I know a thing or two about business. I’ve been in the business world for about 10 years now… sure, not as experienced as some, but experienced enough to be able to identify BS.
And by BS I don’t mean “Bachelor of Science.”
I have been exposed to more sillyness and stupidity in the business world than I was exposed to in junior high. I think it’s because many people go into the business world who should have pursued a different career, such as juggling wiener dogs in the circus.
The reason so many wiener dog jugglers end up working in business is twofold. One, most aptitude tests don’t have “wiener dog juggler” as a category. Two, business is one of the very few fields that doesn’t require any college foreign language credits. I’m sure some schools require it, but many don’t.
This is the reason I ended up in business. Spanish conjugation was too difficult for me to learn. No habla es cargot. I learned one very useful phrase… “Mi Embarazado!!!” So, once I realized I was a foreign language hack, I had to either find a major that didn’t require language, or drop out of school and become a wiener dog juggler. The problem was, I can’t juggle either.
Fortunately, business ended up being an aptitude for me, and if it hadn’t been for the unfortunate incident in Mexico (where I learned that I didn’t know Spanish as well as I thought) I would never have found the right career.
So, in the business world, we have dozens, if not thousands of wiener dog jugglers that are in high level positions. Wiener dog jugglers are very bad managers. They manage by doing a little dance, they organize by piling things on their floor, and they conduct meetings by putting 10 people into a room for 4 hours to see how much methane can be produced.
The business world is made up of many different kinds of people. For instance, we have the sales people. Imagine Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise would be a great sales guy (if he were selling “crazy”). Tom is very charismatic, clinically insane, and thinks he’s far smarter than he actually is. Tom claims to have done extensive reading in many areas, but it’s clear he’s never been in the same room with a book.
Marketing is really something. I worked for a book manufacturing company for about 8 years. The marketing department was… how shall we say… you wouldn’t trust them to juggle your wiener dogs. We had what we referred to as “standard covers.” The point of the standard covers was that we could produce them during our downtime and then slap them on when we got busy. Marketing had an epiphany. “Hey, why don’t we sell standard covers that can be totally customized!”
So, it was then impossible to pre-produce standard covers, because they were all custom. Custom standard covers. Duh.
And this happened because marketing people don’t operate in the same dimension as the rest of us. They live in a world of rainbows and cotton candy. They would be perfect circus performers, except the jobs would likely be too rigorous for them.
I can’t talk badly about operations managers, because I am one. Ok, I will. Ops guys are really the a-holes of the business world. Yes, I admit it. We’re the ones that make things happen (at least in our own minds). We make the tough decisions… who stays, who gets fired; what expenses get reimbursed, which don’t. And the list goes on.
Most operations managers have no problem bringing someone into their office and firing them. It’s because we make decisions based on the numbers, not based on how much we like people. It sounds cruel, but we learned that the point of business is to maximize stakeholder value…. not to make Sally feel good about herself.
You have your administrative professionals… (a fancy term for “powertripping secretary”) who actually do all of the work. Everyone else exists to create work for the admin to do. That’s just how it works. The reason you work hard and try to succeed in business is so you can get an admin.
I hate meetings. Meetings make my head hurt, make me bitter, and bore the crap out of me. 90% of the time spent in meetings is a total waste. The other 10% is useful, but could have fit in… well, 10% of the time that the meeting actually took.
In a perfect world, we’d never attend meetings. We’d send our admins.