What ever happened to them?

Sherman’s mother would always offer us cookies and hot chocolate when we were playing hockey on the street or throwing snowballs at each other. His dad drove a Pontiac and worked nearby at the Toronto Dominion Bank. I heard that Sherman had disappeared into a Hassidic community, although when I knew him he was fully assimilated Canadian with even less attachment to religion than me.  So what ever happened to Sherman?

A decade ago, a firm hired me to work in Toronto. Monthly for about 18 months, I took that very long Tel Aviv-Toronto flight, and stayed the weekend before returning home. I learnt that Shari, like so many other Montrealers, had moved to Toronto. Shari was born in New York and had moved to Montreal as a kid-but she still saw herself as American. Pleasant, happy with a great sense of humour, I looked forward to reconnecting. I called her one Saturday afternoon and she told me that “I have erased Montreal from my life; don’t call me again”. She hung up. What ever happened to Shari?

I really, really liked Gary’s mother. She also was a New Yorker, who had married a Montreal boy, Gary’s Dad. Gary’s mother was warm, loving, kind and very good to me. Gary was a very close friend. He was good in PE (I was not) and I was good in languages and history. Naturally, we helped each other. My very first date was with Gary’s cousin Judy when she was up in Montreal on a visit. Judy’s dad (Gary’s mother’s brother) was a cab driver in NYC! Judy sent me love letters signed “love, Judy”. I was too shy to kiss her on our first date. How silly of me-but I was only 15. Gary  disappeared off the map. I have looked for him everywhere. Where are you, Gary? What the hell happened to you?

Capone (Stephen) was my classmate and his sister Diane was in my sister’s class. His father was Montreal born and his mom was born in Alabama and had a very strong accent. Steven dressed very well and often, I asked my Dad to get me “the same thing that Stephen is wearing”. Capone was what people today would call “cool”, but perhaps “cool” no longer means anything. After all, I am 73 years old on Nov 4. One summer, I learnt that Capone and I were to be going to the same summer camp. I was worried because Capone was popular at that camp, and I was new. Luckily, I was also popular, and Capone and I got on really well. Capone’s sister drowned in a horrible accident. I lost all contact with him, and all my searches have found nothing about his whereabouts. Capone, where the fu-k are you?

In 1969, I returned to Israel where my paternal family have been living since 1917. I did not lose all my friends. Sam, George, Arlene, Norman, Sue; we are all still in contact. I even spoke to Millie a few years ago.

But for heaven sakes-Sherman, Gary, Shari, Capone-where are you?








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Trying old tricks to solve new problems won’t help cope with Mass Resignations

The treatment for depression used to be dipping the afflicted in ice water. Not that it helped very much; albeit in its time, it was a state of the art treatment.

In the Roman empire, piles were treated with onions. Of course that treatment became obsolete, even before Preparation H became available.

Hernia holders (someone to hold your hernia inside) were common; they too became obsolete with hernia belts. All treatments of cataracts (which I will not go into) caused blindness, but they were used for many years. But no longer.

Organizations are presently suffering from a lack of loyalty, resulting in high levels of turn-over. The turn over is not as high as some alarmists make it up to be (in order to make money), but it is still high. Furthermore, it has become very difficult to recruit new people.

Yet the ‘treatments’ being used are reminiscent of the onions, ice, hernia holders and hot coals on the cataract-way out of step with what the clients need.

Engagement plans, a fun environment, unlimited vacations and wow-wowism are not an appropriate elixir for the present turbulence in the job market.

The possible solutions may stem from a new way of looking at the crisis.

Here are 3 examples, all real.

Syd’s Steak House in had a 90% monthly turnover of stewards(dishwashers). As a result, all 7 branches were operating at 30% capacity. Syd’s now uses paper plates and plastic cutlery.

Alfredo’s Industrial Laundry in Afula Israel had 29 of it 50 staff resign after covid. Every morning at 7 AM, a bus now crosses the international border at Bein Sean bussing in 30 Pakistani workers from Jordan, who are now exempt for all border checks as long as they carry their magnetic cards.

It takes 5 years to become an expert program manager this cyber security plant. Experts have good relationships with the defense ministry and 4 key clients, as well as background in telecommunications , programming and system integration. 4 of 10 program managers quit since covid with devastating results. After failed exit interviews did not teach the organization anything useful, a structural change was put in place. Relationship management has now been separated from the role of Program Manager. Each relationship manager now has a second driver.

The response to the present crisis needs to be structural and strategic.

Stop using onions and ice.








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