Tuesday, March 01, 2005


This week I’m traveling on business. Today I find myself in Albuquerque, looking out from my 17th floor hotel room at the mountain ridge line just east of the city. At 6:18 a.m. it’s still dark enough that the lights of town are spread out below in the bright yellows of sodium street lamps, the bluish white of mercury vapor parking lot lights and the whites, reds, greens, and yellows of traffic and traffic signals. And there goes a flashing blue of a police car hurrying to someone’s emergency.

The sky has just become light enough that I can see snow dusting the top of the ridge line. Not solid white, but definitely snow. A very few thin clouds are visible, appearing stationary in dark grey against the pale blue early morning light.

Should be an absolutely gorgeous day. I get to drive north through Santa Fe and on beyond Taos in the mountains and ski resort areas of the state. This is a real treat for someone who lives in South Texas, where the horizons move closer when the crops come up in the spring and summer. The closest thing to a hill there is a fire ant mound.

Today I visit a molybdenum mine, take a look at their layout and staffing, all with a view to recommending the number and locations of time clocks they will need. Yes, time clocks. The kind hourly employees punch in and out to work on. It’s all part of a new “Time and Attendance” system my employer is putting in place this year. I can tell you’re thrilled for me.

But at least, amidst all that excitement and the chance to affect the work experience of a large number of people in, well, not a profound way, but a little…I won’t be looking out at fire ant mounds! HR management does have its upside. Occasionally.

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