Friday, October 26, 2018

Why a racially diverse workplace is important...

I remember seeing a picture of my favorite beer company on twitter.  What stood out to me was everyone was white except for one person.

I also remember going to a fast food joint where everyone who worked there was Filipino.

A supply company that I have gone to from time to time has mostly white employees.

In all three cases I couldn't help but wonder if the hiring manager had a bias towards one race of people over another.  It did bother me, not enough to completely stop going to those businesses, but I do go to the competition more often now.   I don't always get my favorite beer, I will try other fast food joints and I do look around more when looking for shop supplies.  The loyalty I had to those businesses was lessened by the lack of diversity in their workforces.

I know the comeback is always best available should get the job.  It is because of that I don't completely stop shopping at places where most people are the same race.  I feel like a single moment in time isn't enough to label a company as having racial biases in terms of who they hire.  I know from personal experience there are times that the best available who apply for the job can be of the same race if the number of employees is small enough.  That said over a long enough period of time or a large enough group of employees,  if no biases exist in the hiring managers and the business is not a family business where employees are part of an extended family then the racial make up of a business should be fairly similar to the geography of where that business is located.

In urban Alberta for example we have such wondrous diversity.  There is no way a business with over I would say 10 employees should ever have one race.  I am not smart enough to know what percentage should be what.  I just strongly feel like if a business is hiring the best available in an Alberta urban setting then that business should have a diverse workforce.  If over 5 years this is not the case then in my opinion there may be hiring biases going on.  I use the word may because it is dangerous to speak in absolutes about this stuff because I don't know anything for certain.

From a marketing standpoint it is a must in my mind to at least consider diversity in the hiring process.  To make sure as an HR department you are giving interviews to people of all races, not just focusing on the race of people you as the hiring manager are most comfortable with.   I totally understand how we are all more comfortable with those we have more in common with and how sometimes people of the same race can fit that definition meaning a hiring manager could hire a single race of people without having it be because the hiring manager is racist.  The reason why this is bad from a marketing and PR standpoint is because everyone else not of the predominant race of people the business hires won't see things that way.   They need to believe that you would give them an opportunity to interview for a job irregardless of what a person's race might be... if everyone is of the same race which doesn't happen to be your race are you going to believe that company would hire you?

What are your thoughts about diversity in the workforce?

Master Iceman

Monday, August 27, 2018

Getting hired by Columbia Ice, only local ice company in Edmonton

I wasn't in good shape mentally when Ernie called me for an interview.  It had been two years I had been unemployed.  Sure I was making a little money doing videos on youtube but not enough to really live on or call it employment.  I know the day of the interview I hadn't slept the night before as when you are unemployed for long periods of time you end up doing the stay up late, sleep in late schedule.  When your interview is for 11 am there is really no point to going to bed at least for me because nerves always got the best of me.  It was probably my size, the fact I have done sales in the past and I had a clean abstract as to why Ernie hired me. 

I remember the first day of work.  We didn't have a machine to put the small bags into a bigger bag back then.  We had to do everything by hand.  This required one person on the auger, and two other people quickly stuffing big bags with little bags and palleting the ice.  I remember Ernie saying slow down you are working too hard.  I don't actually thinking I was working too hard just sweating a lot.  I wasn't in shape and I was dying trying to keep up.  First day of anything is like that.  Your body and mind isn't ready for something new, but luckily the human body adjusts very quickly. 

I wish I could say I was a good worker back then.  I had the potential to be a good worker but at the time I was screwed up in the head.  We spend a lot of our youth screwing up and there is a point when you become an adult where the consequences of those screw ups smack you in the face.  It is a struggle learning to forgive yourself for being so stupid when you are young.  That was really the stage in my life I was at when I got the job as an ice delivery driver.  The palleting of the ice I found very difficult because within the repetitive actions of putting small bags into bigs I ended up alone with my thoughts.  When your thoughts towards yourself are not kind you are desperate for distraction.  Driving wasn't much better except I could listen to sports radio.  Sports for me have always been a way to escape giving me peace. 

7 years later I am the manager of the company, running the ice plant, hiring people, training people, taking apart machines and putting them back together.  Never would of guessed it back then.  Back then I spent most times dreaming of something better not understanding that often something better can come from where I was. 

Thanks for listening..

Master Iceman

Friday, August 17, 2018

Feds consider tips a wage but provincial government does not... confusing...

If you are a server in Alberta legally you are suppose to declare your tips as part of your wage so the CRA aka the Canadian Revenue Agency so they can tax you.  This would suggest that tips are indeed part of a wage since you get taxed on wages.  I know most servers only declare a small amount or no amount.  I imagine the kitchen staff which often gets a piece of the tip pie also rarely declares the full amount but in theory if you get tips you are suppose to declare those tips so the federal government can tax them.  

At the provincial level those tips are magic beans and do not exist when it comes to determining an employee's wage.  It doesn't matter that a server could be making an additional $30.00 an hour from tips, the wage that server makes is the amount listed on the pay slip the employer gives the employee every two weeks.  This matters because provincial governments get to set things like minimum wage.  In Alberta minimum wage is going up to 15 an hour.  Restaurant owner doesn't get any credit for creating a mechanism where a server can earn 45.00 an hour with tips.  The provincial government just sees the hourly wage on the play slip blissfully unaware that the server is taking home far more than minimum wage. 

I don't own a restaurant or a pub so this doesn't affect me directly.  I do think it is ridiculous that the federal government through it's taxation is saying tips are indeed part of a servers wage whereas the provincial government by not having tips count as a wage is saying no tips are not a wage.  Lets give these food establishments recognition for creating a way where people can earn far more than minimum wage and stop pretending tips are not part of a wage at the provincial level.  

Thanks for listening...

Master Iceman

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Stop blaming Faceook, WhatsApp, Twitter and other social media platforms for people being stupid.

I am tired of people blaming the social media platforms we use for the stupidity of mankind.

If you read a story on facebook, take it as gospel, go out and kill someone you are an idiot! Please do not have children and pass on your idiot DNA.  Everyday you read some story about how people are acting in stupid ways because of stuff they read online.  I am baffled by this because only an idiot who sits in front of a computer, never going out would believe the world around them can be accurately portrayed on social media and news sites/aggregates.   Only an idiot would read a story on facebook and assume because it is on facebook it must be true.

Get off the internet, go outside, talk to people, travel, see the world and you will realize it is not as it seems on the TV, the newspaper, social media, etc.  What we get for news is the worst of man kind.  The extremes, the scandals, the horrors and occasionally the great successes.   The thing is most of the world never falls in the extreme.  Most of us in this world are pretty boring people.  We all want the same things, act generally the same, get up, go to a job, eat,  go home and we are lucky there is someone or a dog to love us.  It is folly to define the boring 99% by the extreme 1% yet that is exactly what so many of us do.

The stereotypes of racism for example are born in watching the extremes and never talking to people of the race you use stereotypes to define as all people, regardless of race, sex, religion are generally the same.  We want the same crap in life.   Things racists never learn because they don't interact enough with those of the race they are racist against. 

I had a lady all depressed today at the world.  She felt like the world wasn't a good place. I felt like saying travel, go to places with far less than we have in Canada and you will see how wonderful this life in Canada really is.  If you have a home, a place that is yours, food, can afford Netflix don't complain about your life because you are living in paradise.  The only reason you don't know it is wonderful is because we obsess about what we don't have in life never really appreciating what we do have.  The grass is always greener on the next person's lawn. 

Thank you for letting me vent.

Master Iceman

Thursday, June 14, 2018

New employee costs truck rental company in Edmonton business.

In peak season we usually rent a reefer truck for the summer.  We have had pretty good success using company x. I don’t like to use real names in my stories as I am not out to trash anyone.  Pretty good success until company x hired new employees. Bob the generic name I use for new employee name the first time he took me to a truck tried to tell me the gauge was the issue, the truck was actually full of fuel.  I took one look in tanks and new the guy didn’t know what he was talking about even though he was trying to sound like he did.

Strike one.

A few weeks later I book a truck for pick up Monday afternoon.  I go in to get truck. Do the paperwork and we end up walking around the parking lot until Bob finds the truck in the shop getting repaired.  Bob says come in the next morning at 630 am. He will have the truck for them then. I tell him I “probably” won’t be there till 7 am. He says ok but if I do come early to look for him out in the yard.   I call a cab which company A pays for. Waste more time going back to the factory without a truck.

The next morning I can’t sleep, am up early and head for company A for 630 am.  We have a delivery out of town and I need that truck loaded, on the road for 8 am.  I get to company A, find Bob in the yard, and he says he needs to know if the truck is ready.  This is when I am starting to feel agitated. You tell me to come at 630 am and you don’t know if the truck is ready???  If it is me, I screwed up, told a customer that I had a truck and didn’t have truck the night before, I would know the night before I left if the truck was going to be ready at 630 am.  The fact this is a facebook post tells you that the truck wasn’t ready. Bob didn’t bother to say to the mechanics to tell him before they go home the night before if the truck is ready.  Bob didn’t communicate with the mechanics about need to have truck ready for 630 am. Bob just made bs promises he couldn’t keep. Needless to say I said screw this when Bob came back to tell me the truck wasn’t ready.  I walked out. Cursed in the parking lot. Hopped in my SUV, called and made adjustments. Bob called me 30 minutes later saying the truck was ready but by then I had changed everything. It was too late.

Strike two.

The thing about me is I feel bad after I get angry.  I realize Bob is new and he is going to make mistakes.  I like company A and have always had success with them. A single moment in time doesn’t define a company.  I wrote an email after telling Bob I was sorry for getting angry. I explained that I felt like he should of communicated with the mechanics about the commitment he made for that truck to make sure they either stayed late or came in early to get the truck on the road for me at 630 am.   If the truck wasn’t going to be ready then I should of been contacted either the night before or early that morning. You tell someone to come in for 630 am you better have a truck. Bob’s response was no problem, he was just caught in the crossfire. That response bothered me because he took no responsibility for his actions, acting like he was an innocent in this all.  Caught in the crossfire he created by not communicating with his technicians and making promises he couldn’t back up.

Strike three.

Today I emailed another truck rental company.  I am not saying I will stop using company A but I am going to look into renting from other trucking companies.  My sergeant in bootcamp said that in life when you screw up, take responsibility for it. It is clear to me that company A has a pass the buck attitude, blaming techs for rental department writing cheques they can’t cash.  If renting from company A is making me cuss in a parking lot them company A don’t want my business.

Master Iceman

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

McDavid, Draisailt are a big reason behind historicially bad Oilers penalty kill

Nobody should mistake Draisailt or McDavid as hard nose, in your face hockey players.  Skilled players in general are not wired that way and there is nothing wrong with that.  97 and 29 are on the Oilers to score goals or set up other people to score goals.  Nobody is paying the money those two players get to dive in front of pucks, and get in opposing team's faces.  The thing about penalty kill is you need those players who live and breath defense.  They don't care about the glory of scoring goals or making a pretty pass.  Players who succeed on the penalty kill live and die for the applause from the fans after two minutes of killing themselves to stop the other team's power play from scoring.  It is the appreciation of the guy in the penalty box after a successful kill that means everything.  The goalie who pats them on the back or the coach that says heck of a job after taking a slapshot to the gut that matters to the penalty killers.

I know we all saw Gretzky and Messier on the PK back in the 80's and part of us thinks why not McDavid or Draisailt.  The thing is with guys who breath offense there mind is always on scoring.  It isn't on getting in front of shots.  It isn't on keeping the box, instead it is the dreams of intercepting a pass, a bobbling puck getting past the dmen on the point leading to one of those beautiful short handed, McDavid drops the puck to Draisailt for a goal.  The problem is when you have players whose minds wander to offensive glory they end up stretching the 4 man box out leading to those wonderful passing lanes for the opposing teams to make cross ice passes.  Cross ice passes lead to goalies having to move horizontally in the crease opening up all sorts of good lanes to beat the goalie.  A good defensive player, that makes his living preventing goals understands to prevent most high percentage scoring chances for the opposing team on the PK you have to collapse just as hard as you expand your box to take away the point shot.  When the puck is passed from one defense to the other it is bust your ass back to position and not let that pass through the box happen.  Nothing against McDavid or Draisailt but those two players are not wired to play that way.  They want to attack not defend. 

You might point out that none of the other players the Oilers put out on PK are any better.  Therein lies the problem.  Neither McDavid or Draisailt are the types of players you want on a good PK.  I believe half the reason they are out there so often is a lack of reliable talent behind them.  Coach has no choice in putting them out there because Letestu and Kassian are not doing any better.  You can only play the cards you have in sports and if you don't have the traditional, hardnose dive in front of pucks, bust your ass to get back in position penalty killers, then you play the best of a bad hand.  Directly 29 and 97 are not doing well on PK.  Coaching staff looks like they are out to lunch... but in reality indirectly it is the GM who bought out a useful penalty killer in Benoit Pouliot, and didn't replace heart and guts Matt Hendricks.  The idea that those who play on the 4th line don't matter is an illusion in hockey.  They matter because they do the things nobody else on the team is willing to do.   The bottom half of the line is there to be the grit, the grunts, the we will hurt so the stars can focus on scoring goals more then preventing them.  Good teams have players that are willing to sacrifice there bodies, for the greater good of the team.  I just don't see those players on the Oilers.

one more point... Just from a pure energy standpoint... there is nothing harder than stopping and starting on the PK.  That two minutes would equate to 30-60 second bag skates.   That energy for McDavid or Draisailt is not being used scoring goals, it is used preventing goals.  In every team sport the best offensive talent are rarely defensive stoppers.  It isn't because they can't play defense.  It is playing defense the way it needs to be played often takes away all your energy, leaving little for offense.  That is why when making up a team there is often a line that coaches use against the other teams best players, and on the PK.  They kill themselves so 29 and 97 can make fans scream in joy after another goal or 20. 

My two cents.. why do you think the Oilers PK is struggling?

They call me the iceman and if you need ice in Edmonton, AB I am your man.

Master Iceman