Pessary Problem Solving – 19th Century Gynaecology & HR

What is Pessary Problem Solving?
It’s where, instead of addressing the real reason for a problem because it’s too culturally entrenched, we just address the secondary problems. It’s like damage control – just so that damaging practice can be continued.
The Hodge Pessary, invented in 1866 – during the corset craze.
You know, like women 100 years ago who wore corsets because ‘that’s just what women wear’… and then the corsets squeezed women’s innards like sausages and their uteri starting falling out of their bodies… so then they popped in a pessary which acted like a little cork bottling up that uterus inside their pressure drum bodies… and then they continued to wear their corset?!?
Yeah, that is Pessary Problem Solving.
Don’t you just love the irony? The corset, designed to attract male attention, also breaks the one part of a woman most straight men actually care about. And check it out – “fits baby too.”
You heard it here first folks, and you’re never going to forget these images. So next time you see a damaging practice that’s just too culturally entrenched to deal with – don’t you dare even try to use that pessary – get in there and rip that corset off!
HR Challenge yo! Here’s a pessary I’m sick of seeing in use, and some corsets I’d like HR to bust off: 
  • Not contacting unsuccessful recruitment candidates. That’s a corset of lazy, rude, and crap behaviour being patched up by a pessary of “due to the overwhelming response, we will not be  able to contact unsuccessful candidates”. 
  • Team building days in formal workplaces. That’s a corset of too-much-risk ‘we don’t do fun’ management being patched up by a pessary of lame activities. 
  • Weak-ass training for everyone. That’s a corset of ‘we don’t really develop anyone’ being patched up by a pessary of ‘but you all get to do a day’s training aimed at someone with a primary school reading level’.
You see it. You get it. You can change it.
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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Catch me at The Buzz on HR

I’m Guest Posting today over at The Buzz on HR.

The topic: What HR is to me.

And I reckon, HR is a lot like tightrope dancing.

Check it out here.

Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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Do You Get Things DONE or Get THINGS Done?

So, very predictably for HR, my personality type is ENFJ. And if you agree with Laurie Reuttimann, then Myers-Briggs certainly isn’t the be all and end all. But I find it really does help to understand motivations.
I’m not sure if it’s because of a certain letter in Myers-Briggs or if it’s just a certain combination of letters. However, I see a distinct difference between personalities in the way they ‘get things DONE’ and ‘get THINGS done’. One is about ticking off that to-do list at any cost, and the other is about meeting that outcome.

For Example
An ENTJ (the executive) and an ENFJ (the giver) watch this video and both think “I wanna do that!” 

Neither of them actually aspire to be a professional piano player, but they would like to achieve the goal of playing this piece.

So the ENTJ goes away for a few hours, and comes back playing this:

For an ENTJ, they nailed it!

Then the ENFJ goes away, gets a teacher, practices an hour every day, does an exam every year for 8 years, learns musical theory, and after around 13 years of playing, comes back with this:

You see? Totally different ends of the spectrum on getting things DONE (got the tune, finished), and getting THINGS done (becoming an excellent player).

But what if they met in the middle?
The ENTJ would actually acquire a skill, not just a crude form of exploiting the piano instrument for sound, if they were to aim for proficiency. And the ENFJ would have felt like they achieved something, not just wasted years of their life on a skill that doesn’t actually contribute to their life goals, if they were to aim for ‘good enough’.
Because there is a point where both types of do-ers can compromise on their ultimate goals and meet each other in a powerful way. It’s that point where getting it done is better than doing it perfectly, and it certainly is a start in the right direction.
Knowing where that point is, and working towards it is the only way to make hard changes. Think about rights being given to minorities – slowly and steadily minorities will petition for the little changes and arrive at the big. Think about society’s expectation of fathering – it’s still awkward as hell for fathers to take their young daughters to public toilets, but paternity leave is becoming widely practiced. Think about media portrayals of domestic abuse – it’s not a comedy catchphrase of “bam, zoom, straight to the moon” anymore, but we also have come-back stories of punks like Chris Brown.
So where ever you are in the spectrum of Getting Things Done, I hope you’re able to cheer for those meeting in the middle. It’s not a cop-out, and it’s not waste of time. It’s making progress – something that is definitely worth copping out for and wasting time on.
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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A Worker’s Gotta Have A Code – Surviving the Jungle of Employment

I have a confession to make, my addiction to the TV show The Wire has got out of hand. It’s turned into a kind of fascination with the characters, the culture, and the ‘code’.
Obviously, I know as much about street culture as David Parenti (an academic in The Wire who studies corner kids).
Code of Thug Life (written by Tupac & Mutulu Shakur) has some interesting points in it:

1. All new Jacks to the game must know: a) He’s going to get rich. b) He’s going to jail. c) He’s going to die.

3. One crew’s rat is every crew’s rat. Rats are now like a disease; sooner or later we all get it; and they should too.

5. Car jacking in our Hood is against the Code.

6. Slinging to children is against the Code. 

9. Since the rat Nicky Barnes opened his mouth; ratting has become accepted by some. We’re not having it.

I’ll stop there, but there are 26 points in total. Point 9 piqued my interest, so I watched ‘Mr Untouchable, the Nicky Barnes Story’. Wow! What a story of Shakespearean proportions. (The King Pin gets jailed, bros mess with his hoes, they spend his money, and he decides to screw it and rat out everyone in his operation to the police – including his wife.) And the controversy is, did he or didn’t he break the code?
As Omar says, “a man’s gotta have a code.” Or as a trendy saying would explain “it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s how you do it.” Or as anyone outside of ‘the game’ can see, it’s a great way of protecting your moralistic self esteem while performing highly immoral acts.
It makes me think about the appropriateness of a code in the business environment. Yes, we can jazz it up with diversity policies, zero bullying tolerance and freedom of information acts – but we all know  that work is a jungle. Sometimes work puts us in a shit-storm of highly immoral acts. Employers not paying retirement fund entitlements to employees. Dangerous equipment not being replaced. Racist bosses and their hiring processes. What are we meant to do in these situations where there is no making it right? Oh yes, we may say ‘report it to the authorities’, but authorities aren’t all that everywhere in the world.
What do you think should go in the Code of Work Life?
Some of my suggestions would be:
1) All new players must know: a) Getting rich is the exception to the rule. b) They’re going to get screwed over. c) They’re going to be unemployed.
2) Not defending your staff member’s work against baseless criticism is against the Code.
3) Pushing your work onto a colleague of the same rank by taking advantage is against the Code. Respect your peers.
4) Going to a supervisor to sort out an irritation with your colleague is for weak ass punks.
5) One workplace’s bully is every workplace’s bully. Bullies is outta here.
6) Know your target, who’s the real enemy.
Man, I could go on with this stuff, but I want to hear your ideas! 
I just want to finish on the point that although the code seems like a way of life, really it is just a means to an end. The ultimate thug dream is going legit. The ultimate worker’s dream is being financially secure. And that’s why I think having the Code of Work Life is so important, because it’s a nice thing to have your self respect intact when you arrive at your destination.
Ok, over to you now – tweet at me (@whippasnappahr) your ideas for the Code!
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

And just ‘cos, here’s the Code of Pug Life:
Not loving pugs is against the Code.

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Why Sending The Boss Home is Your National Duty

Inverse relationships, sometimes we can see them clearly, and sometimes we have such an emotional pull to the contrary that we don’t care whether it’s inverse or not, goddammit, this thing will be treated as if it’s in a direct relationship! 

Here’s an example of an inverse relationship that we see clearly:
As the costs of flying are lowered, the number of tourists travelling increase. Easy peasy. It makes sense.

And a surprisingly  good inverse relationship on TV:
Ron Swanson. An excellent public servant who also happens to be 100% libertarian.

Ron Swanson, my favourite libertarian public servant.
But I’m about to show you an inverse relationships that the lowest common denominator of intelligence have decided is in fact a direct relationship. And this, my friends, is what you as intelligent and influential people are being urged to rally against. The media is pandering to the lowest common denominator. Let’s influence the outcomes beyond that demographic’s capabilities.
The relationship in question is ‘hours of work and productivity’. 
You know, that ratio of production output to what is required to produce it. Some smart asses around the world have decided Asia’s work ethic is worth emulating, because you know, all of these other countries have got lazy with their unions, standardised hours, minimum wages and parental benefits. I hear it is quite de rigueur for politicians to cite longer hours (or industrial relations reforms) as our shining light and saviour at the moment, especially in our challenging financial markets.
But don’t go there girlfriend. Because Asia has low productivity and a severe difficulty in increasing it. I have observed that the long office hours seem to be a lot more about saving face rather than getting stuff done. So let’s dispel this once and for all, for the people in our governments, communities and businesses who say we’re lazy and should be more like our Asian nation neighbours. Longer hours on the job doesn’t mean the job is getting done more or better. It’s definitely NOT getting done faster!
And for a little fun fact, guess what such long hours look like? Singapore – where I live! Singapore has the longest working hours in the world. Oh and here is another fun little inverse relationship for you: Singapore, the country with the longest working hours in the world, also has the lowest birth rate in the world. Yes, crazy isn’t it? People aren’t willing to pop a sprog when their whole life is work. And as my favourite news source explains, at the birth rate of 0.78 “without immigration, by 2100, three generations from now, Singapore’s population would be down more than 90 per cent, from the current 5.2 million to well under half a million, mostly geriatric, citizens.”
Influential friends, I urge you to chant “work smarter, not harder, and send the boss home at knock off!

Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.


And if you want a good laugh, check out a current initiative to raise Singapore’s birth rate. Gnashing your teeth instead? Sorry about that! Here, I promise this will definitely make you laugh! Ok, a little age specific? How about something we can all appreciate? Wow, you are hard to please. Here, my last attempt at getting a smile from you.

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