Pampered Chefs Wanted
“Punctual, reliable, and hardworking…”
I was visiting a delicious breakfast and lunch spot, Toast, in Montclair, New Jersey with some friends last week, where a “help wanted” sign was taped to the door. The above traits appeared first in the list of requirements. How sad that any manager would have to type those specific characteristics.
Being consistently on time, dependable, and industrious comprise the minimum standard for holding down a job. In bygone times a job hunter would read that sign and think to themselves, “You mean to obtain this job I have to just exist?” Possessing certain attributes should be a given.
Competing Against Competency
I knew that standards are being relaxed or sometimes nearly vanishing in the name (misname, rather) of “equality.” I knew about the “everybody gets a trophy” phenomenon. However, I had no idea how many arenas of society have been infected by this disease. Few places are off-limits now.
Next time a friend brags about their child’s first place award in an extracurricular competition, see if you can muster sufficient guts to ask them where the participants below their child placed. If you assume they’ll respond with something kind of normal, for example “second” or maybe “third,” you may be surprised.
I say this because a friend fractured my mind earlier this week with the sledgehammer revelation that her child’s performing arts studio has been racking up meaningless accolades by having students participate in “competitions” where everyone achieves a first place prize, which is only slightly modified with different element names like “gold,” “platinum,” or “phallium.”
Bad for Business
Even someone with no entrepreneurial or bismuth management experience should recognize the connection between developmentally damaging non-contests and a hiring crisis afflicting the workforce with spoiled, deluded, self-proclaimed-expert candidates who lack even basic qualifications.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that it’s ridiculously easy to stand out these days. Just show up.