I GO TO WORK in the morning and continue the process of tightening up the contractor operations at the military base. Well, at least I talk with the Commanding Officer and start tightening up the contractor operations at the military base. I'm then deluged with meeting requests from politicians from at least the major defence contractors.
I'm not a politician. I am, however, a magician. I set up my magic machine.
“Well, ladies and gentlemen, you want to talk to me. You can talk away. I have a recorder set up, so that we can remember exactly what was said.” Politicians don't like recorders, as such a machine provides a record of what's actually said.
Lenny The Liar starts off, “You threw two of my people off this base, yesterday.”
“That's not true. I did have one person removed from this base, for failure to do what was asked in a simple, legal work request. I have been told that one other person, from the same project, did leave the base, but that was voluntary and I had no direct involvement in the matter.”
Lenny The Liar continues, “You're taking revenge on my people, because you were fired by my company.”
“I had one person removed from this base, because of failure to demonstrate capability to do the work assigned. As to my firing by your company, a court of law decided that the firing was not justified and awarded me quite a bit of money, in damages. I bear your company no ill will, but, if one of your company's employees again tries to force a hug or a kiss on me, we go back to court.”
A woman, by her badge, from another company, asks me, “What is it that you expect from our employees?”
“I expect that each person that you assign to work at this base will have the capability to do the job that they're assigned to do. If you assign what you claim to be a programmer, that person damn well better be able to demonstrate at least basic military computer programming skills. Similarly, if you assign what you claim to be a hardware maintenance technician, that person damn well better be able to demonstrate at least basic military computer hardware maintenance skills. No skills, no job on this base.”
A black skinned man asks me, “What about people of colour?”
“I'm a computer programmer. I work with programmers who can code, debug, that sort of thing. Race or gender are unimportant. Ability to do the job is very important. If one of your government contractor people can't work with those of a specific race or gender, they can be selective somewhere else, that's the law. I'm a computer programmer. I depend on skilled hardware people to get my computer equipment up and operating properly. Race or gender are unimportant to me.”
Another guy asks me, “Do you take great joy from depriving people of their jobs?”
“First of all, I don't deprive people of their jobs. If a technical person is sent to this base and can't or won't do their assigned job, they leave this base, permanently. If their company wants to continue to employ them elsewhere, it's not a problem for me. Secondly, if a person comes to this base and can demonstrate basic skills, but can't seem to deliver the results of the assigned work, then that person will also leave this base, at least semi-permanently. The government pays for skills and results. If the government doesn't get both skills and results, then it's my job to get rid of those who don't produce.”
Yet another guy asks me, “Just how do you determine who's qualified and who's not?”
“I use, basically, the same method that the San Diego Chargers use to determine who stays and play and who goes. The Chargers are football experts. I'm a programming expert. The Charger coaches mainly learned their trade on the football field, I learned my trade in computer labs. You may not agree that I'm a programming expert, but I do get results.”
The meeting drones on for a bit, only occasionally rising to the level of a complete waste of time. Finally somebody asks me the inevitable really stupid question.
“Where do our people get the programming expertise that you require?”
“In school, on the job elsewhere or, possibly, by divine intervention. Don't send 'em here until they have the programming expertise that I require.”
The meeting finally breaks up.