Incoming!

The ratification voting has started, and while there are some who think the deal is not much of a victory at all, in general both sides seem elated with it. So the smart money is on it passing.

In that case, here are some things you should know:

1) Everyone is happy to have you back
Oh sure, some managers with a full-on CMG crew are a little worried. And I hear that there was some trouble on the line in some of the “regions,” (I think that means “not in Toronto”) but everyone I know thought the Toronto line was civil and will be pretty glad to see your faces inside again.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait.

2) Some managers are taking re-integration classes
Don’t be too harsh on them. Taking useless courses is all they know.

3) Some managers weren’t paying attention
They were not refreshing CBCUnplugged every minute last Sunday night. They have never heard of Pedro, a “Fred and Krista memo,” Joe Fontana, or the Tea Makers. They never listened to a lockout podcast. They still don’t know what a podcast is.

Some were busy working. Some couldn’t be bothered. Some found it all too depressing. Some were just waiting it out until things got “back to normal.”

There are also some APS and non-picketing CMG members like this, too.

4) Everything has changed
The good managers have been saying this from day 1 of the lockout: “This one will change everything.” Because with this one almost everyone was out, not just one group, or the other.

That everything has changed is a given. But how it has changed is not clear. I guess it’s up to us to decide that one.

Look, I know some of you are angry. I know some of you are hurt. I don’t blame you.

But I need you. I need you to help me run this place. Management may have their heads up their asses but that doesn’t mean that our real bosses aren’t still out there, waiting to hear what you have to say. Because everything may have changed, inside, but for the last 50 days, everything that was not CBC on the TV, on the radio, and online, went on as usual. While we sucked pretty hard.

So I need your help to get us on an even keel, for starters. Then we can move on to the good stuff.

The CBC has a long, proud history of getting things done in spite of dumb management and stifling bureaucracy. Hell, we give internal awards for it. But this is obviously not the most efficient way to work. History is just that – history – and we need to wake up. Changes have to be made, and we need to make sure that they’re the right changes, done properly.

And by “we” I mean “me” and “all of you.”

Because I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be right here beside you.

30 comments:

  1. Agent 86
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 4:54 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    To the anonymous who is not a Captain Hook fan:

    I agree with you about the childish profanity in the middle of this blog, but what’s your problem with Captain Hook? He’s been full of reason and logic whenever I’ve encountered his comments. Or is the passion that you object to? I don’t have a clue about the nature of your accusation that he’s waiting for managers to solve all our problems. As for your objection to his remaining anonymous, well, you probably know the one about people living in glass houses.

  2. Captain Hook
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 1:53 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Dear Anonymous at 11:21 am:

    It’s too early to purse your lips, darling. Come tomorrow morning it’ll be butt-kissin’ time for you again. That’ll come as a relief I’m sure.

    What exactly do you have against the managers doing what it takes t ocommunicate to staff the direction we are supposedly heading in?

    What would you care? Sounds like you’re only too happy to play ‘follow the leader’. Don’t come cryin’ when you find yourself in exactly the same working environment you had eight weeks ago.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 10:15 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    That is just unacceptable. My own manager called me once at home just to check in. He also stopped by the line several times. He shook people’s hands and for many that handshake lingered for a squeeze. He didn’t jeopardize his own job by saying things against senior managers, nor would I expect him to. But, imagine how people would be feeling if every manager took just a few minutes to do that. It cost my manager nothing, but it earned him a great deal of dedication. I will do whatever I can to make his life easier. The same will not be true of all the other managers I deal with. I know they did nothing at all during this lockout other than work for big bonus checks.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 9:07 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I noticed far fewer recognizable managers crossing the line at the front doors this time, opting instead for the subterranean routes. We saw our supervisors, managers, APS co-workers everyday last time. This time I seldom if ever saw the managers or supervisors. The APS members still crossed, so I guess they weren’t privileged enough to have access to the subterranean route.

    One day I heard odd, prolonged, hysterical laughter coming up from the grating in front of Ooh La La, which is directly above the subterranean access. I think some of the shy little managers may have lost their minds. Or perhaps the security guards down there were bored silly with the job and were amusing themselves :-)

  5. Anonymous
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 8:34 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You are more than correct that not every manager was part of it. But, there were certainly not enough managers who treated us with respect and dignity on the line. The managers who snuck in back doors do not deserve our respect. The managers who didn’t bother to say hello to the people they work with do not deserve a collegial workplace. If you were decent to your people, then you shouldn’t have any long term problems. If you were a coward or just didn’t bother with us, then you deserve the same disdain that senior managers will get. You madea choice how to handle this. You will live with the consequences of those choices. Simple.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 8:21 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    To the anonymous baby who has to spew profanity all over this site, embarrassing us all – and to Captain Hook as well:

    GROW UP.

    This is your big idea, Hook? Issue a challenge anonymously online, then sit back with arms crossed, stopwatch running, and wait for someone to solve your problems for you? No wonder Ouimet doesn’t bother responding. Have you even READ this blog? She has continuously given ideas for the future of the CBC, much to the risk of her own job. Your contribution is to cast insults, then sit and wait for HER to come up with your answers.

    Get a clue. Come up with your own answers. If you care about this place, stop whining and come up with some ideas. We were all locked out. Some of us are dealing with it like adults, while some are not. The attitude that led to many of our problems in the first place, is the one that you are displaying: Waiting for a manager to come up with all the ideas. What a lot of us have learned is that our ideas are worth something, and we should be speaking them. So what concrete steps will YOU be taking on Tuesday morning?

  7. Anonymous
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 7:50 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Let’s remember something:

    Not every manager at the CBC was involved in the decision to lock employees out.

    For the most part, it was out of their hands as much as it was out of the hands of workers.

    If you’re going to hold a grudge, hold it against the top brass who pulled the plug. Not the people caught in the middle.

  8. mood for a day
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 7:26 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ouimet said: “The CBC has a long, proud history of getting things done in spite of dumb management and stifling bureaucracy. Hell, we give internal awards for it.”

    So that’s what the ETA awards are…a reward for getting things done in spite of management…

    Ouimet said: “Some managers are taking re-integration classes. Don’t be too harsh on them. Taking useless courses is all they know.”

    What did they have before the lockout….disintegration classes?

    Ouimet said: “They still don’t know what a podcast is.”

    Well, after reading the leaked memos, I think some of them emerged from pods. (not ipods…)

    That’s actually the only thing that sticks with me after all this. I know the local management understands to a certain degree and we’ll be able to work together again, but the memos between upper management, their behaviour when crossing the line, everything, betrays their mindset. It is profoundly disturbing. Up to now, I was labouring under the illusion that we all were a team working towards a common goal.

    I suspect you are up there somewhere, privy to the meetings and memos. If this last entry is how you really feel, how can you stand being there?

  9. Anonymous
    Posted October 10, 2005 at 7:11 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Thanks Aigle. Loved your blog and read it every day. It was nice to have a reminder that I’m not fighting this fight alone. Maybe I’m not so exhausted after all. By the way, if someone in management is reading this, you need to hire Justin Beach. The guy doesn’t even have a job or a contract, but he’s busy setting up a worthwhile site for public broadcasting. Many of the young up and comers don’t give a shit about public broadcasting. Now, that is definitely the CBC’s fault, not theirs. The McJobs they’re doing has not fostered the same kind of pride and loyalty to public broadcasting that was so evident when I was coming up. So, when a Justin Beach comes along, snap him up. He is the missing link for our future.

    This ad was not paid for by Justin Beach or his associates either…just someone who read his blog and was impressed by a dedication the CBC doesn’t really deserve.

  10. Aigle De Nuit
    Posted October 9, 2005 at 6:58 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ok, this is to anonymous at 10:31 who lamented the need for change then said:

    >” The answer to all our problems >is so complicated, it’s >exhausting. I don’t know if I’ve >got the energy it’s going to take >to fight the incompetence of so >many managers flailing around >trying to protect their careers >ahead of fixing the cbc. “

    That is very much why places like the Niagara exist….the effort and complication seem overwhelming to any one spud in the newsroom so “consultants” show up to offer ‘Nurturing and Solutions’ to the weary and the insecure.

    I have a different department with similar issues…I don’t know if this new “publicbroadcasting.ca” can do anything for my group (IT..don’t start), but at least it’s an open forum…and a hell of a lot cheaper than Niagara.

    We gotta start somewhere and at least here, we can be in the front row.

    Maybe you are too tired to do it alone…try there…it grew out of the last two months.

    -this endorsement was not paid for by Justin Beach or any of his associates ;Þ

  11. Russ M
    Posted October 9, 2005 at 1:41 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    OK, As curious as I am about Ouimet, I will not ask her name, at least in public, any more than I will ask the names of the 101 people named “Anonymous” who have posted to this site and all the others. They obviously feel their words would have negative repercussions for themselves and in fact would never write them in public were it not for the anonymity. Others are more confident in themselves, their words, and their professional situations, and freely identify themselves.

    The fact that she was posting, and especially non-party lines, makes her situation tenuous. Ouimet sounds like someone I would probably like to have remain and publicly identifying her would most certainly mean she couldn’t.

    We all need secrecy at some points of our lives, I know I wouldn’t want my name and grievances posted on the union bulletin boards, nor say any disciplinary actions against me.

    Some situations are more positively handled in private.

    Russ M.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted October 9, 2005 at 7:31 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    What a perfect analogy for the CBC. News studies, Niagara Institute, integration blah, blah, blah. The only thing that ever changes at the CBC is that the demands gets heavier and the journalism suffers. I can’t speak for A & E or other departments, but news is broken. Really broken. I am one of few people who think, despite his erratic rantings and behaviour that at least Tony Burman is trying. He’s misguided, but he’s trying. Esther Enkin onthe other hand is a lame duck who thinks she can coast on radio’s success and take credit for it when it has nothing to do with her or her decision making. The answer to all our problems is so complicated, it’s exhausting. I don’t know if I’ve got the energy it’s going to take to fight the incompetence of so many managers flailing around trying to protect their careers ahead of fixing the cbc.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2005 at 9:28 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hmm… a call for change. I agree that change seems to be desperately needed in the CBC. But for some reason what comes to mind is an episode of Ken Finkleman’s The Newsroom – from the original 13 episodes (probably one of my all-time favourite CBC series). In Episode 2 – titled “Dinner at Eight” Jim Walcott – the evening news host – gets worried that he’s going to get replaced by a new host, the management of the newsroom ends up playing a game of musical chairs. In the end everything gets back to normal… the script pretty much speaks for itself… to quickly run down the characters (for anyone who hasn’t seen the original 13 episodes)

    George – News director
    Jeremy – News producer
    Mark – News producer
    Jim – News anchor

    George: …Okay, this whole game of musical chairs we played together the last couple fo weeks? It gave us all pause, you guys. We need changes around here.

    Mark: Change. Yeah.

    George: Change.

    Mark: Yeah, we’ll change the way-

    George: New ideas, new ideas, new ideas.

    Jeremy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ll get some new ideas, different ideas.

    George: New ideas.

    Jeremy: New ideas, right.

    George: Okay, change.

    …..

    George and Jim look at ties spread out on the anchor table.

    Jim: You know, um, your philosophy of change I think is good. I think it’s important, I think it’s overdue. But I think these ties are new, and they’re in keeping with that change.

    George: This one here, I hate that one.

    Jim: Yeah?

    George: Yeah, okay? Okay?

    Jim: What about that one?

    George: No, pass on that. I don’t like that one. And, uh, these two, these two I don’t like. And, uh, this one I hate, and I don’t like that one either….

    In the end, Jim wears the same tie he started with…

  14. Anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2005 at 9:11 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Just in case people think the other blogs have dried up, I invite you to visit Oakwriter. He has a link to Ken Finkleman’s tips for the CBC.

    http://oakwrite.blogspot.com/2005/10/finkleman-on-cbc.html

    See what management has unleashed with their lockout? Is there anyone left who doesn’t have an opinion on the CBC? If nothing changes after this, I’m definitely resigning. The corp can’t be fixed.

  15. Justin Beach
    Posted October 8, 2005 at 8:31 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Whatever you do, don’t tell us who you are. Perhaps I’m naive, but I believe (and would like to believe) that you are who you say, and believe what you say. You seem, to me, to have ideas and a vision that I can relate to, even if I don’t agree 100% – a manager calling for Rabinovich’s head would be essentially quitting and I don’t see any calls for any of the other anonymous bloggers to out themselves, or for all of the people who post here anonymously to out themselves. – keep your secrets and keep moving up.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2005 at 8:22 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Much as I have a distaste for managers, I have to say that her blog has played a small part in helping the situation. It gave me a soapbox to rant from that seems to have been well-read, inside and out. Others provided it too, but I felt I was ranting at a manager here and that felt good.

    During the last lockout and especially the strike before (’99) I was insensed but had no vent. It turned into a passive/aggressive approach to my work afterwards which helped no one. Some of my co-workers resigned after the last one, their spirit broken. CBC lost some of their best people. Others sealed themselves up and lost all their enthusiam. Does senior management think this approach to labour relations is good for the corp?

    This time round, this blog (and others) have been a godsend. I wish blogs had been around for the last couple of “labour disruptions”.

    Maybe our collective voices through the blogs will put an end to these brutal management practices in future, but in the meantime, it’s great primal scream therapy. Fuck you, Ouimet! (just kidding…Love you, Ouimet! xxx ooo. No, that’s not right either…I can tolerate you a whole lot, Ouimet.)

  17. Captain Hook
    Posted October 8, 2005 at 7:48 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “… what concrete steps are you taking to help the situation? What’s the SPECIFIC “vision” for the IMMEDIATE future…”

    “Ouimet”, I posed the question to you at 1:45 last night. Still no response, I notice.

    Yeah, just as I thought…

  18. Wary
    Posted October 8, 2005 at 6:35 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I agree with Jim Jones. Tell us your name, for God’s sake! You were entertaining for a while, but now you sound ridiculous, asking us to help YOU run the place! We don’t even know who you are. The CBC needs to be run by real people who have some ideas and a vision for public broadcasting, not by lily-livered bloggers who hide under some self-aggrandizing “nom de plume”. You’ve really degenerated into a bad joke!

  19. Anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2005 at 5:03 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Fuck You Again Ouimet!!

  20. Anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2005 at 5:02 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Fuck You Again Ouimet!!

  21. Jim Jones
    Posted October 8, 2005 at 9:15 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Well Ouimet, you wanna help? How about you start by giving us your REAL name?
    Well, aren’t you happy and looking forward to work with us? So, give us your real name, so we can “work together”.

  22. Anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2005 at 8:14 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ouimet,
    You may need me, but I’m afraid you’ve lost me. For years and years, I put the CBC ahead of everything else. I believed in it. I was dedicated to it. Somehow, I just can’t imagine things ever being the same. I will still do my job and do it well. But, that extra pound of flesh that I gave on a daily basis, forget it. This lockout is going to cost the CBC a lot more than it saved. Most people will start billing for missed lunches (or better yet, taking them). Start billing for the many hours of overtime they work but didn’t want to crush the CBC with overtime costs. The list goes on and on. The CBC has fucked us over. Most of us have too much pride and love of public broadcasting to fuck them over in return. But, we will make sure to get everything that’s coming to us. Everything. The next time I get a phone call from another employer, I’ll probably be out the door. I want to work at a place that I can pour my heart and soul into.

  23. Captain Hook
    Posted October 7, 2005 at 10:46 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Blood in the water. And I’m just circling around, thinking about what things will be like on Tuesday. And thereafter.

    As one who works at the Broadcast Centre, I appreciate the hand you are outstretching. Well done. We are all facing a complex issue. But it’s not THAT complex. Taken point by point, I have a few responses for you:

    1. DO NOT intimate that ‘everyone is happy to have you back’. Excuse Me. We were summarily dismissed almost eight weeks ago. The gloating on the part of senior mis-management is the final insult. Give me a FUCKING break. I don’t give a rat’s ass if you’re happy or not. I’m sure as hell not ‘happy’ to be seeing you!

    2. The ‘fact’ that “some managers are taking re-integration classes” is not impressive to this scalliwag in the least. How many? Who are they? Will we be able to tell them apart from the ones who haven’t? I strongly doubt it.
    I would suggest that anything less than a comprehensive, total (and highly visible) strategy to improve communications with staff… along with a committment to transparency in the decision making processes that dictate what the hell the damn vision is for this Corporation… would be unacceptable.

    “Re-Integration”… stinks of status quo thinking… which has been proven to NOT WORK.

    3. The part about ‘managers not paying attention’ is, unfortunately… the status quo I’m talking about. Disconnectedness is not an excuse. This is not the equivalent of a CMG member choosing to not picket. It is true, we all have our ways of dealing with whatever life throws our way. Unfortunately, there are way too many managers who approach their work in general this way… Which is why the lockout happened in the first place. Too busy? No excuse.

    4. Everything HAS changed. And you may NOT be right here beside me. Something’s gotta give, and we already GAVE. Now it’s your turn. Sorry, but the bottle has swung your way. A tad uncomfortable, eh?

    What do you do when you’ve ‘managed’ to piss off 5500 people?

    We’ll make it work, the ship will sail again. We’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do; you guys have left quite a mess over the last two months. Some of you may just get swept up. It won’t be about revenge for any inconvenience, though. It will simply be that we are fed up with sailing around in circles, taking orders from bureaucrats who have no sense of accountability for the public purse.

    All in all, you all have written an interesting post. So tell me, great collective “Ouimet”… what concrete steps are you taking to help the situation? What’s the SPECIFIC “vision” for the IMMEDIATE future?

    Looking forward to your answer…

  24. Joe Clark
    Posted October 7, 2005 at 4:28 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Your items 1 through 3 are total bullshit.

    Additionally, expect nothing but hard feelings.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted October 7, 2005 at 3:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hi Ouimet,
    I think everyone knows there is no perfect deal but I think the important thing is that we stood up for worker’s rights and for issues that really are important.

    I think CMG did their best and got us a really fair deal. In my opinion it is a deal that kept CBC from destroying itself. There are some problems but I hope it passes.

    I do still dream of a day though when CBC will truly realize that broadcasting is a collaborative effort and that the employees — all the employees, not just a few stars — are the corporation’s greatest strength.

    I’m glad to hear we are being welcomed back. I hope most managers know enough to give us a bit of space. I don’t really want to talk about the lockout anymore. It’s over. I just want to get back to the job I enjoy.

    I suggest CBC managers don’t throw welcome back pizza parties and if any manager does decide to give a speech that it be short and go something like this. “Welcome Back. We missed you.”

    Treat us with dignity, treat us with respect and I think you will be treated that way in return.

    I certainly don’t agree with everything you have to say Ouimet but I really want to thank you for this post. It demonstrates how easy it is for a manager to just talk to us in an honest way. It shows that it really is easy to make people feel like they are needed and wanted.

    But remember actions speak louder than words.

    At this point its not about who’s right or who’s wrong, it’s about knowing we are appreciated and knowing that someone is right there beside us.

    But most of all it’s about getting CBC back on the air and get ALL of us back to serving our audience.

    We now begin our broadcast day.

  26. Sombre
    Posted October 7, 2005 at 1:56 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Since we are on the payroll today (but not in there) as part of the RTW protocol agreement, I guess we responded on company time too! I just took a nap on company time. Lovely.

    I’m not looking forward to going back. The grey rainy sombre day must be a reflection of my mood. I’m not ready to roll up my sleeves and dig in.

    Strikes me as futile to bust my keister as I did before for these folks who turfed us out. But of course this will fade as we go back in, for how often do we ever see the people who run this place in our day to day work. We basically serve each other (and the public). Occasionally someone, who shall remain nameless, who keeps sending you unsolicited emails to inform you of who was appointed the director of real estate, the manager of wool gathering, interferes with your work routine and locks you out. I’ve been through it a few times. I hope the Heritage committee can fix this so we can go about our jobs.

  27. Cin
    Posted October 7, 2005 at 1:51 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You’re right, Ouimet, we need to get this place up and running together, and fast.

    But I think any manager who thinks we’ll forget this quickly is drinking absinthe.

    Hey, I’m not going to be mean and nasty. It’s against my nature; I’m a happy-go-lucky type. But no longer will I ignore management abuses or keep my mouth shut about them.

    I think management is going to be dealing with a lot of drones ready and willing to file grievances.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted October 7, 2005 at 11:35 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This post looks and smells like it was done on CBC time.

  29. Justin Beach
    Posted October 7, 2005 at 9:36 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Your email appears to be gone, so all I’ll say for the moment is good on ya.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted October 7, 2005 at 9:32 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Whether we have won or lost will be shown in the long term. I encourage you, Ouimet and us, the lockees to pass on the info in these blogs to the others who didn’t follow them for whichever reason.

    I can’t imagine the scenario of a set of fully charged “drones” returning to work to encounter a manager who hadn’t been paying attention to any of it. But I guess we’ll see it next week, if ratified.

    The CBC as a whole will benefit if everyone is brought up to speed.


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