The Gross National Debt

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And you're an expert how?


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In my community there is a person who swears I am beyond an idiot and have no idea how to do my job. 

In case you wonder, I run a newspaper.

This person, who insists I'm clueless, once worked for a newspaper. This person was fired at the end of the probationary period.

Ah. Well, at least this person had SOME idea of what I go through each week in producing a newspaper.

Considering the semantic content, this person's complaints are universal. Which doesn't make sense.

Lemme put this in slightly more personal terms.

You do something, your job. I don't know what it is. I don't have to know. You do it.

Your job takes a certain set of skills, abilities and a few other things which you bring. The job has requirements you must meet. Etc.

Now, here I come. I have never done your job. I have only a vague idea of what it takes to do your job. All I see of your job is the public face. I do not know what you have to do where I cannot watch. Frankly, if I had to do your job, I wouldn't make it through the probationary period and might not last the first day.

"You," I say, "are an idiot and have no idea what you are doing."

You grind your teeth, mutter expletives under your breath and mentally question my sexual habits and ancestry.

You are mad, in other words, because here I come criticizing how you work and there's no way I could do your job.

Sound familiar? Truthfully, you can't count the number of times someone has told you that you are not fit to do your job. Reality is they are the ones who are clueless.

Lean in a bit closer.

How many times have you gone off on someone about how they do their job when you really don't understand what they do and how it has to be done?

How many times have you bitched about law enforcement? How much do you know about their training, the liability they face, the paperwork they have to do, the restrictions they work under and - lean in close again - the idiots they have to deal with on a daily basis?

How many times have you bitched about government spending too much and you have no idea what's in the budget? Do you even know how much real control elected officials have over the budget? When government plans to cut programs and services, how much complaining do you do?

How much do you really know about what it takes to be a full time reporter? Ever sat down and tried to read a file of foot-thick government reports?

How much real experience do you have in running a retail store? Ever filled out monthly sales tax reports? Quarterly income tax reports? Dealt with a wholesale supply company?

What do you really know about the RN does in a hospital? Are you willing to wipe backsides, listen to people scream in pain, watch people die knowing there's nothing you can do, and have to coddle people whom you believe are a waste of good oxygen?

I cover high school sports and often hear parents and other adults on the sidelines screaming at the coach. I have, a number of times, turned to them and said "If you think you can do better, go to college, get a teaching degree, learn to become a coach and apply for the job." I get yelled at in return, but I am right.

My point today is, it's easy to complain but incredibly hard to intelligently and rationally criticize. So, the next time someone goes off on you about how inefficient and ineffective you are at your job, remember you do the same thing to them.



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