Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Rhetoric from The Man

Kinda.

Today was the Lessons in Leadership seminar at Yellow Cab. It was all day, and while I must admit better than a day taking calls, still boring. Well, maybe not boring so much as suspicious.

I couldn't help but analyze each thing the speaker said in terms of corporate interests and brain washing. There was a personality test- ish kinda thing. Choose one out of four shapes, but of course the interpretation of the shape is left up to you, and qualities that could blend are separated/dichotomized whatever. I was slightly put off that I had been labled as accepting of new ideas, but neither a leader nor creative. Small inconsistancies bothered me- such as an equilateral triangle labled with the proportions of 10% knowledge, 25% skill, and 65% attitude. Which to me is a crock of bull. Yes they are all needed, but knowledge is higher than 10%, and attitude... well, it is not 2/3 of a persons ability to perform. Skill comes from knowledge.... its just way too oversimplified. But I remained quiet, which may or may not be a good thing. He wanted more interaction, which is understandable, however I am sure he did not want a logical heckler.

There was some useful information along with the propaganda- information about how the company itself works. I never considered the cabbies to be the customers, but indeed, that is where the money is coming from. NOT the callers, although they are important to the cabbies and therefore to us. But they are a necessary third party, not our primary target. There was a large section on safety which was largely useless. Lots of definitions- 14 characters of a leader by our military thing. Most of the examples were bad. Presentation of the self was used as a marine vs a mall rat. But the very definition of a marine proves that the man is capable because he has earned his uniform and rank, while the mall rat may be just as qualified, there is nothing to show his rank. It would have to be a plain dress marine on holiday to be equal...

And one other thing which has bothered me enough to hope to see the speaker tomorrow- on one of the exercises he had us label the importance of particular issues to the cabbies/employees as a manager. This may sound okay at first, until the earlier stress of the cabbies being independent contractors who hire US is added. Then all of a sudden, whose priorities is he asking for? the situations are vastly different and thus answers change. I based my answers off of a cabbie as independent contractor. Factors that were dependent upon my own actions, such as wages and job security were placed last in expectations from a company I hired. If Yellow Cab ceased to exist, these drivers would still be there with their vehicles under different names or companies. We do not determine their working conditions, wages, job security or interest in their job, so why would these be mentioned as important factors in a service that is being payed for? But I had not grasped the nuance in meaning in time to question the speaker over the answers. I do not like being wrong, and I was almost exactly opposite of the given answers. This disturbs me, and I would like it clarified.

On a last note- a new woman was hired. Gloria. She is at least for now, working the same shift as me. I am happy because she is very nice. She is currently being trained by Tracey, who seemed half human today. But we shall see how things go. I might have someone to talk to up there that I can identify with, just a little.

In any case, I did ask for Saturday off, due to my thesis advisor requesting a meeting... and yeah.. its a big fat lie and I dont like it but it allows me to lead into a two week break for Japan. Which is better than saying I need to go back to Ft. Worth for a while... how is that? a lie that allows for a later lie to become closer to the truth? :( Somehow I am not satisfied with that. Two lies to make each smaller.... still does not change the fact that I am lying twice as much as needed. If needed at all. To lie seems like an awfully big lack of faith in a person. Of course, I am the one who is doing wrong because I did not confess all of my plans up front in the beginning when asked. All of this is dirty.

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