gregbo (gregbo) wrote,
gregbo
gregbo

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The Irascibles

There is a recent Valleywag article on the top 10 tech tyrants – the toughest tech executives. I note (with dismay) that Valleywag "sees genius" in these individuals.

If you've been reading my journal for a while, you've probably realized that the types of companies that these people run aren't good environments for me. OTOH, when those are the only companies that are hiring, there isn't much choice but to deal with it, somehow.

So here's a thought for you. The entry on Bill Gates notes that as a sixth grader, he once told his mother "Have you ever tried thinking?" If I had ever said such a thing to my mother (or any adult, maybe even anyone within my parents' earshot), I would've been picking myself up off the floor (to coin an oft-heard praise from my youth). It's like the old Lou Rawls song A Natural Man – when someone told you to do something, you did it. No lip (or expect to be smacked in it). So where does this notion come from that it is ok, even preferable, to treat people with utter disrespect?

Another thought. The article also mentions the famous Steve Ballmer chair-throwing incident. I wonder if Steve Ballmer has faced anyone who's just as irascible as he is, but has no fear of him. Someone who, if they felt threatened, would just pop him one good one, enough to send him to the hospital. (After all, a chair thrown, even if not directly at someone, could still cause an injury depending on where/on what it lands.) Would he be so quick to do something that is not only disrespectful, but is reckless, if he thought he would suffer retribution? When I was a kid, playing on the block or in the schoolyard, it was necessary to be a little careful around certain people. If you stood up to their bullying, you ran the risk of having them pull a knife on you, and use it, even. There was also the risk of escalation, where even if you beat the bully up, the bully would jump you (send his gang after you). If you had a gang, you'd retaliate, etc. The end result: someone getting really badly hurt; maybe even killed, like in the Boyz in the Hood film.

So, I just want to understand the mindset; where all of this is coming from. How were these people raised such that they should think this behavior is appropriate, and even worthy? The other thing is, when I tell people that these sorts of things go on, and thus these types of companies are bad for me, they act like I'm crazy because they just don't believe these sorts of things occur. Or they act like I'm not trying to find a job when I say that I'm avoiding certain companies (but not getting offers from other companies because I don't do well enough on the interviews).
Tags: career, job search
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