The Diversification Process In the Work Place
It is the early fall in the year 2005, and I am being awakened by the chime of six bells by the great-grandfather clock that sits in the foyer. The bedroom has two double sliding glass doors, that face the East, and the sun is just starting to rise up beyond the horizon. The sky is cloudless and very blue, thus adding more light to the rising sun. The warmth of the sun floods into the room and beckons me to the swimming pool just beyond the glass doors. Sachem, my native Nigerian, has set out my bathing suit and towel from the night before. I rise to take a swim. Upon entering the pool, Sachem enters the pool cage from his servant quarters that sit beyond the house amid a cluster of coconut palms and banana groves. He asks if I will have the same thing for breakfast as yesterday. Yes is my answer. My God, how things have changed since I won the fifty-seven million dollar Power-Ball lottery! The day I bought the ticket was one of pure hell... Everything seemed to being going wrong. The dog threw upon the kitchen floor, guess who stepped in it, and the cat decided to use the living room as his personal potty spot. Our charming daughter, now fourteen, decided to have a tantrum fit and refused to dress for school. The closet was empty of shirts, and all my jeans were dirty. Sue, my spouse, was still sleeping away. Needless to say, this was the beginning... Upon leaving the house, I find a flat on my car and Sue's had no gas. Then at work everything was total chaos, customers were calling in complaining that the year 2005 had destroyed all the computer systems they had bought from us. I decided to take a break and leave work for a little peace and quiet. While driving to who knows where, I saw the Power-Ball advertisement on the 7-11 marquee. What could I lose -- five dollars? It all seem so long ago. Now I joined the group that belongs to the cognitive elite, those that are ugly rich and rule the minority. No more would I toil like the common folks. I had money, and lots of it. Even after the feds got their share, I retained a paltry forty-one million dollars. After news of the winnings got out, I had more cousins then Carter had Liver pills. It seemed that every girl I had ever been intimate with had a child that I was to be its' father. People popped up like mushrooms in cow pies after a good rain. But, this has all settled down and now I get to enjoy the fruits of life. After pulling myself from the pool, Sachem has my breakfast waiting on the patio. Sue joins my for coffee, while I eat and enjoy the Wall Street Journal's news of my company's stock. It has gone up over 25% in the last week. It seems that I choose to invest my money wisely in "Rhett's", a new wave of child care centers based in the office buildings and factories of America. Everything the working parent could hope to have and at a price that is hard to beat by the other guy. Since I had money, the idea was easy to sell to the companies, just run the Business extended hours and offer creature comforts that the other day care centers just can not compete against. The parents can bring in the children in when we open at five and they can stay as late as seven thirty. We provide all meals and educational programs, and encourage the parents to dine with the children for any meal of the day. A percentage of the costs are borne by the company (40 percent), and the parents pick up the rest. We exist on a rate of only eighty-five dollars per child, a week. We supply the labor force for the care and educational programs. We chose our employees based on locality and cultural area in which we operate. That way the children see a mix of employees with no bias towards race, color or creed. Anyway, while I read the rest of the paper, I see Manuel (our gardener) pull into the drive with his spouse Maria (our housekeeper). They park their vehicle around in back of the garage so as not to give the impression it belongs to me. Manuel and Maria have been with us now for two years, and have done a splendid job of keeping the estate and mansion in an immaculate condition. I will have to remind myself to issue them another bonus of boxed pears this Christmas. Manuel was to replace the entire row of shrubs that line the north boundary with Sea Grape, Sue feels that they stay greener than the current shrubs. I told Manuel that he was welcome to bring his brother-in-law along to help and that I would pay him time and a half while they both worked. Manuel said that would be fine. His brother does not have a green employment card. Well, it is near eight o'clock and I guess that I should get started for the office. Sachem has laid out my clothes and left my daily schedule along side of my clothes. As I dress, I scan the schedule and see that this afternoon, I will be at the club with the guys for a round of tennis. I can play a lot better, since I had my knee replaced and the doctor is my partner. I wonder what the day will bring as I finish dressing and then move to the entrance hall to open the doors into the garage area. I still drive myself, because as a perk, I bought a very nice Jaguar sports coupe (convertible) and enjoy the open ride to the office. As I leave the estate, I see the same group of people crowding around the estate gates hoping for a small chance at a days' employment. They have moved from the inner city to the suburbs where they can live in among all the parks and areas that we had set aside in the neighborhood to buffer the noise from passing cars that gawk at our estates. Darn, it's rough at the top. As I near the office, I enter the parking garage, and park in the secured area of the lot. Being the boss sure has its' compensation. The workforce at the office is composed of sixty percent women, twenty percent minority, and the rest are traditional white male. Upper management is thirty percent women, thirty percent minority, and forty percent white male. While we are basically just an corporate office, with hundreds of offices reporting to us daily, I saw this ratio as a great balance to keep everyone on their toes and interoffice conflict to a minimum. All disputes are settled by a board of peers that make up the same ratio as upper management. Pay is adjusted through a peer review system and then by upper management. The workers review the people that they work with so as to encourage all to develop better working relationship and bring more cohesiveness to the workgroup. Since the company supplies the in-house day care systems, we seem to have little or no absenteeism. All employees are required to volunteer as least sixteen hours a month to the community services clubs. We support most all of the organizations that need help and encourage this on the basis that community involvement will help in the relief of bias towards any one social group. Additionally, we have instituted a program of cross training in all areas of the company to ensure that the mentoring and protégé reach all areas and employees of the company. Those that mentor are rewarded by an additional paid day off or in the form of an check for the day's work. We draw on the strength of the diverse background of the company's workforce. Based on the fact that the stock has risen twenty-five percent in only eight months might seem to indicate that we are pushing our people to excel and take control when they feel they need to do so. In addressing the social problems, laws were passed that require all illegitimate children to be turned over to the state as wards of the state and they are then put up for adoption. The laws state that the cost of the children from the orphanages shall be no more then the actual cost of collecting the child and paperwork involved. Recipients are screened through a series of tests to prove they are capable of providing solid child care and home environment. Mothers that repeatedly have illegitimate children (over three) are brought in for sterilization. Those mothers, bearing illegitimate children, that are not gainfully employed are given social and community service work to participate in, with the feeling that this enrichment will stimulate the drive to grow and seek other gainfully employment. We see that unless we are to remain a disjointed society, we must learn that the nature of any one human being will be one of trust unless treated otherwise. That the bias that we hold today can and will be transferred to our children and those around us unless we take to time to ponder over what we might do or action. We will reap what we sow. R E F E R E N C E S American Survey. (October 1994). How clever is Charles Murray? (author of 'The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life'). The Economist 333, 29-31. United States Chamber of Congress. (August 1994). Should the system be abolished?. Nation's Business 82, 21-22. Barone, M. (1993, August). Slouching toward dystopia. U.S. News and World Report 115, 34-35 Brimelow, P. (1994, October). For whom the bell tolls. FORBES 154, 153-160. Cox, T (1994, February). Cultural Diversity in Organizations. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. Gentile, M (1994, February). Differences That Work. Boston: Harvard Business Review.