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The Great Escape

Keanu Reeves was my fantasy go-to back in the day…I oscillated between living on a houseboat or in a beach house, but one fact remained true.

I was a surf god, taking out Bell’s and Keanu and all in some naff black wetsuit – cos 90s fashion was seriously behind the eight ball.

The point is…I was the hero because I have post-traumatic stress disorder. The only person who can and will ever save me, is me.

Poor old Dad so destroyed after Vietnam War, advised – ‘kids, when gunmen break into house, crawl under your bed and pull the doona with you.’ Nevermind the rest of shit I saw and heard.

No biggie. One toughens up: becomes skilled in hand-to-hand combat and weapons, scan faces for threats, avoids dark alleys and looks for exit points in new environments.

Because men are always foe before friend. Until I determine your calibre, you won’t it…but you’re on notice.

So, when I meet an actual male hero, akin to my old man; my faith is restored. Because trust is my number one hurdle – good ole neural wiring. Something about working for and against…

Talking with new mate Sharpie this week was another mental teardown and refit – because it’s not my inherent distrust of men that proves the overriding issue. My life’s work is self-trust.

Why? I have a family of scientists – all three of them, through and through – so I’m an evidenced-based operator.

Give me qualitative and quantitative research, but only if undertaken with a sufficient sample size and a suitable line of questioning in neutral environment – baseless assertions confound my type.

And yet, ask me if I make decisions with my head or my gut…and it’s instinct; every, single, time.

In fact, it’s saved my life: once hitching a ride in Mexico when my motorbike broke down, and another time, as a povo student desperate for rent.

So the story goes…I was showing computer guy through place, and weirdly, simply could not turn my back on him the whole tour.

But it wasn’t until I’d slept with Kung Fu short staff next to bed for the next three nights, that I asked him to move out. Dude’s like, why – me: I don’t know; bye!

Because I do frontal cortex mechanics bloody well – but my instinct is superior. Right here, right now – how many times will you go-with-gut, over your head; or vice versa to avoid cognitive bias, your head over gut?

And here’s the kicker – no one’s talking about it. However, the evidence is in. How many times where you told growing up during exams – your first multiple choice response is usually correct?

If students are being taught to follow instinct, when did intuition stop applying as an employee?

The answer is; it didn’t. And people who use their gut instinct get better at identifying instant discord.

The problem is – if you don’t react ‘and respond’, then prepare for anxiety and mental stress.

I know when I don’t listen to me – I’ve conducted a personal bowline. A knot is the weakest part of any rope structure; you gotta untie that shit to move forward.

But self-trust isn’t just my issue – I know it yours too; because, the unassailable truth is…females are taught to worry that they are ‘too much’. And conversely, males are only ever concerned that they ‘aren’t enough’.

Women: don’t show too much emotion – it’s wrong. Men: how can I ever be enough to support my family?

The thing is: hopefully you’ve surrounded yourself with people who love you, no matter how you go about learning life lessons.

We should all be in space that is safe enough to self-level before refabrication: mentally, physically, emotionally, you name it…

And if you’re not; until you get there, you take the hits until you become your own hero. Because, the only person who can look after you, is you.

Leadership is not the sole domain of managers and CEOs – everyone must be their own leader.

If you cannot be the leader of your clan, or for example, self-empower in a job designed to disempower: then your back is always to the wall.

And one can research leadership till blue-in-face – but a single fact remains true ‘o’ subject. Leaders know when to break the rules.

Like the recent state versus federal government ringside event regards the polled two-third populist Australian move to renewable energy.

In one corner weighing in at 350 pounds: South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill eyeballed featherweight SmarmyMacSmarmson Josh Frydenberg at crashed press conference, interjecting at will.

It was like being a prisoner of war: and in rides Steve McQueen on his TT Special 650 Triumph, pulling an epic motorcycle jump to escape Nazi capture. And the crowd roars.

So, while it’s true, I’m always on the lookout for people who have the courage of conviction to bring about social justice, which is my ‘hero’ definition…I’m still the leader of my pack. Are you feeling me?

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My oldest friend and foe

It’s my humble opinion that regularly embracing one’s idiot-self is damn good for the soul. Cause no one is getting it perfectly right – that would be crazy talk.

Truly, everyone is perfectly-imperfect. This is the basis for acceptance of our social diversity. We are entitled to have different core values, principles and behaviours – if we seek to do no harm.

And since I started this exceptional growth phase, a few things regards this are patently clear. For one thing, sure it sux to get it wrong – but that’s exactly where the good stuff is at.

I have learnt more about myself and who I want to be, and therefore, who I want to know, than possibly imaginable in the past three months.

Although loathe to naval-gaze publicly, given propensity for self-reflective mouthvom – it’s okay on this occasion because my overriding hope is this…

If you’re feeling a dickhead too, I’ll just strap a trusty phallus briefly to forehead, before removing to move on – thus demonstrating the value in failure. Albeit indelicately and via self-amusement; obvs nothing new to see here, folks.

I firmly believe that we learn the most from the people we surround ourselves with. Modelling is my preferred education style.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t have any copy precedence regards this week’s der brain moment – but as mate Kristina kindly suggested to me recently, ‘embracing fear’ seems to be where I’m at.

My reasons for coming clean are important for those of us, ‘working’ to own our faults. Basically, I’m no fraud. Accountability and responsibility are always important to me.

Because, if I can’t own me and my actions – then I should just hang up my boots now; you can hardly expect the same from anyone else.

The things is…when you screw up and admit it – what you’re looking for, is how people respond, and your mental reckoning regards the reveal.

Because the skinny is this. As-long-as you’re a good person – it’s only ever what you think about yourself that matters. The rest pales.

My other point: I’m only interested in authentic these days, both in me and the next. I aspire to being as consistent a character as possible.

Nothing annoys me more, and loses my trust and respect quicker: these being the established relationship principles.

And funnily enough, I’ve noticed in becoming truest self – your tribe, even just peripheral, reveal their themselves too – directly and/or by omission. Who knew? But then I’m easily shocked: I’m a known ‘gasper’.

For me, it comes back to this. I’m nothing but a monkey who seeks reciprocity. You scratch my back – and scratch yours. Then I’ll raise you one, by helping you to pick your nits.

Because real kindness is gold – not from those appearing one way publicly, only to show self privately, and vice versa. But it’s what you do with the disclosure – that shows you, you. I do what I’ve always done: cull.

Picture yourself driving, and half the backseat is telling where to go – this happens a shitload more to women than men…right now, straight up.

Advising me of my duty and who I am, to what I should aspire – and what my values and behaviours must be – always gets someone mentally booted from my canary yellow with black racing stripe 428 Cobra Jet.

I have always, and will always, excise deadwood like it’s no one’s business – because it isn’t. That’s the job. Most do not get you to where you’re going.

People come in and out of our lives with regularity – relationships are: for a reason, a season and if lucky, a la my folks married 47 years…a lifetime. But it’s unusual to grow with people that way.

And here’s why: just when I think I know me, I’ve changed – not atrophied but expanded my knowledge of self, in direct relation to the experiences that I’m seeking.

So, that’s why, I’m humbly willing to announce nomination today for the 2017 Darwin Award – in a new category, whereby one only inflicts a small body wound…shooting self-in-foot.

Jumping gun, I have prematurely announced my employment with esteemed Predicate Partners; only being halfway through their quality recruitment process.

However, there was a silver-lining. With all the painful tribe refinement; my true peeps emerged – and I so was happy to see them. So, wish me luck with my peer review, and leadership meet-and-greet this week.

Even if it she’s a no-go and I have too dust self-off, again – thanks for revealing you, one way or another. I’ll keep doing the same; with heart-on-sleeve and my old mate Fear tucked in back pocket.

The enemy within

 

So…just got smacked in the third eye. It turns out, I’m a terrible hostage candidate; personal and professional – depending on your perspective, of course.

Right up front – many thanks to all my would-be oppressors who unwittingly provided an opportunity to practise, in my opinion; the single most practical communication skillset on the face of the Earth. That of the negotiator.

Had a totally Eureka moment, when I stumbled into sentient being Haydn Thomas’ Courageous Leadership Conversations workshop at the three-day Convergence Change Conference last week.

All I can think is, how did negotiation not make it as a communication degree unit…ethics is, and apparently, that’s gone out the window?

As a broadly practiced 21-year communication professional – just a thought: if you ever choose just one industry course, Haydn recommends the ENS International negotiator training. Given we only touched subject matter, I’m waiting for course details as we speak.

Unfortunately, the situation is this. Business actively works to cultivate hostages, all the while communicating opposing messaging of innovation, collaboration…pick a hot creative term and look up its antonym. That’s exactly where it’s at.

And I’m sorry to be the bearer of this pile of shit news. But the fact is: it will never behove the majority of established business to empower free-thinking that goes directly against hierarchy.

We are the medicated, homogenised mass who unbeknownst, play our parts to a T. And sometimes that’s OK, because let’s face it – everyone has responsibilities and when children are involved, then my hat goes off to the self-hostage. They are taking a massive hit for the team. I have felt and seen your trauma…you are my hero’s.

The problem is, you cannot be a hostage and not suffer the effects of ill health. And I have first-hand experience.

Until four months ago, it’s fair to say I was a dissident hostage with a diagnosed, medicated major depressive disorder.

So, what changed? I negated the situation to take a leadership role including that of negotiator…and as a result, I no longer take anti-depressants or suffer depression. Imagine my pure joy.

Another health strategy I employ, is effectively running away from a succubus. You know – the taker. They, in fact, are also holding you hostage.

Don’t get me wrong – we all take. That’s the game. But if you don’t give and take – in the words of Melbourne Cup winning jockey and all-round legend Michelle Payne…get stuffed.

They can also use tactics like eyeballing – I know this intimately and damn it’s fun for my type. The trick per Haydn, is no quarter – whoever break gaze first, loses. Game on, people.

But it was the status role play that had me stumped – I’m sure Haydn was watching me not getting it, simply because I’m a fighter; for me there are only two positions. Victim and non-victim. Wrong! There are four status positions: but it’s the Alpha at number one that left me feeling like a shower.

Imagine massive ego, overbearing, uses their body to intimidate – can be recognised by all-important ‘glide’.

So, second position will see someone clomping heavily and moving quickly, but if you want to pull rank in motion, slow that shit right down and draw yourself upwards to create personal power.

And I’m thinking, nuh, when is that working for someone who needs to connect – then it hit me.

I gave Dad a triple banger at Chrissie after a blue with folks. I got up and walked across living room towards Dad, headed for door; to which he said, don’t walk out.

It was a final call to arms so I deliberately slowed self, and eyeballed him with, ‘this isn’t walking – this is running’.

And that’s why Haydn’s course was so illuminating and achieved my conference objective: to access more compassion and help me negate my linguistic blunt force trauma.

I will always choose the carrot over the stick messaging or as Haydn says, pull or push influencing style – but I need the insight to access the love.

The fight with Mum appeared as fear about my start-up: but it’s an illusion. Mum’s actual fear is abandonment by me.

There’s a story about her packing a little bag aged 6 or 7 and running away from home. She was attempting to take her mother hostage to get love – and what did Mardi do…sent her 4-year-old brother to track Mum. Not come after her, like any well mother would do. And my heart broke for that little girl.

So now Dad and I have taken the role of negotiators; I’ve begun to feed him strategy and build Mum up – because the abandonment fear goes to inferiority. Even recently her older brother told her that she was stupid to her face, twice! Honestly, who are these people?

What it comes back to is this…are you listening to yourself? Is your gut screaming at you to create change and you’re actively ignoring your intuition?

I had depression because I wasn’t reacting and responding to my trauma. Sometimes you’re on a ledge, with a burning change platform and you’re frozen with fear. I was. Now I’m not.

If you’ve got a burning platform and it directly affects someone that you’re responsible for, like children, and you’ve got your fingers stuck-in-ears, going ‘la la la’ – then I’d suggest to do something, even small, to see what could be.

Because funnily enough, once you have change impetus it creates a chain reaction…and that’s when you know that you’re on the right path. Even if it’s just a courageous conversation with yourself. You’ll feel heaps better.

Addendum: my old man Sandy gives great eye…needless to say, he’s no hostage either. I guess you do learn from the best.

 

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Despite the fact that Ros looked and felt like a woman in extreme pain, her hair was perfectly parted and brushed – the attention to detail provided me with some necessary insight.

Earlier this week, I engaged the certified West Australian gem valuer to help me hock the family jewels for start-up funds – but on meeting her, my professional interest turned personal.

One of life’s shadow boxers, Ros keeps her family-of-four together – surviving day-to-day; caring for her son, who can experience up to 1000 daily seizures through traumatic brain injury. Hence the exhaustion: she sleeps with Shaye to keep him alive…a mother’s love.

Before I arrived, Ros sent specific instructions as to location and parking – giving me pause. Usually people who seek such order, invariably have a significant part of their lives completely spiralling out of control.

The trick for Earthlings, is to gather the facts so we don’t rush judgement – and we will always judge…it’s human nature. Anyone who tells you not too, is misguided.

So how does one generate compassion in the workplace – when your back’s to wall and it’s all you can do, not to tell people to fuck off and leave you alone when you’re under the pump too?

People teach you about people, including yourself – so for me, the only real question in life is ‘why’? Because to know where someone comes from is the key to understanding and acceptance – which leads directly to compassion.

I use a neuro-linguistic programming technique called perceptual positioning. NLP has become so popular that NASA use the science to design instrument panels.

And businesses like Oracle, IBM, American Express, Apple, Xerox, Mercedes, BMW, etcetera use the technique to improve communication, build teams and increase productivity.

In 2001, FBI’s Law Enforcement Bulletin August issue commented, ‘enhancing communication and, hence, building rapport represents the most applicable aspect of NLP to investigators.

‘The ability to communicate effectively stands as one of the major contributors to a police officer’s success in dealing with the public.’

The beauty of perceptual positioning is that it imbibes the adage – walk a mile in someone’s shoes, by tapping into your imagination.

The three positions are first, second and third – the first, being the easiest as ‘self’, whereby one sees, hears and feels from their perspective.

It’s a powerful position to know oneself, to have emotional granularity and act in accordance with personal beliefs – but there is danger in the untenable position of attempting to remain an island.

The second position relates to values and beliefs of another that cause them to act in cultural accordance. Again, a powerful position to visit – because the danger in remaining here, is to ignore the systems that drive you.

The final position is markedly different, in that, it’s completely rational: to be experienced with no emotion. The observer detaches, like a fly on the wall, to perceive the communication and behaviourism of both parties thus conducting a logical situational analysis.

And it works. Many years ago, I had a manager suffering obesity who sought control by micromanaging employees – an incredibly frustrating situation for all parties. I recognised him for exactly who he was and understood his pain – because I too, was once an overeater.

Everyone was oblivious to his trauma, so I actively worked against the negative press – because that’s the job. As human beings, we must generate our care-lens and the care-lens of counterparts, so that we grow the compassion required to accept and help each other. We are all that we have, in the end.

My grandad had it in spades, when the Commanding Officer of 2/6 Cavalry Commando charged a minefield during the Battle of Bardia, Egypt between 3-5 January 1941 – flanking the enemy in the newly mechanised reconnaissance regiment, with a machine gun to protect his men.

And how they loved him for it – this solider’s solider. The original light horseman was awarded the Military Cross for his actions, and backed up his professional love again, to protect his Farida Force troops in Papua New Guinea – again awarded for courage under fire, the Distinguished Service Order.

But Lieutenant Colonel Eric Claude Hennessy was ahead of game. Although described by To the Green Fields Beyond author Shawn O’Leary as a ‘man who was made for war’ – Hennessy proved something all warriors know.

That it’s not about you or me – it’s about us. Love actually does makes the world go round. So who can you reach out to, and help today? I’ll give you a hot tip: it’ll make the both of you feel good…like the humans that you are.

A cheap risk strategy

Risk is the basis for life, given the advance of civilisation is entirely change-based. What if our species said, ‘nuh, sorry…I’m out – going back to the cave, folks.’

Because innovation is a change event, and humans are neurologically change-adverse – our primitive, instinctive reptilian brain function simply rails against it.

Business even constructed a communication framework to support people through workplace change, which manages organisational risk variables regarding adoption.

Otherwise, risk management is big business in its own right; as related to workplace safety and economic prosperity. However, with a world of scientific evidence in the information and technology ages, organisations continue absorb unnecessary risk.

Like Australian firm Denovo Consulting who, this week, ignored the evidential publication of their unethical business practices across three top social media platforms, with 48hrs and 24hrs respective notice to act.

This is good. It’s 2017: people know there’s a problem with unethical business. We don’t care which way business chooses to practice; we just want to know who is worthy of our trust and respect. Because smart professionals don’t align their brand with business that they aren’t proud to be associated with.

It might have escaped the attention of Australian business, but non-physical intangible assets such as brand equity, intellectual capital and goodwill are the dominate means by which they create value.

In fact, Harvard Business Review article, Risks and Reputation, put the American economy’s intangible market value at between 70–80%—and that was a decade ago.

Seven West Media chairperson Kerry Stokes and Beyond Blue CEO Jeff Kennett are great examples of brands willing to absorb reputational risk in their current crisis management mode; ie. risk management occurs well-prior to an adverse event.

Stokes backed his CEO, workplace lothario and sex scandal protagonist, Tim Worner who tabled a December media conference announcing a 91% company loss in six months.

‘Tim Worner, himself, continues to enjoy full confidence of the board as our CEO, where he is doing an outstanding job and he leads the best media team in Australia,’ Stokes told journalists.

‘There is no governance issue…the board will have no further inquiries. We were disappointed, we were forced to make such a serious investigation into such irrelevant allegations that have no substance at all.’

Apparently, Twitter-redacted SMS messages between Worner and Seven West combatant Amber Harrison, whereby Worner professed to being a chem-sex god, were inadmissible.

Stokes added he had received only four messages from concerned shareholders thus revealing his shareholder theory subscription; managers must maximise shareholder returns at all costs.

This is opposed to stakeholder theory, whereby a manager will balance shareholder and stakeholders’ interests; eg. employees, customers and the community, even if it reduces shareholder returns.

Again this month, Stokes further damaged his brand in refusing to release the audit report, clearing Worner of misconduct including corporate expenditure of $600k in three years.

As a result, former Royal Women’s Hospital Foundation Board chairperson and president and respected Gilbert + Tobin lawyer, Shelia McGregor immediately resigned the board citing ‘ethical issues’.

As for Kennett – the Seven West board member and Australia’s premier depression advocate is reimbursed $127k annually to represent an organisation that endorses well-documented female employee harassment.

So what would be the cost Seven West to mitigate the current reputational risk crisis? Apparently, only $245k owed to Harrison who contests the agreed separation fee was short.

That’s one arsey billionaire, I reckon – especially one indicting that they directly influence what future inquiries the board undertakes?

We know it would cost Kennett $127k to ensure his well-crafted benevolent image remains intact; but what would it cost for Denovo Consulting to protect their brand?

Nada…beside a direct hit to patriarchal pride. A couple of paragraphs, stating the bleeding obvious that could in fact win them business – sorry is still the hardest word to say.

And even professionals are getting it wrong, with advertising guru and fem-icon Jane Caro announcing on Monday breakfast television that two women featured in the now defunct Ultratune ad were ‘aliens’.

When Twitter-queried, Caro created a strawman as advocate against plastic surgery for ‘young girls’ standing by the vilification to her 17k+ audience, thus rendering a recent column professing to being a ‘woman’s woman’, as absolute crap.

Interestingly, risk is difficult to define – traditionally there’s little consensus: because how does one measure objective and subjective risk?

In 1921, Risk, Uncertainty and Profit author Frank Knight boils it down to this: risk is quantifiable uncertainty; eg. someone skydiving sans parachute suffers no uncertainty – they will die.

The engineering profession defines risk as the ‘product of the probability of an “undesirable” event occurring including expected harm assessment.’

But what about those life curveballs that impact psychology and ultimately, personal risk management frameworks? Like my old man – post Vietnam War.

Having survived a gunshot wound to heart and lungs, his brain injury reframed the definition of danger; ie. people are more dangerous than nature. So, Dad built a 38ft heavy weather boat and we sailed round-the-world for three years – in his words, he was ‘keeping us safe’.

Adventurers are by-nature, natural risk-takers; but they prime for as many known-unknowns as possible. So he prepared – smelting 12.5 tonnes of lead for keel ballast…right though to lead-lining the massive diesel engine bay.

Noise minimisation is important on a yacht. Built for wind, sailors engage engine power during risky manoeuvrers – like navigating a rocky entrance in a rolling swell, or for example, locating someone overboard off Shark Bay, West Australia at 3am in 3–4 metre seas…when we lost Mum.

In short, we-three teamed up and reversed Honeychild under engine power to her plaintive cries, ‘over here, over here’. Coming up port side, Dad with superhuman strength, reached into the drink and lifted Mum out, wet clothes and all – thus rendering $200 worth of foam lead-lining as priceless.

Whatever we know about risk, this is true – that undertaking risk, properly conceived, is often rewarding. And that’s the paradox: the real risk, is in not taking a risk. Just don’t forget the bloody lead-lining!

 

A corporate rose by any other name?

‘We don’t have job titles around here’, a more recent manager Matt droned. FFS. I took a sneaky look around…for leprechauns.

Managers who tell employees this, are A. affecting power play, or B. away with magical dancing green Irish pixies.

When a male manager tells a female employee that job titles are not an organisational imperative for her; his passive-aggressive word choice states this:

I tell you what to do because the only job title around here that matters is the one with ‘manager’ in it – are you tacitly seeing the point of difference?

Bullshit aside, studies show one’s job title can affect anything from stress levels to identity.

In 2014, a Pearl Meyer & Partner ‘job titling practices’ study learned 80% of companies use ‘job titles to reflect hierarchy’ and over 92% use titles to define roles.

According to WinterWyman recruitment consultant Doug Schade, and as reported by Forbes magazine, titles are valuable because employees get job envy aspiring to their colleagues’ positions.

‘Sometimes, job titles can mean more than a salary increase or other monetary gain, and indicate the level of responsibility from the top down,’ Doug said.

For us professionals, the role we choose including title and duties, is extremely important. For me, on personal and professional levels – having ‘my job’ in writing, creates boundaries.

Also, it’s one of the few labels I’m willing to accept from anyone; which begs the question – what labels do you assign yourself?

For me, I’m a journalist. Always was, always will be. And this is despite a myriad of industry roles.

As a professional communicator over two decades, I’ve skillsets in various sub-categories like change, PR, journalism, audio-visual multimedia – I mean, the overriding premise is, ‘to communicate’.

Short story: once worked with a colleague-in-change Tim who constantly insisted that communication was a category of change management. When old matie would not shut up, I assert impracticalities of argument.

If one can gain change certification in 2 days, as contrasted by 3-year commitment to communication qualification, then argument null and void.

Did that shut him up? No. He was NPD, albeit vulnerable – they don’t know how to lose.

In any case, the words you use to describe your profession are revealing.

For example, I’ve been titled a specialist and consultant by my employer. But it would defeat my purpose, to tell this to strangers. I want people to relate to me. Not roll their eyes.

Telling people that you are a consultant or an expert is a power play opportunity. If they aren’t onto you, the polite person is forced to ask ‘what you consult in’, at which point, you get to tell them ‘just how great you are in your field’.

The purpose I have in telling folks that I’m a journalist is, ‘I’m a storyteller so I like to collect stories – could you please share your story with me?’

And that point, it’s true – I am interested in you. Because, unfortunately, I can only continue if the relationship is equal; ie. you prove interesting.

Why? Interesting people are genuinely interested people. You cannot be interesting, if you are not interested in people.

And people know. Sure, smart is smart – but it doesn’t take high entity to know when someone is not listening.

I find it goes directly to active listening. Is the person responding to you with probing questions?

Because anyone can ask and question before moving on to meet their own psychological needs. And sometimes that’s ok, because I actually do care to help you if you’re not NPD.

But, if the disinterested party is toxic, I clock off mentally. I’ve been known to actually cut people off so I can hit-the-road literally. Why wouldn’t I? I’m being used.

Of course, sometimes you’re stuck having to deal with these invariably weak and insipid types.

Like former colleague, Ed who appointed himself my manager, and subsequently, went about attempting workplace subjugation through power play.

It started early on-the-job, but the following after-hours text exchange from day 2 highlights problems that preceded and ensued.

Ed: You left your USB stick in your computer, so I put it away, so that you wouldn’t be fined by office security

Me: Goodo (ie. I’m annoyed that you’re seeking A. an apology and B. a thank you by way of misdirection – so in fact, not good at all)

Early the next day, as we passed in the corridor, Ed leveraged jungle law as office furniture and pressed for superb dead-end power play.

Ed: Did you get that USB?

Me: Yes

Ed: Next time, just think (takes index finger to temple, and taps it against the side of head a few times)

However, Ed’s implicational converse theory is a formal fallacy; that is, ‘you are dumb, and I am smart, and vice versa with evidence ala USB’, and it demonstrates the overriding fact.

That a job description, including title and duties that wannabe-managers don’t think we need, is a professional policy of personal paramount.

In actuality, the document allows us, the workplace marginalised, to establish boundaries with the encroaching likes of-the-Matts and the-Eds of-the-workplace-world.

So. Now I’m reverting to type including ‘journalist’ – I’ll be needing a faux title for enemy missions. What, ‘consultant’ you reckon?

Woolworths give newer meaning to ‘fresh’ food people

I silently commiserated. She sounded so sad. I would have been too, in managing an employee that Woolworths refused to fire, despite no role-required skillset.

Because, believing ‘women should not be managers’ and that your ‘DHS-employed son is going to get unmarried Australian mothers on benefits’ rorting system is one thing.

It’s another entirely to ‘pointedly’ share the hate with colleagues and customers. Problem number 1.

However, let’s ignore the ‘ignorant’ and instead, outline some basic problems for Australia’s second largest company with $59 billion revenue, 2016.

Problem number 2: English language

When a customer complains to head office, and is advised their ‘inquiry’ is being processed; the worry for said national grocery conglomerate who sees 29 million weekly customers, is point of difference between an ‘enquiry’ and a complaint.

At this point, all the customer can do is hope that business holds an ‘inquiry’ about the complaint.

Problem number 3: Roles and responsibilities

A business that expects customers to ‘stay in touch’ regarding their debacle – has simply lost the plot.

A customer is never responsible to follow-up a business risk, as crazily, it is not-on-them to manage the business risk.

This is especially true, if the customer is a journalist who has advised business that they are ‘working up copy for publication and need a quote from an authority figure’.

Problem number 4: Resource allocation

Welcome to 2017. Customers only get traction from business with poor practice, by using public over private channels – therefore, dollars towards dedicated Customer Complaints Centre are wasted.

Again – this is especially true, if the complaints centre does not ‘manage customers with complaints’.

Problem number 5: Business process improvement

Since 1924, Woolworths Limited employs 205,000 employees in 3000 stores; for efficacy over 92 years, business must refine process.

At risk of sounding like shit vinyl – again, true of a multinational company that operates with centralised and decentralised function. Woolworths Limited head office develops strategy, and stores implement and operate; in Australia anyway.

Business areas that do not regularly intercommunicate, fail business practices 101; eg. end-to-end customer complaint management.

Problem number 6: Business tools

In conjunction with a publically published Risk Management Policy, a General Manager Risk & Assurance is well-served by implementing a supporting business tool: AKA, a risk register.

Why? Please refer to problem 3, paragraph 3 regarding investigative journalism.

Where to, folks?

The purpose of communication is not to ‘inspire’ change desire in Woolworths. That would be fruitless; again, as evidenced.

Their response will relate to a common denominator for all blind capitalist ventures – fiscal failure of $1.25 billion last year.

In fact, we’re talking because I worry my compatriots are accepting poor service at a high cost. Something I flat out refuse.

As usual, I assign my personal and professional value. And if business does not make the cut and I don’t enforce the boundaries – then I have no business complaining.

So, rest assured, I’ll be back through old matie’s checkout – like yesterday, when I found him dressing-down a gorgeous old Greek mumma from Melbourne about a purchase request.

I bet that resolution ‘request’ for $5000 womens refuge donation looks pretty sweet right about now, hey Woolies.

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