Today I discovered what's a bozo. I have seen them before, I have had them in my life, but I didn't know what were they called. Normally, I just call them by the generic name of "idiot". Well, the thing is that a very,very good friend of mine - Shimmy Gin - got a job a couple of months back at Intel. I think it was like in November-December or so, because we've met for a long overdue coffee... somewhere between Sabbaths (he's also into Paganism, like me, only more autoctonous, than me), and we promised we would never again allow a Sabbath to pass before meeting... and two have passed, so... it must have been sometime before the end of May. By that time he was head over heels with Intel and all the great things they had.
Shimmy Gin has always been employed in the private sector and has moved around a lot. He's a brilliant programmer who has had the chance to work with many companies, and who's reputation preceeds him. Seldom has he resigned a post for personal reasons, but usually, when he leaves a job is because he has been offered something better at another place and his current one can't equal the offer. He's that good. Then, normally he works several years at the same company, though it has happened that he has been snatched up from a company within months of having signed with it. I mean, come on, the man is a genius!
Well, he resigned to Intel. At first I didn't know what to think. I just got the message through facebook: "I resigned to Intel". I was worried. He's as word-profuse as I am, and such a suscint message boaded no good. "What happened, Sweetheart?" I asked him. Slowly - which shows he's deeply upset and trying to manage his anger - told me that he had no choice but to resign to his job. Not because he didn't like the company, but because he's boss was changed some 22 days after we've met and the new guy is a bozo. To explain to me what's a bozo, he showed me an article by Forbes titled Why Every Company Needs a 'No Bozos' Policy, by Eric Jackson. In short, a bozo is the kind of person (normally a boss) that has no idea about what they should be doing, but likes to pretend like they know what they are doing better than anyone else. Furthermore, since they really have no idea of the job, they ae exremely narrow minded and refure to take anyone's opinion that isn't exactly theirs. Dear Reader, whomever you are, I pray to God, the Gods and Goddesses, The Divine and the Universe that you've never, EVER have had any sort of encounter with this discusting type of... thing. I have and it isn't pretty (sadly, I must say that the public sector is sadly overpopulated with bozos. The private sector is too, but in there people tend to accept them more).
Shimmy Gin's run in with the bozo at Intel came in the shape of mobbing. This bozo started putting down Shimmy Gin's work, claiming that the guy that was there before did it better, and did much more in less time. Shimmy Gin had actually checked that guy's work and it turned out completely useless, so before he could even start his own job, he had to go on measuring up the damage hs predecesor did and then work from there, redoing stuff. Bozo wouldn't listen to that, but instead kept praising Guy and how Guy had made this many things and so on. All the while, Shimmy Gin's other superior would listen to their discussion and say nothing, inspite him knowing of Shimmy Gin's outstanding results before Bozo arrived. The final straw came when Bozo had Shimmy Gin's benefits removed because he deemed Shimmy Gin needs to improve his work. That was that. Shimmy Gin handed his job back to Bozo, again told him all the crap Guy made, how more than half of it was useless and the other half was incomplete and didn't stand the tests.
Weeks after Shimmy Gin entered Intel his old boss was still calling him back to his old job, which he loved, which sent him abroad often and where he had grown a lot. He moved to Intel because of the chance it gave him to grow in his field, and instead, it turns out that the company favours assholes who can't care less about the company, because all they want is to milk the company for their own and their friend's benefits. Nobody stopped Shimmy Gin at the door, there's no news on anyone taking a closer look at Guy's work, because as it is Bozo would have no idea what to look about in it - he sees only the number of products rolled out, not whether they work or not - and it seems Superior has no idea either about what should he be looking at it.
Bozos exist everywhere. They get to a place and they stay, like bubblegum on the sole of your shoe in summer. Bozos don't like smart people - really smart people - nor hardworking people. The reason for it is basic survival instinct: smart, hardworking people put them in evidence and so they can't climb up in teh company high enough so that their ignorance can be safely protected by a cohort of counselors - better known as the people that will take the fall for them. Bozos also exist in the form of counselors, and they misguide and pretend to be the bosses, and when things fail, they always have someone to place the blame on. It's never them.
The thing is, bozos are toxic, wherever they are. They are full of cheap wisdom - all of it pulled from business magazines, books from the "business" and "self help" shelves at popular bookstores (you will NEVER see a bozo digging in a used books bookstore or antique bookstore. No, they only go to the popular ones, and they go not because they like to read, but because they like to pretend they do). Recently - though then I didn't know this type of person was called a bozo - I realized that bozos also have a distorted concept of what being smart is.
There's this woman where I work - I won't even come up with a fake name for her, she will remain nameless - who is the ultimate bozo. Once we were having lunch with some coworkers, and she started talking about some local politicians who are very well known for their corruption and shamelessness. It's people who have made a great damage to the country, ripped the National Treasury of lots of money and then escaped abroad, where they live in great luxury, giving conferences for huge amounts of money. This people, who have used trickery and more often than not, bullying to get their way, were being brought up by her as The Most Intelligent people of the whole country. Granted, she said, they "didn't use their smarts for good, but they were nevertheless incredibly smart". Any person with a working brain could tell you that you don't need much of a brain to come up with trickery to embezzle money from the government, specially if you have spent years in it, getting to know all the weak points. I mean, it only took me two months working as a teller at a bank to envision a perfect plan to put on an indetectable money laundry system. No, I never put it to use, but in two months I just saw through the system. Trickery isn't a matter of brains. Criminals do it all the time, everywhere, in millions and millions of levels. Being part of a pervasive political system, with agents already embedded in every level and power position, and then doing your shenanigans, paying off the right people and knowing that enough people is dirtied so that no one will talk about it, yes, that's not being smart. Then, when we talk about getting on with your way because you've used bullying... well, that's definitively not a sign of being smart.
The examples brought up by Bozo-lady, however, show something important about the nature of the bozo: they seek to trick and steal things, grab as much as they can from what they haven't earned, for as long as they can. I coworker of mine also told me of some acquintance of his, who used to steal from stores. This person when to stores with discounts, took something that didn't have a discount, mix it with the discounted stuff and then pick it again and go for with it to the cashier, then make a scene until the store charged him the undeserved discounted price. When my coworker asked him why he did that, the guy just said "You have to be smarter, because God don't like stupid people". So, as you can see, it's not really a matter of being smart, or a matter of using intelligence for bad, it's a matter of plotting to exploit others, to take from others, abuse the system and get away with it. Just as you wouldn't call smart people who beat their spouses because they know that if they frighten them enough they won't talk, so you wouldn't call smart someone who simply abuses the system.
Being intelligent doesn't mean you are good. You can be bad and be intelligent too. Being intelligent is about having the capacity to build something new - whatever it would be -, solve problems, improve things and so on. An intelligent person is reflected in the creation they are capable of. Bozos, however, can't see that, because their whole world is about abusing the system. Slow advancing, learning, hardworking is stupid for them, either because they feel uncapable of doing so, or because they "see" a way to get "results" faster, even though their mockery of results has no basis, stand no ground. You see, when someone is intelligent builds slow but over strong basis. They won't be known as corrupt, people would have nothing ill to say about their work. About them, yes, but never about their work. About bozos... the thing that gets more criticizm is their work, and that's because their either do nothing, or they do it so bad it's mindblowing, or because they stand in the way of others doing their jobs.
Not everyone can resign when they get to be under a bozo, so here are two of the best tips I can give you when you encounter one:
1. Look for another place to transfer to. Sometimes there are openings of chances to go work with other people, other bosses who might not be bozos or might be less bozos. It's worth trying.
2. If the first option isn't an option, then follow the protocol and BACKUP everything you do. And hold your ground. It can be a very taxing thing to do, but you must develop a thick skin for this. Do the job as you know it's well done. Refuse doing things you know you can't do. Like what? Well, if you are a lawyer in a building company, refuse to supervise and sign the job of the architects, because you evidently have no idea whether those are good or not. It's important to always hold your ground, and to do so, borrow some bozo-tools, such as not listening. You are asked something unreasonable, so you smile, say "sure" and repeat the task as you know it should be done. It might require several repeats, until the bozo understands that you won't do it any way other than the way you said you would. Then, as part of the back up, get all the commands of the bozo in written. If something is said verbally, you go to your computer and write it down in an e-mail, make your comments on it, all your observations and send it to the bozo. If the bozo calls you again, and again verbally go over their flawed view, you get back to the computer and put it in writing the same way. Your out of this is if they put it in written, then you have evidence against them. Proceed to save and print out the e-mail. in several copies.
Bozos normaly don't stay long in the same position, they need to move before their idiocy sinks the floor beneath them, and then they leave the mess for someone else to patch up. This is good in the sense that, if you can't escape the bozo, but you make their life hard enough for them to choose to ignore you, all you'll have to do is keep your head low and in a while they will be replaced with someone less of a bozo. It's mathematic, they'll actually need someone who can somewhat solve the crap. The bad thing is that enough bozos in the company can sink it.
Yeah, don't but that stupid liberal crap about how companies only keep their best workers in order to be the bests in the market and do profit. Please! That only exists in Economics and Business textbooks. In real life corruptions, lobbying and under-the-table contracts, often seasoned with gifts and bonuses are what keep companies seemingly making money. And companies seem to make money thanks to creative accounting based on a heap of estimations, that not necessarily need any basis on real life unless the company suddenly bankrupts or gets an auditing. Or what do you think? If successful companies were really that good by the service or the products they make, why would they need accounts for "representation"? Why would they need to assign their top salespeople with money for lavish dinners for clients? Why pay for trips, dinners, stays at fancy hotels, gifts and so on? I assure you, none of those play any role in those textbooks I told you about. Lobbying is excluded from any economical theory I know of (granted, I don't know that many of them, but still, none of those came up in any I was taught about in the five years I spent to get my degree).
Sometimes it can get really bad, sometimes you might be tempted to become like them, be a bozo yourself too. Hey, if it works for you and it helps you, well, who am I to stop you? But if you are like me, the sheer thought would make you vomit. To live knowing you have betrayed yourself? That you've sold your integrity so you can get by? Unthinkable. Use tools like hypocrisy if you must - often it's the onl way to sail through the social surface of a sea full of bozos - but never, ever gve up what makes you you: the integrity of your work. And you must leave in the end, do it like my friend Dragonfly did, with your head up high, knowing people may call you bitch and unssuferable, but no one will ever have a bad word about the quality of your work.