Saturday, 13 December 2014

Listen to the nerds and geeks in the trenches

On Tuesdays, people is my middle name

The only English speaking employee in R&D Engineering (besides Comrade Carl Marks) is old de Villiers who sleeps during round tables and long presentations.

De Villers is a soft spoken and comes from Africa, but not in that order. Our CEO Stan once asked me "How come de Villiers is as white as a lily?"  I referred him to Hugh White, from Diversity, who gave Stan a detailed answer. 

After Hugh's explanation, Stan texted me: "don't ever allow Hugh White to waste my time again, Gloria, or I'll fire your ass back to Canada."

It appears that Hugh did not make a good impression on Stan.

Anyway on Friday, the aforementioned Hugh White came into my office today, accompanied by old de Villiers. "Gloria I would ask that you listen to old de Villers", blurted Hugh.

As HR manager, I listen to people on Tuesdays, but de Villiers is a key contributor in the "Internet of Things" interface. So I stopped texting my sister and asked all to sit down.

De Villiers told me that "back where I was born, in South Africa, there is a crisis we can all learn from. (De Villers pronounced crisis as "cry-sis".) The electric company, which is run even worse that our company, started rationing power due to third world management techniques. Instead of replacing management and demanding accountability, they started a program call load-shedding, teaching people how to use less electricity."  (De Villiers pronounces less as "lis".)

Then de Villiers looked at me with parental tenderness and said, "Gloria, I have always been very fond of you. No one here likes HR very much. So I have a process improvement to suggest.  After all, I am an engineer. Why don't you rename HR as "Load-Shedding and Talent Management?"

This is one of the first times that an employee has approached me directly, although people is my middle name. I felt mild aggravation that my time was being wasted, as text messages began to accumulate.

However, I do have manners. So I asked de Villiers for his mobile number and BBM pin number, and promised to "revert" to him with an answer to his proposal.

Then I asked de Villiers for a tutorial on Internet of Things. De Villers agreed and Hugh White was allowed to go home early and attend to his wife, the very demanding Comrade Ludmilla White, nee Khrushchev.
Hugh White







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