Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Safe & Healthy Workplace

These days every organisation seems to have a Political-Correctness-Police approved mission statement, most of which are simply copied and pasted from someone else's, all the way back to the original model statement which originated in some disabled vegan lesbian aboriginal's poetry book. Take, for example, this excerpt from the Tasmania Fire Service website, and let's stop for a moment to think on what it really means, and if the principles stated really would provide for a better workplace.

The TFS works hard to have a safe work place where people are able to fulfil their potential and contribute to the achievement of our goals. We want a workforce where diversity in all areas is valued, particularly in the areas of gender and ethnicity. It is our view that the way we deliver our services will be improved if we have people from a wide range of backgrounds and social groups working in our organisation.

Fighting fires isn't a safe activity, by its very nature, so that part is just drivel. It's nice to give humans the opportunity to reach their potential, find Nirvana, and be one with the universe, but in most cases, fulfilling your potential means stopping someone else from reaching theirs. It's on this very point that most Political Correctness falls down - the simple fact that giving a Right to one person automatically implies you are taking it away from everyone else. And the chances that what I need to do, to fulfill my own personal potential, will coincide with the goals of the Tasmania Fire Service are very remote indeed. Having a job is all about giving up personal freedom in exchange for the pay cheque, no matter what the PC Police say.

As for a workplace where diversity is valued, nothing could be further from desirable for any organisation, which needs all its staff to work toward it's goal with one mind, one purpose, and one set of actions - the complete opposite of diversity, in fact. And although there are certainly businesses where it might be an advantage to have a German, for example, on staff, they are a small percentage. In most businesses it doesn't make one iota of difference if your staff are of varied ethnic backgrounds, or a mix of male and female, yet the TFS, like so many other PC-correct groups, says it wants this, even needs it, so that it's "delivery of services" will be improved by the most diversity it can squeeze in.

The sad thing about all this, is that everyone knows statements like the above are just so much legally-required garbage, from the people who draft them to the people in the government who tick off the box that says the organisation's mission statement is acceptable. And day-to-day, despite the stated desires for ethnic variety, culturally sensitivity, male and female interaction and spiritual closeness, people are still being employed based solely on their ability to do the job they were hired for. Shame, shame, shame.

No comments: