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April 16, 2009 5:45 PM 4/16/09

So they let go of someone I admired at work under less than auspicious circumstances. I won’t go into details but after spending 40 years learning how to read people to survive in this world I don’t think he did what he was accused of unless it was an accident. I think it was politics pure and simple but I’ll likely never be in a position to know. *sigh* I’ll say no more about it than that.

So many many companies jettisoning good people just to reduce their bottom line these days. And the funny thing about it is that’s not the best way of handling the situation. The best way to get through an economic downturn is to find a way to grow. And getting rid of the people that are strong enough and creative enough and hard working enough to find those solutions will always cause you to come out behind in the end.

What companies need to do in times like this is think outside the box. If you have one product line then find something that uses the same tools to produce even if it’s not in your chosen field. According to my mother and grandmother my grandfather always said “Don’t ever be afraid of getting your hands dirty. There’s always jobs for people willing to get their hands dirty.” This applies not only people but companies as well.

Can’t produce auto parts? Can’t produce telecom items? Then find something you _can_ produce.

And for the sake of the Goddess don’t send away money to other countries! The outsourcing boom is dying and dying quickly. The more you send money to other countries the worse ours gets! Eventually it’ll be cost effective to “outsource” to the same country you’re in. You’ll have come full-circle and for what? Bonuses paid to top-level executives? Workers that are without loyalty to a company because they might be dropped at a whim? Lose the respect of your own workers and you can kiss your productivity goodbye.

The current crop of business leadership in the US seems to be focused mainly on the dollars they can stick in their own pockets regardless of the ethics involved. So far where I work hasn’t sunk that low but I will definitely hold them accountable if they do.

When did we become so cynical and corrupt as a nation? As a race? I don’t know but it’s certainly not something I’d call a crowning achievement.

As humans I think that we truly want the world around us to be a better place. That’s fine. The problem comes in when you have a few out of the human race who only care if their small corner becomes a better place. They don’t have the foresight to understand that unless you make _all_ places better then your place will only be better on a temporary basis. You have to raise the status of the world to permanently raise your own status.

In the I/T community I get a _lot_ of flack because I _teach_ my users. “Teaching them only makes them more dangerous!” “They’ll never remember anyway!” “You’re teaching yourself out of a job dude!”

So what. I _want_ people to be more capable. I _want_ people to be able to do more. I _want_ people to learn. Even if they only learn a little bit they’ve learned something and that means that they can learn more. And if they learn more they get smarter. And if they get smarter they eventually realize that they aren’t alone in the world and that they need to help those around them.

Frustrating? No doubt. But more than worth it. It’s been a very very few times that I have seen someone learn things then _not_ pass that learning on to others.

The beating of a single pair of wings might not lift even themselves but the beating of billions of wings can lift anything...

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 17th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly that people ought to learn and get smarter. But the ungrateful fuckers refuse to go along with the idea...
Apr. 17th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
To each their own but I've found very few people over the years that I cant teach something to. If they're willing to at least listen once I can usually get them to listen more than once.
Apr. 17th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
Alas, it's been my experience that most people violently resist any attempts to teach them anything - they are completely opposed to learning things, or having the slightest change made to their assumptions and prejudices. When I find one of the rare few who don't actively reject learning, I'm almost slobberingly grateful.
Apr. 17th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
I find that it's usually a gradient thing. This is usually the path I follow:

First you get a line of communication going to get them receptive to you.

Then you have to teach them something small that they can use.

Then you teach them something bigger when they ask.

Time is the biggest barrier to it all. The more of it you have to spend on people the better you can teach them.
Apr. 17th, 2009 07:26 am (UTC)
Well, you're right up to a point. And the more time you spend, the more likely you are to reach people. But there is still a huge wall of deliberate, wilful ignorance... *sigh*
Apr. 17th, 2009 11:52 am (UTC)
Teaching them only makes them more dangerous!
I just always imagined that IT people were like that out of the typical "us v them" mentality that most industrial workplaces seem to produce. Now it makes more sense as to why the IT guys from "up North" seemed a bit put off when the computer illiterates at my work put me on the phone with them to help solve the problems.

Of course it could also have been the fact that I usually knew how to fix the problem and was one step ahead of IT. A few of them would say "if you knew how to fix this why are we calling?" and didn't like my answer that I was a union goon on the floor and it wasn't my job to fix IT problems. Yeah maybe that was it.
Apr. 28th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
I love this quote...
The beating of a single pair of wings might not lift even themselves but the beating of billions of wings can lift anything...

Is that original? I really love it! Kudos to you for realizing the best way to reach out to people and teach them. Many people just put up that wall because they are afraid of failure. Remove the fear of failure and most folks will try!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )



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