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Real-Time, Face-To-Face

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. – Aristotle

Ain’t that the truth? You can’t relate to it because you keep your trap shut out of fear of reprisal, no? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Gracefully giving and (especially) receiving criticism in real-time, face-to-face is an art that I haven’t mastered. In those rare cases where I’m giving or receiving, either I’m meekly submissive or I blow a gasket; mostly the latter. Unlike when I’m blogging or e-mailing (a.k.a hiding behind the keyboard like a lot of engineers do), I’m too spontaneous to ponder, agonize over, and cunningly strategize over every word.

In corpricracies, criticism (real-time and face-to-face, or electronically) directed upward from the boys and girls down in the boiler room is verboten via one of the many rules written in invisible corpo ink, no? If not, then what purpose does the invention of anointed titles and structured CCH caste systems serve? What’s the purpose of the term “individual contributor” other than to divide and conquer? What’s the purpose of statements that start with “Effective immediately, management has decided…” other than to subtlely imply who’s allowed to criticize whom? How often do conquerees criticize conquerers, and when they miraculously do decide to profer some criticism, what’s the typical outcome? A subtle, unseen, but intensely felt top down psychological whuppin’?

On the bright side, at least civilization has “matured” from the time when the messenger who served up a pu pu platter was literally beheaded, no?

“The problem with any unwritten law is that you don’t know where to go to erase it.” – Glaser and Way

  1. sushi
    October 2, 2010 at 9:00 am

    “Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.”

    Kurt Vonnegutt

    • October 2, 2010 at 11:34 am

      Good one sushi. Beware of me, right?

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