Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Microstory 403: Floor 40 (Part 1)

Gamma and Delta sat in a room alone. They were both furious about the most recent accusations of faulty products. Gamma believed that Alpha was the cause of all the organization’s problems, but Delta was quick to point out that he was the one who started the company, and had been there the whole time. Seemingly nothing had recently changed. They argued about whether they should push Alpha out and replace him with someone else. Both were convinced that a drastic change needed to be made if the company were to be saved, but then Omicron walked into the room.
“My friends, we are not looking at the issue with the right perspective. So many people believe that everything that happens within an organization can be traced back to management. But what we have here is not a management problem. Were there design flaws in the products? Yes. Could these design flaws have been avoided? Absolutely. Was Alpha responsible for them? No more was he than you or I, or Beta, or my grandmother,” he said, laughing. “You see, the root of all problems any company faces is people. All companies would run better if they didn’t need so many people to do it. Now, I know what you’re thinking; that I’m crazy, that we can’t get rid of all of our employees. And you would be right. About the second part. I assure you that my mind has never been clearer.” He slapped a heavy binder on the desk. “Theta and I have been working on this proposal for months. In it we detail a massive reduction in workforce. The fact is that labor is costing us far too much money, and if you’ve ever secretly walked the floors like I have, you’ve seen how inefficient they are. Social media, cat videos, mini-games, personal email, any website that features primarily these dumb things called “listicles”. These are all the things people are doing, and not because they’re trying to pull one over on us, but because there just isn’t enough work to do. And many of the things we do have them do are mindless and stupid. We think we need more people to do the job because that’s what we’ve been taught. All things being equal, a larger team should complete a project faster than a smaller one. But with careful observation and data mining, we see that this is simply not true. More team members just means more communication breakdowns, and more training expenditures; and more importantly, more money spent, and not much more made. What we need to do is streamline our business; cut the fat, so to speak. Could Alpha be part of that fat? Possibly. It’s not in the proposal, for we did not foresee this catastrophe, unfortunately. However, I’m willing to entertain the idea. The bottom line is that we need to refocus our efforts on the bottom line. If you wanna save the company, I can show you how.”

Gamma and Delta just looked at each other. They had built such a strong relationship, despite differing worldviews, that they often needed no words. Delta sat up straighter and turned Omicron’s binder towards her. “Did you make copies?”

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