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Imposter syndrome - prevalence in your industry? and the Degradation of learning institutions.

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posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 01:08 PM
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I didn't even know that there was a name for this "condition" a year or so ago. For those that don't know what it is, it's when someone goes to work in an industry and they start to doubt their abilities and feel that they don't really know what they are doing, or feel that they aren't doing as well as they should, or are providing the services to the level that they should be. This is a MAJOR problem for a lot of people in a lot of industries, especially, IMO, in the more technical fields as there is often SO much information to know that it is almost impossible for one person (especially a person just starting out) to know all of it and as they learn how much they actually don't know, they start to question their own education.

The problem is compounded b/c there are A LOT (probably more) imposters than there are people with this condition, and these imposters often BS their way through much of their work, pass of their mistakes on people who actually know what they are doing (often b/c of rank/position/time at company), take credit for the work of those who actually know what they are doing, and basically make a mess that others are often blamed for. This happens in the tech field (IT largely) when an inadequate solution is implemented for something and then those lower on the command chain, or those who come in later, have to make excuses for why it isn't working or performing correctly and the good worker (who might have imposter syndrome) is ridiculed by management for not providing quality services - management often will not listen that they made a mistake in trusting the previous imposter and that they made bad decisions implementing the previous tech - which creates a downward spiral.

I repeatedly had this issue for years b/c I was always working with people 10-30 years my senior in IT (who came to the position temporarily from a non-related field & never left) and many times I was just in awe of the decisions they made - they obviously hadn't kept up or knew much of modern tech, industry standards or proper procedures but as a new hire I always had to follow along with the traditional ways of the company even though they were being implemented by someone who "learned on the job/on the fly" with no real IT training or background. Basically band-aids in place of real solutions over and over for years/decades and it would often require a near 100% company wide redesign of IT to make things right.

I found that this syndrome also infects people in engineering fields, Chemistry, biology, pharmacology, medicine - basically the STEM fields. I think we have our higher educational institutions to thank for this - the diploma mills of once renowned universities, colleges and tech schools who sold out their morals/integrity to push through people who never belonged there to begin with - usually for $. This started with affirmative action and quotas for women - in order to be eligible for state or federal $ - and they were forced to accept people who didn't have the ability (and very often desire) to be in that field, but they were "sold" the field telling them they'd make $XXXX. Much of it wasn't the student's fault and many didn't even know they weren't being taught what they really needed to know. They didn't know the standards had been dropped by 20-50% (YES up to 50% from prior years in some fields!) in what was being taught, the depth of the education, etc. The problem is that it doesn't just infect the people who didn't have the aptitude to begin with, it brings down the entire class/program (and thus industry eventually).

So when these people get out into the field, unless they already had the aptitude and desire to seek outside education beyond the program, they will often find themselves (especially those who barely graduated) in the position of being a true imposter while having the un-earned ego of having a diploma/degree in the field and this, IMO, is the source of imposter's. Now then you have these imposters who think they know what to do and they mess up everything for those who really know what to do - and again with affirmative action and quotas, we are left with people who have a skewed view of what it really means to be a professional in an industry. (note - there are MANY people who didn't get in b/c of AA/quotas in the same position - them being imposters as well. Don't think I'm singling AA/women out.)

Then you have people who had the aptitude for the program, they realize how much is not being taught and they seek outside education (which should never have to be done at Uni/college) to bolster the fields which are lacking in the program. Some of these people make out very well b/c they are heads and shoulders above their class mates, but then you have the rest that often find themselves having to report to people who were the "benefactors" (IMO, victims ultimately) of AA/quotas, who didn't go that extra mile in college (read imposters) and they make life h3ll for others and often the entire company. These people often start second guessing their ability b/c they see others who don't know as much in higher positions, passing off blame and mistakes on them - which quickly erodes their confidence in their abilities. Many people get so beaten down by the constant belittlement by their "superiors" and start to think they really are at fault but it is these true imposters/"superiors" which are at fault but they have been taught for the last 40-60 years that THEY could never be wrong or at fault, society has wronged them for so long and now they ar finally equal and have the abilities which have been withheld for centuries.


This issue is only going to get worse, from my point of view, until both high schools and colleges implement stronger testing procedures and entry qualifications. They need to find a better way to test people during studies - ensure people can't cheat and find a more comprehensive manner to test people before they are issued a diploma. It HAS to start with institutions having integrity in their admissions programs and curriculum otherwise there will be a downward spiral in industry and society until these factors are implemented.

This issue effects EVERY aspect of life/society, lowering the quality of service offered in every business and industry. Sure there are people who are top of their fields, but there are now more people so unqualified that they shouldn't even be in a college program and they are running departments. As incompetence grows, society falls.
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posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I see it all around me every day.

And yea, its going to get a lot worse. Look at the Boeing debacle with the 737 Max; and the fix isn't really a fix and the grounding has been extended to September. And I would never crawl on one.

And if you flew today, who was flying the airplane? The Pilot or the computer. And has the "Pilot" ever really flown a real airplane on their own without the aid of a computer.

And don't get me started on the medical field. Its an joke in and to itself.

I give it maybe 30 years before the US has a series of Nuclear Power plant accidents that force all of them to be shut-down except they'll have to bring in foreign experts to shut the plants down without blowing them up.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 01:30 PM
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originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I see it all around me every day.

And yea, its going to get a lot worse. Look at the Boeing debacle with the 737 Max; and the fix isn't really a fix and the grounding has been extended to September. And I would never crawl on one.

And if you flew today, who was flying the airplane? The Pilot or the computer. And has the "Pilot" ever really flown a real airplane on their own without the aid of a computer.

And don't get me started on the medical field. Its an joke in and to itself.

I give it maybe 30 years before the US has a series of Nuclear Power plant accidents that force all of them to be shut-down except they'll have to bring in foreign experts to shut the plants down without blowing them up.


You should watch this video and read the comments - it is HORRIFYING. It is about the once great public hospitals in South Africa which have degraded into 3rd world Sholes - literally. Sewage overflowing, feces in the ER/ ICU floor/walls, random blood on walls, floors, ceiling and WORSE. Whites are actively discriminated against, with patients often told "we'll get you" by some of the nurses before going into surgery (whether it is just to scare them or not - that is terrifying to think while you are 100% helpless!). I know SA is a unique situation, but is is a peak into the future of what the US could devolve into if people don't start taking responsibility for themselves in their professional and "moral" aspects.


Look for the comment by David Daivdson on the next video, you'll have to "load more comments". I was reading it and thought he was describing a hospital in SA, but to my total SHOCK, he was describing the NHS in England! It was so bad that I thought it HAD to have been in SA, but no, it's due to the NHS and "other" issues in that country.







posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 01:30 PM
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originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I see it all around me every day.

And yea, its going to get a lot worse. Look at the Boeing debacle with the 737 Max; and the fix isn't really a fix and the grounding has been extended to September. And I would never crawl on one.

And if you flew today, who was flying the airplane? The Pilot or the computer. And has the "Pilot" ever really flown a real airplane on their own without the aid of a computer.

And don't get me started on the medical field. Its an joke in and to itself.

I give it maybe 30 years before the US has a series of Nuclear Power plant accidents that force all of them to be shut-down except they'll have to bring in foreign experts to shut the plants down without blowing them up.


You should watch this video and read the comments - it is HORRIFYING. It is about the once great public hospitals in South Africa which have degraded into 3rd world Sholes - literally. Sewage overflowing, feces in the ER/ ICU floor/walls, random blood on walls, floors, ceiling and WORSE. Whites are actively discriminated against, with patients often told "we'll get you" by some of the nurses before going into surgery (whether it is just to scare them or not - that is terrifying to think while you are 100% helpless!). I know SA is a unique situation, but is is a peak into the future of what the US could devolve into if people don't start taking responsibility for themselves in their professional and "moral" aspects.


Look for the comment by David Daivdson on the next video, you'll have to "load more comments". I was reading it and thought he was describing a hospital in SA, but to my total SHOCK, he was describing the NHS in England! It was so bad that I thought it HAD to have been in SA, but no, it's due to the NHS and "other" issues in that country.







posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 01:45 PM
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originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I see it all around me every day.

And yea, its going to get a lot worse. Look at the Boeing debacle with the 737 Max; and the fix isn't really a fix and the grounding has been extended to September. And I would never crawl on one.

And if you flew today, who was flying the airplane? The Pilot or the computer. And has the "Pilot" ever really flown a real airplane on their own without the aid of a computer.

And don't get me started on the medical field. Its an joke in and to itself.

I give it maybe 30 years before the US has a series of Nuclear Power plant accidents that force all of them to be shut-down except they'll have to bring in foreign experts to shut the plants down without blowing them up.


I missed the last part. I don't think that is very likely - the US nuclear issue - to be honest. I used to feel the same way but the more I looked into it the more I think this is less likely to be an issue. I may be naive or overly optimistic (and I was totally pessimistic about it before b/c I grew up near TMI & at the time of the "issue" - so it played a BIG role in my thoughts about nuclear). As long as corporate greed doesn't interfere too much with this, which I hope maybe Congress can provide more/better oversight requirements in this industry in the near future.

I think doing more research, lots of people researching nuclear issues, with disclosure on the internet and spreading information, we might be able to push for better oversight and it would be much more difficult for these corporations to hide what they are doing, suppress information, etc. Also with whistleblower protection laws being better now (even having them now..) I think and hope that people will be more likely to speak out about issues they see as major problems not only in this industry but in all industries.

This whole topic relates to whistleblower's in some manner as as I said before the level of incompetence seems high and people have been scared to speak out against their employers before for fear of reprisal. Now we need to PUBLICLY support people who come forward, champion their cause and exalt their bravery. I think people really underestimate the amount of bravery and integrity it takes for people to "blow the whistle" and potentially end up with lawsuits, loosing their livelyhood, etc. I think we need a thread on this issue alone and bring awareness to this issue, how it should be handled and how people in society need to recognize these people for the hero's they are. We don't have flying men/women or the "dark knight" to save us - we have your average joe/jane who can step up and tell the world when things are being hidden/done wrong and these are the real hero's we have in today's society and they do not get the respect and recognition they deserve - and it is the MSM and big corporations we have to blame for this issue facing whistleblowers. Enemy of the people - for sure.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 01:55 PM
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originally posted by: DigginFoTroof


I missed the last part. I don't think that is very likely - the US nuclear issue - to be honest. I used to feel the same way but the more I looked into it the more I think this is less likely to be an issue. I may be naive or overly optimistic (and I was totally pessimistic about it before b/c I grew up near TMI & at the time of the "issue" - so it played a BIG role in my thoughts about nuclear). As long as corporate greed doesn't interfere too much with this, which I hope maybe Congress can provide more/better oversight requirements in this industry in the near future.


I personally saw this in the 80s, with one of the final nuke plants to come on line in the southern US.

They brought the plant online for the first time, and it threatens to go to China. So they called in an 18th level engineer. They told him they'd pay him a million bucks if he could get it online by sundown. He actually drove to the plant in his car. He determined within an hour that a key pump in the cooling system had been installed.... backwards.

He went out to his car, and with tools in his trunk, took the pump offline and re-installed it correctly, saving the day.

They told him they weren't going to pay him a penny, because it had been "too easy." They said he should sue, and he would win after about 3-5 years of litigation. In the meantime, their financial department would make a third of that in profit while playing the markets with the money they had promised him. And his attorney would get the balance anyway....

True story, facts changed to protect the competent.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 02:16 PM
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originally posted by: Graysen

originally posted by: DigginFoTroof


I missed the last part. I don't think that is very likely - the US nuclear issue - to be honest. I used to feel the same way but the more I looked into it the more I think this is less likely to be an issue. I may be naive or overly optimistic (and I was totally pessimistic about it before b/c I grew up near TMI & at the time of the "issue" - so it played a BIG role in my thoughts about nuclear). As long as corporate greed doesn't interfere too much with this, which I hope maybe Congress can provide more/better oversight requirements in this industry in the near future.


I personally saw this in the 80s, with one of the final nuke plants to come on line in the southern US.

They brought the plant online for the first time, and it threatens to go to China. So they called in an 18th level engineer. They told him they'd pay him a million bucks if he could get it online by sundown. He actually drove to the plant in his car. He determined within an hour that a key pump in the cooling system had been installed.... backwards.

He went out to his car, and with tools in his trunk, took the pump offline and re-installed it correctly, saving the day.

They told him they weren't going to pay him a penny, because it had been "too easy." They said he should sue, and he would win after about 3-5 years of litigation. In the meantime, their financial department would make a third of that in profit while playing the markets with the money they had promised him. And his attorney would get the balance anyway....

True story, facts changed to protect the competent.


That makes my blood boil. I had similar experience myself, finding major problems that were ridiculously stupid (like wifi not working for over 5 years b/c antenna unplugged) and I think their own incompetence (STUPIDITY) made them embarrassed to live up to their bargain. IDK how 10+ people didn't catch that in 5 years, especially when they "checked it" so many times. People just lie at work too much or don't know what to do.

I just read about a similar class action lawsuit that was in the billions ($1.2 I think??) and it went on for like 5-7 years and the attorneys got 40% fee for winning + "expenses" which turned out to be about 75-80% of the total. The plaintiffs ended up getting a pittance for loss of families, incomes and life. While I hate lawyers, they are a necessary evil but I don't agree with how much they can make in these cases. There needs to be some reform in this category.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 02:26 PM
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the engineer in the story I described actually had the last laugh.

He found a lawyer that was already suing the nukecorp with several simultaneous actions, and took his case for about a quarter of the proceeds, rather than 40%. Engineer had kept the fax with the million bux offer, and had a witness to them saying to go ahead and sue. The judge didn't like their attitude, and the case was closed out in less than a year, and engineer netted 2/3 of what he'd originally been promised.

and Engineer got the last laugh; because based on his excellent and speedy work, he got hired by a certain regulatory agency to inspect such plants nation-wide, and eventually became the inspector of all of nukecorp's facilities.... and then joined a certain international agency before ultimately taking his consulting firm global...

His favorite saying was, "if you are even barely competent, you will eventually end up running the world."



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 02:37 PM
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originally posted by: Graysen
the engineer in the story I described actually had the last laugh.

He found a lawyer that was already suing the nukecorp with several simultaneous actions, and took his case for about a quarter of the proceeds, rather than 40%. Engineer had kept the fax with the million bux offer, and had a witness to them saying to go ahead and sue. The judge didn't like their attitude, and the case was closed out in less than a year, and engineer netted 2/3 of what he'd originally been promised.

and Engineer got the last laugh; because based on his excellent and speedy work, he got hired by a certain regulatory agency to inspect such plants nation-wide, and eventually became the inspector of all of nukecorp's facilities.... and then joined a certain international agency before ultimately taking his consulting firm global...

His favorite saying was, "if you are even barely competent, you will eventually end up running the world."


Wow, I'm happy for this person! I have to disagree with his statement though. There is much more to your job than competence, which was the point of this thread. You could be the best person in the world, but if you are low on the totem pole in "rank", then your competence matters not. It takes someone who recognizes your competence to take advantage of it and THAT is just about as important, if not as important as being competent in technical fields. Having a leader who recognizes when someone around them is better than them and can elevate them in position, is what makes them a successful company/nation. That is what Trump supposedly does, finds those who have skills in positions and tries to leverage their abilities.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 02:50 PM
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A lot of people coming out of college believe they know more than they do. When they get on the job they find that they were not prepared for the real world, college does not give a person on the job experience. Experience that gives a person the ability to apply knowledge outside of the way they are taught.

Those who actually admit they are not yet experienced are better than those who decieve people to think they know more. What you are saying is true OP. Some people mess things up then pass the buck to someone else. Those people will try to hide their inexperience or mess ups and hurt their coworkers or bosses. I have seen this done many times in my life by people.

I made my mistakes and most always fessed up to them, it actually made me more accepted by my peers and bosses than hiding my mistakes. It actually helped me succeed in life because I got helped more by the people who were experts in the field. I was honest and they saw I was worthy of training. I appreciate all the help I got from hundreds of people throughout my life in learning how to do most of what I know. I have mastered many professions over the year, I love to learn new things.

I also thank those who funded the research and did the research that I have been analyzing for a decade now. I just hope that someday I will be able to evaluate this research and properly supply it to those who need the benefit. I may not be able to work for a living anymore, but I still can learn. I wanted to choose something to research that would benefit people so I started to study food chemistry and pharmacology and am trying to evaluate how to properly diagnose and prescribe alterations in diet to match symptoms to stop progression of diseases. I learn from others, I thank those who give me knowledge in my quest to master this new project.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 02:50 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

You got it half right.

The problem isn't so much with imposters as it is with an artificial emphasis on education which, as you correctly note, has fallen WAY off in quality. This, over real world experience.

So businesses promote people with little to no experience because they have some piece of paper over people who are highly skilled in the sector but don't have the paper. This leads to infectious negative morale issues. Fifty years ago this practice might have been somewhat understandable with the higher quality of education, but not now when degrees are handed out like candy on Halloween.

I tell the following story often...

Two years ago I interviewed a candidate for an electrical engineering position, and this individual couldn't write a complete sentence, didnt understand basic electrical fundamentals and couldn't even speak professionally. Sadly, I would interview almost a dozen more who were similarly challenged. All of them had electrical engineering degrees!!

I wound up hiring a master electrician from the controls sector without a degree and have been stunned by what this guy can do ever since. Oh, and he can write well and speak.

Therein lie the problem.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 02:54 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Better oversight?!

What makes you think the regulators know anymore about it than the people who work with it?

Honestly, my husband has a long career in regulatory, and the ignorance he deals with from regulators is shocking.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Agreed. And, companies tend to put these young inexperienced 'professionals' up on a pedestal where they cop an ego and never get the real-world experience they could have if they didnt use this insulation of political correctness.

It's like they have this entitlement attitude and they cant be wrong...ever! When management (full of the same types) backs them up, the whole organization suffers. And everyone else is looking at each other like...WTF, we could have told you this would be the result!!!



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 03:08 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: rickymouse

Agreed. And, companies tend to put these young inexperienced 'professionals' up on a pedestal where they cop an ego and never get the real-world experience they could have if they didnt use this insulation of political correctness.

It's like they have this entitlement attitude and they cant be wrong...ever! When management (full of the same types) backs them up, the whole organization suffers. And everyone else is looking at each other like...WTF, we could have told you this would be the result!!!


You are absolutely right, seen that many times. The low management does not want to talk too badly of the upper managements poor decisions so they do not give their honest opinions of these newly hired graduates that were hired.

At the local mine they hired a bunch of these supposedly trained new people out of college to run a new line....they were messing everything up, they blamed everyone else because they were not doing it the way they were taught to do it by the school, a way that would not work right that the professors were teaching. And these were graduates of industrial courses supposedly designed for training people for this. The mine shut down the line and got rid of most of the new hires for that project, a few of the better ones they did move to other jobs. That line was constantly getting plugged up or things broken, they should never have dumped a bunch of inexperienced people in one spot. Oh well, so a bunch of jobs were lost.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 04:15 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

I agree with the experience 100%. This is one of the "outside research/studies" that I mentioned. Unfortunately a lot of times not even internships give very good experience as often the responsibilities & duties performed are very minimal in many fields. I think some businesses get either tax breaks, grants or some other funding to pay for interns and they basically end up using them as slave labor (basically free sometimes) and it can even end up hurting the interns b/c a lot of their energy is diverted from what actual productive duties and doing menial, repetitive, low skill jobs which they will most likely not need to do in their profession.

I think apprenticeships might be a better alternatives to many studies that are currently offered. People need to have some skin in the game when it comes to education and they need a fire lit under their butts to ensure they do what needs to be done - they don't need pandering/mommying from some educational system that changes the goal posts to fit where the student ends up.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

The "piece of paper" issue is 100% correct! After getting a degree I found that employers all wanted another piece of paper on top of that, they wanted multiple certificates (which are all fairly pricey to just take the test, let alone taking a course) for even entry level jobs! Suddenly the requirements when from a degree to a degree + certs and this led to a mass of people getting them often basically through cheating (from what I hear/read) either having other people take the test, sometimes online, or in person and there have been dishonest testing facilities letting the tests out prior to the testing session.

This ended up with a flooding of the market with people who now had certs but now you can't determine which person has the skills and which cheated their way through. It also led to employers reducing pay rates (b/c everyone had certs now - market saturation) and wanting even more qualifications/certs from the employees. It was a downward spiral where 10 years later a job posting for $11.50 - $14.00 had the same requirements and responsibilities of a person making $55-85,000 10 years prior! There are many reasons for this but it has ended up causing lots of problems in the industry and exacerbating the problems such as the imposter syndrome.

I can't imagine that the EE's couldn't do any of what you speak! That is just unimaginable! This really speaks of the crisis in which we are in, for someone with a EE degree not being able to do that, I don't know how they could even get into college. I'd love to know what college they attended. I'd love to have a site which allows employers to discuss (anonymously) about the applicants and the quality coming out of various colleges. If people can't write at that level, that just blows my mind! There should be a way that people who have a degree can be challenged, especially if they are accredited institution, or at least make complaints to an oversight board and the degree holder be tested by the review board - with a penalty for the employer if they mis-report the matter. That would be difficult to work out a process like that, but something needs to be done about this!
edit on 6 14 2019 by DigginFoTroof because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 04:33 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Better oversight?!

What makes you think the regulators know anymore about it than the people who work with it?

Honestly, my husband has a long career in regulatory, and the ignorance he deals with from regulators is shocking.


I'm not sure what you are speaking about - the nuclear issue or something in the OP?



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 04:38 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: rickymouse

Agreed. And, companies tend to put these young inexperienced 'professionals' up on a pedestal where they cop an ego and never get the real-world experience they could have if they didnt use this insulation of political correctness.

It's like they have this entitlement attitude and they cant be wrong...ever! When management (full of the same types) backs them up, the whole organization suffers. And everyone else is looking at each other like...WTF, we could have told you this would be the result!!!


Yeah, that is what I saw many times. I can say I never saw this in small companies where the owner worked with the employees, being in that profession themselves (they were the most qualified or equally as qualified as their best employees usually). I was absolutely shocked at a fortune 500 company when their IT director made mistakes that could have destroyed the entire company, their employees finances/identities and more - but she didn't care nor take any measures to correct this and covered it up and dismissed my concerns.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 05:11 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Just talking about oversight in general.

Mostly when people talk about oversight, they're talking about the government doing regulatory work and making sure things are running properly or within rules.

But just because someone is a government "expert" or "regulator" doesn't mean they are anymore competent than the idiots working at any one job in any one industry.

The Chernobyl miniseries highlights the follies of government oversight.



posted on Jun, 14 2019 @ 05:36 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

OP is just an example of growing wisdom and maturity. In the real world, experience is more valuable than education. High school and college can't really teach graduates to drop right in a job somewhere. Trade schools do better to get graduates 'work ready' in their field. Jobs with the same position or title can be totally different at two different businesses. Every job is too specialized to close that gap. Pretty much every job requires some on the job learning.

Also worth noting is intelligence often takes a back seat to other things like experience, networking, work ethic, etc. in the real world. That level 18 engineer had probably seen the pump installed backwards before. Now all the lowly level 2 engineers will be able to diagnose a backwards pump pretty quick, and experienced up to level 3.

I do think our high schools are doing a worse job than in the past. The problem isn't low intelligence of kids, it's a feeling of entitlement/lack of discipline.



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