Patterico's Pontifications

6/8/2015

A Smart Response To A Misguided Complaint About Work Ethics

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:57 am



[guest post by Dana]

Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs and CNN’s Somebody’s Gotta Do It, and champion of the everyday worker in America, responded to a complaint on his Facebook page:

Hey Mike

Your constant harping on “work ethic” is growing tiresome. Just because someone’s poor doesn’t mean they’re lazy. The unemployed want to work! And many of those who can’t find work today, didn’t have the benefit of growing up with parents like yours. How can you expect someone with no role model to qualify for one of your scholarships or sign your silly “Sweat Pledge?” Rather than accusing people of not having a work-ethic, why not drop the right-wing propaganda and help them develop one?

Craig P.

Here is Rowe’s response in full:

Hi Craig, and Happy Sunday!

I’m afraid you’ve overestimated the reach of my foundation, as well as my ability to motivate people I’ve never met. For the record, I don’t believe all poor people are lazy, any more than I believe all rich people are greedy. But I can understand why so many do.

Everyday on the news, liberal pundits and politicians portray the wealthy as greedy, while conservative pundits and politicians portray the poor as lazy. Democrats have become so good at denouncing greed, Republicans now defend it. And Republicans are so good at condemning laziness, Democrats are now denying it even exists. It’s a never ending dance that gets more contorted by the day.

A few weeks ago in Georgetown, President Obama accused Fox News of “perpetuating a false narrative” by consistently calling poor people “lazy.” Fox News denied the President’s accusation, claiming to have only criticized policies, not people. Unfortunately for Fox, The Daily Show has apparently gained access to the Internet, and after a ten-second google-search and a few minutes in the edit bay, John Stewart was on the air with a devastating montage of Fox personnel referring to the unemployed as “sponges,” “leeches,” “freeloaders,” and “mooches.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/daily-shows-jon-stewart-bu…/

Over the next few days, the echo chamber got very noisy. The Left howled about the bias at Fox and condemned the one-percent, while the Right shrieked about the bias at MSNBC and bemoaned the growing entitlement state. But through all the howling and shrieking, no one said a word about the millions of jobs that American companies are struggling to fill right now. No one talked the fact that most of those jobs don’t require an expensive four-year degree. And no one mentioned the 1.2 trillion dollars of outstanding student loans, or the madness of lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back, educating them for jobs that no longer exist.

I started mikeroweWORKS to talk about these issues, and shine a light on a few million good jobs that no one seems excited about. But mostly, I wanted to remind people that real opportunity still exists for those individuals who are willing to work hard, learn a skill, and make a persuasive case for themselves. Sadly, you see my efforts as “right wing propaganda.” But why? Are our differences really political? Or is it something deeper? Something philosophical?

You wrote that, “people want to work.” In my travels, I’ve met a lot of hard-working individuals, and I’ve been singing their praises for the last 12 years. But I’ve seen nothing that would lead me to agree with your generalization. From what I’ve seen of the species, and what I know of myself, most people – given the choice – would prefer NOT to work. In fact, on Dirty Jobs, I saw Help Wanted signs in every state, even at the height of the recession. Is it possible you see the existence of so many unfilled jobs as a challenge to your basic understanding of what makes people tick?

Last week at a policy conference in Mackinac, I talked to several hiring managers from a few of the largest companies in Michigan. They all told me the same thing – the biggest under reported challenge in finding good help, (aside from the inability to “piss clean,”) is an overwhelming lack of “soft skills.” That’s a polite way of saying that many applicants don’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up, or look you in the eye, or say things like “please” and “thank you.” This is not a Michigan problem – this is a national crisis. We’re churning out a generation of poorly educated people with no skill, no ambition, no guidance, and no realistic expectations of what it means to go to work.

These are the people you’re talking about Craig, and their number grows everyday. I understand you would like me to help them, but how? I’m not a mentor, and my foundation doesn’t do interventions. Do you really want me to stop rewarding individual work ethic, just because I don’t have the resources to assist those who don’t have any? If I’m unable to help everyone, do you really want me to help no one?

My goals are modest, and they’ll remain that way. I don’t focus on groups. I focus on individuals who are eager to do whatever it takes to get started. People willing to retool, retrain, and relocate. That doesn’t mean I have no empathy for those less motivated. It just means I’m more inclined to subsidize the cost of training for those who are. That shouldn’t be a partisan position, but if it is, I guess I’ll just have to live with it.

–Dana

106 Responses to “A Smart Response To A Misguided Complaint About Work Ethics”

  1. Good morning!

    Dana (86e864)

  2. What a great friggin’ response. I especially liked the line: ” And no one mentioned the 1.2 trillion dollars of outstanding student loans, or the madness of lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back, educating them for jobs that no longer exist.”, which perfectly dovetailed into your post: ” Lee “Sprezzatura” Siegel’s Whiny, Condescending Screed About Defaulting on Student Loans” don’t you think?

    As usual the crying whiner’s like Craig and Siegel who are the problem try and deflect the problem toward the rest of us.

    Because of the “you owe me” attitude of these types I now change my mind. In addition to forfeiture for not paying back loans, I submit the reinstatement of debtors prisons.

    Hoagie (f4eb27)

  3. The biggest under reported challenge in finding good help, (aside from the inability to “piss clean,”) is an overwhelming lack of “soft skills.” That’s a polite way of saying that many applicants don’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up, or look you in the eye, or say things like “please” and “thank you.”

    In other words, if employers weren’t superficial about deportment, they wouldn’t have any trouble finding good help?

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  4. Deportment isn’t superficial. Look up “corporate culture” to understand why.

    TMLutas (0876a3)

  5. When you’re taking somebody’s money, for something he can get somewhere else, the least you can do is look and behave like something he wants to associate with.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. My own work ethic was lagging today, as we’d returned home just yesterday from my sister’s funeral in SoCal. Imagine my surprise to be greeted by this early this morning… http://t.co/jbTtUuH30U

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  7. a sign along I-80 that reads “Prophet of Islam and role model for this world”.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  8. When you’re taking somebody’s money, for something he can get somewhere else, the least you can do is look and behave like something he wants to associate with.

    Except that the whole reason they call it a “challenge” to find people with good “soft skills” is because he can’t always find it somewhere else.

    Besides, if you’re taking someone’s time, for something he can get somewhere else, the least you can do is overlook a few grooming deficiencies & personal foibles.

    Sure, the applicant might not be able to get it somewhere else… unless there aren’t “millions of jobs that American companies are struggling to fill right now”. Eventually, a few of those companies’ hiring managers will realize that they can get cheap work-critical skills if they’re willing to put up with social awkwardness & ugly clothes.

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  9. Excellent and modest response from Rowe.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  10. That may be true in many fields and industries CayleyGraph, such as farming and assembly line work where appearance and even interaction isn’t really paramount. Now translate that to my business, the restaurant. Do you want a waiter, bartender, hostess or manager that can’t speak well, write, dress clean and neat? Same for any retail that deals with the public and the same goes even for office workers who need to intermingle with associates all day.

    Quite frankly CarleyGraph, why would anyone hire a person who does not respect himself? Surely he won’t respect the job either. Or his coworkers, customers or boss.

    Hoagie (f4eb27)

  11. He makes way more sense than most politicos of either party.

    JD (a8b1e4)

  12. Sorry, that’s “CayleyGraph” not CarleyGraph.

    Hoagie (f4eb27)

  13. I was not talking about how you look to the employer but how you look to the employer’s customers — and by extension what face you’re putting on his business — and I believe Mr. Rowe was too. Think about it the next time you buy a coffee, sandwich or pack of gum.

    nk (dbc370)

  14. Sorry but a guest on Fox calling folks lazy or using the term to describe an argument is not the same as calling them lazy. (Which happens lots).

    And yes there are tons of lazy people out there who are leeches and sponges. Not sure what the issue is that folks have with the descriptor.

    Lions are mean voracious creatures is a statement of fact, nothing more or less.

    Rodney King's Spirit (b31520)

  15. “Soft skills” can be another way of saying “attitude” or maybe more appropriately “good attitude.” I hired hundreds of people during my career and I would never hire anyone with a bad attitude. Not only is their work affected, but, it affects everyone around them. This is something you can pick up quickly during an interview, or even when they are filing an application.

    You don’t want someone who already knows it all and feels “dissed” if you have to explain something to them.

    Jim (a9b7c7)

  16. #14 clar …. not the same as FOX itself doing so.

    Rodney King's Spirit (b31520)

  17. why not drop the right-wing propaganda and help them develop one?

    Translation: Replace it with left-wing propaganda that comforts and soothes my emotions, biases and hollow, two-faced compassion.

    Mark (a11af2)

  18. TLC ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    DJ was for Discovery Channel, present show is CNN [ if you are not streaming :) ].

    seeRpea (b2f97d)

  19. @Hoagie

    Deportment, particularly how you dress, is critical for both farmers and assembly line workers. The last thing you want is some baggy clothing getting caught in a combine thresher or metal lathe. I know a woman that had her leg pulled through a 2 inch diameter hole when the claw that puts popsicle sticks into the partially frozen popsicles caught her pant leg.

    Xmas (bfaacb)

  20. re #13: i definitely do. If I go into an office supply store , computer store , grocery store , etc and see that the workers are dresses sloppily (which includes wearing flip-flops) i leave without looking around.

    if i’m in a eatery and i see they are dresses sloppily or have pierced lips/cheeks/tongues I get out of there.

    seeRpea (b2f97d)

  21. That may be true in many fields and industries CayleyGraph, such as farming and assembly line work where appearance and even interaction isn’t really paramount. Now translate that to my business, the restaurant. Do you want a waiter, bartender, hostess or manager that can’t speak well, write, dress clean and neat?

    That’s perfectly valid. I have low standards for social graces in waiters & hostesses, but I know that you can’t expect your clients to be so accommodating.

    Same for any retail that deals with the public…

    Yes, in sales & other public interfaces, the “soft skills” I deride are, in fact, work-critical skills.

    …and the same goes even for office workers who need to intermingle with associates all day.

    OK, here’s where I disagree. You’re hiring office workers, not office decor. Insubordination & deliberate rudeness will make people’s work difficult, and so it makes sense to weed out people who display these properties. However, why would a hiring manager look for a person more interested in nice clothes & telling other people what they want to hear than a person willing to sacrifice tact for accuracy and precision?
    You may say that they can find people who can do accuracy, precision, and deportment. But remember, the thing these hiring managers are complaining about is the difficulty in finding people who demonstrate these properties. It makes sense to me that this would be difficult; humans have a limited amount of time, and any time spent learning social niceties is time that can’t be spent learning logic.

    Quite frankly CayleyGraph, why would anyone hire a person who does not respect himself? Surely he won’t respect the job either. Or his coworkers, customers or boss.

    Why would I think a person “respect[s] himself” if he spends time & money making his clothes look nice, rather than acquiring useful or interesting skills & knowledge? Clothes are boring, inanimate objects, and they’re surprisingly expensive, too.

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  22. Deportment, particularly how you dress, is critical for both farmers and assembly line workers. The last thing you want is some baggy clothing getting caught in a combine thresher or metal lathe. I know a woman that had her leg pulled through a 2 inch diameter hole when the claw that puts popsicle sticks into the partially frozen popsicles caught her pant leg.

    I was under the impression that “deportment” referred to the reactions of other humans to one’s behavior, rather than the effects of other inanimate objects (combines, lathes). If I’ve been using the word wrong, I’ll have to scour a dictionary for something more precise.
    It doesn’t contradict my thesis, since neckties, cuff links, high heels, and other trappings of the well-groomed can get caught in machines just as easily as ill-fitting clothes. If we’re starting to say that deportment is dependent on the job one performs, I can probably still argue that hiring managers are looking for too many criteria for the job they need to fill. However, I can’t really predict where the debate will go from here right now.

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  23. CayleyGraph (dfcefe),

    A person who won’t dress nicely for a job interview is a person who won’t arrive at work on time, or in the proper clothes, or in reasonably sanitary condition. Maybe that isn’t always the case, but since it is increasingly the case that you can’t fire somebody simply because they won’t do the job they were hired for, it becomes very important to not hire such persons in the first place.

    No non-psychotic employer expects his employees to be gung-ho all the time, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a pretense of enthusiasm when applying for a job.

    C. S. P. Schofield (a196fd)

  24. Live by the Golden Rule, never deride or denigrate good, clean, honest work… in whatever form it takes. And do NOT accept sloth, lack of motivation or excuse-making. Unless entirely physically or mentally disabled, all people can be productive and contributing, not taking. I have a small, intrically embroidered piece of cloth – embroidered by people who’d lost their fingers to leperosy that a friend and co-worker brought back from Cameroon and gave me as a small gift – that I have hanging in my office at home that reminds me of this fact.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. A person who won’t dress nicely for a job interview is a person who won’t arrive at work on time…

    Wouldn’t their punctuality for their interview be a better signal for their general punctuality than their clothing?

    … or in the proper clothes…

    The thesis I’m advancing is that, if a potential employer relaxes their standards for “proper clothes”, they wouldn’t find it such a challenge to find good help.

    … or in reasonably sanitary condition.

    How often do you compare the germs you find on a t-shirt & shorts to the germs you find on a three-piece suit? If anything, the t-shirt & shorts combo will be cleaner, since it’s cheaper & easier to wash cheap clothes than it is to get a fancy suit dry-cleaned. You might find the look distasteful, but part of being professional is learning to sacrifice your personal tastes in favor of the job that needs to be done.

    No non-psychotic employer expects his employees to be gung-ho all the time, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a pretense of enthusiasm when applying for a job.

    I wouldn’t have thought so either, but apparently “the biggest under reported challenge in finding good help… is an overwhelming lack of ‘soft skills.'”

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  26. you only get one chance to make a first impression, so for sure you should get your hair did

    happyfeet (831175)

  27. Well CayleyGraph, start a business where you don’t attend to such things as appearance, neatness, clothing, and politeness and tell us how it works out for you.

    You are just hearing standard advice from millions of successful business people written down for hundreds of years. But they can’t have reasons, can they?

    You’ll just have to do an experiment.

    luagha (c5876b)

  28. It is obvious that to CayleyGraph work is an abstract concept. Don’t take h** seriously.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. Well CayleyGraph, start a business where you don’t attend to such things as appearance, neatness, clothing, and politeness and tell us how it works out for you… You’ll just have to do an experiment.

    I’d love to, but a legion of idiots elected socialists into positions of power, and they’ll throw me in jail if I (or other business owners) don’t follow their kabuki rules.

    You are just hearing standard advice from millions of successful business people written down for hundreds of years. But they can’t have reasons, can they?

    I’m not sure why people would give me advice, since I’m not the one complaining about a problem. The people complaining about a problem are the hiring managers who find it a challenge to find good help because of an overwhelming lack of “soft skills”. I snarkily suggested that if they lowered their standards about superficial qualities like clothing & eye contact, they wouldn’t find it so challenging.

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  30. Betty Bowers looks like a tranny. Is “she” Unitarian or Episcopal USA?

    nk (dbc370)

  31. And then their businesses would fail, demonstrating that qualities like eye contact and clothing are not so superficial after all.

    luagha (e5bf64)

  32. “I snarkily suggested that if they lowered their standards about superficial qualities like clothing & eye contact, they wouldn’t find it so challenging.”

    CayleyGraph – What snark? You doubled down on your original comment several times. Your conclusion is that the “soft skills” which hiring managers see are in short supply and should be relaxed without any negative consequences, internally or externally for the affected businesses.

    Hiring managers disagree with your position as do I.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. Great Post

    mg (31009b)

  34. CayleyGraph – What snark?

    I was under the impression that “snark” was internet slang for “cruel sarcasm”. If this is correct, my “snark” would’ve been in how I phrased my original comment as a wise-ass question, rather than a dispassionate statement. Of course, I’ve never been good with slang, so I could’ve used it incorrectly; alternately, the term “snark” may be more obscure than I expected.

    Your conclusion is that the “soft skills” which hiring managers see are in short supply and should be relaxed without any negative consequences, internally or externally for the affected businesses.

    I would’ve phrased it as

    Your assertion is that the “soft skills” which hiring managers are looking for are in short supply and could be relaxed without any negative consequences, internally or externally for the affected businesses.

    If the changes I’ve made in bold are, as I suspect, just a matter of semantics, then we’re mostly in agreement. However, I’m not sure what you mean by “internally or externally”. If it means what I think it does, I should mention that I specifically said that the qualities I deride as “superficial” are, in fact, work-critical in public-facing roles such as sales, tech support, and public relations. However, I would wager that managers could easily substantially relax their standards for clothing & etiquette for engineers, bureaucrats, and other internal positions with no negative effects on productivity or morale, and only positive effects from a wider applicant pool.

    Hiring managers disagree with your position as do I.

    And until they change their minds, the only thing they can do about the lack of applicants who display the “soft skills” they desire is whine.

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  35. I thought it was a wise and patient response as well.
    I have known some business owners (particularly of thrift stores) that make it a point to hire people who appear motivated but never learned such soft skills elsewhere. I’ve also been quick to inform a manager about having a good staff at a McDonald’s or such when employees have been above the norm. It thrills people. (“I want to talk to your boss, to tell him/her what a good job you do.”)

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  36. Perhaps I’m just old fashioned in my advanced age of 37, but we used to call people who didn’t tuck in their shirt, pull up their pants, or exhibit good behavior and manners as being lazy. I guess that’s another term the left would rather redefine in our society.

    Sean (69ccc8)

  37. interesting that link no longer exists, of course, basing a conclusion on a Stewart medley is the first mistake,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  38. “However, I’m not sure what you mean by “internally or externally”. If it means what I think it does, I should mention that I specifically said that the qualities I deride as “superficial” are, in fact, work-critical in public-facing roles such as sales, tech support, and public relations.”

    CayleyGraph – I suggest you read the post again. Internal means with coworkers and external means with customers, vendors, etc. The post specifically mentions more than just “nice clothes” on which you seem to be hyper-fixated:


    That’s a polite way of saying that many applicants don’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up, or look you in the eye, or say things like “please” and “thank you.”

    The inability to interact with coworkers in a courteous manner can be as destructive to morale and efficiency as it is to externally facing situations.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  39. However, why would a hiring manager look for a person more interested in nice clothes & telling other people what they want to hear than a person willing to sacrifice tact for accuracy and precision?

    and

    Why would I think a person “respect[s] himself” if he spends time & money making his clothes look nice, rather than acquiring useful or interesting skills & knowledge? Clothes are boring, inanimate objects, and they’re surprisingly expensive, too.

    That isn’t what you objected to. Here’s what you objected to:

    many applicants don’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up, or look you in the eye, or say things like “please” and “thank you.”

    I don’t think there’s much overlap between that and what you are deriding.

    Milhouse (a0cc5c)

  40. seeRpea @ 18,

    Argh… You’re right, of course… Won’t be able to correct until late afternoon. Thanks for catching that.

    Dana (4df7c8)

  41. Dana – May I be the first to point out that this post is raaaaacist!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  42. Lack of soft skills is a result of not starting out in menial, low pay jobs and learning how to adapt on the job

    I know of a UC Berkeley grad who cannot even get hired at Starbucks for this very reason.

    AZ Bob (7d2a2c)

  43. Milhouse (a0cc5c), you don’t think there’s much overlap between “many applicants don’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up” and “spend[ing] time & money making his clothes look nice”? I’m afraid I don’t see the separation.

    As for “look[ing] you in the eye”, well, I can see how a person would like eye contact, but if a hiring manager finds it challenging to find good help that looks them in the eye, perhaps they might find it worth their while to give introverts a chance?

    Finally, as far as “‘please’ and ‘thank you'”, I did say that it makes sense to weed out the deliberately rude. But if a hiring manager finds it challenging to find people who remember every social nicety, perhaps they might find it worth their while to consider people who don’t polish their every interaction?

    And daylerocks (bf33e9), given that hiring managers find it challenging to find people with “soft skills”, perhaps they could consider looking for people who lack “soft skills” but have “thick skins”, so their morale and efficiency isn’t destroyed when a coworker forgets to say “please” and “thank you”?

    And my “fixation” on nice clothes isn’t hyper, it’s ultra. On a more serious note, the reason I challenge the clothing more is because it’s the most obviously superficial quality that a hiring manager might prioritize over work-critical skills. I’m simply more confident that I can convince someone to relax their standards for clothing than their standards for politeness, so that’s why I focus my argument there. Of course, simply saying this reminds me that I’m arguing on the internet…

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  44. Speaking English ought to be RULE #1 in American Work Ethic.

    mg (31009b)

  45. President You-Should-Be-Thanking-Me lacks any of the skills required to hold down honest work. The fish rots and stinks from the head.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  46. 46.
    Speaking of whom SCOTUS now has affirmed the power of POTUS to define and invent reality however he likes it.
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-mayor-urges-obama-to-recognize-israels-capital/

    [And my condolences, Col. If you mentioned it before I did not see it.]

    kishnevi (adea75)

  47. Yep, so where were they born, if not israel

    narciso (ee1f88)

  48. Thanks, kishnevi. She was going to turn 60 on June 16th. She’d been widowed in ’98 and never really got over it, although she sounded the happiest she had been in years when I talked to her two days before she’d passed. I gave the eulogy on Saturday and it was one of the toughest things emotionally I’ve ever done.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  49. CayleyGraph @44
    It takes very little time and absolutely no money to tuck in the shirt that one already has on and to pull up the pants that one already has on. You seem to confuse neatness with style and fashion. Style and fashion are expensive. Soap is pretty cheap, combs go for less than $1, you don’t need to hire a valet to tuck in your shirt and pull up your pants.

    You also seem to be fixated on the trivial kinds of personal interactions, as if the only benchmark is “please” and “thank you”. If you think that working with someone who is perpetually angry and aggrieved, ranting continually about how much they hate this job is a productive and efficient workplace, then you clearly have never held a job. And if your solution for verbally abusive co-workers is for everyone else to “get a thicker skin”, then I suspect that you sympathize with those who feel put upon to even show up for work and lack the filter to not voice every negative thought that bubbles through their precious little brain.

    prowlerguy (3af7ff)

  50. you don’t think there’s much overlap between “many applicants don’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up” and “spend[ing] time & money making his clothes look nice”? I’m afraid I don’t see the separation.

    No, I don’t see any overlap at all. Tucking your shirt in and pulling your pants up takes no money and little time, and has little to do with “making his clothes look nice”. Not walking around with ones pants halfway to ones knees doesn’t make one a fop, it makes one a normal person.

    Milhouse (a0cc5c)

  51. Speaking of whom SCOTUS now has affirmed the power of POTUS to define and invent reality however he likes it.

    All 9 justices, as well as the plaintiff’s lawyers, agreed that the president does have the exclusive prerogative to recognise or not recognise other countries’ territorial claims. Everyone agreed that Congress has no right to dictate to the president that he must recognise that Jerusalem is in Israel; the only question before the court was whether Congress was really trying to that. Since all the commentary (including your summary just now) assumes that it was, it must be that all the commenters, including you, agree wit this decision.

    Milhouse (a0cc5c)

  52. It takes very little time and absolutely no money to tuck in the shirt that one already has on and to pull up the pants that one already has on.

    I think you’re dramatically underestimating the time and expense it takes to acquire properly-fitting clothes. Maybe I just have an unusual body shape, but I’ve never been able to maintain a tucked-in shirt for more than an hour at a time. If I need to show somebody that I have a tucked-in shirt, I have to keep adjusting it every time I stand up or sit down.

    You also seem to be fixated on the trivial kinds of personal interactions, as if the only benchmark is “please” and “thank you”.

    The reason for this fixation, of course, is because the trivial kinds of interactions are the kinds that

    [1] Were mentioned in Mike Rowe’s response

    [2] I believe should be overlooked by hiring managers.

    I realize I didn’t make it clear that I think a person who “someone who is perpetually angry and aggrieved, ranting continually about how much they hate this job” should be weeded out during the hiring process when I said “Insubordination & deliberate rudeness will make people’s work difficult, and so it makes sense to weed out people who display these properties”, but I’m not very good at concise communication.

    Yes, abusiveness should be considered — and considered strongly — when making hiring decisions, but the only test for abusiveness cited in the original post was the presence/absence of “please” and “thank you”. I think that’s a terribly inaccurate test that will give many false positives on people who are quiet or shy. Of course, I don’t have as much hiring experience as the hiring managers I’m criticizing… but since they complain that “the biggest under reported challenge in finding good help is an overwhelming lack of ‘soft skills.'”, I think it’s not unreasonable to suggest something that might ease their challenge.

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  53. here is how you do it listen to the antonio you losers

    LISTEN

    he splains all the things

    happyfeet (831175)

  54. OK. So now you have backpedaled away from the “expense” excuse, and now try to pretend that outside of custom clothes from Sax Fifth Ave, nobody is able to buy properly fitting garments. I would point out that shirts come with different lengths of shirttails, and generally the longer ones are no more expensive than the shorter ones. But even if I accept your claim that your shirttail will work it’s way free once per hour, that means a) you can certainly make yourself presentable for the short time an interview takes, and b) you require only 30 seconds per hour to make yourself presentable. When faced with similar issues as a young man in uniform, there are inexpensive solutions even to that problem:
    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Style-Military-Uniform-Shirt/dp/B001KXHBJE/ref=cts_ap_1_fbt
    That’s like what, two Red Bulls?

    As far as your pants go, are you also claiming that you (and all those other poor souls who can’t seem to find that six-figure entry level job) also can not keep your pants in the vicinity of your waist? Inquiring minds want to know what your brilliant comeback will be.

    prowlerguy (3af7ff)

  55. So now you have backpedaled away from the “expense” excuse,

    When I said “I think you’re dramatically underestimating the time and expense it takes to acquire properly-fitting clothes.”, I was backpedaling?

    When faced with similar issues as a young man in uniform, there are inexpensive solutions even to that problem:
    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Style-Military-Uniform-Shirt/dp/B001KXHBJE/ref=cts_ap_1_fbt
    That’s like what, two Red Bulls?

    I don’t know. It’s %50 more than a comfortable shirt, though — and, of course, you have to buy the shirt that goes with your suspenders separately. Plus, if you’re concerned about hygiene, you have to change your shirt & suspenders daily, which probably means getting more than one pair of suspenders.

    But even if I accept your claim that your shirttail will work it’s way free once per hour, that means… you require only 30 seconds per hour to make yourself presentable.

    Actually, my claim was “I’ve never been able to maintain a tucked-in shirt for more than an hour at a time.” As such, “an hour” was an upper bound. But that’s a trivial point.

    As far as your pants go, are you also claiming that you (and all those other poor souls who can’t seem to find that six-figure entry level job) also can not keep your pants in the vicinity of your waist? Inquiring minds want to know what your brilliant comeback will be.

    Actually, I can. All I have to do is spend about $2 on a belt that I could have spent on something more educational or enjoyable. Also, I have to replace my belt (and suspenders, apparently) every time they start to look frayed or worn out — the whole point is looking impressive, after all! — or if I gain/lose weight, or have some other change in physique. Oh, and there’s also the time it takes to locate a nearby thrift store, and to drive there and back. Also, depending on the standards of the people I need to impress, I may need to buy different belts for people with different pairs of pants. In fact, I might need to splurge and go to a place like Target or Sears.

    I can also wear sweatpants, or exercise shorts, that don’t require belts to stay on; however, I gather that the people I would need to impress wouldn’t react favorably to clothes that are cheap, comfortable, and don’t require additional accessories to fit properly.

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  56. If you’re not willing to invest $2 on a belt that will make you more presentable at work, because the $2 will be better spent on something more educational or enjoyable, then doesn’t that say quite a lot about how much you want the job or are willing to work at it? The rest of the working world manages to show up at work on time, and looking presentable, so I don’t know why it’s too much to ask that those who want a job do the same.

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  57. This is actus level trolling.

    JD (3b5483)

  58. Yes, yes it is, JD.

    nk (dbc370)

  59. WTF… suspenders? This Cayley must be the late Bob Beckel…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  60. Haiku, 58.

    nk (dbc370)

  61. A lot of my clothes, probably at times over 50%, come from thrift stores. Years ago I saw a presentation by two sharp looking African-American men in clothes they bought at a thrift store, telling others how they could make themselves presentable on the cheap.
    And in Philly there is/was a place a woman can go to get clothes for a job interview.

    I am sure there are some people who really would like to work who have zero clue as to the soft skills. Hopefully they can make enough of an impression to get a chance.

    But if a person can get promoted through a school system and not have any clue as to what someone outside of their gangsta or whatever subculture expects as reasonable behavior,
    then fire them all,
    and everyone who makes TV shows,
    and everyone who makes movies,
    and start all over.

    Yes, we once lived in a neighborhood where the little girls on the sidewalk were shocked my wife had a husband, and double shocked that he wasn’t home because he had a job.
    That’s what 30 years of being fed like a rat in a cage will do to people who should have been treated better.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  62. hey, I wear suspenders at times. keeps the pants up when your pockets are loaded with tools.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  63. Condolences Colonel and prayers.

    Gazzer (be559b)

  64. Also, I have to replace my belt (and suspenders, apparently) every time they start to look frayed or worn out — the whole point is looking impressive, after all!

    No, the point is not to look impressive, it’s to not look like a wannabe gangsta.

    Milhouse (a0cc5c)

  65. Suspenders have a whole different connotation in the UK, MD.

    Gazzer (be559b)

  66. I found the owner of my local 7/11 filling in for a suddenly sick employee. He told me had a hard time finding a uniform — it’d been a while since he had worked the counter. He explained that the uniform reminds the employees that they’re on the job, not at home or hanging out with their friends. And I expect dress codes do, too.

    And CaylyGraph has either never had a job or is trolling us, or most likely both.

    nk (dbc370)

  67. If you’re not willing to invest $2…

    … per year (at best), plus the time & money it takes to get to/from a thrift store & look for a belt…

    because the $2 will be better spent on something more educational or enjoyable, then doesn’t that say quite a lot about how much you want the job or are willing to work at it?

    If you’d rather spend $2 on a strip of cloth/leather than on something educational, doesn’t that say quite a lot about how little intelligence you bring to the job?
    If you’d rather spend $2 on a strip of cloth/leather than on something enjoyable, doesn’t that say quite a lot about how little self-respect you have?

    I am sure there are some people who really would like to work who have zero clue as to the soft skills. Hopefully they can make enough of an impression to get a chance.

    It’s apparently difficult, because worthless reprobates like me keep dressing fancy & talking pretty, and fooling hiring managers into thinking we’re employable because we know deportment.
    I’ve noticed that many of the commenters who argue with me seem to assume that I have trouble getting a job because I’m too lazy to present myself well. However, a scoundrel like myself has no compunctions about wearing formal clothes in order to trick the gullible into thinking we have virtues that we don’t. I’ve done it successfully twice since graduating college, and I’ve only had two other job interviews that weren’t successful. I haven’t done a lot of research, but I gather %50 is an acceptable success rate for job interviews.
    Of course, since I’ve done all these interviews, you’ve realized that I have trouble keeping a job once I’ve gotten it (if the fact that I spent all day arguing in blog comments wasn’t a giveaway). You’ve also realized that this supports one of my assertions, namely, that using superficial politeness as a test for employment worthiness gives inaccurate results. As I mentioned above, it gives false negatives from shy people; my apologies for forgetting to mention that it also gives false positives from people like me.

    But if a person can get promoted through a school system and not have any clue as to what someone outside of their gangsta or whatever subculture expects as reasonable behavior…

    The whole point of this argument is that the hiring managers’ expectations aren’t being met. It would be nice if they were, and it would be nice if everybody knew socialism doesn’t work, but this is the world we live in. If a hiring manager finds “reasonable behavior” in short supply, they might find more applicants if they audit their definition of “reasonable” and prune away some of the more superficial conditions they impose.

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  68. Thank you, Gazzer.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  69. what have you been up to, nk?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  70. suspenders or belt
    attitude seems to echo
    maynard g krebs, “work!”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  71. No, the point is not to look impressive, it’s to not look like a wannabe gangsta.

    OK, so all I have to do is study clothing trends in street gangs — real and fictional — and make sure that my outfit doesn’t resemble anything that they wear/recently wore?
    It sounds like a tall order, since I don’t know of any compendium of gangsta fashion. However, if my plain white t-shirt & sweat pants/jogging shorts combo passes, then it seems my monetary complaints were unfounded (until such time as a street gang starts using it as their uniform) and we’re back to the question of whether or not clothing is such an important qualification as to justify dismissing job applicants when it’s a challenge to find good help.

    CayleyGraph (dfcefe)

  72. heh cayley’s vomit
    just same soft bigotry of
    low expectations

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  73. How long are you guys gonna beat this to death? Businessmen in general don’t want employees who look badly and don’t reflect the company well. Is that hard? Does it matter why? They just don’t. I once fired a girl for dirty finger nails. Found another with clean. Fired a waiter for a dirty uniform. The rest became urgently clean without my asking. Funny how that worked. I didn’t permit beards or moustaches. Especially on the girls. No facial piercing either. They had to have clean hair, smell clean and have good hygiene and general cleanliness. Oh yes, they had to look me and the guests in the eye when they spoke. Perhaps I asked too much. But I got what I asked for and they made money. So did I.

    Hoagie (f4eb27)

  74. Lawyer stuff, family stuff, first communions, piano recitals, outdoors making up for time spent indoors in the winter, that kind of stuff, Haiku. My daughter finished 7th grade with 3 A+s and 4 As, and has a President’s Award for it signed by Obama.

    nk (dbc370)

  75. Congrats, good to hear, nk. Was worried it might be health-related.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  76. if my plain white t-shirt & sweat pants/jogging shorts combo passes
    If I were hiring people and an applicant showed up for an interview dressed like that, I would immediately assume he had no interest in the job he was applying for, and no intetest in making a good impression. Even if the job normally involved working in those sort of clothes.

    kishnevi (91d5c6)

  77. put on shirt like this put on pant like this hot water burn baby

    happyfeet (831175)

  78. Are you obtuse, or naturally an idiot?

    JD (6a6c22)

  79. Beckel’s not dead, he’s in rehab.

    Gazzer (be559b)

  80. I agree with Hoagie – stop beating that horse.

    Please accept my condolences as well, Col.

    reversePerrystalsis (56556d)

  81. SORRY! That was a sock-puppet.

    felipe (56556d)

  82. Whatever became of “sock-puppet” Friday?

    felipe (56556d)

  83. Beckel’s dead to me, Gazzer! Thanks, Felipe.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  84. I think you’re dramatically underestimating the time and expense it takes to acquire properly-fitting clothes. Maybe I just have an unusual body shape, but I’ve never been able to maintain a tucked-in shirt for more than an hour at a time. If I need to show somebody that I have a tucked-in shirt, I have to keep adjusting it every time I stand up or sit down.
    It is these Herculean problems that are so taxing in this first world of ours. And efforts to remedy such worries leave one so completely exhausted, there simply isn’t the energy or will left to actually, you know, work.

    Surely some government agency can supplement you for your sartorial debilitations.

    Dana (86e864)

  85. I feel I should give the Colonel my condolences, too, but can’t find where he posted what happened. Please point it out, someone.

    Dana (86e864)

  86. Sorry, Col.

    mg (31009b)

  87. post 6, Dana.

    mg (31009b)

  88. Thanks, mg.

    With that, Col, my condolences indeed. And I see she was just this side of 60. And so young to have been widowed. It’s bittersweet that she had to leave you to be reunited with her husband whom she never got over. But I’m sure your family was comforted and blessed by your eulogy. And I bet your sister was looking down with fondness as she realized how loved she was in this life.

    Dana (86e864)

  89. I echo what Dana said. Bless you, Colonel.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  90. Colonel – I hate to hear that.

    JD (3b5483)

  91. Colonel, my deepest condolences. Your late sister and I share a birthday. I’m glad you were there to speak for her, because who knew her better?

    As for #24, I have a woven tapestry from the Hansen Institute in Ethiopia, made by lepers and blessed by a Coptic priest. There is a small bell at the bottom; supposedly when I ring it, it brings blessing. I will ring it for you and your family tomorrow.

    Simon Jester (2b19e5)

  92. Thanks very much, all. I’ll always regret spending more time telling her what she should be doing than praising her for what she was doing and what she’d accomplished. I’m going to miss her very much, but have faith (as did she) that she will be with her beloved husband our dad and others who have gone before, in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  93. No, the point is not to look impressive, it’s to not look like a wannabe gangsta.

    OK, so all I have to do is study clothing trends in street gangs — real and fictional — and make sure that my outfit doesn’t resemble anything that they wear/recently wore?

    No, you just need to have your pants where they belong rather than halfway to your knees, and the only people who don’t do that are wannabe gangstas.

    Milhouse (a0cc5c)

  94. Colonel, may you be comforted from Heaven.

    Milhouse (a0cc5c)

  95. Two bucks per year for belts? Really? I’m doing it wrong. I’ve worn the same belt every day for over three years and it keeps my jeans up without fraying.

    John Hitchcock (bc1b65)

  96. Showing up in a plain white t-shirt and sweatpants proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re not the help they’re looking for. If, that is, they want GOOD help.

    John Hitchcock (bc1b65)

  97. Two bucks per year for belts? Really? I’m doing it wrong. I’ve worn the same belt every day for over three years and it keeps my jeans up without fraying.Two bucks per year for belts? Really? I’m doing it wrong. I’ve worn the same belt every day for over three years and it keeps my jeans up without fraying.

    Wrong body shape. I can’t keep a belt more than a year, if that.

    Milhouse (a0cc5c)

  98. Gotta look more like Abe and less like McKinley.

    John Hitchcock (bc1b65)

  99. Colonel – My sympathies on the passing of your sister.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  100. “if my plain white t-shirt & sweat pants/jogging shorts combo passes”

    Epic level troll?

    Burnside (8fa39f)

  101. I know, you’re shocked but the media hasn’t gotten the mckinney story right either,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  102. Indeed. Andrew Branca has a detailed analysis of the video, showing how the cop acted properly and lawfully at all times. And pointing out that his “suspension” amounts to a paid vacation until the bosses clear him.

    Milhouse (a0cc5c)

  103. Give me someone with a good work ethic, that’s personable and a little common sense and I’ll do the rest. Half the battle is getting up and going to work on time every day, day after day.

    Roux (f5b497)

  104. you gotta wake up, dig down deep, throw on your sweat pants, and get out there and take on that whirl

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  105. I agree hard work will always payoff

    people needing work (82e1f2)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.4085 secs.