Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ban Bossy, and the anti-entrepreneur

What is "Ban Bossy?" A campaign by Sheryl Sandberg to ban the word bossy, because of it's "perceived harmful effect on young women." I'm a big fan of censorship by the way. NOT. Maybe she wants to ban the First Amendment too. I'm sure she wants to ban the second one. She only wants to ban freedom of speech when it involves hate speech, such as the word bossy.

How did Sandberg dream up this idiocy? Maybe she was in the executive ladies room at Facebook dropping a deuce. She noticed she was the only one in there and said, "Gee, I'm lonely." Then, up from the porcelain came a voice,

"Ban bossy."

She looked down at the steaming god, and said, "Oh my stars! A feminist."

Anybody who comes up with that steaming turd of an idea, has got to be where they're at by kissing ass. Did she invent Facebook? No. Maybe she was a entrepreneur who started her own company and got bought out by a Silicon Valley giant. Nope. From the Wikipedia article:

"After graduating from business school in the spring of 1995, Sandberg worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company for approximately one year (1995-1996). From 1996 to 2001, Sandberg served as Chief of Staff to then United States Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers under President Bill Clinton"

How did that happen? How does a graduate student, after one year, move from a management consulting job to chief of Staff for the Secretary of the Treasury? Does anybody else find this odd? Apparently, she worked for him when Summers was at Harvard, and he hired her as Chief of Staff. With one year of work experience?

She was a privileged kid of rich liberal parents who went to Harvard, talked a good game and shot right to the top of the corporate ladder. The only things missing were entrepreneurial spirit, and common sense. And, she says "It's OK to cry at work."

According to Jezebel, this is the new feminism:

"What was most striking to me in the book was Sandberg's chapter on being emotional at the office, sharing stories of when she cried in front of her coworkers. And she believes it's OK because "sharing emotions builds deeper relationships"

No. No it's not OK t cry at work. It's not OK for an officer in battle leading his Marines, and it's not OK in my current business. This is a business, you want to cry and yell, and let it out, go on Jerry Springer, or the View, or some other crap. I have clients, and if they see my employees crying and acting irrationally, they'll drop my business faster than you can say, "I'm using my coworkers as emotional tampons."

Corporate America...a place that I was launched into upon exit from the Marine Corps. While the Marines had a few ass kissers and sycophants, it was, for the most part, a meritocracy. But I figured the corporate world would be different. After all, they have to make money to stay afloat right? They have to run a business right? People can be fired for poor performance right?

Ahhh. Well, sort of. Sometimes?

I've had three female bosses since I've gotten out of the Marines. Here are the three types:

1) The hypochondriac dumper. I was working as a programmer/analyst for a small government agency. This woman was an incessant talker, lied her way into the job, and the CIO admitted to me in the elevator that he had hired her because someone upstairs (a woman exec) told him he needed to hire more women in IT. The hypochondriac dumper was allergic to everything but oxygen, completely incompetent, and spent most of her time running a soon-to-fail catering business with her husband on the side. She met him at the emergency room. I'm not kidding. She attempted to dump all her project management duties on me, and went to a lot of meetings where she chatted about gluten free cookies and nodded her head a lot.

She was a certified process improvement master who flew her process into the side of a mountain (what we call a cumulus granite cloud in the aviation community) through a mixture of laziness and incompetence. She (and the CIO) drove the development shop into the ground, and eventually the entire shop was shut down and outsourced. Making me a big believer in process improvement certification. Sorry Drucker, the shit don't work, if management is composed of morons.

2) The jilted lover. This women's husband dumped her and brought a nineteen year old to her class reunion. She was passive-aggressive, forgot about deadlines then flailed at the last minute, was insulting, dressed like a prostitute (and was promoted, probably for that reason) and incompetent. There was no pleasing this woman, because she didn't know what she wanted. I eventually dropped the contract I had with her company because she made it miserable, and they hired me back at a higher rate and moved me somewhere else.

3) The chubby and clueless middle-aged executive who really should have been a housewife. This woman was a VP without a clue, went to meetings constantly but had no idea what her people were working on, or how her division was running. I was hired as a data detective to find out what their product marketing and selling problems were, the most glaring was a crappy web interface, which the IT department had been sitting on for a while. Everyone but her knew about the problem, and I completely wasted my time, and the company's money looking for something that everyone already knew about. She gave no direction, advice, and when I pointed out the primary issue was completely unconcerned. When a new higher ranking executive was hired to clean up some of the messes in her company she went into hysterics, knowing that she might tossed out with the trash.

Does that mean that I haven't had any incompetent boobs that were men? No, there have been plenty. All of the incompetent men have had these traits: Lazy, misdirected, don't know their people, indecisive, scheming, focusing on making themselves look good in front of their execs, instead of doing their jobs.

So the poor women managers shared the same traits as the poor males. The difference is, is that the women are running at a 100% fail rate. The men, are running about 50%. Not great, but at least there are some bright spots. But the workplace has become feminized, men aren't allowed to be direct, which has led to a disappearance of honor in the workplace. I got a call this morning from a client at 6:30 am apologizing to me because one of the other directors called a VP about a data fight. Some little bitch (this is a man actually) crying behind his back about someone peeing in his rice bowl.

Here's what Sandman has to say about it:

No marketing plan, unrealistic expectations, don't listen, can't innovate, can't collaborate, has to have it her way. Here's a list from Beyond Highbrow:

  1. hormonal (read: moody, “that time of the month”)
  2. incapable of leaving their personal lives at home (read: emotional)
  3. only too happy to talk about their staff behind their backs (read: gossipy)
  4. backstabbing (read: manipulative, fake)
  5. loose cannons (need I say more)
  6. feel threatened by colleagues (read: insecure)
  7. sharp tongued (read: bitchy) BOSSY!
  8. too cliquey (read: catty)
  9. too competitive (read: aggressive) BOSSY!
  10. spend too long worrying about their appearance (read: vain)

Is there anything on there that you haven't seen, or surprises you? Not me.

But don't listen to me. Even a feminist publication like the Daily Mail says so:

Men are the best bosses: Women at the top are just too moody (and it's women themselves who say so)

Once again, hormonal, incapable of leaving their personal lives at home and only too happy to talk about their staff behind their backs. 
‘This indicates that while women are more than capable of progressing to a management role, some lack some of the key skills required to be a good boss.
"Female bosses were seen as more temperamental and more likely to get caught up in petty office politics"

"A third have left a job because they didn’t like their boss, and of these, the majority of women claimed they left because of a female manager."

But don't expect that kind of study to be reported from a US media outlet. That's where we have to go to get our news nowadays. Overseas. 

Does that mean that you can't have an all-female business. You can try:

Catfights over handbags and tears in the toilets. When this producer launched a women-only TV company she thought she'd kissed goodbye to conflict...

Here's a bullshit quote from the article, 

"Working in TV is notoriously difficult for women. There is a powerful old boys' network, robust glass ceiling and the majority of bosses are misogynistic males." 

Really. With female centered shows like, Sex in the City, True Blood, and Orange is the new Black? Oprah and the view, oh my! And she makes that claim. What utter crap.

"Oh my stars! A feminist."

What happened with this feminists little experiment with an all female production company. The word Titanic comes to mind. As in the disaster, not the size. They bickered constantly, catfights erupted daily, and the list of bad things was all over the article. Here's a particulary funny quote:

"The effect a lack of testosterone was having in our office was even more apparent when I temporarily hired two male directors to work on a series (camera operators are usually men because of the heavy equipment). The team suddenly became quieter, more hard-working and less bitchy - partly because they were too busy flirting."

Oh, you had to hire men, cause the camera equipment was too heavy. I guess that's kind of a production company.

What was the end result? They went bankrupt less than two years after forming the company. Must have been the misogyny. Or maybe the cameras were too heavy. Tough to say, really.

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