The Human Resources Department (HRD) is responsible for Human Resources Planning at â€˜Alstomâ€™ and most other big businesses. This means they have a number of main responsibilities to make sure that the business is planned and running well. At â€˜Alstomâ€™ the HRD have to plan ahead and make sure they have the correct number of suitable employees for the business. In order to do this â€˜Alstomâ€™ set out to fully understand the demand on the labour market in their area. The main things â€˜Alstomâ€™ look at are: > Availability of labour > Competition for employment and placements > Local employment trends > Skills shortages These are all very important as they highlight what is going on in the labour market and what may affect the running of â€˜Alstomâ€™. Availability of labour shows just how many people there are on offer for employment in â€˜Alstomâ€™sâ€™ area, which reveals to them how many people there are to choose from when recruiting. Competition for employees shows whether demand for labour is increasing because competitors are expanding or whether demand is dropping because competitors are having to make redundancies. This also can affect wage rates when recruiting, because as demand increases salary rates are caused to rise. This is because it is harder to recruit the right sort of employees and so companies have to offer better pay conditions in order to attract the right candidates to their business. Local employment trends imply how much labour is available and suggest whether it will be easy or difficult to recruit. It also shows if a local competitor is discarding labour and so provides an advantage for â€˜Alstomâ€™ as they can employ these who have been made redundant, as they will have the skills and the experience needed. Skill shortages are very important statistics to â€˜Alstomâ€™ as they reveal when the skills needed in their industry are dropping in the labour market, which can be very costly to the business when it comes to recruiting. If the skills they need such as degrees in manufacturing and engineering begin to fall, then wage rates will rise and the competition between â€˜Alstomâ€™ and other companies to recruit these graduates will become quite fierce. However, to help this problem â€˜Alstomâ€™ are quite fortunate as they have already set up their own training scheme to make sure they are achieving the skills they need. At â€˜Alstomâ€™ they also review how labour is progressing within the business. They calculate: > Succession > Sickness rates > Accident rates > Age > Skills & training > Wastage rate â€“ labour turnover This is very important because by using and understanding these factors and statistics it can be seen where â€˜Alstomâ€™ may need improving and where things may have to change. For example, if accident rates are high, they may look into why people are so many accidents and what from, etc. By doing this they see if there is anything they can do to help this situation and prevent this from happening as much. â€˜Alstomâ€™ can also make better decisions about their staffing from these statistics and can analyze the success of the HRP and improve where it is needed. Recruitment & Selection At â€˜Alstomâ€™ it is the HRDâ€™s responsibility to recruit and select employees into the business. At â€˜Alstomâ€™ they have four main objectives when recruiting staff, which are all very important. They are important because these objectives outline the essentials that are needed in recruitment and selection to structure a solid foundation for the business. These objectives are: > Helping the growth of â€˜Alstomâ€™ > Improving by changing job roles within â€˜Alstomâ€™ > Improving by employee internal promotion within â€˜Alstomâ€™ > Filling resignation, retirement or dismissal vacancies within â€˜Alstomâ€™ When additional or replacement personnel are required, here are what the main responsibilities are throughout this process: > The Recruiting Manager (RM) will complete a Personnel Requisition (job family model, profile & job description). > It is returned to HRD for action. > The Human Resources Officer (HRO) advises the RM on the Personnel Requisition and will consult with them regarding sourcing the vacancy. > The post is advertised internally prior to/parallel with external recruitment procedures (managers are not permitted to contact any external agencies directly without prior agreement from the HRD). > Internal applicants should complete an â€˜Application for Internal Appointmentâ€™ form â€“ applicantâ€™s manager must authorize. External applicants complete an â€˜Application for External Appointmentâ€™ form or submit a CV. > Internal applicants are screened by the HRO and forwarded to the RM. Selected applicant interviews are then arranged via HRD. Internal candidates not selected for interviews are notified by HRD. Successful internal candidates have their current manager informed by the HRD and are formally offered the job via their manager. They then have 10 days to accept and the two managers agree on a release date. > External applicants are screened by HRD and suitable applicants are forwarded to the RM for selection. Interviews are then arranged via HRD for short-listed candidates. The successful candidate is issued the â€˜New Starter Adviceâ€™ by the HRD, in liaison with the RM. The candidate is then offered a placement subject to a pre-employment medical examination and at least one previous employers reference and evidence of qualifications. The candidate then has 10 days to accept after which time the offer becomes invalid. This process is very important to â€˜Alstomâ€™ as it makes sure that recruiting and selecting is done accurately and fairly. If this was not done appropriately then the business could suffer as the wrong recruit for â€˜Alstomâ€™ may be selected due to the process being carried out inappropriately and poorly. The candidates may also complain if they feel that the process was not carried out professionally and fairly, which would obviously not benefit anyone. Performance Management At â€˜Alstomâ€™ they have several ways of measuring and managing the performance of their employees, all of which are very important. They are important because they enable managers to oversee and supervise the performance of employees and make sure they are working to their full potential and so therefore see whether they are benefiting â€˜Alstomâ€™ and doing their part to ensure the business operates to its full potential. It also helps â€˜Alstomâ€™ to see which employees may need help and what they may need help with. Many of the ways are connected to the training. These are the methods they use: > Standards â€“ At â€˜Alstomâ€™ there are set standards for each job role that have to be met in order for the work to be regarded as high performance. There are four sets of standards for different levels. These levels are: Group leaders Middle managers Senior Manager (operations) Senior manager (strategic) These standards for each level are to be met and are used to assess the skills and the effectiveness of the employee as well as to assess whether they are working efficiently enough for â€˜Alstomâ€™. These results are then reviewed and worked through in an individual appraisal discussion. > Objectives â€“ At â€˜Alstomâ€™ objectives are set and defined and help employers to ensure that employeeâ€™s are working to a good standard. Setting objectives also helps the employees by stating the important guidelines, which need to be followed in order for them to do their job well. There are ten objectives, arranged in two groups. Technical Objectives and Business & Personal Objectives. Here is an example of a Business Objective: B4 = Personal Skills To be able to operate effectively in a group endeavor > Self-assessment â€“ At â€˜Alstomâ€™ they ask employees to carry out their own self-assessment after reading and understanding the standards. They are given a suggested method and have guidance along the way. This helps both the employer and the employee. It helps the employer to understand what the employeeâ€™s own personal opinion of their performance is, where they may feel insecure and want some help, how confident they are within themselves, etc. Self-assessment helps the employee by allowing them to input their own thoughts of their performance, shows where they may need to put most of their effort, assess how they are coping meeting the jobâ€™s criteria, etc. Therefore, it helps both the employer and the employee to assess and manage individual performance. > Measuring production â€“ At â€˜Alstomâ€™ they also carry out some measurements of production. An example of this is â€˜Graduate Retentionâ€™. This is an important method of performance management as it shows clearly what â€˜Alstomâ€™sâ€™ internal statistics are and helps the business realize and assess where improvement may need to made and which areas are struggling to run well. For example, if graduate retention is increasing then they will need to make changes and improvements to bring this statistic down and therefore benefit the business. Training and development At â€˜Alstomâ€™ they have a process for Training and Development (shown on next page). The main responsibility of HRD is to make sure that this process is carried out and that it is fully introduced and explained. Training and Development is very important to â€˜Alstomâ€™ as it ensures that employees learn the right skills for the job and it makes sure that they can do their job well and efficiently. It helps employees to earn the skills, qualifications and experience that they want/need and it benefits â€˜Alstomâ€™ as it enables them to run better and to a fuller potential and efficiency because their workers are well trained and developed.
Analysis: Nine Stories by JD Salinger For those like me who couldn't find any insightful analyses about this collection on the Internet: You're welcome. I have finally figured out what this is about (I think). So the fancy book club met a couple weeks ago to discuss Nine Stories by JD Salinger. Much despair was had because of our varied and confused insights into Salinger's stories. Was Seymour a pedophile? What's up with the random last line in â€œJust Before the War with the Eskimos? â€ How should we interpret Nine Stories?And although I haven't answered most of these questions, I can at least answer the last. So for those of who don't know how to absorb the collection, here's a little solace: All of these short stories are about the loss of innocence and the attempt to gain it back. The characters are stuck between innocence and adulthood. And, interestingly, nearly all of the stories feature an interaction between a child and an adult, the child generally being an ideal or a tool for the adult to regain innocence â€“ but not always.In some, even the child is struggling with the loss of ideals. Seymour Glass is the main character in â€œA Perfect Day for Bananafish,â€ and he's recently returned from the war with mental wounds serious enough to require psychiatric help. The first half of the story shows a telephone conversation between his new wife, Muriel, and her mother. Their discussion revolves around Seymour's problems, and â€“ when compared to our firsthand experience with those problems â€“ we realize how little they grasp and how little either of them has invested in his well-being.In the second part of â€œBananafishâ€ Seymour speaks with a young girl named Sybil about catching (mythical) bananafish â€“ a fish whose quest for food leads to its a demise. The encounter is a bit disturbing â€“ sexual language abound â€“ and we get a feel for Seymour's anguish, although specifics are murky. Salinger uses every word to his advantage â€“ in a very subtle way â€“ and, needless to say, the encounter is quite unsettling. We have that distress confirmed when, at the end of the story, Seymour retires to the hotel room â€“ where his wife is sleeping â€“ sits next to her, and shoots himself.The significance of the bananafish is, of course, Seymour's alignment with it. The fish's quest for food translates to Seymour's quest for innocence. His quest, like the fish's, ends in death. Sybil represents Seymour's ultimate goal, which is why their interaction is so unnerving. It seems, on the outside, like he's preying on her (like the bananafish does its food), but he's actually after what she represents: innocence. He gets his fill and bloats so that he can't fit back into a world where people like his wife and mother-in-law rule. They are Sybil's antithesis, and Seymour is caught between the two different existences.It's in this limbo where Seymour â€“ and many of Salinger's protagonists in Nine Stories â€“ perish. Eloise and Mary Jane are former college roommates who reconnect in â€œUncle Wiggily in Connecticutâ€ (my personal fave). Mary Jane visits Eloise at her house, and thus ensues a night of drunken revelations. Immediately, Eloise appears unhappy to the point of severity, and Mary Jane takes a back seat to Eloise's readily apparent issues. We learn that Eloise lost the love of her life in the war (a common villain in Nine Stories) and has resigned herself to a lackluster, unwanted marriage.She's so unsatisfied with her life and her past that she takes it out on everyone, especially her daughter Ramona who has an imaginary friend â€“ symbolic of dreamy innocence and also indicative of a void she's trying to fill (the lack of compassion from her mother). In one poignant scene in â€œUncle Wiggily,â€ Eloise berates Ramona with incredible rage. In the end â€“ after a LOT of alcohol â€“ Eloise admits her weakness: transposing her anger onto others. She resents the loss of her first love, resents her loss of innocence, and resents the people who still have it.It's really an agonizing story about lost hope, the recognition of no longer having hope, and the desperation to â€“ if nothing else â€“ remember what it's like to have hope. She's trapped in a sort of external realm, watching herself, aware of her circumstance, and yet not being capable of moving forward. â€œJust Before the War with the Eskimosâ€ is about a frugal young girl, Ginnie, who comes into her friend, Selena's home to collect a cab fare and encounters her brother, Franklin, a grubby Holden Caulfield-type of character. â€œEskimosâ€ really eludes any obvious meaning, but it's in there â€¦ somewhere. Okay, here goes â€¦. he larger theme is war. It's the backbone of most of Nine Stories. Franklin was not drafted, because he has a bad heart, and he and Ginnie talk about this briefly, but long enough for Ginnie to connect it with what they are subconsciously discussing: rejection. From the get-go â€“ with her demanding to be reimbursed for the cab fare â€“ Ginnie appears to be a girl who takes things for granted; she gets everything she wants. Ginnie's not deliberately mean, but she doesn't accept things as they are, but rather demands that they be how she wants them and easily dismisses things/people she doesn't care for.She wants to throw the furniture in Selena's home out the window, for example. Then, in walks Franklin, who is boldly himself. Their conversation begins with his rejection from the draft, then moves to his rejection by Ginnie's sister, then Ginnie's rejection of the sandwich he offers her. Ginnie is connecting with a person who has been rejected his whole life by people like her and the types of institutions that she represents. Unconsciously, Ginnie links her behavior with the behavior of war, and in the end, decides to keep the sandwich â€“ a growth in character.The sandwich is sort of symbolic of the rejection Franklin has experienced in the past(his loss of innocence), and it parallels the dead Easter chick (death=death of innocence/hope) in the last line. I may be stretching it, but the story is so tightly wound that it's hard to unravel. Ginnie is undoubtedly changed for the better because of her interaction with Franklin. Her taking the sandwich may have given him hope for future acceptance, and he gave Ginnie forgiveness and a little child-like compassion. Eh? â€œThe Laughing Manâ€ â€“ Yeesh. This story is a mind-squeeze if I ever saw one, but I think I've got it figured out.The premise is that a college-aged guy takes a bunch of young boys on little â€œfield tripsâ€ â€“ to the baseball diamond, for example (What are his motives? Where are these boys' parents and how do they feel? I don't know, but alas â€¦ ) During these outings, The Chief â€“ as he's called â€“ narrates a fable about The Laughing Man, a sort of creepy-roguish-Robin Hood character with a deformed face, a sense of adventure, and an Inspector Clouseau type-of-character after him. â€œThe Laughing Manâ€ may or may not be narrated by Buddy Glass, a member of Salinger's Glass family. The boys-only outine comes to a halt when The Chief's girlfriend, Mary Hudson, starts tagging along, presumably because of dentists' appointments she has in the city. With the entrance of Mary, the Laughing Man's fate takes a turn for the worse. The narrator notices frustration between Mary and The Chief, and in the end, the Laughing Man meets his maker and the boys never see Mary Hudson again. â€œThe Laughing Manâ€ is primarily a story about lost innocence. The Chief, a college student, spends his afternoons with relatively young boys â€“ questionable, but without a doubt, an attempt to sustain his youth.Immediately, with the entrance of Mary Hudson, the narrator senses stress between her and the Chief. The Laughing Man symbolizes boyhood and innocence, and when Mary Hudson arrives, the Laughing Man's fate becomes less certain. Thanks to Wikipedia, a plausible explanation would be that Mary Hudson is pregnant and is actually coming into the city for doctor's visits, not dentist appointments. (Who has frequent dentist appointments? ) This is most likely the case, but it's irrelevant. The moral of the story â€“ and what the Chief is teaching the boys through the Laughing Man's story â€“ is that boyhood ends. Innocence ends.Kind of depressing, but there it is, consistent with the rest of Nine Stories. â€œDown at the Dinghyâ€ opens with two house servants discussing Lionel, the son of Boo Boo Glass (their employer). (Another Glass appearance â€“ woohoo! ) We gather from their conversation that Lionel has a penchant for running away. One of them is also concerned that Lionel will repeat something she said (apparently, he has a penchant for that as well). Thus, after Boo Boo arrives at the house, speaks with the women for a moment, and goes down to the pier to see Lionel, he's trying to sail away. Where the Wild Things Are? anyone?The rest of the story is devoted to Boo Boo's attempt to entice Lionel back to shore, as it were. She tries to go with him, tries to find out why he's leaving (one of the house servants called his dad a kike), and then finally challenges him to a race back to the house. (Lionel wins. ) â€œDown at the Dinghyâ€ is so understated that it seems like a â€œday-in-the-life. â€ But Salinger isn't a â€œday-in-the-lifeâ€ kinda guy. Soooooooooo â€¦. I'm gonna squeeze this baby open. Two instances in this story are noticeably darker than the rest: the housekeeper calling Lionel's father a kike and Lionel wearing Seymour's goggles. Seymour was Boo Boo's brother). Now, Lionel's problem isn't as shallow as â€œa boy with a penchant for running away. â€ These two instances are more significant than the anatomy of â€œDown at the Dinghyâ€ would lead you to believe. This young boy has recently (I'm assuming) lost his uncle, and additionally, he believes that other people think poorly of his father. It's a double-blow, and Lionel reacts by running away. What seems like a story about a kid just being a kid, read from this perspective, transforms into a story about a person grappling with the loss of ideals.Lionel is realizing that the world is not as it seems; there's more going on. I believe he feels blindsided. Lionel throwing Seymour's goggles into the water is so significant, because he's disposing of distractions from the truth. Finally, Boo Boo coaxes him back into being a kid, distracts him from his disillusionment. So there is Lionel, another of Salinger's characters who is straddling the line between innocence and adulthood. â€œFor Esme â€“ with Love and Squalorâ€ is one of Salinger's more obvious stories. During the war, Sergeant X recollects his brief but impressionable meeting with Esme, a young girl in a restaurant before the war. Esmeâ€ is totally simple, thus it doesn't need to be dissected; I don't even need to give you a rundown of their interaction. Basically, Esme represents innocence for Sergeant X during the war, a time of â€œsqualorâ€ and adult concerns. Innocence and squalor both constitute the sergeant's existence. â€œPretty Mouth and Green My Eyesâ€ relates a phone call between Lee and Arthur. Arthur believes his wife, Joanie, is having an affair, while we're led to believe that the woman with Lee is in fact Joanie. Arthur's life appears to be in shambles (lost a court case, wife cheating on him, etc. , but soon after the two men hang up, Arthur calls Lee back and makes up a story about Joanie coming back home even though she's still with Lee. Arthur is, for all intents and purposes, a man who prides himself on having a trophy job and a trophy wife, two naive ideals. When those ideals are torn down â€“ in a sheer act of childish pride â€“ Arthur pretends they still exist. This would generally go unnoticed, but is readily apparent to Lee and Joanie, hence why Salinger chose to tell the story through their points of view. De Daumier-Smith's Blue Periodâ€ is about a pretentious young man (De Daumier) who fakes his way into a professorship at an art school. Once there, he reviews his pupils' work and struck by a religious painting by a nun. That's basically it. De Daumier-Smith is a wayfarer, devoid of spirituality and ideals, extremely pretentious and this piece of art forces him to question his convictions. â€œBlue Periodâ€ is about a man who pretends to be a complex â€œadultâ€ but is stripped of his pretensions through an artist who evokes spirituality and idealism. Teddyâ€ is a boy genius/profit who has an existential conversation aboard a ship with Nicholson, a curious grad student. Teddy believes in past lives and karma, and â€“ from what I know about Salinger â€“ represents his spirituality du jour. Salinger, in every one of his Nine Stories, is painting innocence the protagonist and adulthood the villain but is concerned with those characters torn between the two. â€œTeddyâ€ rounds out the collection nicely, because its main character lives and dies by his ideals. Teddy is the martyr of Nine Stories and he's meant to be the example for its characters, readers, and even its author.
More analysis: Moon By Chaim Potok
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