If you also hate “Admin Professionals Day,” let me buy you a drink.

“Secretary’s Day.”  Now “Admin Professionals Day,” because somehow, knowing how to type, think, and organize while taking dictation and handling administrivia worth a rat’s ass somehow makes you a “professional.”

This makes me want to puke,
but I get it in my mailbox every year.

 

I work as an admin.  I also worked as a teacher at a Community College, and DREADED “Teacher’s Day.”  Loved teaching; hated the administration-bloat cesspool that the modern academic “guild” has become, so private sector ho!

These are fundamentally unserious holidays devoted to the concept that somehow there’s something extra-socially-special about teachers and secretaries.  Yes, I’m a secretary.  I’m not a leader.  Don’t want to be.  I am, however, a KICK-ASS FOLLOWER.  That’s not a joke:  I am goddamned good at what I do, and what I do is get you promoted by freeing you up to focus on those things that earn you promotions and market-share rather than just getting wrapped around the axle with administrivia bullshit.  Leave that shit to me, Boss.*  I don’t measure my success with fluffy emails sent once a year by coworkers:  I measure them for my unit in hours saved and dollars earned.

Are secretaries important?  No, they’re not.  They’re necessary.  There’s a difference. A big difference.

Goddamn right.

Are teachers important?  Sure they are. If we redefine important as “we need these people.”

But so are these guys.

Roughnecks.

EMT dudes.

Sales dudes and dudettes.

Janitors. Yes, janitors.

Linemen.

These are actual hard jobs.  You try keeping society together for a fucking week without any of these guys.  And yes, I did include the sales dudes on purpose.  Go ahead, try it.  Saudi Arabia’s such a fucked-up society that they have to import these guys (and pay them ridiculous salaries to put up with Saudi bullshit), or else they’d fall apart.And you know what?  Not ONE of them thinks “I’m a special snowflake and deserve my own day and a cookie because I’ve got enough personal awesomeness to hold down my job!”  (Yes, Virginia, being a plain-jane secretary or teacher IS a cushy job.  Been there, done that, drawn the paycheck.  If it’s not cushy, then you’re doing it wrong or your administrators suck.) In absolutely no other job do we condescend to give people a special gold star just because they’ve got just barely enough work ethic to stay meaningfully employed.

These are leftover holidays from the 50s and 60s when 90% of the people working these jobs were chicks.  And a lot of them had to put up with a bunch of crap on the job that I’d bust your nose for nowadays.  (Yes, in fact, I have been felt up at work.  Next dude or dudette to do that gets their nose broken, and I’ll apologize to HR about it afterwards while filing a complaint on their ass).  Women in the workplace was no big thing until the Great Depression hit and everybody was in “minimalist survival mode” for twenty years.  Then the country sort of rediscovered that middle-class white women could work, too (give you five guesses who’d already been busting their asses and looking after their kids in the meantime, and the first two don’t count). 

Then feminism stepped in and said “hey, let’s make you equal AND special!” 

“You can be Equal, or you can be Special.  Pick one.”

“No, I’d really rather not. Plus, everything’s your fault.”

So.  I’ve spent the whole day with well-meaning people coming out of the woodwork to thank me for… all the shit I do because that’s my goddamned job, and smiling at people who don’t actually realize that the entire concept of what they’re doing is condescending as hell.  And I hate that.  I don’t need a pat on the back.  Because I have a little something called a work ethic.  I also have a bottle of Slivovitz, and I”m going to lift a glass of it tonight to all those people who have harder and tougher jobs than mine about whom nobody ever gives a shit or names a holiday.   

Rock on, dudes.

*Or, if you’d like to be the boss of somebody who describes being their admin this way, describe your situation and ask for my resume.  🙂

The lucrative “self-aggrandizing bitch” business is apparently alive and well.

//EDIT: 7/31/2013 A couple days ago the subject of the article posted in the comments here with a rebuttal.  While said rebuttal entirely misses the point of the post, it does suggest that some of the facts behind the article may have been mis-reported.  See comments and Caveat Lector.

Okay.  Heads up.

I’m not gonna pull any stops on this one, so those of you with meek and tender dispositions, you really ought to go look at lolcats or something.  If you belong to that bizarro religion which holds that there are “forbidden words” which instantly reduce a fully-functional adult human being to a quivering, emotionally-traumatized train wreck, go look at LOTS of lolcats (also, get a life).

Also, I rang up $300 on a 1-900-get-maus line.

The Cute, it Burns, here.

Now, for the rest of you….

The more I think about this, I gotta tell you, the more I’m glad I married somebody from a country that’s completely batshit crazy about other things, but not neck-deep in the “female entitlement” virus.

So let’s get this straight:

  1. Man proposes.
  2. Woman says no.
  3. They break up, man finds true love, woman writes self-help book.

No, wait.

It was actually:

  1. Man proposes.
  2. Woman dismisses the proposal as insufficiently performative and of poor aesthetic quality.
  3. Man stays with her.
  4. Woman founds business to teach men how to propose better.

My wife proposed to me.  I didn’t know it at the time, because my Hungarian was improving, but I didn’t realize that variations on “can I wash your socks” are actually a deeply romantic (and thoroughly realistic) way of saying “I would enjoy forming a decades-long relationship with you involving vast amounts of sex and options on the creation of small squealing humanoids.”  I proposed to her, mere moments later.  It wasn’t elaborate.  It was a quiet, in the dark, whispered “will you marry me?” No preamble, no performance, no stupid expectation that a proposal is something that ought to require a degree in theatre arts.  So in the space of five minutes flat, each of us proposed to the other, and not only did it not involve careful preparation, we couldn’t even see each other.

Check this out (emphasis mine):

Despite the fact that her boyfriend Ryan Galeozzi got the proposal so wrong the couple are still together. Mr Galeozzi, her boyfriend of four years, is planning a second attempt.

Ryan, here’s a word of advice:

RUN!!  RUN LIKE HELL, YOU STUPID GIT!!

Let’s get something straight.  In fact, let’s color-code this for degree of reasonableness.

You propose to a girl, she says yes, you live happily ever after.  Great.

You propose to a girl, and she says no, it’s over.  Your relationship has just been chopped at the neck, and you should be seeing a great big sign that says “this woman may enjoy fucking you, but she has absolutely no long-term interest in you, and the relationship, such as it is, will never get any better than it did five minutes before you opened your mouth.” Other alternatives include “Yes, I actually would like to marry you, but we both know that you are not husband material.”

You propose to a girl, and she freaks out, and then comes back and says “yes,” okay, that can happen.  USUALLY it’s a big-old warning sign, but it can happen and work.

You propose to a girl and she turns you down because the proposal lacked sufficient drama and gravitas to be deserving of her approval.  Sir, your girlfriend is not “wife material,” but is, rather a solipsistic cunt.(fn)  

“Will you marry me?”

“Will you wash my socks?”

Let’s start off with something basic.  It’s been said elsewhere, most notably (and often) by the ever-helpful Susan Walsh at her site Hooking Up Smart:  Women are the gatekeepers of sex.  Men are the gatekeepers of commitment.

What this woman is doing is trying to be both, and the entire situation reeks of emotional abuse, to boot, as she slowly tolerates him setting himself up for a “second performance.”  Which, I suppose, is fine if your ideal choice in husband material is “spineless, easy-to-manipulate dweeb.”

Somewhere out there, a man is wearing this without irony.

If this dipshit will put the guy on hold for that long because his proposal was basic, straightforward, and sincere, how do you think she’ll handle the wedding?

“Well, you were pretty good during the walking-down-the-aisle part, but you yawned once during the sermon, and haven’t really perfected the whole ‘gazing adorably at me while a minister speaks to you’ bit, so… no, I don’t.  You can try again in a couple of years.”

Here’s a hint:  “getting married” isn’t the same thing as “being a husband or a wife.”  The first is an event.  The second is (hopefully) the rest of your fucking life.  (And since this is marriage, yes, we all hope that there’s a lot of fucking involved.  The species, perpetuate it.  Getting regularly laid is part of being a healthy and well-adjusted human being.  Even without the munchkins, it makes your marriage stronger anyway.  Oxytocin is real).

What washing his socks may lead to.

So let’s be pretty clear.  Sam Sheppard (that’s the gal in question, for those of you who didn’t RTFA) is retarded.  Not in the accidental, “we bend over backwards to be extra-kind-and-gentle because that kid can’t help it” sort of way, but in the sense of “this person has chosen to become one of the people who spread idiocy and misery far and wide.”  In the immortal words of the Reverend Bill Hicks, “these are demons, set loose upon the earth to lower the standards.”  By holding her approval over this guy’s head while simultaneously demonstrating that she’s got not the slightest bit of respect for him, what do her actions say about any man who gets into a decades-long relationship with her?  What is this guy’s life going to be like?

Pining for the grave? Check.

What man in his right mind would take a class from this woman for any other purpose than sardonic amusement?

I take care of my wife.  That’s part of being a husband. (Helpful hint, it’s the biggest part).  I bend over backwards to keep my wife from bending over backwards, pre-compromising, or any other thing that’s not getting what she wants.  That includes compromises.  Compromises in a marriage are shit.  A compromise means neither of you got what you wanted/needed.  Fuck that.  Think outside the box, and figure out what you’d need in order for both of you to fucking win.  People whose relationships are going to last intuitively understand that, and what they call “compromise” isn’t “each kid gets half a cookie.”

Ms. Sheppard, this is supposed to be a joke, you dumbass.

My wife takes care of me.  She loves the fact that I love being brought a cup of coffee.  Yes, Virginia, you heard that right.  My wife makes and brings me coffee without irony.  And guess what?  She’s right to!  I kill the bugs!  And “wifing” involves taking care of your husband every bit as much as “husbanding” is, well, husbanding.  Mister Dictionary’s already got that one covered.  And men need taking care of.  Chances are, no matter how strong, wise, effective, pick his “adjectives that complement her weaker points and help both of you to live better” strengths, the price of having 40% extra skeletomuscular mass is that he’s almost certain to croak and leave you lonely for a decade before you die yourself.  Brutal truth, but there it is.  Your man is very likely to have less time on this earth than you will, if only because of biology.  Now add a little socioeconomical trivia: who works in the vast majority of the dangerous occupations where you can be killed dead as a doornail just because of a random-ass mechanical failure?

Scentsy this ain’t, boys and girls.

Now, does that mean that the woman should have to come along and wipe the guy’s ass all the time?  Fuck no.  That’s the sign of a guy who’s being a shit husband.  But who’s gotta be Johnny-on-the-spot with the drugs and chicken soup when your spouse gets sick?  Yeah, pretty basic there, isn’t it?  The woman wants the man to be a kick-ass husband.  The man wants the woman to be a kick-ass wife (speaking heteronormatively here, but the principle holds true, just change the pronouns).  Being a kick-ass spouse means dedicating your life, for however many decades that happens to be, to another person, and giving every bit of yourself to that person.

What’s the chance that a woman who’ll string a guy along based on the aesthetic qualities of his marriage proposal is going to dedicate herself to being a kick-ass wife?

::cricket noises::

Yeah.  None.

Run, dude, run.

(fn)Yes, I used an intentionally-offensive word.  You were warned.  I’m perfectly equal-opportunity where disdain for moral reprobates of the male sex are concerned, too; witness here.  We reserve these words from polite usage because, as the Cistercian monk in combat boots taught me, the purpose of profanity is to shock, and to express that a situation has sufficient gravity to justify the deployment of said shock.  This is why “fucking” and “damned” are not profanity in the Marine Corps…. but “I can’t do it” is.

Progressivism: Ideology vs Strategy

Sarah Hoyt’s musing about Progressivism and its fellow travellers again.  That’s music to my ears, given my continual thoughts regarding Liberalism 5.0.

One of the interesting things about Progressivism that even many of its current adherents don’t understand… sure, some of them were just commies. But a lot of them weren’t. They were systemic thinkers, some of them BRILLIANT systemic thinkers, using the best available tools of their day. But the average man and woman in the 1930s had a sixth-grade education. They were, literally, not as smart (not conflating education levels with intelligence, but the well-known historical rise in IQs over the twentieth century).  They were trying to figure out how to solve the rough edges of industrialism and make things better, safer, and more prosperous in a time when your average man on the street (not the dim-bulbs who inevitably wind up in t.v. news vox-pop) literally couldn’t pay the intellectual “price of admission” to understand many of the issues.  Think political slogans nowadays are stupid?  Political slogans in the 20s were kind of dumb, and by modern standards, so was your average human being.

Progressivism as originally applied (in the 1920s rather than the 30s) isn’t really an ideology.  Communism is an ideology.  Socialism is an ideology.  Progressivism is a STRATEGY. 

  1. Research the problem.
  2. Devise a bureaucratic solution to the problem. (or in business, a technical one)
  3. Publish the solution and market it to society.
  4. Legislate the adoption of the solution.

Get the politically-disinterested technocrats running as many things as they can, to keep inane machine politics out of it so that you know the elevator inspector actually knows how to inspect an elevator, rather than just being the mayor’s shiftless nephew.

That is, quite obviously, not my cup of tea.  I’m libertarian, and in a world that wasn’t carrying all the stupidity and historical baggage of this one, would be an anarcho-capitalist (but that’s unsustainable on Earth, because most of its cultures regard it as absolute anathema.  On the High Frontier, maybe that will work better). But it’s completely defensible. The problem with the folks who want to turn back the clock is not that Progressivism is “wrong.” It’s no more wrong than feudalism: under the right circumstances, feudalism can make a comeback and be the perfect tool for the job. But right now, feudalism and progressivism are *outdated.* The tools have evolved, and bureacracies centralizing decision-making power is a quick way to wreck things rather than sustain them, because we’ve outgrown a system that can prosper under that sort of decision-making.  Cumbersome, unwieldy bureacracies were a “killer app” a hundred years ago:  today they’re a synonym for failure.

Though the 20th century probably had better music.

 Mercantilism once sounded like a good idea, too. Japan and now China have tried to ride high on that horse, but eventually, the mercantilists, physiocrats, etcetera, all discover that these ideas “kick superficial ass.” China’s survival won’t be predicated on beating the band as a world exporter (and China’s currency won’t be the global reserve, either: *no* heavy exporter can hold the reserve currency); it will be predicated on sustaining a domestic market, and satisfying all those individual demands that are currently suffocating under a blanket of literal and metaphorical smog brought on by bad governance and outdated intellectual tools.  “Progressives” are not Progressives.  “Progressives” are like people devoted to scientism: they have an emotional attachment to the tools and strategy of Progressivism, rather than a dedication to the safety and prosperity that Progressivism was intended to achieve.

Progressivism isn’t wrong, per se.  But the human race has simply outgrown it.  We no longer live in a world where a few experts swim in a sea of  uneducated masses.  Seriously:  check out what the bright bulbs are figuring that your grandkids need to be able to do (helpful hint: it’s not 19th-century-style Prussian factory-education dominated by rote memorization).  Trying to shove humanity back into the box of the 1920s and 1930s makes a lot of sense for the communists and other control freaks who suffer from anthropophobia and want to tell you that they own your children…but for the rest of us, the notion that Progressivism is going to have another heyday is simply silly.

Silly ideologues.  The map is not the terrain, the tool is not the appliance, and the strategy is not the game.

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