Guest blogger: We few, we happy few (perhaps)

Sent to me by “Michael Williams,” in response to President Hubert’s comment.
Enjoy.
~O

Hubert

You are reading Teamakers. That’s good. Don’t give up on Teamakers, sir.

The quote from Bruce Cockburn is a great analogy, but let’s go to the Bard himself.

In less than a month, you’ve already been like the young King in Henry V when….

The royal captain of this ruin’d band
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
Let him cry ‘Praise and glory on his head!’
For forth he goes and visits all his host.
Bids them good morrow with a modest smile
And calls them brothers, friends and countrymen.

People are already saying, I like what Hubert’s doing but they’ve got their fingers crossed because the CBC is a “ruined band.” They’re asking “can he really be trusted.”

And now young King Henry asks Sir Thomas, “Lend me thy cloak…” so he can go among his troops disguised.

Teamakers lets you go among your troops in disguise and hear what some really think. (It is quite likely that some of those people you talked to are contributors to Teamakers. But they’re Canadians, so they are usually polite, and you’re the boss and it’s your first month. Hubert are you wondering if you’ve met “Michael Williams”?

I have never had the opportunity to go up in a elevator with Richard Stursberg (in fact people were wondering at one point if he had a private elevator somewhere because he was never seen) but I get suspicious when Fred “make their lives miserable” Mattocks smiles at people in the elevator, very suspicious.

King Henry meets three soldiers, including a John Bates and Michael Williams.

BATES
Then I would he were here alone; so should he be
sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men’s lives saved.

KING HENRY V
I dare say you love him not so ill, to wish him here
alone, howsoever you speak this to feel other men’s
minds: methinks I could not die any where so
contented as in the king’s company; his cause being
just and his quarrel honourable.

WILLIAMS
That’s more than we know.

BATES
Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know
enough, if we know we are the kings subjects: if
his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes
the crime of it out of us.

WILLIAMS
But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath
a heavy reckoning to make….

You have already realized, I am sure, the problem is not management, but leadership.

To continue the military analogy just for a minute you are a general who has taken command of the finest troops in Canada who have suffered under a decade of hostile, indifferent and incredibly arrogant but incompetent management (not leaders). The top management of the CBC, before you came, was more like the old British aristocrats who bought their commissions, were militarily incompetent and had utter and total contempt for their troops. Those managers have ruined the organization. (Look up “Charge of the Light Brigade“) The only difference is that they don’t have a coat of arms, they have an MBA or the equivalent.

Are you going to make a difference?

Look at all the work that was done by the CMG members during the lockout with little or no budget.

Did the aristocrats ever take advantage of that experience and expertise among the troops that really do the work, to find out how you can produce quality on a limited budget? No. Not once.

Instead the budget was wasted on outside consultants.

Why? The consultant in modern management provides the MBA-safety net. If you go with what consultants recommend and you fail (like some of the big US banks with lots of subprime mortgages) there is nothing wrong with that. You just get a new corner office in a different building for a different company just like all those former CBC Human Resources managers. (Oh yeah, by the way, you should ask why there is such a high turnover in human resources. And then ask why there is such a high turnover in IT and is that the reason the computer systems are so unstable.)

You mention the “respect” seminars. You know why I haven’t signed up yet, even though it’s mandatory? I don’t have the time. I am so overloaded with work, I keep forgetting. Or if I remember, I know the next few dates won’t work out because I know I have a major assignment that week and there’s no backfill if I take the time to go to the respect seminar.

(And colleagues who have managed to attend the respect seminars say that many people when they are asked what they want out of life, reply “to retire from CBC.” Others are saying “why should I go to a ‘respect’ seminar when management doesn’t respect what we do.”)

There are a lot of sound reasons your senior executives are hated. It’s not just a labour management dispute. The news service has covered those disputes in other places and we know about those and how the bitterness can last for years. There’s more than that at the CBC. It’s also about the destruction of public broadcasting, the cheapening and sensationalization of quality journalism and the contempt senior management has for an organization that has a mandate from Parliament to reflect all of Canada, because they prefer to concentrate on the “profitable” major market big cities.

You’re obviously a fan of the Barenaked Ladies. Ask people in Toronto about the free concert the Ladies gave during the lockout and how Simcoe Park was packed.

When you’re talking to people, ask them about their vacation plans for 2008. Many people are planning the “big vacation” for this year, in anticipation that we’ll be back walking around the buildings in 2009.

So I am saying as Michael Williams said to the disguised Henry V.

KING HENRY V
I myself heard the king say he would not be ransomed.

WILLIAMS
Ay, he said so, to make us fight cheerfully: but
when our throats are cut, he may be ransomed, and we
ne’er the wiser.

KING HENRY V
If I live to see it, I will never trust his word after.

WILLIAMS
You pay him then. That’s a perilous shot out of an
elder-gun, that a poor and private displeasure can
do against a monarch! you may as well go about to
turn the sun to ice with fanning in his face with a
peacock’s feather. You’ll never trust his word
after! come, ’tis a foolish saying.

So here’s what you can do. Throw away your daybook or close the calendar in your Blackberry or your Treo.

Forget about those meetings. (Ninety-five per cent of the meetings at CBC are useless anyway.)

Don’t just talk to people, don’t drop by for five minutes, say hi and shake hands.. See how they work.

Spend an entire Saturday with Hockey Night in Canada from first thing in the morning until the last game ends and see what a miracle it is.

Visit all the foreign news bureaus (including Kandahar) and see how they have to work. (If you take a little time out to make some deals in London or Paris, we’ll understand)

Spend an entire day from 0900 to 1900 with Toronto at Six and see how they cobble together a show every day with a tiny budget and too few staff in competition with private stations with bigger staff and bigger bucks. (Vancouver doesn’t count. The were once Canada Now, they have more people and more money). Ask why the CBC supper hours have to follow the Frank Magid formula designed for mega-rich US major market stations with probably one fifth the staff in Toronto and one-eighth the staff in smaller stations across Canada.

Spend an entire day with As It Happens, see how the staff call out to the entire world and see why As It Happens is such a big hit in the United States (as well as Canada)

Spend the entire day with Air Farce Live to see how that comes together (or doesn’t since it’s live)

Spend an entire day with the satellite resources desk in the national newsroom and see what a science fiction world we live in and how those folks actually juggle.

The next time all hell really breaks lose somewhere in the world (not the phony Magid breaking news but real, important breaking news) drop everything, and go into the national newsroom(s) and see CBC staff at their best.

Drop in on a one person VJ or radio bureau in a region and see what their day is like.

When you’re in a region see how a CBC.ca regional writer has to do a job that radio and television have a lot more people to cover the same stories.

Find out why Metro Morning in Toronto beats the pants off the private competition.

Spend a day with an ENG editor working for Newsworld in Toronto.

And graphics, and what’s left of design and staging and Radio Drama (what’s left of it) and Radio Music (what’s left of that)

You’re a lawyer. So tag along with the lawyers when they vet a contentious script for the fifth estate or Marketplace or the National. (Of course if the fifth estate doesn’t get a proper budget back there won’t be any contentious scripts for the lawyers to vet).

Get up at 0200 and be in the office at 0300 to see how CBC Morning News gets on the air.

Etc, etc etc.

Back in the office…..

One thing you can do now. Don’t let the rumour mill get out of control. There are all kinds of rumours about what John Cruickshank is going to do with the news service. Yes, we know it all hasn’t been approved yet, but how about a progress report????

Don’t let the bad language bother you. Just wait until you’re in a newsroom or an edit suite when DTV crashes just before deadline (as it always does). Or even on the executive floor when Groupwise freezes (as it always does).

After all when Richard Stursberg strutted by the locked out employees that summer afternoon in August 2005, all everyone chanted was “Shame! Shame! Shame!” not [expletive deleted]. The [expletive deleted] comes from all the things Stursberg has done after the lockout.

So Hubert, you have your work cut out for you. To go back to Henry V, you can make the CBC “a band of brothers (and sisters)” or you can be a footnote in history, the last president of the CBC.

The choice is yours.

Best,
Michael

30 comments:

  1. Anonymous
    Posted February 6, 2008 at 4:31 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Yeah, they did … a few posts earlier.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted February 5, 2008 at 6:23 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Nobody here mentioned the irony that as we discussed the termination of Dick he was sending us email suggesting we partake in champagne to celebrate his success. Oh Orwell, how we immortalize thee…

  3. Bill Lee
    Posted February 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Somehow I see Hubert LaCroix as a sort of diffident Tony Manera.
    (CBC Prez 1994’“1995, 10 year veteran of CBC Engineering too)

    And then there was : How to Save the CBC (Sept 2006 ) archived at : http://www.friends.ca/News/Friends_News/archives/articles09250601.asp

    And a later book for those whose lips don’t move when reading. “A Dream Betrayed: The battle for the CBC.”

    Still, M. LaCroix is on top of all this and does read bilingually all the briefs.

    Enough money helps.

    I think that in this winter of discontent, he should wander off to the southern hemisphere and see the Australian ABC, its various divisions includding the TripleJ part, and the marvelous real-world Radio Australia shortwave service, the idea of Radio National, and the alternate services of the SBS (read ethnic radio/TV) Special Broadcast Services much the most interesting TV after a lot of US fatty imports.

    And how does Global ocmpare down there and in New Zealand.

    With the increasing allophone cities, what does South Africa broadcasting have to teach us.

    Just stay away from the BBC which CBC management so slavishly copies. Be aware, and be wary of them and their failed visions.

    Welcome to our griping, you’ll rarely hear praise as the shock of something great on the CBC puts us under the oath of silence.

    And do get some high school and cegep students’ advice. The future audience is not found in the ready made graves of elderly Toronto consumers.

  4. Allan
    Posted February 5, 2008 at 12:52 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Correction:
    I’m still a member.
    We just have fewer reunions.

  5. how weird is that
    Posted February 5, 2008 at 11:59 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The only person rushing to Dick’s defense is “allan” and it turns out that “allan” was a member of the Manson Family. Does this mean that there is a connection between Dick and Charles Manson?

    And what about the bomb squad dealing with that package on Monday. Was it addressed to Dick? Does “allan” know anything about it? Was it from San Quentin?

    The nefarious connections at the highest levels of the CBC are becoming downright scary.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted February 5, 2008 at 5:10 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Why so glum CBC drones? Don’t you know they are breaking out the champagne in the executive suite? Don’t you read your spin? Things have never been better! News and Arts are so yesterday. Watch “The Border” and ABC positive “Sophie” and cheer-the-fuck-up.

  7. Allan
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 8:47 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Enough with the Fire Dick boutique. You’re not a Drone, are you? Let’s get on with our lives. How does the saying go? Doing a good job is the best revenge – ah, I probably screwed that up. Fun is fun but every horse pulling a carriage in Central Park eventually dies. So stop whipping it – ah, I probably screwed that one up too.

  8. still thinking of Dick
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 8:05 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Do you remember that shot of Nixon, getting on his airplane, throwing a couple of victory signs right after he had been brought down? Photoshop Dick’s face onto Nixon, use CBC logo on plane, print 5,000 t-shirts. The union will want to pay for it. Back of the t-shirts; Fire Dick Now. That is your assignment.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 4:46 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    As Jane was leaving she commented that “we occupy positions of trust. This isn’t our company, we don’t own it. Rather we are privileged as caretakers of a Canadian cultural institution. We need to remember that.”

    Now, has anyone noticed that the assets of Galaxie are quietly being sold off to Stingray Media? Does anyone know who owns that company? Does anybody care?

  10. Fire Dick Now
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 3:38 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    well done “the week ahead”…
    you are a Patriot, a champion of Canadian culture,
    I applaud your tenacity and initiative

    manufacture of the Fire Dick Now lapel pins is underway

  11. cbcfrank
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 11:45 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It will be auditors that convince Mr. Lacroix one way or the other.

    Don’t count on it. We have managers who’ve had 3 decades worth of experience with smoke and mirrors at audit time.

  12. The Week Ahead
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 8:17 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece
  13. Anonymous
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 7:22 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    it’s over
    light the fuse

  14. Anonymous
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 4:16 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It will be auditors that convince Mr. Lacroix one way or the other.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 1:54 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I have two things to say to Hubert:

    1. Grow a thicker skin when it comes to foul language. You’d find the same language at CanWest, City, A-Channel, Chum and BellGlobe Media as you find at the CBC. It’s just part of the media culture and it’s unlikely that “respect in the workplace” is going to change that. The F-word is not meant as a show of disprespect, it’s just the way people talk, especially when they’re frustrated.

    2. Thank you for actually perusing a blog. I hope you are getting a real sense of just how wide the chasm between management and the workers bees really is. Make no mistake that the people on the ground whom you have met are probably not being frank with you about what is really going on. There is an undercurrent of fear and defeat that I have never witnessed before. It’s disgraceful and if there is a need for “respect in the workplace”, it needs to start with management respecting individuals. People who work at the CBC have watched as CBC News is dismantled and rebuilt, dismantled and rebuilt over and over again. Management dismantles it, the rest of us are tasked with rebuilding it. With every rebuild, we are given fewer resources. I can’t speak for the other departments, but I imagine they are under the same stresses as the rest of us.
    Don’t listen to Stursberg’s magical numbers, comparing our resources to those of privates and declaring them “equal”. He is comparing apples to oranges. If you want the real story, take any big city news room (CTV, GLobal) and count the number of reporters, camera people, editors etc. and compare that to the number of the same positions in a CBC news room. It just doesn’t compare. Don’t let Stursberg’s tacky rings mesmerize you Hubert. Ask the questions yourself if you want the real answers. The foul-mouthed soldiers have held this place held together because they care. I’m not sure they have much will left. The journalism that we were always able to proudly hold on to, no matter what issues were facing the corp is eroding by the day. More demands with no more resources is one big reason. Magid consultants are another. What a disaster they are. Imagine paying millions of dollars to US consultants who actually encourage a more shallow product. Hiring consultants to coach our young reporters how to make their product look exactly like the privates, the worst of the privates that is. It’s all so disheartening and discouraging that you can literally feel the commitment seeping out buildings across Canada. Working for the
    CBC used to be the brass ring, people would scrap to get a foot in the door. Now, we can’t even recruit young talent. So, Hubert, you have arrived at the CBC when it is in crisis. I’m not quite sure if you knew what you bit off when you took your post. I’m not quite sure if you were aware of how badly the crack team of Rabinovitch and Stursberg had managed the place. The lockout is only one tiny part of the equation. Sadly, it is up to you to try to fix it. If you take heart in anything, take heart in the frustration you are hearing in these posts. They may not demonstrate a great attitude, but amazingly they do demonstrate that somehow, against all odds, some people still do care.

    To the good managers, there are some. You are, as always, excluded from the blanket tirade against management. Just remember, the thing that makes you a good manager is that you don’t suck up to cover your own ass, you are loyal to your people and you have the balls to tell it like it is. Don’t stop.

    And speaking of good managers, just what the hell happened to Jane anyway? The only VP who had ever actually done the same jobs we did. Can anyone out there answer that?

  16. Allan
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 5:01 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Thank you to everyone for making such an outstanding effort to contribute here at our dear friend Ouimet’s space over the past few days.
    A touch of therapy for all of us, once again.

    Hubert: Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word “kick”.

    Chorus: Stursberg!

    And thank you of course to the pleasant Monsieur Lacroix for gracing us with his presence here amidst the looney rabble rousers (who are sincerely serious).
    Let’s hope the gentleman has a sense of humour, or the CBC is in even bigger trouble.
    Regardless, his gesture of making an appearance at our clandestine meetings showed some moxie. No dumb dinosaur he.

    This was a rather historic moment in the blog world. Kind of a landmark, yes?
    Hands across the water and all that, and … when worlds collide.
    I think we’re all grateful that someone from the posher offices of the CBC (besides Keay) reached out to acknowledge the existence and really outstanding contribution of the person who started this blog and continues to nurture it with such dedication.
    And selflessly. On her own time.
    That is so … so CBC.

    Good ideas, Nelson, and I love your work on the Simpsons too.

  17. Fire Dick Now
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 3:19 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Being a sycophantic suck-up won’t save your job Allan. We know you work for communications and that your job is to defend the world of Dick, however Dick is Satan and his evil ways must be revealed to those who are in a position to triumph over evil.

    Marcus Antonious makes some excellent suggestions. Attention graphic designers; you must now incorporate subliminal Fire Dick Now messages in all of your work. Anyone with a magic marker can also assist with the campaign to save the CBC – which could be a more useful slogan;

    Save the CBC – Fire Dick Now!

    Nelson Ludd’s youtube suggestion is worth exploring. Lots of tight shots of the campaign materials being prepared: CU’s on the mugs, the artwork, the t-shirts intercut with long lens shots of Dick moving about freely (for now) and a voice over of interviews (where the voices have been technically altered) speaking of his reign of destruction – lots of people crying would be good. Air Farce segment producers, get to work.

    Meanwhile, we should be sending memos to Hubert to remind him of the task at hand. Crazy notes scrawled on napkins and the cardboard flaps from a
    two-four; send them by interoffice mail or slip them under his door; Things To Do – Fire Dick!

  18. Nelson Ludd
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 12:49 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hey Allan, I agree with some of your points, especially the part about us having fun, but I think you underestimate the role of creativity and sabotage in revolution. True, we don’t want to alienate the base, and appear like the wing-nuts we are, yet at the same time enough is enough, and Dick really needs to be fired now. I have had several jobs in executive positions, I do not work at CBC, and I have fired people, ya it’s tough, and oh boy does Dick deserve it. Demand the impossible Allan, and you’ll be surprised about what you can achieve.

    Professionalism aside, I’d love to see a YouTube clip that shows Fire Dick Now in the Newsworld crawl. Even if it was entirely faked it would be a fun thing to see. ;)

  19. Allan
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 11:18 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Sorry but that’s out, anon. I think whenever protesters start defacing public or private property and otherwise crossing the line of responsible conduct we undermine our complaints and appear like juvenile delinquents bent more on destruction than change. Those actions are as futile as prison riot.
    Stursberg’s popularity as a villain is abundantly clear on the current and back pages of Tea Makers. I think he and everyone else gets it, and there’s not much more to be done. I’m resigned to the course that it will take an act of god to affect any change of his tenure, or simply and patiently letting the years slip by until his term is up.
    And frankly, I think he enjoys the attention of being accorded such importance and vitriolic passion. It likely re-enforces his own resolve to “kick” against the ingrates who are not up to handling the responsibilities he has. That’s why he is where he is, and in his mind – he’s the man!
    I won’t offer that we should walk 5,000 miles in his shoes because it’s hard to symphatize (though I do have some admiration) with him. I wasn’t there when he faced the picket line and showed the great divide between management and union, but I saw the picture of it, and it came off as stunningly heartless and insensitive on his part. No doubt intelligent but he seems shockingly short-sighted in not realizing that these are people he has to work with (and FOR, if I can be so naive) soon and for years yet to come at that moment.
    That episode comes to mind whenever someone here brings up “respect workshops”. It’s management that needs to be first in line and then lead by example.

    To sick & tired: have you ever had the task of hiring and firing?
    It may seem like a fun part of the job but it’s in many ways the most serious and crucial task of all, especially within a corporation that appreciates the full definition of the word “liability”.
    You chose to work at the CBC in part because you trusted that you would be dealt with in a civilized manner.
    And dismissing people from their duties is accomplished either by just cause or a pay-off. And it’s vital that the person being terminated understands and even agrees, or there’s always the slight chance that they’ll be back tomorrow with a shotgun.
    In Richard’s case, we may yet see more come of that deal to sell rights. It certainly raises questions, serious questions as Oasis did. (odd how the mere “appearance” of impropriety in the Erickson/Rodriguez incident was such a big deal, while a similar “appearance” in selling off rights is so quickly swept under the proverbial carpet without the courtesy of a full explanation).

    Anyway, I don’t want to discourage anyone from having “fun”.
    I too have hated just about every manager I’ve had, and avoided the role for myself unless the alternatives were even worse. And the truth is, some (VERY few) actually gave me the impression they were looking out for me and my best interests, acting more like a mentor than a boss. Such people do exist, surely even at the CBC.

    PS Revolution is great, especially the kind that starts between the ears

    PSS hey joe, we’re in complete agreement on one thing … that’s perilously close to being too hot for tv … and, no, I’m not talking about jesse!

  20. Marcus Antonious
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 10:42 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Is this CBC fan is wondering if people are watching “Rome” on another network instead of “The Border?”

    The last couple of posts on Dick remind me of a Roman politician (long before Julius Caesar) who ended every speech, even one on building aquaducts, with “Cartago delenda est.” (Carthage must be destroyed)

    The CBC can do that where it can.

    Too bad your reporters can’t end items with Joe Doe, CBC News, Toronto Dick delenda est. but that would violate your journalism guidelines.

    But how about

    All departments, news, music, drama and everyone else should start programming, buying shows and airing shows using the word “Dick.”

    Ted Kotcheff directed the 1977 verson of “Fun with Dick and Jane” so it might be Canadian content.

    How about ways to cook “spotted dick” on CBC Morning News.

    Run the 1999 movie about Richard Nixon, called “Dick” in Sunday prime time. The next week run W. C. Fields in the “The Bank Dick”

    The arts unit should produce an indepth series on the cultural influence of the Dick and Jane primary readers.

    Children’s television should get the rights to the British kids series “The Famous Five” which has a character named Dick.

    Program reruns of the Dick van Dyke show (it’s about television) and one of the Dick Tracy series.

    Any other Dick shows the CBC can run??

    If that doesn’t work, how about:

    1)tape editors putting subliminal messages in promos “Fire Dick Now”

    2)Spam text on CBC.ca (that is text the same colour as the background so search engines pick it up but people can’t always see it) “Fire Dick Now.”

    And by the way, Rome is much better than the Border.

    Marcus Antonious
    time to time CBC fan

  21. sick and tired
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 9:51 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I like the suggestions of anonymous 9:13.
    A grassroots campaign to force Dicksburger out of office. T-shirts, bumper stickers, graffiti, posters;
    “Fire Dick Now” … postcards with a picture of Dick and our catchy slogan which can be mailed to board members and every MP across the country. An uprising of the truly oppressed who have seen Canada’s cultural industries irrevocably ruined by his petty, misguided and truly suspicious decisions;
    “Fire Dick Now” … Will anyone dare wear a “Fire Dick Now” t-shirt into the building? Is it our constitutional right to freedom of expression? While we’re at it, lets make sure that the Auditor Generals department has some of these stylish CBC collectibles; coffee mugs, paper weights, ball point pens; “Fire Dick Now”… We’ll start a web site to market our “line” going head-to-head with CBC merchandising; we’ll outsell Red Green 10:1

    C’mon Hubert, do the right thing and show us what you’re made of. Fire Dick before Parliament starts asking why CBC employees are all wearing Fire Dick Now t-shirts in the OPG.

  22. Anonymous
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 7:12 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This is an amazing moment for the Tea Makers. The level of writing and passion over the last 48 hours has been awe inspiring. Several times I’ve felt tears well up in my eyes.

    It doesn’t really matter to me if that was the real Hubert, or if Hubert comes back.

    What strikes as significant about this moment is how unified we seem to be. Unified against Dick Stursburger.

    So I propose we take it to the next level. Why should we wait for a response from Hubert! Why not start our own grassroots campaign to force Dicksburger out of office! Create stickers and graffitti that we can place inside the building and anywhere Tricky Dick and his supporters would see it. Literally start a campaign of pestering and annoyance. I reckon it would be quite popular.

    Ouimet, dear leader, how about next week when you play with new features and tech you include a campaign feature that allows us to rally against Dick!

    Vive le Revolution!

  23. Anonymous
    Posted February 2, 2008 at 9:19 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Current CBC President Hubert T. Lacroix was shocked at a recent blog and comments about a lack of respect. It should be made clear to Mr. Lacroix a great deal of staff at CBC do have respect for CBC. We respect CBC itself as the cultural icon we spent the majority of our lives creating. We have dedicated many hours to CBC which cost us family time, being away from home, lack of sleep, contributed to marriage break up and in some cases actual threats to our lives while doing programming we felt Canadians deserved. Our work is the face of CBC to Canadians.
    The CBC is a part of our lives.
    However we separate CBC itself from an upper management that makes decisions that are destructive to CBC. We find it hard to respect an upper management who is making CBC a backdoor operation for private companies to get their hands on public funds while hiding behind the moniker of a ’śpublic’ť Broadcaster. An upper management who engages in deals that clearly appears to have conflict of interest. Seeing decisions to dissolve departments that contained this countries most dedicated and creative professionals in this industry. Claiming to be concerned about taxpayer’™s assets while literally throughing their assets into trash bins. An upper management who see a dedicated staff with years of experience as a liability and detriment. Seeing destruction to regions that have produced a wide variety of programming. Regions that have facilities reduced to mere news operations lacking the physical space to actually produce a major production as they used to create.
    We have watched every new group of upper management sending out emails with goals that sound good but then their actions in no way reflect these goals as a reality.
    He is surprised that the ’śrespect in the work place’ť course didn’™t solve all these problems not realizing that in fact we have tremendous respect for our colleagues because we have seen their passion for their work and their sacrifices for CBC. He is shocked foul language and harsh statements were used. Well again this shows the passion we have for CBC since we take it to heart when we see the dismantling and destruction that occurs from poor decisions. Would Mr. Lacroix have kind words for an intruder who wants to hurt and destroy a close family member? I am sure he would use a few expletive words.
    As the saying goes respect is earned, however the desire from upper management is not to gain respect, but achieve subservience from its work force. Their vindictiveness is evident on the side walk outside the CBC Toronto in a faded painted dashed line that forced their staff to stay outside the line so no covering would be available to them in the rain during the lock out. Mr. Lacroix asked ’śWould you stand up for the CBC?’ť The answer is more than stand up we would in fact sacrifice weeks of pay, potential loss of property and cause hardship for our families to save CBC. We did this during the lock out because we saw upper management wanted to destroy CBC. Our view was shared by many in the public along with many in the media. You ask if we would stand up for our executives. Well as I noted we separate them from what we view as CBC. We would stand up if their actions reflected a respect for the CBC that their employees have built. Respect their employees efforts both current and past in the formation of CBC. View employees as assets whose dedication and experience should be utilized at every opportunity. Yes we have seen emails that put such comments into words but frankly upper management’s actions make those words not worth the email they are attached to.
    As another had noted in the comments if you truly want to get to know CBC you should spend time along side some of the dedicated staff and allow them to speak freely to you. Of course you may need to come in on weekends, work long hours, not know when you will go home and have to tell your son or daughter you can’™t visit their school play because you have to work. Then you’™ll see even when employees are faced with an upper management who do not consider them to be worthwhile they do their work to their best ability because they do believe and are proud to be part of CBC. The CBC they help to create every time a viewer turns on a TV, go online, tunes in a radio, podcast or any one of many methods we use to communicate to Canadians. The upper management CBC, ya it’™s there also, we see their emails and delete them because for all their content their words lack the passion we have inside for the real CBC.
    Alas this would be asking too much and our words here will be seen as sour grapes from a disgruntled work force. It’™s too bad they will be classified like this considering if you Mr. Lacroix were to actually take the words to heart you would see them as passionate pleas to restore a once strong and thriving organization to its former glory. If it was merely sour grapes or being disgruntled we would simply not respond since we would have a ’śwho cares attitude’ť. Yes I have seen the ’śwho cares’ť attitude in many employees who once had a passion for CBC but have had that passion beaten out of them by a crushing upper mangment. This is worse than the foul language used in the blog that Mr. Lacroix mentioned since once a creative employee reaches this attitude the loss to the real CBC is huge.

  24. Enik
    Posted February 2, 2008 at 6:48 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Oh joe–please leave us this small hope, that we might be heard before anymore damage is done.

  25. joeclark
    Posted February 2, 2008 at 3:37 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’™m sorry, but why are we assuming there will be some kind of shuttle diplomacy between us and Hubert via this blog just because an unverified blog comment led us to believe he read one posting?

  26. Anonymous
    Posted February 2, 2008 at 12:07 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    What do we say when Hubert, after learning how dreadful is the current executive, keeps the same team?

    What is the future of an organization that cannot help itself, that has no controls? Is there even the time left to fix things? Is there the will, in Canada, to rebuild the CBC once it comes down?

  27. Anonymous
    Posted February 2, 2008 at 8:19 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You forgot to add….

    “Meet with the National Director of the Liberal Party of Canada to align strategies for the up-coming Federal Election.”

  28. jools
    Posted February 2, 2008 at 8:18 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This is the best Tea Makers post ever. “Michael Williams” is spot on.

    There are many of us that are still busting our asses for the CBC. We won’t do it forever, Hubert, so I hope you do as this poster suggests and spend some quality time with the soldiers in the trenches. Then make some sensible decisions about senior management.

    I figure you have about a year. If you can avoid a strike or lockout with CMG, that’d be great – but let’s aim high and think of that as a starting goal, not the end goal, shall we?

  29. Anonymous
    Posted February 2, 2008 at 6:39 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I sure hope ‘H’ reads that post, its brilliant and spot-on.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted February 2, 2008 at 12:57 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hubert, if that really was you in the previous blog, which I doubt, but who knows… But let’s just assume it was, so here’s the deal, Hubert — unfortunately. The sentiments and frustrations of the SAD blogger — if not the language — represent a very large number of people working for this company. That’s the reality, no matter how many well-meaning cliches you throw our way. There really is complete breakdown between senior management (particularly, the people who are thought to have been responsible for everything to do with the lockout) and pretty well everyone else. And it’s not just the lockout, but more important, how those people have dealt with the employees in the 2.5 years since. There are two words that characterize the divide: respect and contempt. There ain’t much of the former, and an unlimited amount of the latter. Going in each direction.

    Not sure you can fix it, but I know you like sports. Well, you know what usually happens when a team isn’t doing well, especially if it’s talented. They don’t trade all the players. They get rid of the general manager or of the coach or… Anyway, you get the drift, and I think, you are that new general manager.

    Good luck.


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