Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Self Absorbed Society is A Weird Society

By Rich Kozlovich

For a number of years I’ve had an acquaintance who I'm going to call Jacquelyn,  and if you foolishly and unknowingly called her Jackie she would regally raise herself up and declare, "My name is Jacquelyn!"   Of course that’s all I needed to know and it was Jackie from that time on. 

Naturally those of that ilk take umbrage at what they feel is a lack of formality and respect for their dignity, which pretty much makes me gag.  Finally I agreed she was right and I told her I would call her by her proper name if she did likewise with me.  She looked a bit surprised and said, “I thought your name was Richard.”  Oh…but the way…..she didn’t call me Rich she called me Richard.   I said it was, but then I raised myself up regally and announced I want to be addressed by my full and appropriate name which is, “Your Royal Highness Kozhilo the Magnificent, Crown Prince of Serbia!  "Since formality was what we we’re striving for - that’s how I want to be addressed".  She haughtily refused and I said – "well -  that’s ok Jackie, I understand"!  Oh, by the way – there really is a Crown Prince of Serbia….but I’m not him.   But that’s the point about pretentiousness – it's all baloney in attempt to make oneself higher by deminishing others!

What is it with these people?  The men I’ve met who acted in this pretentious manner were not only absolute jerks, (there’s an adjective that’s more fitting to describe them but this is a family publication) they were largely incompetent.  I suspect the reason for their incompetence was their egos were so large there wasn’t any room for anything else.   I wish I could follow their lives to see how many are divorced…and how many times.  I also wonder if these pretentious displays aren’t in reality a way of hiding their fears and inadequacies, and can only do that by deminishing those around them. 

Which brings me to another issue.  Use of first names between colleagues. 
Years ago before they closed all the Woolworths stores, I had most of those stores here in the Cleveland area as accounts.  They had a company policy for mangers that required everyone to address every manager as Mr., Miss or Mrs.  And the managers were required to addresses each other in that manner.  Woolworths had an excellent manager training program that took years to complete before you could be a Store Manager.  A Woolworths Store Manager could walk into any retail operation and run it effectively after having gone through the program.  At Woolworths the Store Manager was the boss!  If the District Manager for the food operation came in his store and gave him a hard time the store manager could kick him out, and I saw it happen.  He had to go to the overall District Manger to get back in.  In Woolworths the Store Manager was the boss!   However, that doesn’t address this issue of first name informality between colleagues because this was company policy. 

I prefer the informality of first names, shorted names and nicknames, and at my age no one takes exception with that any longer.  When I was young I always addressed older people formally, as they were always the exception.  I’ve always addressed my bosses by their first name and that was normal wherever I worked.   In no way did that seem to diminish them.  Addressing good bosses informally doesn’t make them any more or less effective as managers.  A bad manager addressed formally is a still a bad manager.  
That doesn’t work in the military because the military is a life and death culture requiring discipline and a separation between ranks in order to be effective and maintain discipline, and that includes fraternization between ranks.  That’s a good policy in business to a large degree.  If a boss over socializes with his employees there will be consequences. 

I eat breakfast occasionally at one of my accounts, which is a restaurant bar that’s been in business for three generations.  Locals have patronized them for four generations.  One of the bar maids used to work at a local factory whose employees would eat and drink there in the evening.  She lost her job because her boss came up there with his employees to celebrate something one evening and – after imbibing on some intoxicating beverage - she told him what she thought of his operation.  He fired her later on.  And although he had grounds, she felt he could have taken a lesser course of action rather than firing her.  Basically she was outraged that he had the temerity to do such a thing since she didn’t humiliate him on company time.  She humiliated him on her own personal time in front of his employees,  so she felt she had the right to do and say what she pleased.  Well, that may be an accurate description of events……but…..that was stupid!  It’s clear – booze and the boss don’t mix, and there’s a price to be paid for stupidity!  
However, one of the things I’ve observed over the years is that informality doesn’t diminish a good boss if that boss is a good manager, and less so if he’s a good leader.  But no manager - good or bad - will forget or forgive public humiliation.  That's not informality.  That's a personal attack!

One of my favorite writers is Walter E. Williams.  He recently published a tongue in cheek article, You Are What You Say You Are about Rachel A. Dolezal, who recently resigned as president of the Spokane, Washington NAACP because she claimed she was black in spite of the fact both of her parents were white.  No matter which way you come down on this someone will call you a “racist”. 

Williams points out the trend is for people to claim they're trapped in the wrong body, because on the inside they’re something other than the appearance of their bodies.  Like Bruce Jenner, who we once thought was the world’s greatest athlete.  Little did we know there was a blithering idiot trapped in the body of a great athlete that just couldn’t wait to break out.  Now everyone has to call him Caitlyn and address him as her.  That goes far beyond pretention - it’s loony – and society is accepting it.  In psychology the medical term for this is gender dysphoria.  Dysphoria means their unhappy.  Wow….how unhappy can a man be that he has an operation that makes him an irreparably mutilated man who looks like a woman?  But if you say they need pshchological help – which was the standard for decades – you’re called a “homophobe”.  In reality Bruce is in for a real lesson in unhappiness. 

Once loonieness is unleashed it never stops, and loonieness gets even loonier.  It's like opening a Pandor's box and releasing all the evils of the world. 

Williams says, “There is a condition known as species dysphoria……[when] people think they are animals trapped in human bodies.”  He goes on to say, “I've been giving this option some serious thought. I've been thinking of calling myself a springbok trapped in a human body.  Some people might argue that I would be in need of psychological treatment. I'd dismiss such a claim as being “animalphobic”.  

And why would he consider such a thing? He says he “would be doing it for personal gain, just as Rachel Dolezal and Elizabeth Warren benefited by pretending they were of another race. I'd be doing it for tax reasons. I've read a considerable amount of the Internal Revenue Code. It says nothing about wild animals having a federal tax obligation. Were government officials to demand that I, as a springbok, pay taxes, I'd report them to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.” (Note: Remember this is tongue in cheek)

An abandonment of proper values, delusion and pretentiousness can cause society to develop a serious case of "weird"!   Is it any wonder western societies are crumbling all over the world? 

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