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Time to stand up to arrogance

Last week I wrote about the need for an attitude adjustment in our people. One of my mentors took me to task, suggesting that it is better for a person to get financial assistance than actually go out to work! He is right, because in some cases annual financial assistance for a person, or a family, can be as much as $40K to $50K per year.

But that is because the system is flawed. The structure of the financial assistance programme discourages people from going to work. This has to change. He is right that few people in Government understand numbers. All we have to do is look at the state of Government's finances; and not all of it is related to the recession. We as a country have made some poor decisions where the country's finances are concerned. I say 'We' because 'We' elected the Government of the day. So they are us.

But, the Government and the country has a more immediate problem at the moment. It's the unrest, sense of entitlement and arrogance in the workforce, which needs an attitude adjustment. But WE have only ourselves to thank for this. More on this after we look at the Top 20.

At #1 is

Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce. I am stunned that Beyonce seems to be one of these artists who are selling their souls to the devil. I'm told that she is now performing as Sasha Fierce and admits that something comes over her when she performs and that she is not herself. This adds fuel to the fire of those who say that many artists are now devil worshippers and have sold their souls for success. Deep! I will just pray for them.

Tumbling to #2 is

Give Me Everything by Pitbull, Neo, AfroJack & Nayer. This is still my favourite pop track. I listen to this track and I wanna dance and sing along. In the #3 spot it's

Motivation by Kelly Rowland featuring L'il Wayne. Falling to #4 is Taio Cruz's current hit

I'm Loving You Tonight.

Soaring to #5 is one of the hottest anthems on the planet

Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock. This is my second favourite hit, because, as the name suggests, it rocks. Slipping to #6 is

Just Can't Get Enough by the Black Eyed Peas. Falling to #7 is

Judas by Lady Gaga.

Slipping to #8 is

Beautiful People by Chris Brown featuring Benny Benassi. Sliding to #9 is

6 Foot 7 Foot by L'il Wayne featuring Cory Gunz.

Way up to #10 is

Last Friday (TGIF) by Katy Perry, a catchy singalong track that is doing well in charts worldwide. Up to #11 is a former essential new tune,

Rolling In The Deep by Adelle. I prefer the dance mix, which I first heard courtesy of Keevil 'The Captain' Burgess on Mix 106. See? Local radio ain't that bad and is in fact pretty good. Have you ever listened to any of DJ Jay Radigan's sets? This guy is just a badd (meaning excellent) DJ.

Up to #12 is

I'm Into You by Jennifer Lopez featuring L'il Wayne.

Walking by Mary Mary tumbles to #13. These sisters get a paragraph unto themselves as they are to be performing at next week's Gospel Fest. I look forward to hearing and seeing them as they are my favourite Gospel group.

Falling to #14 is

Born This Way by Lady Gaga. Falling to #15 is Rihanna's current hit,

S&M.

Improving to #16 is the hyped latin/soca anthem entitled

Danza Kuduro, by Don Omar; the Cuban American star Pit Bull. Lucenzo, DJ Laz and Qwote.

Up to #17 is the new one from Chris Brown, entitled

She Ain't You. This is a sweet R&B hit, rare these days and most welcome. Down to #18 is

Till The World Ends by Brittney Spears. Almost out at #19 is

Look At Me Now by Chris Brown featuring L'il Wayne and Busta Rhymes.

Now this week's essential new tune in at #20

I Wanna Go, the latest single by comeback artist of the moment, Britney Spears. This track kicks. It's a catchy, bouncy, dance/pop tune that will get you up and dancing. It uses the tried and tested recipe for success a hot beat with a hot artist and catchy, simple lyrics. I'm happy for her current success. She is too talented to not be dropping hits. If she can stay clean and keep her butt out of trouble, she can stay in the spotlight for a minute, make some money and sustain a career for herself and her kids' benefit.

Now back to this week's topic the need for an attitude adjustment. There is the threat of labour unrest at many levels on the rock at the moment. This stuff is ridiculous. It all stems from a sense of entitlement in the workforce, the unions and our people. I don't see that people understand how deep and how serious this recession is at the moment, or that it is going to get worse.

Companies are downsizing, closing down sections, departments, entire businesses in some cases. Many of us have our heads in the sand and just don't realise that revenue is down, business is down, and that means companies cannot afford to keep the same level of staffing that they had when they were making more money.

People think that a business owner or shareholders should incur losses to keep them in a job. Aaah, no they shouldn't; unless that's what they want to do. The business owners have every right to do whatever they want with their money, because it is their money that's on the line. Yes, the staff's jobs and welfare are at risk, but that's not the business' problem, especially if it is losing money.

I come back to one of my pet statements that “employees would be model employees if they owned a business for a few months, and saw firsthand what it is like”. The unions are supposed to be run like businesses and should know better. Well, one union isn't really run like a business because their financial statements are a total, unaudited, incompetent and inept mess. In the private sector, people would have been fired for not having produced financial statements over an 11-year period. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem with unions, public sector and similar organisations.

If things keep going the way they are, pretty soon nobody will be working. There will be no buses, no ferries, no corrections officers, the prisoners will be trying to escape, the City of Hamilton will be stinking and overrun with flies and rats, and the stores' shelves will be low on goods as shipments get held up on the dock. It sounds like the blue collar workers in Bermuda are trying to strangle our economy. GEESH! So how did we get here?

We, the leaders of our country, have developed, engineered and instilled a sense of entitlement in the average Joe, especially unionised workers, such that they feel that they can do whatever they want to do, and whenever management tries to discipline them, they will down tools, go on strike, take industrial action, with the full support of their union, with no regard for the effect on the business or service in question. This is such a selfish attitude! Like bus drivers will strike with little care that their actions may cripple a struggling tourism industry. Do people not think? Then these same people will wonder why there is no tourism industry!

But, this sense of entitlement was borne over a period of some 20 or so years of the Government and management being unwilling to take a stance against unions. It has gotten even worse over the past ten years, and I'm not blaming the Government alone. Government is part of the problem but management in the private sector deserves some blame as well.

In many instances, management (public or private) does not follow proper procedures, like progressive discipline, and does not properly document infractions. So when the time comes to fire somebody, who may deserve to be fired, the ducks are not all in a row. Management has to get the union in a position where the individual's actions are indefensible.

But sometimes the unions don't do the right thing and support members who should be fired. This has to stop if we are ever to get a grip of the labour situation.

Another phenomenon that I've observed is that the workforce is learning from our leaders. The MPs recently refused to take a drugs test. Well, the message this sent to the average Joe is that he doesn't have to take a drugs test either, especially one that might be slightly outside the provisions for drugs testing in the collective bargaining agreement. It's like parents telling children to do as I say; not as I do. That doesn't work anymore. Leaders and captains of industry have to model the correct behaviour and then they can demand it from staff and the general public.

The final piece is that both Government and private sector employers must stand their ground, be willing to fight the unions and be willing to go to arbitration if necessary in administering the appropriate discipline when employees commit infractions. By failing to do this over many years, we have sent the message to staff that they can do whatever they want and they will not be fired.

We need to remind our management and staff of August 5, 1981, when then US President Ronald Reagan fired 11,359 air traffic controllers! In addition, he declared a lifetime ban on the rehiring of the strikers by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This showed testicular fortitude, but was most effective. If he could replace air traffic controllers; why can't we replace bus drivers or other workers who buck the system and don't act right! We must acknowledge those bus drivers who have even spoken out against their colleague and suggested that she should have just taken the drugs test if she had nothing to hide!

But this attitude, of arrogance, among employees, has simply got to stop. The animals are running the farm. Somebody needs to remind the management that they are still in charge. Be reasonable and fair, but be in charge and don't be afraid to discipline people as appropriate.

I give the Government and the Department of Public Transportation kudos for taking a stand against this bus driver, by firing her! But this firm stance has to continue. When appropriate. Peace.…..DJLT!

This weeks essential new tune is I Wanna Go? by Britney Spears

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Published August 19, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 19, 2011 at 10:16 am)

Time to stand up to arrogance

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