double standard bullshit // kinan jarjous

Double Standard Bullshit

It’s easy to tell from the title that I am bottled up with thoughts, right? I have a *lot* on my mind and, quite frankly, at the moment I don’t feel quite the diplomatic, complacent self that I am. So this post is not about protecting someone’s ego at the expense of mine.

And here’s the first example of double standards, coming from yours truly:

The content of this post is a personal opinion of mine and not a reflection of any bloody entity I have worked in, working in, will work in, studied in, serviced, or been serviced by, sexually or otherwise, metaphorically or in the literal sense, in this life or the next, in my dreams, be they wet or dry, real or fictional, in any country on this planet, terrestrial, aquatic, aerial or virtual.

Now on to the main point: WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE DOUBLE STANDARDS?! (including – but definitely not starting – with myself)

Here’s a prime example I have been experiencing since I lost my job in 2009: Almost every company I apply to is seeking a professional candidate (side note: please drop these stupid terminologies, HR) with a myriad of impossibly complex skills to perform tasks that a well trained monkey will be able to perform, eventually. Most notably are soft-skills such as your amazing ability to motivate yourself to move forward while the company closes all doors of hope in your face and subjects you to endless psychosomatic torture.

So the interview goes smoothly for a few minutes before the interviewer’s eyes widen at the blasphemous text which claims I am studying Masters. “Oh, you’re studying,” remarks the now-doubtful interviewer, “how will this affect your working hours and commitment?”

Seriously? You seek a person who is self-learning, self-improving, multi-talented, multi-tasking, multi-anus, and instead of commending their pursuit of self-everything you start questioning business impact? How about you change attitude and say “Oh wow, that is impressive. We would certainly put your skills into good use in improving how we conduct our work and bring in fresh insights to our dinosaur of an organisation.” A couple of friends abroad tell, and some here (from Abu Dhabi) tell me that their companies pay their tuition as an incentive to continue their education.

I lost count of the number of times me and my friends have been rejected or put on the sideline because we are trying to better ourselves.

If you just want to meet your bottom lines, then change the job descriptions and change your screening criteria. If you want competent people who have the potential of doing things differently or better – whether or not they eventually do so – then be more receptive.

I am not kissing ass here but I am glad my boss has so far been receptive.

Now, moving on: WHY THE HECK IS EDUCATION DOUBLE STANDARD? It feels as though the mediocrity of education is directly proportional to your investment. Wikipedia is the most comprehensive school you can ever find – and it’s free. I am not undermining formal education of course – but at least provide a service that is equivalent of how much money I am investing. The frustrations I have towards my college is enough to warrant a cardiac arrest; in fact, I probably will just drop dead on my graduation day – which, by the way, has been pushed six months because of a course offered only once a year (which is ridiculous considering it is a foundation course).

There is just so much I have to say – companies and brands which force their employees to only use their products (examples are cigarette companies and soft drink companies and probably condom companies). Brand loyalty? Through chronic exposure? Or how about companies which claim to be pro-free-speech and support global causes (such as uprisings and the such) yet at the same time ask you to remove any remarks made about clients? Are we now instruments to our organisations that we cannot voice our own opinions without consent? The same companies whose employees tweet and post about the backwardness of authoritarian rule will themselves practice such methods in their organisations.

I grow sick and mentally deranged every day as I read the same tired news all over the web, news outlets, and the only thing that’s noisier than a baby: twitter. So much bullshit going on and I have no idea what’s what any more. Almost everyone on this planet have become pawns and puppets of circumstances. The term “social media expert” has changed from “unemployed and tweeting” to “client bitch” instead of “on-line business enabler”. Whatever is “trending” or in the flow – everyone else flows the same way.

We are *all* striving to be unique and proudly exhibit our uniqueness yet we struggle with the sense of belonging with everyone else and become like everyone else. We all have different capacities in accepting/changing double standards around us – but the cardinal sin is to be in our own.

That’s how it has become post Web 2.0, and on some level I envy the “backwards” people who are content with the little things they have. At an era when reading a book has become a luxury, it is time to say no to bullshit.

  • Claudie

    Something must have really inspired you for this post. Well, I can only say one thing: you are right.

    To add to your post, I’ve got to say another thing which annoys me regarding Twitter (and which is applicable to Facebook as well) is how people mistake retweets or “likes” and joining support groups as actual action. Sure, they show some psychological support for the causes, but that’s all. Then, if they have to do anything more than to click (such as actually stopping on the street to sign a paper petition or such as attending a meeting), they just won’t do it.. They “care”, but not _that_ much.

    I think that’s similar to what you are saying about the companies. They want their employees to better themselves, but not to the extent of that potentially taking an hour from the time you’d spend for them. All of this reminds me of the favorite interview question: “What’s your greatest flaw?” We all know what they expect us to say, and they know we do, yet this question is still being asked.

    I know that won’t help much, but: stay strong, ignore the idiocracy around you, and just keep aiming at your goal. You’ll eventually defy
    those who keep their double standards.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Claudie – the only inspiration to this post is really my very long silence on many subject matters, which I am yet to write about. But since I was laid off in 2009 I have been applying left and right and the issue with my Masters degree always comes up. I simply fail to understand as to why they see it as an obstacle rather than something beneficial. I *can* understand that, perhaps, they worry I will ask for more money or display egotistical behaviours. Yet again I feel that most HR entities have little clue of what they’re doing.

    The main issue at hand is that people have become incredible bullshitters as time went on. With my little experience in life, I find it often difficult to maintain accelerated cognitive processes to comprehend all this noise and make something out of it. Which is why I have been, for the large part, disconnected recently and giving attention to the realities of life around me. Even then, there are a lot of things that don’t make sense – and yet everything is set to be the status quo and expected behaviour, which I find bemusing as at the same time people want to break from these very shackles.

  • Mich

    I’m with you! No to bullshit indeed!!!!!!! :-)

  • Anonymous

    Let’s celebrate with @legustav:twitter cupcakes!

  • Cheeseburger

    Wow. And I thought the anti-intellectual age was pretty much limited to the United States. Apparently not. But Kinan, I hear you.

    Though I’m not in a master’s program, I empathize with your frustration. My sheer terror of being on a huge corporate treadmill again is part of what paralyzes me in this whole career search. In the interim I’m preparing my mind to be complacent with a job that pays the bills while I restructure myself and my expectations.

    My experience with large companies is — and this has been demonstrated repeatedly over the years — that they dislike independent thought, they disparage individualism that doesn’t “play well with others,” and they dislike demonstration of intellect, good writing, detail orientation and, in general, anything that threatens the status quo or the fragile egos around them. (Reminds me of the Bush Administration). They report to shareholders first. Customers second. Employees third.

    There is something inherently wrong with that thinking. It should be exactly the other way around. There are a few companies that welcome it — Apple, Google and Intuit come to mind. What happened to respect for intellect? For the greater good? For humanity — as opposed to lining the pockets of people that have little interest in the welfare of others, and by that I mean institutional investor shareholders?

    There seems to be only room for ‘git ‘er done” when in fact the bureaucracy surrounding corporate “deadlines” is the most ridiculous moving target I’ve ever seen, particularly in information technology.

  • Anonymous

    Cheeseburger… I lost my train of thoughts as I am *really* craving a cheeseburger here! nom nom!

    Anyhoo – the anti-intellectual age is not limited to the United States simply because it is not necessarily an American thing. Individuals are varied in their interest to learn about different topics – that’s another subject altogether. Collectively, however, and especially in these difficult times (though the question that begs to be asked is: When is it NOT a difficult time?) people like to stick to the status-quo because it provides a sense of security.

    We have been nurtured through society (and, to be fair, genetically) to be social creatures, and as such it is important for us to feel wanted, loved, respected, or what-have-you with respect to our peers and to be acknowledged in a favourable manner. Therefore it is deductive that we carry this trait as we go around. Organisations differ (though my rant was focused on organisations, it is only a little piece of the puzzle) but the underlying premise is that there is always the fear of challenging the norm regardless of where you stand.

    The world is dysfunctional because it simply gives the illusion that everything is working normal. If anything, the current uprisings in this region – as well as the countless of labour strikes, writer’s guild strikes, or just about point in history where the status quo was challenged – just proves this theory.

  • Khaled Akbik

    Agreed. Good post.

  • Khaled Akbik

    Agreed, good post.