mytopleft

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The downfall of American exceptionalism in one resume

American exceptionalism is the notion that America has risen to its position of leadership in the world -- at least pre-Obama -- because people in this country are free to exercise their talents, to strive to achieve what they desire without being restrained by a class system such as exists in most of the world. People with a dream and drive can achieve that dream through hard work, regardless of their birth. Not everyone will achieve their dream, but American exceptionalism is rooted in the notion that everyone has the opportunity to do so. Alas, things are changing.

More and more, government and notions of social justice -- whatever the fuck that is -- are placing burdens on the ability to achieve one's dream. Government strangles entrepreneurs with regulations that favor big business because of the economies of scale required to comply with those regulations. The social justice warriors among us seek to impose upon businesses a code of conduct that encourages business to ignore merit and embrace a way of thinking that really has nothing to do with business success and has everything to do with equality of outcome, regardless of merit. We used to call this political correctness.

I've long believed that political correctness is strangling American business. Alas, I have another nugget of proof. Under circumstances I decline to reveal, I recently saw a resume submitted by a successful applicant for a promotion at a major U.S. corporation, which shall remain nameless (as shall the applicant). What the applicant cited on her resume as "key accomplishments" left me dumbfounded. They included:

  • Graduate, Women in Leadership
  • Current Advocate, Women in Leadership
  • Executive Sponsor, Inclusion and Diversity Program

OK, seriously? These are "key" accomplishments? How about "successfully led marketing campaign" or "returned region to profitability" or "cured cancer"? Would you have listed "took some bullshit courses?" Of course not. But you took some bullshit courses and then listed them by name instead of saying "Took some bullshit courses." Those are not key accomplishments.

And they are bullshit courses. The titles did not include anything about recognizing people with potential, or getting the most out of staff, or increasing productivity, or anything else that might actually help the company. And even if the courses had been in something that was not bullshit, taking the course is not a key accomplishment. Using what you learned in the course to achieve positive results for the company would be a key accomplishment. This is like calling a children's sports league participation trophy a key accomplishment.

We're doomed.

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