Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Wellness program for nerds working from home

"Wellness" could have been my middle name. Alas, I have no middle name. But "alas" is such a formidable word.

Our firm is well known for its wellness programs, which include pizza after 1 AM, partially subsidized shared taxis to shuttle the nerds home at 5 AM, an Early Bird Retirement Program to which one can register via Whatsapp, and free webinars piped into the toilets. I haven't told you yet, but our wellness program won an award from the Danish Daily, Der Lykke.

This having been said, our wellness program needs to be tailored to the reality of working from home due to the so-called Covid virus. 

After a twenty minute conference call with Ms Axe and Mister Hugh White during which I listened with patience to their asinine ideas, the new wellness program was formalized.
However, needless to say that our custom made new tailored wellness program is a team effort. I led, and my lackeys followed.

So voila-here it is: 
1) Partially subsidized  masking tape will be provided to ensure quiet during conference calls.
2) Remember our corner restaurant, The House of Wong, which provided us with ethnic food until the shutdown? Well, I spoke to Mr Wong himself, and the restaurant will provide meal #17 at $12 a pop, and we will subsidize these meals by $2, after the third meal, beginning in June.
3) Shaving kits will be provided so that you bums look presentable for con-calls with clients. The kits include a razor and a small, fragrant paper towel. Blades will be provided for nerds taking part in key client calls at the pace of one blade a week. Hairy nerds needing more than one blade can apply to Huge White on our Diversity Portal- hr/diversity/corona/hairynerd/oneextrabladeplease

Friday, 27 March 2020

Working remotely-New Guidelines

Comrade Carl Marks, our chief nerd, held an all hands meeting on-line with his 19 teams leaders via Zoom.
Carl believes that "19" is not too large a group to manage, especially since "my lackeys worship the ground that I walk on".

The goal of the said meeting was to clarify the ground rules of working remotely. Comrade Carl invited me to the meeting, promising me that "you could wrap up the meeting and send out action items by email and Whatsapp." 

I joined Carl in his room 5 minutes before the meeting began, looking  my best. The Comrade had a picture Comrade Lazar Kaganovitch pinned up behind him. I asked the Comrade who this bloke is, and he told me, "the people who need to know, know".

The comrade spoke for 3 hours and 45 minutes, and the nerds were attentive, or, nodding off to sleep. Some of their nerds were asking their kids to translate Carl's message to their native tongue-Russian, Ukrainian, Arabic, Urdu, Hebrew, and what have you-which rhymes.

Often Comrade Carl and I have our differences about how to communicate to the boys, but except for one point, I saw eye to eye with the Comrade.

His main messages were:

1) Corona or not, work hard or get fired.
2) You can eat whenever you want, because at home, none of your English speaking peers can smell the food you eat.
3) Don't take calls in the loo. Dress properly, and if your name is Svetlana or Natalie, you can wear whatever you want.
4) Speak clearly. If you don't speak proper English, keep your message brief and speak slowly. R and L are not the same letter; my name is Carl and not Sir, and Gloria is Mademoiselle Ramsbottom, not Gloria. Honour the HR lady and keep her holy.
5) Trust is the key to working together. If you don't cooperate, "I'll bust your fucking heads against each other."

Then Carl added, "thank you boys. I include the ladies".

Then Carl said, "anything to say, Glo?"

I mentioned that "parking and food allowance will be deducted starting today and one week retroactive" adding  that "discretionary effort is not all that discretionary". 

And then, I allowed myself to contradict one of Carl's edicts. "Svetlana and Natalie, talk to me after the call". Carl smiled and offered me a joint. The call ended.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Crisis Management during the Corona Virus Outbreak

I miss Dad
And it came to pass that the "powers that be" demanded that we all work from home, except for a core team of ten key players who can continue to work from our office.

CEO Stan, Chief Nerd Comrade Carl Marks, CFO Mister Herr Krebbs and I met in Stan's office to decide who will constitute the core team.

Comrade Carl, smoking a joint and drinking a brandy, showed us a video clip of the Queen of Denmark, explaining how to wash ones hands. Mister Herr Krebbs said that "ve don’t need a member of any rrrrrroyal famileee to explain zat. Ve are civilized." 
Comrade Carl stated that he is a member of the core team because his present girlfriend is "a pain in my Russian ass". Stan reminded Carl that he is American-"Carl my boy, you just think you are Russian."

At that point, I began to think that things are getting out of control. I was right. Mister Herr Krebbs asked me. "Fraulein Gloria, do ve neet an HR team? Zoon, ze business vill cloze". 

CEO Stan saved the day. "Mister Herr Krebbs, we have no business anymore, so who needs finance? The banks are storming our gates. Go hide at home to buy us some time". Herr Krebbs bleated out, "I vill take care of ze banks if you let me be a member of the core team. Danke". Stan acquiesced.

I proposed that CEO Stan be a member of the core team. Stan told me. "I don't need you to tell me that young lady. You are way out of line. Make us some coffee". I replied that militant union activity, led by a militant Scot whose English is hard to understand, is imminent and Stan replied, "Forget the coffee my dear, you are in the core team". As a perk, Stan asked me to ensure that our blockchain gets oiled by his footman, which puts his footman under my command.

After we agreed on the core team of ten, which included Ms Cynthia Axe and Hugh White from Diversity, I asked for a 700 K budget to monitor nerds' activity at home and prevent shirking. Mister Herr Krebbs suggested that "you use British Pounds and buy Israeli surveillance equipment". Herr Krebbs explained that if the Israelis know how to remove a genital mole from terrorists' private parts in downtown Tehran remotely, surely they can know what each Jose, Sanjay, Moshe, Fiona, Oya and Eike are doing."

Suddenly, I missed my dad, Pierre Elliot Ramsbottom. He knew what to do when the shit hit the fan. 

Joint and brandy

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Emergency Steps to prevent Corona Virus spread among our nerds

Shake a leg, Gloria

Our chief nerd, Comrade Carl Marks, sent out an email to all our management and staff which read, "Shake a leg, Gloria. You have promoted all this wellness bullshit and now is the time to put your money where your mouth is. A vicious virus, made in China, is threatening our nerds. Act, pronto. Tak. Love, Comrade Carl".

When I got the email, Carl was sitting next to me at the lunch table in his favourite Russian restaurant. I asked him "why didn't you just speak to me. Tovarish (Comrade)? 
"Talking is human-email is divine", noted Carl.

I am in a quandary, which is a nice word. On one hand, I am a business partner and our nerds need to work as well as travel to customers in Asia. On the other hand, there are constraints that I need to factor in, which have to do with the so-called corona virus. 
Dad used to tell me that "you only have two hands, Gloria."

I felt an urge to act, not think. I am Canadian, not Danish or Spanish.
These are the measures I have decided upon, and if you ask me, this platform serves as an evidence based protocol which could be universally adopted to cope with the corona virus.

1-No more bat-soup at lunch.
2-Remove splinters from the cheap toilet paper we ordered from the third world to keep costs down.
3-Travel to and from Asia all to be rerouted through a 3rd world airport to avoid bureaucratic hassles of overzealous border officials. Travelling nerds with be equipped with a 5 Euro bribe to grease palms, as needed.
5-3 star hotels in Asia, and no street food to be reimbursed.
6-Shared taxis to and from airports only with fellow travellers who appear to be healthy.
8- Use of call girls-Verboten, even in Romania
9-Honour the HR woman, that your days be long upon the Earth. Otherwise, I will encourage herd immunity.
10-Some toilets will be equipped with wellness kits, as soon as we recruit our new supply chain manager. The kits will include a Danish passport, hand spray, 5 "slices" of toilet paper, soap, a nail clipper, and a picture of Miss Axe.

Follow me @GRamsbottom

Friday, 28 February 2020

The Exit Interview

You cannot just axe employees and flush them down the toilet. Mais non. Actually you can, but "haram", i.e, you shouldn't.

Why? Even dismissed employees have value that can be squeezed from them. So I have decided to explain how to extract this last drip of value, albeit my reservations. On one hand, I do not want to give away all my knowledge freely since I am not Danish, but on the other hand, I do seek recognition as the first lady and as la prima ballerina of HR-thus, I am willing to share tidbits of our agile exit interview process. Here is how it works:

Six months after an employee has returned home to join his family and squander his severance pay on beer and women (or men for that matter), we interview our nerds in a Whatsapp group called "The House of Lords". 

The exit interview consists of 5 questions, in English, and for each question answered correctly, the severed nerd gets 50 cents for use in our company canteen. The 50 cents is valid for 21 days, except in June and July as well as odd days in the third week of every second month.

Are you interested in knowing what these questions are? Read on.

1) What did you value most about the HR ladies' contribution to your wellbeing? Why aren't men good HR managers?
2) Would you describe our severance package as more humane or more compassionate?
3) If your spouse is nagging you now that you spend more time at home, are you interested in my new book, "Thriving at Home After Severance"? It costs $30 USD. I do not accept British pounds.
4) Have you started to improve your English? Or have you reverted to speaking your tribal tongue?
5) Do you miss the smell of spicy food on Diversity Day? Do you miss working with people who are very much unlike you?

Btw, all answers to these questions are documented in our Blockchain, which was Made in Austria.

Wellness program for nerds working from home

"Wellness" could have been my middle name. Alas, I have no middle name. But "alas" is such a formidable word. ...

Glo at her best