What can happen when Human Resources apparatchiks forget about human beings

26 June 2020 / by Brian Mackie / Employment, Governance, Humour

Headcounters need brains

At the GAA, we have a nagging worry about ‘Human Resources’ experts leading the CAA and interacting with real, live aviation professionals. This fear has been strengthened by a cautionary tale, related by someone who was there when it happened…

Our CAA’s Australian counterpart CASA did a revamp driven by HR personnel (one of many revamps, possibly carried out under corporate obfuspolicy such as Change Management), and the drivers actually forgot that CASA had an Airworthiness Division. So they omitted the division from their Administrative Map and dismissed all its personnel.

Tragedies sometimes have a farcical side, as well as being terribly sad. One of those dismissed from the Airworthiness Division was a person who handled CASA’s Corporate Statistics.

So when the Government’s Senators asked CASA about stats and the “how many” of this, that and the other things, CASA couldn’t tell them. It had blindly eliminated the holder of that knowledge.

And when CASA discovered it had ‘mislaid’ a vital expert, management went into shock and tried to reinstate him. But rules and regulations came to the fore and would have prevented the oracle from being reinstated for 12 months.

So, instead, he came back as a consultant – at an extraordinarily high fee base.

He worked for six months, then got a higher-paid position in the office of CASA’s governing minister.

The expert had been recognised by other smart humans as a valuable person, and welcomed into an elevated and respected position.

No doubt the robotic HR operatives back at Planet CASA were left scratching their empty formulae…

And while we’re on the subject of thinkers versus the witless, here’s another curious tale – about job titles at the CAA.

A gender-based mind-bender

A certain CAA employee, who shall remain nameless, has a bewildering signature, which appears on this person’s emails.

It’s something like “XXXXX XXXX she/her, Chief Assistant to the Assistant Chief”. This person has added a hyperlink to their email footer, in an attempt to explain. We reproduce it for the benefit of the curious or prurient:

“*If you’re wondering about the use of the pronouns she/her on this signature, read this article about how sharing pronouns in this way can help create an inclusive and safe environment for transgender and nonbinary colleagues”

We’re not wondering about the use of those pronouns at all.

It never crossed our tiny minds.

We’re only wondering:

  • Why does this person imagine that anyone writing to she/her is in the slightest bit interested in the gender of a CAA employee?
  • Aren’t there some important aviation issues that this evidently troubled navel-gazer should be spending more time on?