February 18, 2009

More Cheapness and Incompetence

Today's thundering rant has some advice for business executives.

Uncle Bob has been hearing some unpleasant things from Neil and his friends. Too bad I can't get them to join my crew. It's dangerous and sometimes borderline legal, but my organization shows appreciation. Well, I do, anyway.

Neil's department at a huge Fortune 500 soulless company is run from ivory towers with incompetent stronzos. They have to process forms in a "timely manner", and the semi-sentient subhumanoids that run the show have made the situation worse by quadrupling the work load and not providing extra staff to cover the work. The amazing thing is that the upper managers have no concept of how the work is done! They just come up with schemes and make things worse. And yes, the people that actually do the work resent the meddling of the ivory tower managers.

Let me interject something that puzzles me here. How is it that his department resents having a manager that has no experience in the field, but is willing to vote someone into the highest office in the land who also has no experience in the field?

A friend of Neil is in a different department. She has worked for the company for thirteen years, and had a few years in her current position. A supervisory position opened up, and she applied for it. Her supervisor said that there was not anything else for her to learn about the position, yet he did not feel that she was ready for it! What a load of merda.

The fact is that this company is cheap and incompetent. They do not reward good work and do not promote from within. How stupid can you get? I sure don't want some college edjamakated clown with no practical experience telling me how to do my job. Does anyone? And how much sense does that make, anyway? Those situations always get worse.

Do you know why they do this? So they can pay less! If I was working there for $250,000 USD and wanted a promotion, but was turned down because some bright and shiny face got the job for half of what I'm worth, sure, they save money. But it's short-sighted. When you take the cheap way out, you pay more in the long run. There's training, mistakes from inexperience, more training, fines are paid, lawsuits happen (both of these apply to Neil and his pal's company) — if you take the cheapest way out, you often get bitten in the keester in the long run.

Do you know what a "resource" is? It's something that you take, use, bend, shape, squeeze dry, force fit, abuse and throw away when it's no good to you anymore. I hate the term "human resources", because it implies "using" people. The problem with having people working for you is that people have lives to lead, needs to be met, events in their lives. So, executives, deal with it. You can't change that fundamental fact of life.

And this is not the economy to get cheap in. Sure, be frugal when it's justified. But don't hurt the ones you depend on to get the job done. Work intelligently, instead. Or the job won't get done at all, and you'll really lose out. And get out of that ivory tower so you can see what the job entails. Then, maybe, you'll have a better idea of what you're demanding from people.

February 16, 2009

Grave News

Buon giorno. Yes, I'm back and ready to rock. Nicky and Lela didn't let me down and kept the crew in line in my absence. Good thing, I didn't need to come back from my father's funeral and deal with extra stress. I didn't even have time to visit any of my Michigan goomahs while I was away!

I've talked about my feelings on funerals and memorial services in another post, so I'm not going to rehash that here. But what I will do is tell you how I deal with these things.

Don't hide from it
This is probably an extension of the Buddhist approach of facing your problems. What works for me (and I wish my surviving brother would try this instead of putting it out of his mind) is to face it head on. There were feelings to sort out and there was sorrow to face. There was regret because he didn't know me when I last saw him, and did not have a chance to see where my spiritual and mental development have taken me.

I'll admit to shedding tears, but I contained myself to keep the worst of it when I was alone. When I was actually at the funeral, it wasn't so bad for me. Back when my mother died a few years ago, someone wisely told me that sometimes things will creep up on me and set me off again, and that proved true. It was nice to know, and I won't be surprised when it happens again.

Talk about it
This is almost a "part B" to the first point. There were a few people that I could express some deep inner feelings with. Also, there were memories to share with friends and family members. I looked at the pictures and remembered things, and talked about them.

Don't be afraid of the humor
My father liked a good joke, and would have had a good laugh at the, uh, colorful ties that my brother and I wore; they were his ties! (In fact, I believe that he was there, watching.) Some of the pictures were reminders of some good times, and worth discussing. Other people were sharing memories of funny situations as well as meaningful events.

Here's some of the humor of the situation. My father (as well as my brother and mother) was cremated. My brother had the box with his remains so that we could take it to the military honors at the national cemetery. But my brother also had plans; he and his wife were leaving after the interment for a long-planned vacation. I helped them pack their car. My sister-in-law said, "Do you want to put Dad in the car?" So, I grabbed the box and stowed it next to their luggage; my father spent the night in the back of their car.

On that note, I was about to hang my clothes in the guest room closet and asked my brother if the closet was empty. "Yes. No! It is, but it isn't." It turns out that our brother was in the closet. Yep, his remains are going to be intered in April, and he's in a box in the closet. That first night in the guest room, I wondered if his spirit was going to "prank" me, but he's long gone and having a good time in Heaven.

Celebrate
Celebrate the life of the departed (unless the person was a total stronzo, then you can privately celebrate your own freedom). In my heart (yes, I do have one, despite what political opponents and my ex wife will tell you), I celebrated his release from this life and entry into Heaven, and the reunion with my mother, my brother, my father's brother and parents...

Keep the seriousness when it matters
That one is rather hard to explain. You can get too solemn and serious and bring everyone down, but you also have to clam up when someone just doesn't feel like easing off from the sorrow, capice? It's a meaningful time, and the overall attitude should be respectful.

I did some serious things, such as wearing his World War II dog tags at both services.

Listen, everyone has to do what works for them. I happen to believe in my approach. Thanks for reading.

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