils so the Australian cops shit their pants from happiness, Carl enabling them to meet their daily arrest quotas early, then go have a beer at 2 pm. "Off the to the clink, weirdo,  and welcome to Australia", said the cops as they put the not so jocund Comrade Carl in the cooler.

However, since I am the first lady of HR and way ahead of the pack, I had already deployed our emergency hotline bot for travellers, which set off an alarm the moment that Comrade Carl was handcuffed and hauled away, from an HR perspective. The hotline bot was aimed at extricating all travellers from their woes/ whinges within an hour or so, New York time. This is in alignment with our core value of "blockchain enhancement to make people happy".

Sadly, all software has its bugs, and our emergency blockchain dashboard indicated that Comrade Carl was in a Bangkok brothel without enough money for prophylactics. 

The Comrade’s bank account was accredited with 350 Thai baht, in Australian dollars. Immediately, an SMS was sent to the incarcerated Comrade asking him how satisfied he was with our agile service.

Here is the text message that I received.

"Yob tvoyiu mat, Gloria, you and your whole f—king HR department. Your helpline is as useless as tits on a bull. Get me out of the slammer now, kibinimat, or I will refuse to do my annual appraisals. By the way, the wine they serve in prison is very good. Love, Carl"

Blockchains are not perfect

Friday, 27 April 2018

Hiring pregnant staff

I am not yet returning to Canada

CEO Stan told me that if 'you hire one more pregnant staff, you are out on your pretty ass, Gloria, and as far as I am concerned, you can go back to Canada on a one way ticket.'

While I have no specific opinion whether or not pregnant staff should be hired, I had not yet developed a set of questions which allow our managers to appropriately filter candidates, from a pregnancy perspective. So, putting on my thinking cap, I developed the following questions and sent them to the 'Recruitment Group' on Whatsapp. I backed up the Whatsapp with an email and text message.

1) Please tell us what you think about the following statement-'an undisclosed pregnancy during the hiring process is a major felony on the part of the candidate'.

2) Please tell us to what degree you agree with this sentence. 'A pregnant candidate is a great candidate. She can work like a man, even though she gets paid less. The only problem is that she is pregnant.'

3) To what degree does the following sentence describe your state of mind- 'sexual abstinence helps me achieve excellence at work; abstinence is sexier than a blond  Swedish blockchain.'

When our CEO Stan received this Whatsapp, he told me that 'you won't be going back to Canada for a while, and make sure not to get knocked up, Gloria.'

Pregnancy after retirement, svp