ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Is "being fair" always fair?

I recently applied for a position of Dean of the University at which I am teaching. When I made inquiries I learned that the selection committee was going to evaluate resumes "blind." That is, they were going to "not know" who the candidates they were evaluating really were.

Do you realize that this is like hitting dart board blindfolded? This is not an entry level typing position. This is one of the highest positions in the school. Personality, character, how this person (me, in this case) gets along with other faculty, staff and students - should all matter. But, if the onoy thing the selection committee is doing is looking at test scores (and the test was not appropriate for this level of employment - more later) and resumes, what are they really learning?

The test we were forced to take is the exact same test everyone applying for any staff position would have to take. They kept asking me questions about my relationship with my "supervisor." I haven't had a supervisor since 1981 - so how do I possibly answer these questions. I've owned Diamond Associates since 1981 and of course have been the one to supervise others.

So, they don't know how I treat other people. They don't know how well respected and liked I am by peers, staff, etc. They don't know about my skills managing others. They don't know about the volunteer work I've done for the school. They don't know that I am one of the best process streamlining -re-engineering people and that I simplify all processes in any job I've ever had. they don't know my ideas for what I can give the school should they hire me for this position.

Of course, they dont' know the same thing about anyone else applying.

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Equity v. Equality

Have we gone too far in our politically correct concept of treating all people as "equal" in the workplace? Are we rewarding those whose performance isn't as good as those who perform well? Why do we disparage merit raises? Why do we act shocked when a company like G.E. or Cypress Semiconductor creates metrics to reward those who do better and actually fire those who are on the bottom of the evaluation pile?

If you owned your own business, and there weren't compliance laws to worry about, or as here in California, the Labor Relations Board, wouldn't you differentiate between those that really supported your business and those that merely went through the motions trying to get a paycheck? I think so.

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

Yes, you can fight City Hall

Growing up in New York City, I often heard the expression: "You can't fight City Hall." It always struck me as such a passive, negative belief - one that guaranteed people to lose.

Yesterday one of my neighbors called to ask my advice about something happening to her from our HOA and management group. She wanted to fight what she considered to be an unfair practice (one of many we are currently experiencing from our gestapo-like management group. She was planning to write and to attend a monthly HOA meeting and complain. Her husband told her not to bother because she couldn't win.

That's what's been happening lately at my complex. People gripe among themselves and to each other - but never take it where it counts. They never complain to the board directly.

So, if you don't fight back you lose by default. Yes, you can and should fight City Hall, HOA's or any other bully group taking advantage of you by virtue of their power.

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