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Calling out the BACN - Ferrocene's Fare for Far-Flung Friends

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I've been subscribed to a BACN newsletter, Net-Temps Crossroads. It's about how to become a good little employee.

Today's message (linked above) is called "Interview Questions: Are You Manageable?"
Knowing the technical aspects of your job isn’t enough to convince an interviewer you are the best person for the job. Interviewers evaluate your candidacy in a broader sense. They assess who you are as a person and whether you are manageable—that is, whether you have the traits that make you an easygoing and effective team member.

To make this determination, interviewers ask questions geared to your manageability. Below are a few questions that may be asked of you during an interview, along with a sample response for each.

Q. Give me a recent example of when you needed the assistance of your manager. The interviewer wants to know if you handle issues that arise on your own and....

I read it. Something inside of me snapped.

There's no way to respond directly, so I found the "Feedback" link. I responded thusly:
RE: Interview Questions: Are You Manageable?

I don't blame the author for the content, simply stating facts, I suppose.

BUT, this sort of garbage is why I have removed myself from the technical workforce. Oh, occasionally, I do some consulting, but I can't make a living at it.

Companies, it seems, want a manageable workforce, capable of absorbing what passes for ethics & good ideas in the corporate world

Thinking like this is why the Governments of the US & China now own General Motors. Thinking like this is why much of the rest of the corporate world is following suit.

I've been a plant manager. I sought out the unmanageable, but highly intelligent applicants. They were responsible for great productivity gains. But, in the end, neither I nor the profits generated could protect their (and my) unmanageably from Corporate HQ, and my whole plant was sold for scrap.

I hope the poor, young souls who take this author's advice find something in life to give them a sense of purpose. It sure as heck won't be their jobs.

--David R. Treadwell, Ph.D.

I can hear you cringe. "Just get through the interview, dude!" "Chill! Get the job, then do what they say."

"No." says I. We need new ways to earn livings in this country. Our old system has been broken for a long time. We're just beginning to believe it now. Why? Money is now arbitrary. It is a poor metric for wealth and value. I wish I knew what to replace it with. The Marxists don't have any better idea than the Capitalists. And the Fascists? They just don't understand the meaning of life. Heck, none of us do.

This ingrained belief in the system (whomever you are) has led us to believe that we can survive as a super-specialized piece in a global society. We can't feed, clothe or house ourselves. Even if we got help from everyone we know, we couldn't do it. Maybe the Amish could, on second thought.

On third thought, maybe founding an Amish-style community wouldn't be such a bad idea. Except I want to use buttons. And someone else can slaughter the hogs to make the bacon.
Current Mood: discontentdiscontent
poke me with a spoon
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Date:June 3rd, 2009 05:47 am (UTC)
I'm confused. You're talking my language. But I thought you were onto this idea at least a few years ago. You're only NOW embracing the New Age of Contraction (and the End of the Expansion Age...those are the terms I'm enjoying using).

These days, aside from cherishing liberty, I tend to measure my politics by a simple guideline: that ALL human conglomerates become more complicated and less manageable as they expand, so collapse and contraction are inevitable.

I like that you wrote that response. I look at questions like that I find myself wishing I could bring a shotgun into HR and "make some improvements". I had the same experiences at that wretched insurance company. They blabber "integrity" at me and the more I listen and try to understand, the more it becomes clear that they want me to be robotically obedient in certain particular ways and yet independent and "low maintenance" in other particular ways, with no God-given sense to observe gross contradictions and ethical paradoxes. In effect, what they wanted was NOT for integrity but, in fact, to utterly destroy it.

Oh, one last interesting thought (but then maybe you knew this). Mussolini once said that "corporatism" was a much better term for his method than "fascism". I've started using that term more and more often to refer to this massive, poisonous fusion of big business, big government and big religion.

And yeah...I like the Amish too. The Society for Creative Anachronism is not far away from their way of life either. They help each other to become as self sufficient as possible, while, at the same time, keeping a lot of money circulating within their own networks.

I wanna start a tribe of tattooed buddhists. We'll need some techies and engineers to build the Tesla devices to power our communities for free. Are you interested but not manageable?
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Date:June 3rd, 2009 06:52 am (UTC)
Oh, honey, this IS my language! For some reason, I decided to read this particular bit of BACN, and it pissed me off something fierce — because of the anonymous nature of this information, but more because of the incredible failure of the "What's good for GM is good for America" lie we've been living for a century.

I'm in. Where do I sign up? And do I have to have the same body parts tattooed as you have? ;-)

My last period of corporate employment was typical. I was doing research that might help products in a few years' time, as were most other research personnel. The company, a maker of commodity machinery, was being raced to the bottom by the Chinese. The end of the company was written on the wall when a new board member was hired—the same guy who engineered the screwing of K-Mart's employees & small shareholders. My end, however, was brought about by bringing in a manager from Brazil who could fire with impunity.

At the end of my last period of corporate employment (precipitated by the as-yet unannounced bankruptcy of the corporation), I was asked to go quietly, and offered 6 weeks' salary to keep my mouth shut. I opened the closed door to the killing room, ripped up the offer & cleared out my desk. I wrote, and widely distributed, a missive detailing each of the lies told about me (as a cover for their asses).

As a special favor to the Brazilian, I used a web translator to put my thoughts into Portuguese. I'm sure the translation was horrible, but I'll bet he loved my thoughtfulness.

So, to all HR wonks who read this public post, I'd rather starve & live on the street than play your games. Wait...no. I'd rather squat on land and raise my own vegetables than play your games.

While I'm not a Rayndian objectivist, I find myself asking "Where is John Galt?" more and more.
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Date:June 3rd, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Dave has a tattoo over his butt that says 'two men enter, one man leaves ' à la Mad Max in Thunderdome.
(poke me with a spoon)
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