Life at Up Up and Away Investment Management International: Chapter 19 The over 60 white man club and long live global inclusion and the hypocrisy of HR

Chapter 19

The Over 60 White Man Club and long live global inclusion and the hypocrisy of HR

I have mentioned in a previous chapter some of the strange productivity schemes invented or pirated by the CRAP Human Resources Department to increase productivity.

Up Up and Away management in New York was burbling like a baby over a new programme it had developed or rather pirated as it sounded like some mutation of the affirmative action campaign in the United States in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The programme went by the name of “Global Inclusion and Celebration of Differences”. The idea was to make everyone feel appreciated and wanted despite ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or race. Differences were to be celebrated in a public and visible fashion. The intended result was to be a diversified workforce that respected groups other than their own groups. The idea was to celebrate differences. This rather erroneously assumed segregation existed! The result especially after the “MeToo” movement and Black Lives Matter was that WASP dominance was on the way to extinction except of course for the Senior Management Team and board of directors. As my HR contact jokingly stated, “We no longer hire white males. You gotta be a person of colour, have a physical infirmity, be in the LGBTQ community or a woman to be hired.” I wondered if this was a joke.

Accordingly, there was the Black Business Association, the Kansas City Bible Study Group, the Muslim Business Group, the Asian Employees Group and of course the LGBT Group. I rather lost track of all the diverse groups. One member of the Senior Management Team was to act as “management sponsor” of each group.

Most employees were totally dispirited by the vicious and continual rounds of termination and were not enthusiastic about being manipulated so that some SMT sponsor could claim glory for the management of the group it acted as executive sponsor for.

The reality of this Global Inclusion and Celebration of Differences was a greater fragmentation of the employee base with employees sticking to their group and thinking it superior to the other groups. Diversity in a defensive and destructive sense was the result the Human Resources Department brilliant minds reaped.

I shouldn’t be too hard on the poor Human Resources Department here. Nor should I accord any concern by Up Up and Away New York management about any concern for whether its employees were LGBT, Muslim, Black or Chinese. Their only goal was to secure cheap labour and to satisfy clients that were looking for a service provider that Up Up and Away was progressive towards its diverse employee base. What a joke! One had only to look to the board of directors of Up Up and Away in New York to see it was comprised of older white men with a token black, oriental and female. Even that amount of tokenism was lacking in the Canadian SMT at Up Up and Away. The SMT of New York and Canada were united by their greed so really there was no need to “celebrate” any diversity amongst themselves. Money is a great unifier!

No, the real reason for this promotion of diversity was a powerful group of mostly US governmental type agencies and largecorps demanding that its service providers have a diversified workforce that was not discriminated against. So to the uneducated concerning Up Up and Away it was an attempt to celebrate employee (and not management) diversity. For the educated about largecorp and to the eager MBA graduates toiling for largecorps it was a calculated show to retain and increase a client base.

Up Up and Away had only one goal and that was to increase profit and if it meant putting on a show for existing and potential clients so a Las Vegas show was in order! A Cirque de Soleil SMT produced show.

The increasing ranks of unmotivated and cynical employees viewed this with a good sense of humour. Why would Up Up and Away give a shit about employees when it decimated them in rounds of downsizing?

The Global Inclusion and Celebration of Differences programme was a dismal failure despite a legion of newbie brownnosers that tried to shine brilliantly by establishing these groups. Although the whole programme might have and should have been destroyed by a “Newark (or Detroit) Race Riot State of Mind” it died a slow and deserved death over the period of three years.

I recall that the Up Up and Away Human Resources Department required each employee to attend two Global Inclusion and Celebration of Differences events as part of the employee’s performance appraisal goals. Their desperation to make the programme a “success” was clear to most employees.

For an interlude let me tell you I attended an LGBT group event. The LGBT group was sponsored by a homophobic member of the Up Up and Away Canada’s SMT. It had an evening event with a drag queen performer. There was mortification on the poor SMT sponsor’s face. It was quite clear he had no place at such debaucheries. I rather enjoyed the anti-corporate mood of the evening. There are funny moments at largecorps!

Then for a moment it struck me. I was a minority at Up Up and Away Canada. An old white man in his 60’s with only three others in my category. I was sorely tempted to form a true minority group within Up Up and Away’s Canadian operations: “The Over 60 White Man Club”.

I conferred with my three other colleagues on this point and I think the result was that to form such a group would amount to employment termination. Yet being surrounded by a 65% Chinese workforce that had its own Asian inclusion group any trumpeting of anything white was totally and incredibly politically incorrect but had a brash and truthful reality to it. No racism involved. We just wanted to highlight our identity just like all the other groups! For us aged white men it was global disclusion!

Now one of my three colleagues were terminated at age 65 so our group at Up Up and Away in Canada would have been me and two men one of whom was a Up Up and Away dutiful slave but because he had absolutely nothing else in his life than a miserable existence with Up Up and Away  he was unwilling to sacrifice his less than fulfilling Up Up and Away Canada life for a life of nothingness in retirement so our club never got off the ground. The other old man wanted nothing to do with the group as he had a bad gambling addiction and was afraid of losing his paycheque.

At least 4 of us old white men experienced the contradictions and racism inherent in the Global Inclusion and Celebration of Differences programme. God help you if you were a white man “regular low to mid level” employee.

Oh, by the way one manager had said in a meeting what was important was that “All Lives Matter”. He was branded a racist and terminated

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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