deird1: Buffy looking annoyed, with text "I'm a bitch. Ask me how." (Buffy bitch)
[personal profile] deird1
I am currently locked in conversation with someone who is convinced that the world works like this:

- There is a straight line, with "incompetent" at one end and "ubercompetent" at the other. All jobs can be placed on this line – the low-paying ones at the start and the high-paying ones at the end.
- All people have a competence level. They will be able to do any and all jobs below that level.
- When you start work, you will start at the low-paying end of the line. Then, every year, you will gradually move up the line until your competence level matches your job level.
- If this does not happen, you are either incompetent or lazy.

I have several problems with this theory.

1) Competence ain't a straight line. I am competent at language, basic computing, and negotiation. And horribly incompetent at customer service, accounting, and floristry. I am good at project-driven jobs with a clear end point, and dreadful at jobs that require repeated activity to be done over and over without end. There are jobs at the top of the "line" that I'd be good at, and jobs at the bottom of the "line" that I'd fail at. (And vice versa.)

2) Ability to do a job and ability to convince someone to employ you for that job are not the same thing.

3) There are many things (often quite simple things) that I cannot do. This is not because I am lazy, or because I won't "try". There is no try – just "do" and "do not", and in this case, I'm definitely in the "do not" category, because there just ain't no way.

(And not entirely related to the above theory, but certainly related to the argument I'm having...)

4) "Just changing jobs" is not a thing. There should be no "just" in that statement. Unless you are offering to cover all my food and accommodation expenses while I look for new work, do not tell me off for staying at whatever crappy job I'm using to fund my life until I manage to get a better one.

Date: 2014-01-07 02:30 am (UTC)
velvetwhip: (Die!)
From: [personal profile] velvetwhip
4) "Just changing jobs" is not a thing. There should be no "just" in that statement. Unless you are offering to cover all my food and accommodation expenses while I look for new work, do not tell me off for staying at whatever crappy job I'm using to fund my life until I manage to get a better one.

AUGH!!!! That is one of my top pet peeves (if a 'peeve' is something that fills one with boiling, homicidal rage). Please tell me you hit the person who said it over the head with a sledgehammer... repeatedly.


Date: 2014-01-07 08:18 am (UTC)
eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)
From: [personal profile] eleanorjane
...who actually thinks like this?!

How does this person account for the fact that some careers are wildly different from others? Is a pop star's backup dancer more or less competent than an orchestra's second violin? And where does either of them rank compared to a political aide, a newspaper editor, a university lecturer, or a firefighter? Are firefighters better or worse than violinists? I must know!

Date: 2014-01-07 11:08 am (UTC)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
From: [personal profile] vass
Oh, that one's easy. The jobs that person is good at rank higher, the jobs they're bad at rank lower.

Date: 2014-01-07 08:46 am (UTC)
petzipellepingo: (january by magic_art)
From: [personal profile] petzipellepingo
It also doesn't take into account the people above you who for various reasons may hold you back or in some way keep your career from being the best it could be.

That's an amazingly narrow minded look at life.

Date: 2014-01-07 07:10 pm (UTC)
elisi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] elisi
Maybe he heard about the Peter Principle and just... misunderstood everything?

(Part of my job entails working on the Reception. I am good at this. Most people aren't.)

Date: 2014-01-07 09:58 pm (UTC)
nimthiriel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nimthiriel
This is one of those things that utterly terrifies me about the plans I have for my future. When I finish my current job, I want to try a different career path, but to do what I want to I may need several years of retraining, or at least time to get my knowledge up to date in this other area.

To get my current job (my dream job in this particular industry, as you're aware), I had to apply, get rejected, then wait 3 years for it to come up again and in the meanwhile I was supporting myself and my husband while he studied by staying in an increasingly crappy job, because you do actually need money.

So tell this person to shove it up his ****.

Date: 2014-01-08 11:13 pm (UTC)
megpie71: Simplified bishie Rufus Shinra glares and says "The Look says it all" (glare)
From: [personal profile] megpie71
I'm presuming the person who mentioned "just changing jobs" is firstly male, secondly white, and thirdly, highly qualified in their area of expertise. They're also likely to be older and either self-employed, or working for a long-term employer, if they aren't actually retired already. Middle or upper-middle class. They probably also hold the opinion that it's possible to work your entire career for the same employer, or at least in the same field. Oh, and that permanent, full-time jobs are the ones which are most likely to be offered.

(You're not in a discussion with a Liberal MP are you?)

Certainly they don't have a picture of the current Australian jobs market, wherein employers are asking for a minimum of 2 - 3 years experience for any job (even the most menial) and qualifications to back you up (plus references), and where the workforce for lower-paying jobs is casualized to an almost frightening degree. Employers simultaneously expect you to have a work history of permanent full-time work, while only being willing to offer temporary 3 month contracts to new hires. They definitely don't have any idea what it's like dealing with Centrelink on a regular basis (particularly not for Newstart related matters... if nothing else, I am fully qualified to jump through hoops for a living).

At that point, all one can do is smile and nod, because it's going to take longer to explain the context to them than it is to just smile, nod and hope they change the bleedin' topic.


deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)

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