Friday, September 4, 2009

The Problem Is Obvious -- But The Solution Is Three Years Away

Back in the olden, not-so-golden days of my corporate servitude, I played midwife to an aging generation of managers who were forced to enter the world of technology as I computerized their retail lumber stores.  It was a grim project as 1) they were all men over 40;  2) they were old-school lumbermen, macho dudes who chewed tobacco and used redwood logs for toothpicks;  3) they were techno-babies who couldn't type, spell, or click a mouse, and God forbid they learn the logic of a rudimentary product numbering system;  and 4) they resented the hell out of this smart-ass bitch woman who actually thought she knew something.

That thankless project took four years to accomplish  -- four years that came directly off my lifespan, by the way.  Ultimately the computer gods required a sacrificial lamb -- me -- who quit at the end of the project, blood pressure soaring, mind turning to mush and absolutely determined to never again work for or with anyone remotely resembling a male human.

I did learn one important fact, though:  You can't work beyond your level of competence for long without drowning in your own failure and bringing down everyone around you. 

Each manager of those seven retail outlets (gross income in the mid-eight figures annually) was unprepared, inexperienced and unqualified for the job he held.  They had all attained their positions through political maneuvering and expert ass-kissing.  Once established at the top of their individual food chain, they completely relied on corporate managers who did the tough parts of their job for them -- including all of their thinking. The only thing these uber-woodsmen did for themselves was sign their big, fat bonus checks.

The single asset these goofballs brought to the table was their ability to slap backs, wine, dine and grease the customer.  (I had an earlier theory that their elevated management status was due to each harboring a penis in his pants, but that's another blog.)

As it turned out, none of those managers (or their corporate counterparts) was able to make  informed, tough and correct decisions when hard times struck in the form of stiff big-box competition, a slowing building trend and stringent environmental regulations.  One by one they teetered and dropped off the pinnacle of their meager success, never to be heard from again.  That particular company is 100% different from what it was 15 years ago.

So what's my point?  This article by Charles Krauthammer details the many ways President Obamarama has been swimming in deep water ever since his coronation inauguration.  It's a classic example of what I observed so closely in that former life -- a person in power battered by the flotsam and jetsam of uninformed, bad decisions, drowning in his incompetence -- and just possibly sinking the Ship of State with him. 

Note:  If you're asked to register to read the Krauthammer article from the Washington Post, don't hesitate.  Registration is free and you're not obligated in any way, nor do you receive any annoying email.

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