Another Dumb Ass Work Story

This week, I took a meeting with someone from HR, or, as they now are called, Human Resources Capital Management. Am I a capital asset? I suppose that's a step up from being what ever the hell I was classified before.
It started, like so much else, with a memo. The e-mail arrived, over the signature of the Director, who invoked the name of the Senior Vice President, and told me that, per said SVP's request, the attached newsletter should be placed on the web. It was requested that this internally-directed piece be linked off the home page.

I replied, politely, that it should, in my opinion, be placed on the Employee's home page. I cc'd all and waited. The response came back, via telephone, from a random middle manager, who admitted that this was his project, and he had sent the original e-mail out over his boss's siggie. Then he requested a meeting with me and my boss, in my office, so he could "see" where I wanted to put his link, because "I'm a visual person."

Fine. I'll show him a page on the site, that he either doesn't know how to get to, or is too lazy to click on, or what ever excuse there is for him not to be able to find it on his own.

He comes into my office, and my PHB is hanging in the doorway. Not completely out of the meeting, but certainly not a total participant, either.

I show the manager where his link will go. He shows me the newsletter he's created (all by himself) in Word. And then we all fall down the rabbit hole together, when he says:

"A lot of my employees are computer phobic. They are afraid of computers. What can we do?"

I tell him. "Hey. It's the twenty-first century already. Tell them to get over it, and learn how to use the tools."

"Well," he replies, "I need for them to read this, but we want to get away from paper, and they are computer phobic. How do you suggest we reach them?"

"Hmmm. Well, you know, wanting to get away from paper and not wanting to use computers are sort of mutually exclusive. I don't know what other options you have, unless you buy a radio station."

And that, my friends, is why they keep me in a room by myself, and try not to let me interact with the clients.

I also had a drop in from my own Senior Vice President, who wanted to know what kind of response I was getting from the department regarding our most recent call to volunteer out in the community. I told him that out of the hundred or so employees in our group, I had received exactly one response. It said that the sender could not participate, due to allergies.

Well. What is wrong with people, he asked me. Why won't they volunteer? Uh, is that a rhetorical question, sir, or do you really want to know the answer? He said he really wanted to know. So I, the Oracle; the Voice of Ugly Truth, told him.

"This is a county hospital. Everyone here feels like coming to work is a volunteer activity. And today, with lay-offs hanging over our heads, and the communication about it so mismanaged, and disfunctional, the attitude of your employees is like: "You want me to go volunteer to do manual labor in the community and I could come back and not even have a job? Bite me."

He was stunned. Really? That's the way people feel? (Uh, duh. Yeah.) The best way to get over feeling sorry for yourself, he said, was to do service for others. (I guess that explains the comment he made to me about my father's death: "Good luck with that grief thing.")

We ended on a positive note, though. I had a sudden brain storm and suggested that maybe, just maybe, the best volunteer opportunity yet lay ahead:

Why don't we make our department service project a "Get out the vote" effort, and sign up new voters, work the polls in November and drive voters to the polls?

He loved it. I did too, because when they start announcing those layoffs, and the crisis in public funding for public health, those pissed-off, soon to be unemployed union members are going to vote for the Democrats.
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/01 at 11:07 AM in Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho

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