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 The 21 pictures of my dear old Dad, Pierre Elliot, had been replaced by pictures of Mister Joseph Stalin, Marshall Zhukov and Comrade Lazar Kaganovitz.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

Thursday, 12 April 2018

How to lower health insurance premiums using a blockchain


Ms Ramsbottom,

Here is the summary of our meeting today, during which I was asked to stand for 2 hours without being offered  a glass of water.

1) We have granted your company a 70%  discount on health insurance premiums for all your staff, legal and illegal.

2) Dental treatment for wisdom teeth is valid beginning with the 5th wisdom tooth.

3) Drugs covered by the FDA are not covered. Drugs authorized by Eastern European health agencies are covered after 3 months of hospitalization. The first three months of drug treatment are to be defined as 'user experience preparatory training'.

4) Ambulances are to be provided within 5 minutes for nerds injured whilst driving and texting, when proof is provided that company business was involved.

5) Our doctors, or some of them, will speak some English.  All are medical doctors, nurses or skilled agrarian feldshers

6) Your senior management team is upgraded to an improved plan.

It was a pleasure meeting with you and observing your Austrian blockchain. Indeed you are the first lady of HR.

Ann Shuurer-Ortega-Otelini

Wow Insurance
Account Manager

Friday, 6 April 2018

Dressing to kill -what is it ? according to a German/Swiss blockchain

Our nerds are too traditional

Comrade Carl Marks, our head of R&D, surprised me as our senior management meeting was wrapping up. 'Some of our nerds claim that some of the secretaries, most HR ladies and the lady paymaster in finance dress in a way which is offensive to their tribal traditions. I want to know how our HR lady Gloria plans to manage this. By the way, personally, if you ask me, I don't mind how the ladies dress, as long as they don't drag me into court for gawking at their wares, kibinimat'.

Before I could answer, CEO Stan said, 'Comrade Carl, you have brought up a salient point. I am sure you all know what salient means'. CFO Herr Krebbs, who is German, was looking this word up on his mobile phone. 'Jaaaaa, I know vat it means. Gut. Weiter '.

CEO Stan, who comes from the old school, remarked that hiring nerds from primitive cultures keeps costs down, but takes all the fun out of work. Then, CEO Stan asked me to 'manage the polarity between morality, common sense, fair exposure, and the level of excitement, intellectual or erotic.'

I love managing polarities. My mind is boiling up 'vis' new ideas.....on one hand, on the other hand, on the third hand. And I remember my Dad telling me that 'we only have two hands, my dear Gloria.' I will need to use my German blockchain to figure this out. 

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Answer to refused job applicants


Dear Candidate,

Please note that your name is in the BCC of this email,
which is sent all 5243 candidates who applied to our firm for the job of service engineer.

Applicants to this job were rejected either because they spoke English too well, they did not respect HR ladies, they flew on 'ethnic airlines', or because they wanted to maintain a work life balance by sleeping at home more than 3 days a week. Sexual preferences were not factored into choices, nor was skin colour or religion in most cases.

So yes, the answer is no. As in yes, we have no bananas. 

However, as the first lady of HR, I would love your experience with us to be wow, 'ergo' I am offering you a discounted weekly subscription to my book blog, 'In search of meaning in the Gig Economy'. It is very short, 10 pages, and you can get a copy by wiring me ten euros.

Thanks for applying. And by the way, do you know any illegal immigrants? If so, we are hiring them to wash cars in our executive parking lot. For each applicant referred, one gets 3 discount points which can be redeemed at my sister Claire's online store. She sells guns (to US residents), German blockchains 2nd hand and sunbeds to Scandinavians.

So merci and tak. We hope you have enjoyed your virtual stay with us, albeit as a rejected candidate.

Dr Gloria Ramsbottom 
1st lady of HR

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Improved Healthcare for our nerds based on Swiss/German Blockchain generated data

Health care is a cornerstone of our recruitment strategy. Every illegal nerd that disembarks the boat knows that we provide health care that simply was not available in the homelands from which these nerds emanate. Leveraging these health benefits as well as one hot meal a day, we manage to be the employer of choice for some nerds.

So what is it that is so attractive in health plan? Well, an old Canadian commercial used that say that most shoppers shop at Dominion 'mainly because of the meat'. So here is the meat of our health plan.

Each nerd gets one  free MRI a year, on any organ he (or she for that matter), chooses. Even if nothing hurts, an MRI is available. Travel to and from the rustic clinic (in Halifax) is  by Greyhound at a small cost. Details on our website.

A free pack of Cipralex is provided for all nerds in pre sales. Nerds in Customer Service get an Abilify boost for their Cipralex and a framed copy of the Sykes-Picot agreement.

Headaches, backaches and toothaches are all dealt with by our in house medic (фельдшер)Dr Alexei Feldsher, who served in the Red Army in the 1930s.

If surgery is needed, all nerds get 30 US dollars towards a Ryanair ticket to Sweden, where the authorities have a good reputation for compassion.

I do know that many HR managers and leading professionals may ask, 'where does that HR lady procure her innovative abilities?'  Well, there are those us who think and those of us who do. I'm both, thanks in no small part to my Swiss and German blockchain.