What’s It All About Al-Friday – Employing People Who Won’t Screw Up Expensive Equipment (i.e. the first transatlantic telegraph cable)

You know – what’s it all about Alfie?
Why do we do what we do? Why do we go to work? Why do we practice HR?
Lots of important questions to answer on Fridays, as a reminder at the end of the traditional work week of why we are working, and what our life is really all about, before entering the weekend.
This Friday, it’s all about having the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills. That’s what HR is about. That’s why we do what we do. Strip away the crap – and get back to basics. We recruit, pay, incentivize, develop, reward, coach – you name it – so that the job gets done.

A lovely example of what happens when HR is non-existent, or goes horribly wrong, is embodied in one of the grandest staff fuck-ups of all time.

The Transatlantic Telegraph Cable laid in 1858 was an incredible feat of vision and hard yakka. So everyone was anxious for it to have the best chance possible as a successful business product.

The dude was a surgeon and ate a looooooot of FIG JAM (fuck I’m good, just ask me). His scientific curiosity somehow made him qualified to be an electrician, and responsible for running one side of the cable. Don’t know how he got that position, but when he got there, he screwed it up big time. By putting too high a voltage through, the cable was shot, and the project was a failure when the cable no longer was able to send messages.

Today’s recounts may not be entirely accurate, so of course there may have been many other factors to the failure. However a large part of the blame is laid upon the Wildman. He rode it hard, he rode it fast, he rode it to hell – cos he’s a Wildman baby, ain’t no one who can tell him what to do, or he gonna cut you with the skill of a surgeon!

Anywayyyyy… End of another week. Job well done. Nice to know HR is a very important part of making  sure incredibly expensive equipment isn’t destroyed. Good on you – now enjoy that weekend!
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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  • 31 August 2012