Saturday, April 08, 2006

Suicide by Blog

I think I may have lost a job opportunity as a result of this blog. (Either that, or they found that porn flick I did back when I was young and needed money).

Either's disappointing. I also happened to read an article in U.S. News where blogs are costing professors their tenure and graduates their job offers. So I can take solace (if not income) from the fact that I'm not alone.

What I take away from this event is that employers (some, anyway) would prefer the devil they don't know to the devil they do. In other words, the less they know about someone's personal life or beliefs, the more comfortable they are in hiring the person.

Here's what I've found out about people over time:

  a) everybody has issues

  b) everybody has parts of their life they'd prefer to keep separate from other parts

  c) everybody is a freak (in some way or another that somebody else out there would characterize as "weird")

  d) most people don't like someone very different than themselves

I imagine the reason that large corporations are able to function (to the extent that they do) with all these freaks working for them is that most people really don't know their coworkers very well. "Personal" life translates to "Secret" life. And ignorance is bliss. "If I don't know that your beliefs and actions outside of work offend some deeply held prejudice of mine, then I can work with you just fine. But if I do know, well, I just can't look at you - or work with you - the same way again."

I guess I'm just going to have to start my own company again. For a couple reasons.

  1) So we can have more employers that respect (even admire) people who aren't mundane; and

  2) So I can eventually have an income again.

UPDATE: I received an email from a friend asking what's probably the obvious question - "Why don't you just take down your blog for now?"

I thought about it, but have reached a point in my life where I no longer want to work with, or subsume my values to, a group of people who don't value vigorous intellectual debate and diversity of opinion. Not only is that environment unattractive, but I've been at enough companies to recognize that those groups will never do more than "B-team" work. Mediocrity becomes the watchword of the company.

So in a sense, this blog will continue to serve as another self-selecting filter in my life - attracting those of wide interests who like a good argument, and repelling those who seek only others who match and echo their own beliefs.

I may end up moving into a double wide, but hey, at least I'll have my principles... :-)


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