Unusual for me but this time in my big match sojourn to Sri Lanka I had the dubious opportunity to have dinner with some heavyweight tie and cufflink types. They were sweating profusely in the warm March Colombo night on the 80 Club lawn while I stretched and relaxed in my shorts and tee. Being on holiday gave me the excuse to dress like that; otherwise maybe I would also have been culprit to this archaic British ritual. Not the sitting in a club and drinking every evening, the strangling oneself with a tie one.
A fellow of those who like to be strangled for about 12 hours a day was moaning about the lack of the ideal employee in SL. He was just diversifying and launching a few new brands as those in fashionable marketing call it. Therefore he needed good, no great staff. Male or Female, but those from the marketing and communications industries with verve, flair, the wow factor, forgive me but yes, the X factor. My removal from Sri Lanka for almost seven years now had me reminiscing about the old. But I did have some damn fine people I worked with over the years, still at it in Colombo, more senior but very few.
As the conversation progressed we were identifying the perfect employee. To do so we had to first identify the useless employee. The arrival of the second bottle of Absolut enhanced everyone’s contribution. So the negative employee (no sex discrimination) had these following characteristics.
Never on time. Always problems with mode of transport breaking down. But always the first to leave, again because of transport problems!
Always has some issue. Cold, Fever, Migraine, Car Broken, Parent Sick, Funeral in Family, Weight Issues, Moods and unfortunately in some women period pains. That time of the month is not my business, I hired you to most efficiently contribute to the success of my organisation, non productivity for five days of a twenty three day working month over time builds up to a lot of time wasted. Gossip and issues created with other employees was one of the most popular complaints.
A member of every possible social media available in the modern world. Spends more time blogging and looking at other peoples profiles on Facebook to find life partner or in the case of the men, our eternal dream, a fuck buddy. A concept that exists only in our minds but we men lives in eternal hope. If you did it in your free time from home that’s all cool, but doing in on my organisations time while being paid, that’s not cool.
Longest toilet breaks, tea breaks, lunch breaks, smoke breaks. The more smokers in an office, the less productive. What gives you the right to fuel your nicotine addiction on office time?
Dishonesty, misuse of office equipment, material and transport pool came out on top.
These were the five main points. All the many others were trivial. So obviously the positive employee is the one who has none of the above characteristics.
These men in ties strangling themselves were tough men, gone through the corporate ladder to be where there were now, so they knew every trick of the trade.
What stuck with me was no one could identify more than two or three people they had worked with or trained who were actually very good. Although they themselves had over two decades of professional experience under their belt.
So maybe it’s something for the Sri Lankan teenagers and young graduates to practice. Who knows it will all lead to a proper minimum wage in Sri Lanka?
If your in office and reading this, get a life, or better get a job.