Tuesday, May 31, 2011

50 EUR Note or How to Lose Talent

Jokingly, the 500 euro notes in Spain are called "bin ladens": they exist in theory, but nobody has seen them (I am not sure if this joke is still relevant in the light of the recent developments). The jokes are only funny when they are not played on you, thoght... I did not have to deal with a note as large as a 500-euro bill but even a tenth of it gave me quite a headache today.
Speaking metaphorically, I fell prey to the global drive of wading away from cash transactions and eliminating cash from the value exchange. I had to take a bus from Plaza de Castilla in Madrid to go to Alcobendas, the fare for which is EUR 1.50. I arrived at the bus station 10 minutes in advance with a general feeling that everything was under control and I had more than enough time to get the bus and maybe even enjoy a coffee on the way. Imagine my dismay when I relaized that I only had a 50-euro note in my wallet and no coins at all. I start darting around the terminal looking for someone who would change it into something more tradeable as the bus driver refused to accept it upright. Now... the ticket machines did not accept it, the ticket office did not have change and even the hot-dog-stand vendor could not help, even though she was a most amiable lady. My last hope was an ATM, and when I asked for EUR 50 hoping that I would get two twenties and a ten as usual, the wretched thing spat out another 50-euro note at me and that was already happening 30 seconds before the bus departure. Cursing the banking system, the electronic means of fund transfers and the public system of the Community of Madrid, I went back to the ground level and got a taxi. Taxi drivers always have change for some strange reason.

Still being in the metaphorical mood, I started contemplating the implications of having "500-euro notes" in organization, i.e. senior seasoned and well-qualified employees who do not fit the structure any more. That happened to Shell South Africa a couple of years ago, when after a successful implementation of Global SAP many employees who were working on the project could not be integrated back into the workplace because they have outgrown their old positions, the organization has become much flatter due to streamlining of the business processes and, in general, there are fewer jobs at the top (the champagne bottle effect). So they were like those 500-euro bills: high value, looking pretty but hardly utilized in the new environment, which suddenly became extremely transactional and controlled. As a result, many had to exit the company.

Moral of the two stories: sacks of coins are heavy to carry but having just large bills may get you nowhere, thus balance is the magic word. There is a caveat though... this rule does not apply if you have LOTS of money and can swap the bus station for a helipad :)

1 comment:

  1. your site is very informative thank you
      bus ticketing machine
      https://twitter.com/#!/ElitePalm  Elite Palm™



Related Posts with Thumbnails