Irregular Reporting of Societal IssuesSM

"Get your news weakly"SM 21 January 2008

Employee Increasingly Exasperated

Marcus Chompsky is having trouble finding new excuses to be out of the office on interviews. "Dude, this is getting really, really frustrating", said Chompsky, noting that he had already reported the fictitious death of all his grandparents (most already deceased) and a completely imaginary pet parakeet, not to mention the installation and repair of more than two different kinds of broadband service.

Experts feel that Chompsky is still in the realm of plausibility at this point, but is quickly nearing the point where he will need to adopt a child from an impoverished third world nation to maintain credibility. "This is no easy business", agrees a senior manager in HR for IBM, who is currently interviewing in several European countries. The un-named senior manager offers the following concrete advice for aspiring job-hoppers and slackers alike:

  • Use the office productivity tools at your disposal and the management techniques forced on you by your current dead-end job by making a spreadsheet of excuses.
  • Be sure to refer to your spreadsheet frequently.
  • If you have a PDA, carry your spreadsheet of excuses with you, to ensure consistency across managerial interactions.

For the more advanced job-hopper (and certified project manager), IBM HR recommends using Microsoft Project to create a draft project plan for the more-than-likely parallel job interviews to ensure maximal excuse effectiveness with the least possibility for repetition and, hence, discovery.


Business Innovation: Dedication Clause

In the veritable arms-race that has arisen in the fight to retain high-quality IT talent, most job seekers are familiar with the almost ubiquitous "no compete clause". However, some enterprising consulting firms have taken the concept one step farther, to its logical conclusion: the "dedication clause".

In the traditional "no compete clause", employees are asked to agree to forage for wild nuts and berries for a period of time after leaving the employment of the firm for whom the agreement was signed. The theory behind this approach is that it provides some guarantee that the employee will stay with the firm asking them to sign. With loyalty guaranteed by the agreement, the company can be free to invest heavily in the professional growth of their employees. The success of the method has been called both legendary and mythological.

Based on this success, some HR experts were surprised to find the shift toward the "dedication clause", however, the innovation has been roundly hailed as the future of employee servitude. In the most common of the new forms, the agreement binds the employee to the job for a period usually not less than life, though some employers have already begun experimenting with clauses that extend beyond the grave, including on-casket advertising. The major benefit of the "dedication clause" is its proactive emphasis on relationship building before the employer / employee relationship has soured, rather than a punitive approach enacted after an employee has lost their faith in the company. As yet, none of these new contract schemes has been tested in court.

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© 2006, 2007, 2008 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler