Monday, 8 May 2017

Managing clients by Rumours

Fuck the data on the dashboard, kibinimat

On May 1st, the entire engineering team including the Artificial Intelligence-Bot Group was  convened by the Chief Technologist Comrade Carl Marks for the lecture of the month. The lecture was given under the benevolent auspices of HR talent management, which is a subject under my imperial wing.

Comrade Carl invited me to join him on the podium, which I turned down because I have been busy texting my sister and mom and someone else; please no questions at this stage.

Comrade Carl opened his lecture by asking the crowd to applaud until "our beloved HR manager takes a bow", which I did in line with my core values of seeking recognition.

Comrade Carl told his people, "please turn off your phones, or at least pretend to. We need to act civilized. This is the USA, although none of you comrades have a green card".

Carl lectured about our new clients in North Korea  and Venezuela who have commissioned new products and plan to pay us by barter or by sending us cotton T shirts. Carl said that "if you read the specs the client sent us, it is not unnatural that you have some questions. However, there is no need for alarm because we are scrapping all the data driven development tools that "HR rammed up our ass" and replacing it with rumour-driven specs."

One of our more opinionated nerds, Comrade Igor Berdichenko-Itkovitz, asked "Tovarish Carl, what do you mean"?

Comrade Carl told Igor to sit down and shut up until the lecture is over and then "I will field your questions".

Carl ended up his lecture by asking developers to spread rumours to the clients that "Kim  and/or Maduro want this and that", this and that being based on our capabilities.

The nerds jumped to their feet and started to scream: "We love you Comrade Carl" and ""Death of Data" and "Gloria Go Home".

Sometimes I wish I was a torera, a hairdresser or the owner of a quiet lake by the warm and sunny sea. 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Taking up a job teaching HR at Oxford

Some snobbish readers may be surprised that I am considering take up a post at Oxford to teach for a year as a resident HR business partner. I would suspect that many Brits would think "what would Oxford ever want from that brainless twat?"  That is narrow minded, if you ask me.

Oxford, along with McGill, Swinburne and Secretary Academy of Montreal, are great schools that my Dad wanted me to attend; he applied a lot of pressure on me, When I was in grade one, my Mom Constance told my Dad, "Pierre Elliot, Gloria should be a hairdresser; not everyone needs to go to Oxford. Stop pushing  her to over-perform."

One thing led to another and as readers of this blog know, I reached the pinnacle of HR, specializing in each and every aspect of HR, zenga zenga.
And unlike Prince Philip who was born in Greece, I am not ready to retire. I feel that it's time to teach others what I know best-sloganeering, data mining, positioning, conniving, sycophancy and change management with an emphasis on execution via feigned compassion.

So, yes, Oxford, were you to finalize your generous offer, I'm on my way.
(Please pay me in any currency except British pounds; I fly premium economy and check in 6 bags).

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Aging parents and the workplace

News about a new Canadian province

Our CEO Stan's 140  year old mother is alive and kicking. She has memory problems and she no longer speaks any English, which according to Stan, is the only language she ever knew. 
Yet Stan rarely takes time off  to visit her in accordance with our core values of work work work life balance.
Last week, I heard Stan tell his wife, " No, I won't visit Mom today; the old bitch doesn't remember anything anyway. We'll visit next Christmas."

In a round table discussion today with CEO Stan, an artificial intelligence nerd named Igor asked the following question, "We all have aging parents, as I am sure you know. What is the policy for folks who take a few hours off to do medical errands for their parents? Until now, HR has docked our pay when we step out, which seems unfair".

CEO Stan confronted me in front of the nerds. "Gloria, is that the case? Does HR have no heart? Is that why you have a company car, a parking space and health insurance?" Stan told me the question is rhetorical and promised to "rectify the situation with the ladies of HR".

After the round table, Stan called me into his office. "Jesus Christ Gloria, I am sick and tired of all this transparency. Why do pay cheques provide detail why salaries are docked? Have you become a Scandinavian liberal democrat? From now on, please use random numbers next to each article of docked pay. And send that Igor-nerd who asked me that question back to Russia".

I told Stan that the nerd in question is from the Crimea. Stan answered, "Is that up in Canada"?

His mom is 140

Monday, 10 April 2017

How do I know that I was born to be a leader?

It was clear from day one

From day one, or at least from when I remember, I knew that I was destined to be an HR business partner and leader. There were clear milestones in my life that stand out clearly as I reflect back on myself. By the way, my phone is in repairs, which I why I have time to reflect.

I will share with my readers the 3 main watershed events that led me to know that I was on the high road to leadership.

My gym teacher, Mr Bork, told me, "you are very competitive Gloria; you run faster than a bat out of hell. And in the leg department, you are number one." In those days, there was no PC. Besides, Bork was gay.

In secretarial school in Montreal, I managed to finish an essay on "who am I" within 3 minutes. My teacher, Mme Bouchard, did not like checking long essays, and she gave me a triple A and wrote on the essay, "magnifique", which means magnificent in French.

In my supply chain course in a business simulation, I drove 3 out of 5 vendors into receivership! The course coordinator, Madame Levesque,  pointed out to me that "with your attitude, you could easily be in HR, young lady".

I want to thank my dear Dad Pierre Elliot for making me into the leader that I am. He never made me sleep in the cold like they do in Denmark, I never had stomach aches since we never had supper after 6 pm like people do in Spain (like Dr Eva) , and he spared me learning German grammar, "which only Germans, Austrians or White Namibians can ever master".

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Choose between money, engagement or meaning-one to a customer

I do agree that all over the world, democracy appears to be on the wane  as it were. I think that "on the wane" is a great term, although not au courant. (Bots and AI, for example are not yet "on the  wane". HR if not practised with lots of fresh salt free data, IS on the wane.) 

Democracy is the key to making some nerds happy some of the time. For example, why should clients set impossible delivery deadlines on their own? Why should Quality Control unilaterally determine the quality of the product? Why should an HR lady, as smart as she may be, balance between salary on one hand, as opposed to meaning or engagement on the other hand. By the way, I only have two hands.

In light of the above, and in line with my core value of delegating major choices, starting today, all new recruits will be able to choose between receiving a paltry salary, landing a job with a high level of engagement, or a role with depth and meaning.

The salary alternative is called The Gloria Plan. The engagement alternative is called the Machiavellian Plan. The meaning alternative is called the Happy Norwegian Plan.

The Happy Norwegian Plan used to be called the Danish Plan, but times change. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Can you lead if you suffer from hemorrhoids?

Crazier than a $3 bill

Last week, the Board of Directors demanded that CEO Stan  move all of our software engineering to Bangalore within a year. Very concerned about the skin on his ass, to-day Stan convened a meeting of the senior leadership team to discuss "how quickly we can fulfill the board's agile request".

Comrade Carl Marks, our chief nerd, asked to make a few opening comments "before we move into the implementation stage". 
I sent Stan a text suggesting that he not acquiesce to the Comrade's request. Throwing me to the lions Stan said, "Gloria suggested by text that I don't allow you to speak, but I am a liberal. But make it short, Comrade Carl."

The Comrade lit a joint and said, "Look here, the board members are a bunch of greedy fools. All they care about is a dime here and a nickel there. Development in Bangalore makes no sense. The trip over  is far too long, the traffic there is horrible, and I cannot smoke a joint because I could end up in jail. If the Board wants to save a few "groschen", let's close HR here in HQ, outsource it all to a call center in Tirana Albania. The Board will have its pound of flesh. True, Gloria loses her VP title and parking spot, but the gig economy for former HR directors is very inviting. Spasiba".

Stan had not been listening to Comrade Carl's speak because his hemorrhoids have flamed up. Stan said, "Interesting point Comrade Carl. Noted. Please prepare an action plan. Now Gloria, how are you going to support moving Carl's team to Bangalore, over there in India?"

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Artificial Intelligence provides the ultimate User Experience

#AI enabled involuntarily early bird retirement

The Head of our Involuntary Early Bird Retirement Program, a certain Cynthia Axe, met with me today after I had put her off for six months. 
Ms Axe, who was chosen the most unpopular employee for 67 quarters straight, presented me with options how we could augment downsizing activities leveraging artificial  intelligence and bots, otherwise known as AI.

There is always a dilemma whenever I sent staff off for training. Ever since Ms Axe listened to the (free) webinar on Becoming a Business Partner, she has been brimming with ideas. Personally, I don't care if you brim with ideas, as long as you do what you are told.

Ms Axe told me that by providing each downsized employee with a pair of special glasses, the user experience would change for the better. "The glasses could make it appear as if they were about to receive a million dollars, instead of a kick in the ass", claimed an excited Miss Axe.

Ms Axe did not stop there. "Gloria, we can hire a few bots that can fire people in their local language. 89% of the people I fire don't understand half the time that they are losing their jobs". 
I noted that over the years, Ms Axe is becoming more compassionate.

However, when Ms Axe claimed that AI could make each downsized employee believe he (or she) is in Copenhagen where people are happy all year although they live in the dark-that's when I suggested to Ms Axe that she calms down until "you get a handle on things."

My Dad Pierre Elliot used to tell me Mom to "get a handle on things" when he noticed her raising her voice during change of life.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Triple the amount of artificial intelligence

Danes are happy board members

The wife of our CEO Stan, a lady known to my readers as Wifey, has struck once again. Wifey has been reading 16 hours a day about bots & artificial intelligence.

This reading spree of Wifey happened simultaneously with a board meeting this week during which the Chairman of the Board informed CEO Stan that "you are walking on thin ice; if you don't show profit in 2017, you are out on your fat ass. Now get the fuck out of my room and start running the company".

I have never seen Stan's bum, but the Chairman meant business, if you ask me.

On the very same day of the chairman's veiled threat, the head of our Engineering Department Comrade Carl Marks organized a demonstration (with 700 of his nerds) outside Stan's office calling for more ethnic food, less focus on UX / customer satisfaction and release from the bonds of profitability.  One demonstrator carried a placard which read "Stan, Gloria et RH au poteau". 

Wifey's reading spree, the chairman's threat and the demonstration threatening me with a guillotine-when put together, provides the context for a text message Stan sent me an hour ago.

"Gloria, we need more reliance on artificial intelligence, especially in R&D management. Treble the amount of bots which mange code development. One more demand-our board lacks in a sense of happiness. And give everyone a Danish passport to augment the amount of happiness. All this within a week, or you will get the boot. Stan. PS I don't need a Danish passport; I like warm weather and sunlight."

Under scrutiny

Thursday, 2 February 2017

On the job dying

A votre service

One of the nerds in on our big data algorithm team is a Spanish lady named Maria Paula Juanita Gomez Rodriquez Goldberg Teixeira de la Plata. 

This morning, Maria stood behind me in the line at the coffee machine. In a moment of bravery Maria asked me "Dona Gloria, ¿lo que pasa  if we die at work? Back in old Spain, the government takes care of this for the dead and his or her family. After all, we are part of Europe now". 

I have no idea what Europe has to do with this, although I do know that in parts of Europe like Denmark, the government pays for everything. 

In line with my core value of functional transparency, I explained to Maria that our HR policy stipulates that a nerd who has remained at work for 3 straight weeks and has refrained from washing as well as eating, who has no next of kin waiting to be deported from the USA, is entitled to a free cremation, along with a mainstream religious service conducted by Skype, mainstream being Catholic, Protestant or Jewish.  (We used to have a 4th  religion until the recent elections).

I forgot to tell Maria that the policy is only applicable for people who die on People Day.

Maria told me she was delighted to know and asked me if HR plans to introduce a siesta from 1300 till 1700 into the work schedule. 
Luckily, before I had time to get angry, I got a text from my dating service and Maria was spared my wrath.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

A traitor in our midst?- On Industrial Espionage

Who was Kim Philby?

Once every five years, I invite the HR staff for tea and a biscuit at Au Beau Pain, which is a restaurant with a French name. This outing increases engagement by 6%, linked to the British pound. 

As the HR team chatted at Au Beau Pain restaurant today, I was bored stiff, so I started texting my sister Claire, until I heard the voice of one of nerds, Andrei Ivanov, sitting behind me. 
I cranked my head to turn around;  lo and behold, Ivanov was sitting with one of our key customer's head of engineering. I know that their conversation was none of my business, and I remember that my dad always told me "don't eavesdrop Gloria-that's very rude",

But I could not help myself. 

As soon we got back from the restaurant, I told Comrade Carl Marks, our chief nerd, that Andrei Ivanov had told the client engineer "not to expect too much from the next software release. Our company is going down the tube, and my boss Comrade Carl thinks he is Russian. If you have a job opening, I'll take it, even though our ladies of HR are very pretty."

I suggested to Comrade Carl that we immediately drag Andrei Ivanov into court. But the comrade surprised me.

"Gloria, don't butt into my plans. Clearly you don't know about Kim Philby. He was a Soviet spy who also happened  to work his way up to lead the  British Intelligence anti spy network. 
Kibinimat, that was a huge achievement which I plan to emulate. I plan to plant Comrade Ivanov into the clients' team in order to improve client satisfaction and user experience. And you have a key role in the act of deception Gloria".

I asked Comrade Carl what my role was to be, in line with my core values of keeping things crystal clear so that I keep my blood pressure down.

"Fire him (Ivanov) Gloria, without a hearing, yet keep him on payroll for two years. CEO Stan need not know about this. Spasiba. When this has been done, send me a text with the message "Ja".

Spasiba in Russian means "merci". 

My Dad never told me about Philby. But he always used to say over supper, "if Tim Buck loves communism, he should move to Russia." My mom would add, "Pierre Elliot, who gives a rat's ass about Tim Buck, for heaven sake".

Improving user experience

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Fear of the gig economy

Classified job descriptions

Herr Krebbs, our German CFO, asked for permission to speak in our management meeting today. Our CEO Stan said, "Mister Herr Krebbs, don't be so formal, just speak up, for Christ sake. And speak clearly-I cannot understand your weird accent".

Herr Krebbs said that "ve don't have enough kontrol at ze product level; I haf my doubts if any of our prrrroducts make any profit. I sink we need more data at ze  indiwidual product level. Ja. I finish".

Comrade Carl our chief nerd  exploded from anger. "Kibinimat Krebbs, do I comment about your fucking team of losers from Accounts Payable in Finance? None of our vendors get paid on time. Go clean your own back yard, yob dvou mat. It's no wonder why we clobbered you at Stalingrad! "

CEO Stan turned to me and said that "the team's behaviour does not reflect our core values of brotherly love, Gloria. Why do I pay you a fat salary as HR manager? Do you want to join the gig economy?" I almost died when I heard the word "gig". I popped a Clonex.

After the meeting CEO Stan called me into his room. Sitting next to Stan at the small but elegant table in his room was Herr Krebbs, our German CFO. Herr Krebbs stood up and shook my hand, although we had seen each other innumerable times during the day. Stan, Herr Krebbs and I chatted for 90 minutes after which Stan issued the following email.

To Gloria and Mister Herr Krebbs
From CEO Stan

Herr Krebbs and Gloria will hire a finance project controller in R&D. This controller will analyse each  project to determine the profit margin.
Comrade Carl need not know about the existence of this role. The new recruit will work from home and will be payed from a slush fund, under the radar of the Ethics Committee. (Gloria, you own that.)
Gloria and her HR ladies promise that Comrade Carl and the new recruit will work in pure harmony. Herr Krebbs' skepticism is noted and dismissed.

Thank you,
CEO Stan
I almost died