Frontier Former Editor

September 16, 2009

Yup, Mike was the smart one . . .

Been busy developing a business writing course for a local college management seminar, but I stumbled across this on Facebook (thanks to Mark C. Still). What a blast, considering it’s been 28 years since I saw this . . . .

And they expect me to teach writing to managers . . . . .

Sorry, the embed’s not working . . . try here

September 7, 2008

Great news from the U.S. Treasury Department!

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=auCiw0BP4Fyk&refer=home

“Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. government will take control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after the biggest surge in mortgage defaults in at least three decades threatened to bring down the companies making up almost half the U.S. home-loan market.

“It is necessary to take action,” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who engineered the takeover along with Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James Lockhart, said in a statement today. “Our economy and our markets will not recover until the bulk of this housing correction is behind us. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are critical to turning the corner on housing.”

The FHFA will take over Fannie and Freddie under a so-called conservatorship, replacing their chief executives and eliminating their dividends. The Treasury will purchase up to $100 billion of senior-preferred stock in each company as needed to maintain a positive net worth. It will also provide secured short-term funding to Fannie, Freddie and 12 federal home-loan banks, and purchase mortgage-backed debt in the open market.

The takeover of Fannie and Freddie is the biggest step yet in officials’ efforts to grapple with a yearlong credit crisis that has caused more than $500 billion of losses and writedowns. The government is taking an increasing role in financial markets, after the Federal Reserve six months ago provided $29 billion of financing to prevent Bear Stearns & Cos.’s collapse.”

Sucks to be those who didn’t own senior preferred stock or who are U.S. taxpayers, but George W. Bush thanks you for your sacrifice for the greatest nation in the world!

March 27, 2008

Mickey Mouse at the wheel of management . . .

Filed under: human resources, humor, management, Uncategorized, workplace — Tags: , , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 11:40 am

I share this not out of any sense that it tops other examples of gross mismanagement, but out of tired amusement.

My current layover in the employment arena is a call center which dare not speak its name (no, not a lesbian phone sex call center), but which motivates its employees with images of rock climbing, hiking/orienteering, and kayaking/canoeing.

When set in the context of this particular facility, all of those motivational images can be set in the context of some classic movies:

rock climbing, for example . . .

eiger.jpg

or a nice hike . . .

southern-comfort.jpg

or a relaxing canoe trip . . .

deliverance.jpg

You may get the point.

This past week has shown our facility’s management at a new peak of cinematic allegory. Our site director and the associated human resources director found it vital to change the morning clock-in process so that 400 people have to clock in at the same time – 8:25 a.m.

Two months ago, this would not have been a particularly intense logistic exercise, since everyone punched the clock at their respective cubicle phone. But why make something easy and efficient when you can adopt (drum roll please) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE LATEST IN TECHNOLOGY!

Coming from another company which dare not speak its name (no, not a homosexual lifestyle-oriented company – the gay community has much better taste than to be associated with this particular firm) is our new biometric finger-scan timeclock designed to simplify our clock in process by clocking in with our mathematically-modeled fingerprint image before scrambling to clock in at our phones as we did before.

As the supplier told out corporate purchasing and efficiency gurus, it’s a real ‘timesaver.’

And to speed the process of clocking in, two of these devices were placed in our lobby so 400 people could be processed at two chokepoints and one person at a time.

But wait, it gets even more efficient. Instead of keeping the 10-minute window in which employees could clock in with our new ‘timesaver,’ the site director decided that we all could wait (read: “cannot clock in before 8:25 a.m.”) to punch in at 8:25 a.m. so we could be ready to take calls at . . . . . . 8:25 a.m.

The past few days have been a wonder of an approximately 40-foot-by 40-foot lobby crowded with 100 people waiting to see if Newtonian physics can be circumvented and all clock in at the same time.

What of the other 300? They all learned fast to say ‘screw it’ and have their team managers correct their clock-in times on the insanely efficient site network.

But, not content with their contribution to a tightly organized example of Swiss-watch efficiency, said site director and HR director implemented another cutting-edge methodology to improve the workplace environment.

They sent maintenance out to take away the wastebaskets at each and every cubicle.

I can’t wait for the new directive where each employee will have a kidney removed once a quarter. That should solve the turnover problem, since the company will probably invest in two dialysis machines to serve 400 workers.

And this leads to the cinematic allegory for our beloved management . . .

 steamboatwillie.gif

And it reaffirms my suspicion of our HR department’s concept of human resources . . .

It’s a shame that I don’t get to talk to any sweet Canadian FedEx ladies

Blog at WordPress.com.