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
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
San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
Gentile, M (1994, February). Differences That Work.
Boston: Harvard Business Review.
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