Friday, August 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Rest in Peace

A good manager has to get to know her employees without getting too familiar. This is a challenge. Temp employees present a different dilema. It is harder to get to know them if you really want to, because you may not keep them. I learned yesterday AB and her nephew shared a birthday. For 18 years, they had a special bond. Now her birthday will be a reminder of his brief stay on this earth. Sigh. He lives in a neighborhood that is and has been a war zone. Running drugs, carrying guns are commonplace. Most of the boys do not expect to live past 18. Some have never been out of their neighborhood until they make their first and only limo ride to their grave. Where are their parents? Strung out on drugs, in jail or worse, dead. The ones that make it out alive move to another neighborhood or city.

This urban problem has spilled into the workplace, which is truly a microcosim of society. Front-line managers and human resouce pros have to assist the employee family members dealing with the collateral damage that comes with living with these issues. Your workplace becomes their refuge.

If you listen to the ones who got out, these kids see these drug dealers riding in nice vehicles, wearing nice clothes and caring a ton of cash. By the time they are 13 these kids know where to obtain the arms and drugs. 13!!

The managers of these organizations reach out to the kids because if busted, they will end up in juvey. The busted child is replaced within minutes. Can you replace staff that quickly and seamlessly? I can't. If only those organizational skills were put to use for something legal. Think about it: they have an organization chart, clear-cut division of labor, marked territories, sales, distribution and of course, collections. A legal team is on call to care of any problems that may arise. They are schooled never to sample the product.

I guess the next question is, why not legalize the drugs and have the government regulate it, like it does with alcohol and cigarettes?

It has been determined that substance abuse is a disease. It should be treated as such. Those underage who chose to experiment with alcohol and cigarettes manage to get their hands on it. Suburbanites have the healthcare coverage or have jobs that provide employee assistance programs. Mel Gibson lost his mind on alcohol. His handlers got him a good attorney and put his backside in a rehab clinic. What happens to the poor? Do not pass go, go directly to jail.

The music videos are not helpful. Those wannabe rappers live in multi-million dollar gated communities. Most of them had mundane childhoods and are making money and presenting a facade to the impressionable youth. You would think with the deaths of Tupac and Biggie Smalls they would connect the dots. These young musicians have a responsibilty to their customers. But their target market is off mimicking what they see in these videos. Not a good marketing strategy.

By decriminalizing this issue, you will shut down an industry. You can set up a counter in the stores where you can buy alcohol, you will be subjected to carding. The taxes made off of the product would be used to rehab those who want to deal with the problems that led them to become an addict in the first place.

Do you buy AB cake - or a case of tissues?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So true!