October 5th, 2010

Snarky Candiru2

The Pointy-Haired Lord of Misrule.

It's sort of difficult for the characters of a work of fiction to either ineffectually rail against or insidiously exploit the folly, waste and incompetence that they encounter without it taking human form; to that end, Adams has given the world an avatar for the self-centered, malicious, ignorant ineptitude that serves to derail any attempt to make things better: the Pointy-Haired Boss. The man doesn't have a name because, as Adams said, it's easier to think of him as a personification of a social ill than as a person. This pernicious and persistent limiting factor of the business world is the systematic promotion of the least effective people to positions of authority. We've spent twenty years watching this self-absorbed, ignorant and callous jerk think that racing around spouting buzzwords that his tiny brain can't understand gives him the right to inflict his worthless opinion on the able; the problem is that his low, animal cunning and ability to grovel to higher-paid bottom feeders lets him get away with it. I personally blame whatever charlatan first came up with the MBA degree; back when a manager was simply the most senior of a group of whatever, we didn't have to deal with nonsense like team building exercises or irrational nonsense about how the human soul can be reduced to a chart with lines in blue and red ink. As long as people believe that leadership can be taught to the merest human instrument (a belief as unbelievable as the idea that it can be passed down genetically from father to son), we'll continue to have Enrons and AIGs.