Friday, 3 May 2019

Loyal Opposition in Organizations

I got stuck with the lunch tab

Comrade Carl invited me to the Plan of Records Committee Meeting, during which product release dates are set in stone. 
Carl asked that I film the meeting and “show it to your HR cronies to illustrate what real leadership looks like".

In the meeting, Comrade Carl stated that a new product version to a Cook Islands client needs to be released 6 months earlier than planned and asked for comments. Sanjay, Sanjay, Sanjay, Svetlana, Svetlana, Svetlana and Igor all claimed that the new commitment  was "doable". 

Nguyen, true to style, kept silent. 

Aaron claimed that the new release date is delusional but the "client does not know his ass from his elbow, so we can blame them when the product backfires".

Comrade Carl told Aaron that he appreciated his openness, and asked me to escort Aaron to Ms Axe, for a “choppy choppy” session as well as a new membership card to our Early Bird Involuntary Retirement Plan. Aaron had a brief meeting with Ms Axe, and he left the building with his head tucked underneath his arm.

I challenged the comrade over lunch an hour later, noting that “in my correspondence with the British and Scandinavians, I have noticed that dissent may have a positive function in creating commitment”.

The Comrade downed 2 cheeseburgers, four brandies and a martini and was silent for ten minutes, during which I texted my sister and picked at my chicken salad. Then Carl lectured me as follows.

“Gloria you don’t have a fucking clue. Dissent is important only the decadent west, where opposition is “loyal”. Loyal opposition?  Are you crazy? Jesus Christ. In the west, the opposition serves as a check and balance, and protects the minority. That’s why the west is fading. Everywhere else, opposition is silenced, killed or stowed away in jail, kibinimat. There is no room for opposition in my regime. That’s why I’m so revered. That why I pay your salary. Btw  Gloria, read up on Comrade Lazar Kaganovitch, a fine administrator of creating firm commitment to a regime. And look how the good dentist Dr Assad of Syria bounced back from the brink - dumping his 4 millions dissenters in the heart of Europe".

I reminded Comrade Carl that none our products have been sold in 7 quarters. “That’s another issues Gloria. Don’t mix apples and pineapples”. 

Then Carl upped and left the table to pee, and apparently fell asleep on the can. I paid the bill, and went back to the office to play with my new German blockchain.

Carl's role model
Tovarish Kaganovitch

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Comrade Carl returns to work immediately after surgery

After a kila repair

As HR business partner, I often wonder around the cubicles, eavesdropping, gossiping and picking up tidbits of minutia in an effort to be ahead of the pack.

This week, I had planned to spend my time wandering around Comrade Carl Marks' Blockchain Department. The comrade underwent surgery on Sunday for a triple inguinal hernia (which he called a "kila") so I thought that this week would be a good time to gather information about Carl's leadership, in the opportune time of his sick leave.

When I entered the physical domain occupied by Comrade Carl's nerds this morning, I was surprised to see them sitting on the floor, surrounding their leader who had come straight from the hospital.
Comrade Carl was gaunt and he certainly was not sitting down, but he appeared clearly in charge. He told his nerds that it took 12 men to strap him down to the operating table, and that he talked on his cellphone giving orders even as he was put to sleep "by a Russian anesthesiologist named Vlad".  

Comrade Carl told his nerds that hernia surgery is "nothing at all" and although he feels a twinge here, there and don't ask where, he is in full command and "I will shoot the first nerd who tries to move into my space. Don't fuck with me".

Comrade Carl told his nerds that "I could have had sex an hour after surgery, but decided not to, because risk assessment is the duty of the commander".

Carl then asked all of his nerds to kiss his ring, and wish him "refuah shlema", a full recovery in some strange tribal ritual. 

"Gloria let's go to a stand-up lunch table", suggested Carl, who walked slower than usual, more like a duck that a person.

Carl said, "I am not a liberal leader, sweet Gloria. My nerds come from 3rd world shitholes where weakness means "here is a chance to take control and ax the leader. All that bullshit HR theory teaches compassion, but there is no compassion, just power. You are either a hammer or a nail, kibinimat."

Carl handed me a $20 bill and said, "lunch on me. I'm going out to run a mile. Lunch is not good for my Gesundheit".

I saw Carl get into a taxi, slowly, and head home.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Transcendental leadership

Pilates uber alles

CEO Stan's wife, who all we all call Wifey, invited me out for lunch, in line with her core value of scrutiny. Wifey is a brainy damsel, and if you ask me, she does not really hold Stan in as high esteem as does his management team.

Wifey told me that she just had finished an adult education course on the "legacy of the Obama foreign policy" . 
Wifey explained to me that Obama crafted his policy towards the Middle East as it should be, as opposed to how it actually works. 
Wifey told me that except for Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, his value-driven foreign policy paid off, as it were. "He even won the Nobel peace prize. He transcended reality. That was brilliant".

After our dessert of coffee and Danish with 5 scoops of vanilla ice cream, Wifey suggested that I propose some changes to our HR policies factoring in the Obama doctrine, while mitigating the risks. "Perhaps you can convince the nerds to value their salaries and management as they should be".

When I asked Wifey to put more meat on this proposal, she told me that "I shall rely on you, my darling Gloria. You are sharper than a Swiss knife and sweeter than a Hungarian cupcake". Then Wifey left the restaurant and I picked up the tab, which I expensed.

When I got back to the office, I updated Comrade Carl Marks, our chief nerd, and asked how he would go about incorporating Wifey's proposal. 

"Eureka," bellowed Carl and took a shluck from his joint. "HR is useless and can be replaced by a voice automated bot, however, we have herein a great opportunity to milk our investors for more money. We, meaning you Gloria, need to hire a marketing manager  pronto in order to convince our install base and potential clientele to admire our product as it should be, with vision and messianic expectation. Then they will accept the metaphysical essence of our product as it is".

Carl took yet another "shluck" of his joint, and gave me a kiss.  I was running late so I bolted out to my Pilates class. 

There are days when I feel that this job is a bit over my head, but in the positive sense.

Transcending reality with a shluck

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questionnaire- How diverse are YOU?

100% non diverse

Today was Diversity Day, and Hugh White, the straight white boy who runs our diversity plan, gave a lecture to our middle management about how to diagnose the level of diversity in each team. 

During Hugh's long, tedious, protracted lecture, the audience texted their family and friends, sending Whatsapp messages to their native homelands. When Hugh finished his talk, 69% of the nerds were sound asleep.

Hugh had prepared an online questionnaire, which I have included below, which all middle managers need to "administer to the nerds in order to determine their level of diversity". A nerd who score 5 "yes" scores is considered "very diverse"; every manager can have no more than 30 direct reports with more than a 5 score. At least that's the HR diversity goal for 2020.

1) In your native homeland, can you vote more than once in each election?
2) Are women in your homeland often murdered if they loose their virginity before they are married?
3) Are mosque and synagogue shootings frequent?
4) Do you walk around your hometown with a gun, spear or hand grenade?
5) When you speak English, do clients often ask you to repeat yourself?
6) Do you like spicy, hot food?
7) Does your native homeland have free, unfettered elections, yet most journalists are in jail?
8) Do you need to pay for sex before marriage in your homeland?
9) Does the  Field-Marshall,  King or Queen of your native land advocate flogging people who engage in some types of sexual activity?
10) Are more than 30% of politicians in your tribal homeland generals or former generals? 

Hugh sent me an email just now, after having scored the above questionnaire for all our engineers.

"Gloria, we have problem. There is no one who is not diverse except for you and me. Hugh"

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Blockchain and labour contracts


In today's post, I shall share with you, my loyal readers, innovations to our new labour contract.  
I generally do not share my thought leadership free of charge; this having been said, sometimes I cannot control my selflessness and I cave in, from an HR perspective. So let me roll out the whole story.

I just returned from a meeting with our labour relations lawyer,  to whom I explained needed refinements to our existing employee contract. I constructed these refinements using an Austrian blockchain which was assembled in Hungary.

The lawyer-boys heard me out, promising that within a week, it will all be word-smithed and ready for launch. 
By the way, in grade school, there were twin girls in my class, Sheila and Sharon Wordsmith.

Some of the changes in the contract may be perceived overly liberal, yet I promise my readers that Liberal is not my middle name. Alas, I was never given a middle name. Had I been given such a name, I would have been called "People".

Now to the meat. These are the main points which will be introduced into our labour contract.

1-Long term employment is not in anyones’ interest. It is an old fashioned and stodgy concept. Employees agree that being fired by text is part of the deal, Lucille.

2-Clearly, salaries and other pecuniary perks will be aligned with client payment schedules

3-Employees understand that discretionary effort and running an extra mile are our core values, augmented by intrinsic motivation and willingness for self-sacrifice.

4-Mobile phones are to be left open; calls are to be answered seamlessly within 3 rings. During bio-breaks and sexual activity, the phone will be set on vibrate.

5-Remember and respect the HR lady, so that your days may long upon the Earth.

When I left the lawyers office, one of the young interns walked me to my car, carrying my briefcase. 
The lawyers have a way of making me feel like a million dollars. It provides me with meaning.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Building bridges between Nerds and Sales People-The role of the HR lady

It has been one month since our latest product was released and launched in a small corrupt island off the coast somewhere in the Pacific near Australia, where people throw spears and litter the beach with plastic.

The product crashed upon installation, taking out the Island’s electrical grid for 3 weeks. Many people in the aforementioned island don’t use electricity, but the prime minister and his family sure do and a lot of noise was thus generated.

Our sales manager, who had visited the island several times, is now being held hostage, and being fed with tribal food which is far too spicy.

In the meantime, the interface between our Sales team and R&D team has degenerated, making the middle-east look like a garden of peaceful co-existence. To be more exact, there have been 3 stabbings in the parking lot, and a Molotov cocktail was thrown in the dining hall.

Naturally, this is a people problem and I acted without delay by holding a round table dialogue between Sales and R&D under my auspices in the HR Conference Room aka the Vatican.

The discussion got out of hand after Comrade Carl Marks made his opening comments.
This is what Comrade Carl said, after I promoted HR and then handed him the microphone.

“Nerds, salesmen and sales women, Gloria, the precious Ms Axe, I wish you all a good afternoon. Lend me your ears. Instead of pointing out how useless our Sales team is, and how finicky our client is, I want to tell you about how things work in Saudi Arabia”.

I knew then that this dialogue would be non-wow. The Comrade continued.

“The Sauds and the Wahhabis are two families who work in synergy to run the joint. The Sauds provide the state mechanism and the armed forces, and the Wahhabi boys provide religion and morality. It works wonders, except a limited number of unexpected excesses, which happen everywhere, even in Britain.”

“I see the relation between Sales and Engineering much in the same light. We are 2 love birds in the same nest. We engineers provide the user experience, the brains, the sophistication; Sales handles the tut—tut-tutting customer and other background noise by managing customers’ expectations. It is a marriage made in heaven”.

Comrade Carl then pointed at me saying, “Gloria has good intentions, but HR is full of shit. In Saudi Arabia, most of the HR managers are either British expats or Saudi princesses. Gloria is from Canada, and with all due respect, what does she know about anything except paper work and visas? This conference is dismissed”.

Carl pointed at the door and told his nerds, “bara bara”, with means go out, I was told. But I am not sure in which language.

I just got this text from our CEO Stan. “Gloria- great work. I heard that Comrade Carl gave a great speech. Stan”.

Bara bara

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Enhancing a job candidate's user experience: my 2 Groschen

When we are considering hiring a new candidate, be he or she an illegal immigrant or not, it is incumbent upon the sophisticated HR lady to create a user experience second to none, as it were.

As such, I will document the tools that I, as the first lady of HR, have at my disposal, and how I deploy these tools, as it were.

First and foremost, I deploy Ms Cynthia Axe to keep abreast of the candidates in the waiting room and cater to their needs by bringing coffee, tea or any other tribal refreshment they may desire.
Deploying Ms Axe (on the right)

Second as they wait in line to be fingerprinted and deliver a stool sample, the candidates fill out the following questionnaire which is available in the 23 languages spoken in our software department.

1) Do you speak good English, or are you constantly being asked, "what did you say"?
2) Are you willing to work harder than you did previously, receive less pay, and remain highly engaged, including discretionary effort?
3) Do you agree with the following sentence? "Booze and sex are not weekend events that I hold in high esteem".
4) Do you consider an HR lady to be a business partner, a shoulder to cry on, and a Pharaoh to be obeyed?
5) Are you self sufficient from a wellness point of view?
6) Do you have parents or siblings or children suffering from ailments that may de-focus the work effort?
7) Are you willing to take customer calls in the toilet?
8) Do you agree that the rank and file need to do what they are told?
9) Do you like eating pizza at 2 am? Or do you whine that you get  constipation? 
9b) Can you work in a virtual team and feign trust?
10) Do you enjoy taking flights to client sites that leave at 3 am?

Ms Axe's presence and this questionnaire actually can cause a candidate some degree of excitement (albeit not sexual) and  create an emotional bond similar to a mind-blowing user experience.

That's my two Groschen on hiring.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Rank your HR lady against the Gold Standard

Gold Standard HR

Since I started this blog, it appears that I have created a gold standard for the practice of Human Resources management . 
Day after day, my mail box is brim with queries regarding how to get other HR ladies to emulate me.

In line with my core values of having a core value and shameless self-promotion, I have prepared a short, agile questionnaire which will enable you to compare your HR lady with me, the Gold Standard. 
After filling out this questionnaire, your HR lady can call my hotline for elementary first aid and some (non pro bone) coaching.

1) Does my HR lady keep costs low, keep engagement high, understand the business, and worship the boss shamelessly?
2) Does my HR lady call herself a business partner, even though as far as business is concerned, she does not know her ass from her elbow?
3) Does my HR lady appear perky most days, and extremely friendly on People Day, which takes place once a quarter?
4) Does my HR lady show compassion and refrain from firing staff the very same day that they get wicked illnesses, like MS, cancer or Parkinson's?
5) Was my HR lady born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in Canada, know long German words, and have a mother who is 144 and teaches ballet?
6) Does my HR lady provide pizza after 23.00 (11 pm)  for nerds who need to work all night, in the framework of a wellness plan?
7) Does my HR lady provide dental insurance with after the first 5000 Euros have been paid by the affected nerd? Are substances for improving productivity included in ze health plan?
8) Does the HR lady have contacts with academics in Spain?
9) Can my HR lady understand a fierce Scottish or Thai accent?  
10) Is the HR lady warm, kind, compassionate towards management? Does she own a blockchain?

I cannot emphasize enough the fact that this is a gold standard. If your HR lady scores at least 3 answers right, it's probably good enough. If not, she should be in recruitment only, or payroll. 

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Artificial Intelligence vs my intelligence

Certain people

Certain people (whom I won't mention) have made a big deal about the use of artificial intelligence in the field of human resources.

I won't mention them in line with my core values of muddying the water to catch the fish. If you get my drift.

In our senior management meeting this morning, our chief nerd Comrade Carl Marks commented, "yop tvoyu mat, Gloria, you and your free lunchers in HR are dead meat. Within a year, you`ll all be replaced by a bot, a bitcoin and a blockchain".

In a moment of rare risk taking (I prefer that others take risks), I told Comrade Carl that I challenge any form of Artificial Intelligence to battle of wits.

I looked the Comrade straight into the whites of his eyes and asked, "do you prefer that a bot prepare a wellness program for your nerds that work all night, so that they continue to do so, 24 hours a day for three months straight"? 

Gathering more nerve, I stood up and pointed my finger at the Comrade and in my shrill voice said, "Sonny-boy, would you like a blockchain to re-design the salary slip that no one understands, just like the one I designed?" 

I had a bit more wind in me, and although I was very tired, I threw one more punch, "Comrade Carl, would you prefer that anti-union activity be orchestrated by an algorithm? Answer me, Comrade Carl, or I'm walking out and I will resign, kibinimat." Carl was dazed by my Russian language mastery. Russian is a very good language by which to swear.

Comrade Carl fell to his knees and kissed my feet, just like various holy men kiss poor peoples' feet, here and there. "Gloria, I'm sorry Baby. Forgive me, the fool that I am."

The fool that I am

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Making HR hours totally billable- a business model for HR

One heartbeat away

CEO Stan has been in the hospital for a few days having his hemorrhoids tied. This is not a pleasant operation; my Dad once claimed that he would rather have his eyelids stitched than to undergo 'that procedure' again.

Our Chief Financial Officer, Mister Herr Krebbs, is acting CEO. Comrade Carl Marks, our chief nerd, claims that Herr Krebbs is 'one heartbeat away' from being CEO. Comrade Carl warned me that "if Herr Krebbs gains control by one way or another, we all fucked because he will demand obedience, as opposed to Stan- who just expects obedience. That's the difference between the Germans and the Americans".

Herr Krebbs, who is German, kalled me into his Office and asked for a detailed Plan to make sure that all HR Hours become billable. "This is the way HR works in Germany, Austria and Switzerland". 

I like Herr Krebbs. I respect him. Now that Stan is all tied up for a few days, I even obliged the good Herr Krebbs and presented to him how to turn HR's inputs into billable hours, from a revenue standpoint.

Miss Cynthia Axe, our agile down-sizer, shall charge 25 British pounds per head that she downsizes. Disposing of the aforementioned head is included in the fee if the nerd speaks English. If not, a handling fee of 21 British pound is added to the tab. These fees are deducted from the "severance pay", as it were.

Tied up

Hugh White, the white straight boy who manager Diversity, will charge each department 70 British pounds for each placement, per unit of diversity. For example, if a non English speaking, Black yet Jewish nerd with a stutter is placed, let us say, in Finance, the Finance Department gets billed 280 British pounds for that quadruple whammy of diversity.

Herr Krebbs liked the plan but told me "to focus diversity for other departments. I have enough problems with ze Banks. Danke Fraulein Gloria". 

Giving respect to Herr Krebbs

Friday, 18 January 2019

Travel policy for 2019

Tightening our belts

`Q1 is always a poor quarter, Gloria. We have to tighten our belts; I want you to zoom in on travel to do a little choppy choppy.` That was the Whatsapp I received from Stan this morning at 0430 AM when I awoke to begin my wellness program before heading off to work at 0450 AM.

Travel has become an awful hassle.Whenever I fly back to Canada to see my mother for the new years, I don`t know what`s worse-having her ask me why I am not yet `hitched` or the trip to and from Moose Jaw, which is in Saskatchewan, which is in Canada.

Instead of putting together my new corporate travel policy based on intuition, I gathered some data from my data mine. I own the mine, and Ms Cynthia Axe is the miner.

Here are the pertinent facts-
1) Red eye flights save hotel costs.
2) Low cost airlines can be dirt cheap, especially if they leave at 3AM.
3) Travel insurance makes no sense, if you stipulate in the employment contract that travel insurance is charged to the employee.
4) Some countries have severe health problems, so food should be brought from home.
5) Many people, I suppose, don`t mind sleeping two in a room. And on the same note, frequent flier miles belong to the employer, not the employee as some Scandinavians would suggest.
6) Bus travel to and from airports is fun, whilst taxis tend to be expensive and not fun, since many taxi drivers do not speak English.
7) Paris airports generally are on strike. 
8) Long flights to Australia are much less expensive if port of entry is Darwin.
9) Many meal portions in the USA are so large that they last for 3 days.
10) La Guardia Aeroport is not the most popular, but eventually and over time, planes take off and land.

These are the facts, or as some brainy people would say, relevant, blockchain-based evidence for decision making. 

In the framework of my wellness program, I need to `sleep on my decisions` before firing off my policy by Whatsapp. But I promised Stan that by Sunday, the new travel policy will be ready to launch.

Btw, I am fully aware that senior management flies on Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines or Air New Zealand, first class. The travel policy is for the plebs.