Monday, June 15, 2015

Rachel Dolezal is... know, I don't have the energy to attempt to peer into her soul.  She's not the first white girl to wish she were something else, but whatever.

Can we just please all admit that this emperor has no clothing, and move on with civilization?

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

So my employer recently got bought by a much larger company, one with deep enough pockets and enough stability that it recognizes the value in employee engagement even when we don't hit our revenue targets.

One of the manifestations is a monthly newsletter.  It's just a four-page glossy little thing written by the employees; articles range from good business and manufacturing principles to informative and acculturative stuff about the new parent company to important things about what we do at our facility.  All well and good, if often predictable enough to warrant just a quick skim.

Then there was a cover page article by our new plant manager, imported from the parent company.

Wouldn't you know it, it's about how they value Inclusiveness and Diversity.  In the opening paragraphs there even was the line"Diversity and inclusiveness is at the forefront of everything we do."

Really?  We're a manufacturing facility.  Diversity and inclusiveness may inform everything we do, but to put it ahead of production of quality product is to place the cart in front of the horse.  Are there hourly employees not getting scheduled to work because we shun them?  No.  Do employees of different races work well together?  Actually yes, because they are united in their outrage at the former, draconian owners and the hostile, dysfunctional legacy they left; although I think the new owners hoped for something a little higher minded.

Driving these things for their own sake?  You won't want to do it the way it's been done before now.  First pass yield is bad, customer satisfaction is worse.  We can pat ourselves on the back for our acceptance of each other while we wait in line at the unemployment office, if we have any more never-hit-our-revenue-target quarters like all the ones we've had since we got acquired.

The article went on with a paragraph that went something along the lines of "Diversity of talent...and apropos of nothing, we're pretty smug about our transgender employee group."

With what, two members, at different sites?  It's a big company but it's not that big.  Diversity of talent, if it means "broad base of expertise," I get; but putting this stuff together?  Props to them for coming up with a name that is a pronounceable acronym, but how does having your genitals surgically mutilated and making a wardrobe shift afford you fresh insights into our engineering problems?  And why is it anybody's business?  I'm not an especially private person, but I don't make a point of dragging my social proclivities into work discussions; apparently I act straight enough that people who would be inclined to make an assumption are comfortable doing so, but then again, I do happen to be middle aged and single, and even in this day and age you can interpret that differently.

See what they did?  It's a bait and switch, or in the political arena it would be a caption bill.  They start talking about one thing, and then take a half step to the side and make it about something related but distinct, all the while pretending they're still talking about the first thing.

This is a feature, not a bug.

Like when they say "Why don't you want gay people to get married?  They should be allowed to love whomever they want."

You can have a reason for refraining from extending legal coupling benefits to pairs who are not in a position to bring the next generation of citizens into society, and hence do not have heroic need for such benefits.  But permitting or banning how people feel about each other?  No way to control that, and in fact there have never been laws against  people's feelings, so now it seems like you're the one trying to change society for the worse, and you might as well give up trying.

I just hope our company is inclusive and tolerant enough not to fire me if I can keep my mouth shut about not changing my performance expectations of the woman from the lab who recently started growing a beard and insisting everyone call her Bill.

Although I will be interested in watching people grapple with the issue of male athletes who want to "identify" as female so they can compete in women's leagues and divisions.