Sunday, September 19, 2010

We Will Lose

This is where I poop the party –If the last ten years have taught the world anything, it’s that terrorism can never be stopped, let’s not kid ourselves. Oh, it can be delayed…it can be delayed, but there is always someone else at some other location who is next in line and willing to give their lives to destroy a few more in the name of extreme-religious views. Let’s not have any misconceptions about that.

It can be years since the last terrorist attack; we can think that we’ve somehow won the battle against extremism, or at least reduced the risk, we can send every suspect to US soil to be tortured and/or gunned down for the world to see, we can start manufacturing commercial aircraft so that you can only enter the cockpit from the outside, we can do that, we can remove bins from our train stations, we can remove every fucking trash can in this country, and there will still be some idiot with a bomb in his hand and a convoluted idea in his head with plenty more places he can hide himself and a packet of explosives. In clearer terms, if somebody has the will to do something, they will do it. That doesn’t just apply to terrorists either, that’s everybody. The only thing separating them from a petty criminal, though, and prepare yourself for the part that frightens me, is that a terrorist is willing to die. Iwan Darmawan, who was one of two who helped plan the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Indonesia back in 2004 and has been sentenced to face the firing squad, still is yet to show any contrition for the lives that he destroyed six years ago. If anything, him and his accomplice, Ahmad Hasan – also on death row, show pride in what they did, and more importantly, pride in dying for it. Recently, Darmawan said in a news report "God willing, I will die as a mujahideen [holy warrior],". Why we will lose this battle is because, you can quite possibly stop a criminal with threats of punishment, but once a person is willing to die, there is no longer anything in their minds that can get in there way.

I apologise for being blunt but it’s the ugly truth and it needs to be said. I once had the subconscious na├»ve birth of thought that we would once be able to overthrow terrorist activity, but I’ve realised that when you’re dealing with this type of mentality that is so abundantly embraced, that just isn’t a possibility. Australia haven’t been attacked since the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, and that was thirty years ago, but that isn’t because of an improvement in intelligence services or anything, it’s by choice, let’s just hope, knock on wood, that the day when they do choose to attack us never comes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Just Do It Right!

Two things that have been on my mind - I’ve had next to nothing in the way of managerial experience, however, one thing I do know is that if I had the top-job and I started being non-communicative, sneaky, suspicious and, even, coercive with my employees, I’d know that I've failed, and I wouldn’t need to have sat in a classroom to be aware of that. The same way that employees should be honest with their bosses, bosses need to be on an open-forum with their employees - enough of this subliminal managing bullshit.

I once worked with someone who was forced to resign because the more the weeks progressed, the scarcer their weekly hours became, and it was all because our manager wasn’t exactly their biggest fan. This, unfortunately, was not an isolated incident. I’ve seen this from most of my managers from the past; in fact, the reason I had to resign from my previous job was because I somehow fell victim to this treatment. I admit, the intentions of these actions are just my own speculation, however, the cause and the consequence are not, and they always remain the same – in other words, dwindling hours are always followed by a resignation.

I just don't see how someone thinks that plastering on a fake smile and having to deal with an employee that they don’t particularly like for such an indefinite amount of time is simpler than just giving them the sack and then, chances are, never having to worry about them ever again. I’ve often wondered if those in the managerial role worry about our Unfair Dismissal laws in Australia, but even then, considering the alternative, how hard is it to justify a dismissal? Regardless, those laws aren’t even applicable in any situation that I have witnessed anyway – which only leaves personal courage to be placed under the microscope. What concerns me more is why so many managers are adopting this method. I don’t even have the stomach to label it 'management', looks and feels more like workplace bullying, to be honest, and that, I think, is much more of an offence than some justifiable unfair dismissal claim, if it ever did come down to that.

I don’t know if I understand this breed of manager that don’t have the balls to at least speak to employees in a way that they can understand, let alone doing something as mundane and synonymous with being a manager as firing an employee. Bottom line of it is, if you're a manager then it's your job to either fire or not fire, there is no third option, so grow some guts and start doing your job.

Another thing that has bothered me is employers that treat their employees like criminals. Time and time again I have seen bosses install surveillance cameras in staff areas and implement mandatory bag-checks upon leaving the workplace simply to keep tabs on all of their workers. What I don’t get is, if you’re so paranoid about those that you’ve employed, then what was the point in interviewing them in the first place? Personally, and I say this with complete empathy, if I were a manager, my rule of thumb would be 'don’t hire criminals', and it’s that easy. If you feel so inclined: do police checks, ring all of their referees and if those two things fail to raise any red flags and you end up employing them, that’s where it should end. If I were an employee and I was being surveilled and bag-checked like it’s some sort of workplace edition of 'Big Brother', I would be humiliated mortified. Once again, this is no way to manage, and I'd rather risk a few dollars than make my employees look and feel like they'd been hired straight off some parole board.

You know, there was a time where I thought that everybody worked among professionals, but now I know that finding a decent boss isn’t the stroll down Easy street that I once thought it would be. I realise that managerial responsibilities aren’t exactly effortless and straightforward, I can empathise with that. I can also empathise with the fact that nowadays you need to be wary when giving someone the sack and when trying to discern whether or not you can trust a person, but like I said, I'd rather not alienate the people I chose to hire with overzealousness, and I don’t see that as a very difficult feat to accomplish. In the words of my favourite manager, Kris Aceski, I give the same advice to all managers out there in regards to their job: 'Just do it right!'.