Thursday 29 September 2005

Of Chief Insolence Officers

Before we proceed
Let me conclude before I start, these are the lessons from my story.
When you have resigned, strive to maintain your professional integrity but not at the expense of your well-being.
No matter who is your mentor, do not become a clone just in case you also clone the terrible traits.
You can be a good manager without having to subsume your integrity for the purpose of fulfilling your role, honest definitely garners more respect.
You have every right to be different and act differently but beware of the universe of stupidity bordering on the utterly absurd from which you will never recover once you have arrived.
Honestly aspiring to great things is noble, pretending to be great when you are not is not an aspiration.
Learn from history and move on to make a productive future.
Always seek the light of knowledge in all your circumstances, knowing where you are at is the most important part of knowing where you are going.
Just move on when you are done
You might be well acquainted with the saga of my career progress in the summer months of last year where one encountered the unusual phenomenon of the resigning party being on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
It transpired that on learning that my then boss (Mr Tragedian) had nothing to offer but more of the same, the only option left to me was to seek more productive prospects for my career.
This was coupled with the complete lack of support for my decision to undertake a post-graduate programme in Information Technology.
One has moved on, though it is with amusement and incredulity that Mr Tragedian lack of foresight has left my role unfilled and that function in complete disarray within that organisation.
As it goes, the systems one used are still quarantined in the concern that information contained therein might still be relevant; the same systems still hold a pride of place even after an office move.
Door signs of hopeful excess
One notes with interest the fact that the department one worked was named CIO where the O inferred Office and not Officer. Mr Tragedian was beaming when an old colleague from another placement visited and could have thought the sign on the door to his office meant Mr Tragedian was the CIO.
Mr Tragedian was Chief indeed and obviously some kind of Officer in the organisation; but spare me the Information part.
Indolent, Insolent, Idiot, Irresponsible, Irreverent, Irritable, Indiscrete and Insulting would read better for the "I" part. He was most of that to many but that trait was literally Invisible to his bosses or he had something on them such that he had it all sewn up. The mind boggles.
Situations vacant filled from without
Most recently, the CIO retired, fine lady she was, considering anytime we met in the elevators we talked about hats, being a wearer of hats myself.
There is something about the sophistication of ladies in executive positions that sets them apart from ladies who are not in the fast track. [Just an observation, corroborated by a few.]
The way things were last year, there was the fear that the CIO would be replaced by Mr Tragedian who somehow exuded the schizophrenic ability of being able to smell like roses to his superiors and like dog-shit to those below him.
Mushrooms would be more content with their culture of farming than staff that had to report to him. [Mushroom farming is a euphemism indicating the act of keeping ones staff uninformed, de-motivated, treating them dishonestly, disrespectfully and with disdain - expressed as "keep them in the dark and feed them shit" - just how mushrooms are cultivated.]
As good fortune would have it, someone else was brought in to fill that post and rightly so. Mr Tragedian had so clogged up every progressive function that helped the enterprise that the attrition rate could beat world records. His promotion would have just promoted the range of his damaging influence.
Protégés of shame
Even more word comes out of the grapevine of how protégés of Mr Tragedian who have mastered the art of management by utter insolence have been read the Riot-Act by the new CIO.
The whole culture of terminological inexactitudes [lies] to embellish untenable situations [failures] as problems created by others have been busted; big time.
Those managers now live in the same terror that they have to-date unleashed on the others they manage. One cannot complain; what goes around comes around - that is good enough for anyone.
It is rumoured that Mr Tragedian probably has the fattest complaint file in the toothless and ineffective HR department that seems to be so efficient in handling holiday requests but not resolve weightier matters of employee conflict.
It is even a greater shame that one of the managers who had a good case on the Mr Tragedian's incompetence did not have the bottle to pursue it to a conclusion; he is now on his way out. Well, a manager without balls will not fit in any ball game. Anyway, lessons might be learnt from this situation.
Ridicule beyond expression
Mr Tragedian once had as part of his quite generous remuneration a well-appointed Mercedes Benz car befitting of his status in the company. He then negotiated a settlement in that allowed him acquired a mobile home truck which has replaced his car.
That truck is now his working vehicle that it elicited the most unkind of comments from the new CIO to ensure that the truck is parked not only appropriately but out-of-sight.
The joke in town however is the warning parents should give their kids when it ends up in a caravan park - whilst some may say "Don't play with that man", the better command is "Don't even as much as look at that man and run like hell if he as much as steps in your direction screaming at the top of your lungs"
As one just has an indifferent view of the whole matter, ones unconcerned distraction is diverted by the question - How ridiculous can one get? With Mr Tragedian, he has only just begun.

Wednesday 28 September 2005

A new spitting cell

Primary school nightmares
One can only reminisce with amusement those kinds of myths and rumours that pervade the mid-mornings of primary school breaks on events that purportedly happened after closing the day before.
Before the rumour another primary school memory surfaces with the event of having all my hair shorn after a visit to the barber's though one is not sure if that was a professional mistake on the part of the barber or a Machiavellian ploy by my father for his amusement.
I never lived that episode down, with all the name-calling at school the next day. Suffice it to say kids can be so unknowingly unkind.
However, getting to school one morning the air was filled with the rumour of a spitting cobra having been caught and killed in the alleyway that leads to the playing area.
Every sort of embellishment followed with the legend of spitting teeth, blindness, terrifying and nightmarish aggressive attacks that made on walking daintily for days in the playing area thinking a brood of cobras had arrived to paralyse our quest for fun.
Faced with a spitting cobra
You may wonder why this diversion into triviality, even I wonder at the consuming triviality that accompanies the purposeful and deliberate lack of vision and social determination of our politicians.
News reaches one that a social miscreant who alleged tried to spit in the face of the Dutch Immigration and Integration Minister still languishes in a police cell pending unknown action beyond the complaint lodged by the minister.
That the minister should draw such animosity is no surprise; though she did so deftly evade the attack; her seemingly obnoxious policies one of which involves having to gain fluency in Dutch and its customs before applying to reside in the Netherlands is covered in another of my blogs.
Once again, one does not condone the unwarranted personal attacks on persons, especially those of importance in governance and society.
To pretend that certain actions and policies can be promulgated without some reaction or reactionary seeking to express dissent in some unusual albeit despicable manner is to forget the nature of society, especially when one is the Integration minister.
The unfortunate event occurred on a family outing and so probably would have affected the members of the minister's family, but then it exposes them to the fact that the wife and mother can be held both in esteem and utter contempt - such is life.
Comfortable crime figures
Not wanting to contrast the inaction of the police to ones plight when three young men put their feet into me in many bodily places which eventually required hospital treatment.
One can only subsume that lodging a complaint with the suspect to hand is easier resolve to the police than reporting actual crimes against the person where the suspects have bolted.
However, one should think that person should have now been charged with an affray except if some innovative terrorist related  crime is about to be evoked, hence, the euphemism 'The motive of the "attack" remains unclear', that said entirely without prejudice. One has to explore if a spitting cell is operating the Netherlands; that represents enough terror to our leaders.
Nonsense and sensibilities
One has documented repeatedly the apparent pre-occupation of politicians with burnishing their image and seeking redress from the most playful name-calling or irreverence that government and leadership suffers.
Might it be that the lack of inspirational ideas to get involved in mean that there is just enough time to sue for being called a toddler, or risk a diplomatic fallout for the out-spoken commentary of a truthful foreign minister.
All this, in face of the fact that the Dutch are considered blunt, if not altogether brusque.
To want to sanitise oneself from the rough and tumble of politics in the cocoon of a bye-gone age of serf and unimpeachable master is fallacy to the extreme, but that fallacy is suddenly too present in the Dutch policy, none of which leaves us with much to be surprised about.
One wonders in the end if the freedom of expression through spitting is not being curtailed by this new crop of political untouchables that crowd the Netherlands political landscape.
If one lesson can be learnt of history; Julius Caesar, a model of political office did have the opportunity to say, "Et tu, Brute"

Friday 16 September 2005

Lame game

Even I
Coming to 40 years of age, one is at times deluded into thinking; all that could be seen has been seen such that one is hardly ever lost for words. Generally, one is hardly ever lost for words.
However, it was with utter incredulity that I viewed a clip of a young cyclist who was being chased down by a car, knocked off his bike and when he took to running was run over by the car.
Well, that is unbelievable in the least, it would have me calling the police in no time, taking photos with my mobile phone and recording everything that would lead to definitely getting adequate and speedy redress.
The occupants of that car should and would justifiably rot in jail if there was any justice in this world. Well, I do wonder if there is any justice in this world at times - Selah! [A biblical punctuation in the Psalms signifying pausing for thought].
As word would have it, someone got fined and had 5 penalty points applied to their driver's license further along the line 10,000 pounds ended up in someone’s account with a statement of utter regret - you will note, jail never featured in the whole episode.
Going over the detail again
The occupants of the car were the police, the evidence of being chased down and run over was recorded from a police helicopter during the a supposed drug raid that had them chasing after an entirely innocent man of colour in England in 1999.
The cyclist was at the receiving end of the fine, penalty and compensation after 5 years; however, for 6 years the police used every sleight of hand to prevent the publishing of the footage of that utterly despicable activity of law enforcement.
The reason this issue is in the news is because that footage finally saw the light of day having been extricated through the vagaries of the Freedom of Information Act, the police having run of out the state security excuses of concealing information that portrays them in the worst of light.
One is almost at  point of sympathising with the police in those circumstances, we cannot afford to have civil society knowing that the police could be that reckless - even that does not begin to describe my pique. Basically, we need to be able to retain confidence in law enforcement, but NOT at any cost.
Closing comments
The body of evidence developing from this story and many others that inform my opinion can be summed up as follows; whilst there is a case for running away from the police if you are an ethnic minority most especially if you are innocent and blameless to escape the privation of getting beaten up, it appears if you do run you might suffer the greater privation of losing your life.
Our cyclist escaped with sufficient injuries to scar him for life, Jean Charles de Menezes unfortunately did not, apparently, and neither was he running from the police.
This is all regrettable, more so regrettable when those who are meant to protect turn against those they are meant to protect.