Thursday, June 07, 2012

The 2nd Most Arrogant Assumption You MUST Make

I have said it before, and I'll say it again, when you keep failing at a particular task the only person to blame is you.  You tried, you failed, and therefore the blame is solely on you.  You need to go back, train more, try harder and keep failing until you succeed.

This rule or "law"  or whatever you want to call it, is simply commonsense.  You are the independent variable.  You are the one that needs to improve.  You are the sole entity to blame if there is failure

...except in life there are two rare instances where you will NOT be to blame.

One of those instances is for the young and now full-grown adult men who in their youth failed time and time again when it came to interacting with the opposite sex on social, romantic or sexual grounds.  You tried, you failed.  It's your fault.

You tried, you failed again.  It's your fault.

You trained, tried harder, failed harder.  It's your fault.

You changed tactics, experimented, tried really hard, and failed really bad.  It's your fault.

You went all out, trying crazy new tactics, rehashing old ones, put yourself in your best physical shape, invested thousands of man-hours, burned millions of calories and failed even more spectacularly than Lehman Brothers.  It's your fault.

And after anywhere from 10-25 years of failure (depending on how independent minded you were), you inevitably started daring to ask a VERY arrogant question:

"What if there's nothing wrong with me, but something wrong with everybody else?"

Understand why this is a very arrogant question.  For something to be wrong with EVERYBODY ELSE, and NOT wrong with the SOLE INDIVIDUAL implies:

1.  You are somehow brilliant or very special.
2.  You are also so brilliant you are smarter or better than everybody else
3.  Something has universally infected other people, while sparing you, putting you into "black helicopte,r" conspiracy theory territory.

At first you fight this thought that let this possibility enter your mind.  And you go back to banging your head against the drawing board to try another thousand slight permutations or variant of approaches to attract some lass.  But in the end, by the sheer volume of approaches, experiences, experiments, self-inflection and years of human life spent trying to "succeed" at this challenge, your mind is tortured into forcibly accepting the only remaining explanation:

"No, there's nothing wrong with me.  There IS INDEED something wrong with everybody else on a societal level.  Don't know what it is, but by god, it's not me!"

Some people call it taking the red pill.  (I, however, think to go through the torture yourself and have the courage to make this assumption WITHOUT the benefit of The Manosphere to lay it all out for you, deserves some other title - but that is an aside, NOR is it meant to belittle people who did take the red pill).  Whatever we decide to call it, once we entertain this arrogant assumption, it is amazing how everything falls into place and makes sense.  NOT because it conveniently benefits us or merely excuses and rationalizes our failures in the past.  But because IT DOES EXPLAIN EVERYTHING.

It's akin to fighting on the ground, having no idea where whose lines are, getting shelled left and right, being driven insane by chaos, and then magically being transported to a command center where you have crystal clear satellite imagery with friendlies being tagged with beacons and enemies being tagged by heat signatures, AND proving your hunches were indeed correct all along.

It just took you the arrogance to make such an assumption to get this bird's eye view and save your sanity.

Now, focus all we want on The Manosphere, that is not the topic I'm talking about today.  For there is going to come the time many of you, if not all of us, are going to have to man-up again and once again question,

"Is it me, or is there something wrong with everybody else?"

but in a different sphere.

And I'll give you a hint - this has nothing to do with the sexes.  Women will have to ask this question too because we're all going to have the honor of being in the same machine-gun strafed boat here.

Anybody get it yet?

Bueller?  Bueller?

Alright, I'll tell you.

We're ALL going to have to gin up the courage to ask this question when it comes to our relationship with employers:

"Is it me, or is there something wrong with the employers in the US?"

Again, the two issues parallel each other very closely.

If you have a hard time being reliably employed, you have failed.  There MUST be something wrong with you.

You try working for multiple employers, try multiple tactics, you'll still fail.  Therefore there MUST BE something wrong with YOU.

You try really hard, volunteer to work more, take on different projects, suggest new ideas and innovations.  You still fail (hell, you'll get punished for thinking of new ideas).  Therefore there MUST be something wrong with you.

And dare you start to suggest or theorize there's something structurally, fundamentally, or universally wrong with employers, corporate America and our current system of employment/labor market, then you are just (fill in the blank)

....not a team player
....a disgruntled employee
....a slow learner
....somebody who just doesn't "get it"
....a bad employee
....somebody who's just lazy

Never mind you are willing to work hard.

Never mind you did all the right things, got the right degree, got the right certification.

Never mind you came up with ideas that would have saved the company money, or crushed the competition, or heck, saved the entire US economy.

No, there's most DEFINITELY something wrong with YOU, and those crafty HR "generalists" with their scripted "pure-extract of inane" interview questions will be able to smoke you out without you knowing it (even though they themselves have gone through three divorces, 47 failed relationships, host 3 cats as pets, and are the world's worst judges of character).

And, much like you were veritably forced to have the arrogant epiphany about courting when you were 25, you will have to come to the same arrogant conclusion about the realities of the labor market and employer-employee relationships in America.  And just like me and a handful of people that have gone before you, you will realize once you make this assumption, you'll see employment and employers for what they are and hereafter be able to make better decisions.

Of course, humility and modesty may intimidate you from making such an arrogant assumption.  However, permit me to make several observations about corporate America that may convince you that there is indeed something fundamentally dysfunctional about modern day employers and that, no, you're not a bad employee, and no, you're not insane.

First, let's look at HR.  I could write a book about HR, but we'll instead focus on the fact that HR is dominated by women which cannot be overlooked and draws many parallels between The Manosphere "world" and the "working world."  Much like dating, women are predisposed to believe that they are the prize and you are lucky if you get the honor to date her.  You have to do all the leg work, you have to beg and plead, and if you prove yourself worthy, you will be rewarded with a date.  Applying for a job is the exact same.

HR operates from this exact same premise - that the job is the prize to be won and that you should be honored to even be considered for the position.  Matter of fact you should thank her for pelting you with inane questions that have nothing to do with the job or the industry.  What they fail to realize, in both instances, is it is a two way street.  Not only do applicants need jobs, but companies need labor.  Yes, they can take some arrogant liberties with an Obama-induced 8+% unemployment rate, but now that I've taken the "employment red pill" I sit in awe when an HR interviewer asks me with naked arrogance

"So why do you want to work here?"

as if it's a given I want to work there.

When I reply in a deadly serious tone


the look on their face or the silence at the other end of the phone is hilarious.  But it still proves my point.  They PRESUME you are the one at a disadvantage and are the one bargaining from a position of weakness.  When in reality, you are merely the other and equally important side of the coin.

Regardless, the point is not whether unemployment breeds arrogance on the part of employers, it's the fact we have to endure something as stupid as the "HR screening interview" in the first place.  None of the questions have any predictive value as to the future performance of an employee.  The "best" answers are lies and the furthest thing from the truth.  The person conducting the interview is typically clueless about your profession and anything involving math.  It does nothing to find and detect the best candidate.  And, no, you're not insane for thinking the same.  So don't fret it when "HR" doesn't call back.  They were never going to in the first place.

Another aspect of HR is that it's "wishlist" for qualities and traits in a candidate for a job is equally impossible as the typical Ameircan woman's "wishlist" for qualities in a man for courtship.  I've spoken of it before, but when they're asking for 5 years experience in a software that has only been on the market for 3, you might as well be asking for a bad boy alpha motorcycle riding preacher, who's an animal in the sack, but only after you're married, who's also rich, but never married, and no children, but wants to take care of your 3 children from 4 other guys.

Again, you're not insane when you look at the list of requirements, do some quick math, and realize in the 6 billion people in the world, 1/8th of a person would qualify.

Second, abandon HR and look at the management in general of companies today.  Corporate America is no longer headed up by hardened, WWII vets who are ready to propel corporate America to new levels of greatness.  It's headed up by hippie Baby Boomers, followed by the ranks of Gen X middle management.  The psychology that comes with this is nothing as simple or logical as achieving greatness, or revolutionizing industries, or simply going out, kicking ass and taking names.  It's been replaced by people who are more concerned about maintaining the status quo so they can keep their jobs.  To run the firm or their division as their own personal fiefdom.  And so when a logical, young whipper snapper like you comes in with new ideas, innovations and creations, understand the reason you're getting fired is NOT because your ideas are "wrong" or "stupid," but because they've exposed just how inefficiently the company or division has been managed and your ideas are likely to result in the layoff of the unnecessary fat - ie - your boss and 40% of upper management.

Third, never discount that fact that unlike you and me, the majority of Americans are HORRENDOUS managers of their own personal finances.  They racked up debts going to college.  They racked up credit card debts in their 20's.  They had kids they can't afford.  Ergo, they literally cannot afford the luxury you have to speak out and say,

"Hey, that's a horrible idea!  If we introduce that product, then our product will kill 30,000 infants and shave 100,000 kittens!"

No, they have to shut up, not rock the boat, because they need food on the table and little Jimmy needs braces.

Because of the financial mismanagement of the majority of Americans, understand corporate America has the luxury of employing millions of yes-men and yes-women.

Oh, you may be right.

And yes, you may save the company in the end.

But you are rocking the boat with your bachelor and bachlorette ways.  And if an employer has the choice between hiring somebody who asks difficult and reality based questions, or somebody who is a slave to their debt, and therefore will never question management, they're going to go with the psychologically defeated automoton every time.

And finally, let's not forget that American employers are spineless.  They stand for nothing.  They fear everything.  And instead of adhering to some code of morals or ethics, they instead cower and fear the slightest bit of criticism in fear they may lose .0003% market share.  This allows people like lawyers, sue-happy employees, sexual harassment filers, protestors, nepotists, crusaders and the like to essentially make it impossible for a corporation to hire anybody with a brain or slightly opinionated personality.  They hire robots, automotons, preferably the heavily indebted type, as they are the ones with the least risk.

Of course, they're the ones with the least amount of creativity and leadership and innovation, but hey, at least we're not getting sued.

In short, the strategy of American employers is no longer that of achieving excellence or dominance in their field.  It's no longer going out, doing your best, kicking ass, taking names and crushing the competition.  It's one of self preservation and retaining what little fiefdom they have.  If you ask any major (or minor) US company what their "growth strategy" is, it's not to create new and amazing products that will obsolete the competition.  It's an amazingly lame, "grow the company outside the US while we bribe congress with our lobbyists to introduce legislation that will give us an edge against our competitors."

Now, you combine all these veritable psychoses that are governing US employers and ask yourself one simple question - can a normal person, with logical thought and the desire to work hard and succeed ever possibly stand a chance to survive in an environment like that?  You have a dying domestic labor market where everything is outsourced not just to save money on labor costs, but to lower lawsuit/sexual harassment risk.  You have people being promoted not based on their intelligence, ideas, innovations or observations, but by the fact they're enslaved to the company because they indebted themselves to the point they literally had to sell their soul and financially whore themselves out which makes them "obedient" (the most sought after trait in America).  You have the primary gatekeepers to employment staffed by the world's ditziest, dumbest people asking questions that have nothing to do with employment, effectively turning away any true leaders, thinkers, innovators, in exchange for somebody who can provide the best rehearsed answer to "have you ever had a difficult situation with an employee?  how did you solve it and why?"  And the entire thing is being managed by lazy, incompetent aging brats who are so talentless they cannot create their own job security, but instead they must stifle any potential usurpers by maintaining the status quo.

If you consider that, you can't POSSIBLY think there's something "wrong" with you or that somehow you're a bad employee, which only proves my previous case.

Understand, and understand well, that there is nothing wrong with you.  You did your best, you did the right thing, you made the right choices, and that's all you can do.  If your career is not heading the way you would have liked by now, understand it's not your fault.  Even if your boss or former boss lectures you about how you didn't do this minor thing right, or criticizes you on some nebulous grounds of you not having the right "attitude" or not being a "team player," assuming you did the right thing and tried your best, chances are it's more of a criticism of themselves and their inability to lead or make decisions, than it is a legitimate criticism of you.

Yes, this is an arrogant assumption.  And yes, it takes a lot of bravado to make such assumptions.  But all one has to do is look at the current economic state of the US and realize that is the empirical evidence that you are right.  Because if the US economy was booming and US corporate domestic sales were booming,  then, yes,  you would PROBABLY be in the wrong - the leaders of the various institutions of the US are probably doing something right by the fact the economy is doing well.  But since the economy is craptastically stagnant, and the government bankrupt, for employers and various leaders to have the gall to blame their inadequate and incompetent leadership on their employees is laughable.  For them to tell you during review time, "well, you really only earned an "average" rating despite your 60 hour work weeks" is hypocritical.

Thankfully, you have the choice as to whether or not to believe them.  If you choose to, realize this is doing nothing more than believing a lie.  It won't help you in your long term future success, if anything it will hurt you because you are basing your decisions of a falsehood.  However, if you choose not to, and realize they're nothing but a bunch of ass-kissing, brown-nosing, debt-enslaved suits, you will be able to make better decisions about who you want to work for, what kind of work you are WILLING to tolerate, and (as I've found out) you TELLING them what you are and are not going to do.  It's counter-intuitive, but just ask any girl which guy gets more success:

The compliant yes man who asks her "whatever you want to do dear."

Or the motorcycle bad boy who dares to tell the girl one word , "no."


Stoner With a Boner said...

You might like this:

and this...

Anonymous said...

Once, at an interview for an engineering job at a tech company, the HR broad asked me the following questions (in order):

1) Describe yourself.
2) How would your current boss describe you?
3) How would your best friend describe you?
4) How would your first reference describe you?
5) How would your second reference describe you?

Not a single tech question though.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I've been waiting for a post like this for ages. I'm trying to get into that world (Big Four pay well and have decent benefits, what can I say?) but I have no illusions about rocking any boats or doing anything even moderately unique. Head low, yes sir, get my check and go home.

That I would even post on a blog like this would certainly bar employment were it known by any prospective employers, because freedom of speech and freedom of opinion are only desired in modern America if sufficiently large numbers of people hold similar views. If you deviate too much from the acceptable range, you're either Hitler or Stalin and maybe both.

Look at gay marriage (an issue I don't particularly care about) and how it has changed just in the last six months. A few years ago, being against gay marriage was an acceptable political position. It would make you enemies, like all positions do, but it was common enough. Now, it is very rapidly becoming a forbidden viewpoint and everybody who is anybody in corporate America is now for it. Did everybody in mainstream America just experience a complete change in opinion? Of course not. It just became clear that the left was going to win this issue and it would be good to publicly take their side now rather than face the wrath of the SPLC, ACLU, ADL, etc. dissent-silencing machine down the line. Mark my words, being against gay marriage will soon be a terminable offense in corporate America.

I don't care about whether gays marry or not, but the ability of employers to crush people with unpopular viewpoints bodes ill for all of us. I may not like socialists and feminists, but if they can do their job then their political views should hold no bearing on their employment status. All I want is for their side to show the same tolerance to us.

Chris said...

You missed a couple of things Cappy.

1. Don't be an asshole. Do not dump work on your colleagues. Do your share.

2. Don't be a prig. You may be a socially aware and politically correct -- but please don't expect me to join you. I don't care at work if you belong to the right clubs. Because I don't. Don't tell me how to think or what is acceptable.

3. Don't be a eunuch. Tell HR to disappear. Inform people about what the problems are, fix your bit, in fact fix a bit more, and do your fiduciary duty.

In short, it is a job. You are a tradesman. Do your job. For the money.

The company will be dead before you are.

And for goodness sake, do not lose your morals, balls, and spine. Do not become a suit.

Joan of Argghh! said...

"And if an employer has the choice between hiring somebody who asks difficult and reality based questions, or somebody who is a slave to their debt, and therefore will never question management, they're going to go with the psychologically defeated automoton every time. "


I fire employers all the time and never think of it as failure. I grew up in dysfunction and be hanged if I'll spend the majority of my life working with dysfunction. I do my best, I leave a good paper trail and training materials behind me, but I walk, all the same. Pisses them off, because they're so sure they own their employees.

Pulp Herb said...

HR operates from this exact same premise - that the job is the prize to be won and that you should be honored to even be considered for the position.

Here's the interesting thing: there are jobs that are prizes. I have one.

1. I didn't have to deal with HR at any point before being given an offer.

2. We have a couple of our own "HR" people whose job is basically to make sure the paper works and run interference (and they're happy to do that) so we can accomplish work.

3. They treat those of us qualified to do the job as prizes as well. When we find someone who can do it we hire them.

4. They are looking for a good generalist skill set (a working knowledge of mathematics) and one of two specific skills (a good working knowledge of Perl or C++). Beyond that, they are more than happy to train you. In fact, we hold weekly training open to everyone.

5. While the majority of us hold advanced degrees in a STEM field (or economics) many of us (including me) only include a bachelors and one person, in this six figures with bonus group, doesn't have a college degree. Before he became a programmer (self-taught) he was a printer.

6. We are encouraged and rewarded for asking questions. After my first year one of the things I was told when getting my bonus was, "you're always asking questions," as part of the reason I did so well.

7. They were very upfront that this job pays well and were happy to talk about money.

8. At no point in the process was I asked, "why do you want to work here." Instead, it was point out to me multiple times that I could have a lot of fun while making a lot of money. Clearly money was an acceptable answer to them.

9. My job is a prize. If I didn't have to work for money I'd still do it. Better still, I get paid a shit ton of money to do it.

I am confident that if #1 and #2 were not true the rest wouldn't be true as well. The head of our group expends a lot of corporate political capital making sure "the rules don't apply to us". It shows.

Amy said...

Cap, if you haven't seen this yet, check out this guy's free e-book, available as HTML here:

I'm not wholly a Randian in every aspect of life, but her ideal man and woman, one who was responsible, innovative, hard working, and proud of their jobs is something I haven't seen in a long time. I've been out of corporate America for many years, partly due to the exact situation you describe. I got fired from one job, because subconsciously I hated it there but felt I had few places to go. I saw promotion after promotion being given to "yes" women or connected family members cutting their teeth in my department before moving on to the corner office. I was always getting in trouble for trying to cut through the red tape and reduce the bureaucracy. It was so frustrating for me - I tend to like direct routes to solutions rather than playing endless games of placate-the-people waiting for something to happen.

Teaching was even worse. Placate the superintendent, placate your supervisor, placate the kids, placate the parents...spun my wheels for three years before I got out of that field, too. Now, I just don't work. No salary, no taxes. And I am married but I don't collect unemployment. I rolled my modest retirement monies into a money market and between those savings and my husband's salary we do OK.

If I ever return to work, it will be for one of my local farmers or as a waitress. I'm not wasting my time or mind on a lost cause any longer.

Sonny Ortega said...

95 % of employers make stupid, irrational decisions on the labor market that will backfire horribly when the western economies are just not able to produce anything valuable anymore.

95 % of women make stupid, irrational desicions on the sex market that will backfire horribly when they turn 30.

95 % of youth make stupid, irrational decisions regarding their education that will backfire horribly when they graduate from college.

95 % of parents make stupid, irrational decisions in parenting that will backfire horribly when their kids get into puberty.

Yes, I believe the world is screwed up big time.

Anonymous said...

Oh Captain, My Captain!

I thought I was the only one. I've never had a "good" job. I've only had crappy entry level jobs that are absolutely at the mercy of HR. Mercy from women with political power. HA!

Invariably, within a few weeks I've seen so much abject stupidity I blurt out, "You people are morons!" Soon after I find myself on the street. Again.

Where, oh, where is the company comprised of veterans who are ethically pursuing profit?

Thanks, Cap. It's a relief to know I'm not the only insane one.

Anonymous said...


FSK said...

Here is a better way to understand.

1. Suppose that all the leaders were honest and intelligent. Then, things would be fine. If someone was dishonest, they wouldn't fit in and would be weeded out.

2. Suppose that almost all the leaders have the same personality type as Bernard Madoff. If someone is honest and intelligent, they won't fit in and will be weeded out.

(2) is what we have right now. Most of the CEOs and politicians are criminally insane, just like Bernard Madoff. There are a few honest-but-wimpy people around. They're outnumbered and don't understand what's going on.

You could say "Well, start your own business!" All those regulations and taxes are a huge handicap. The taxes I pay subsidize my evil competitors.

Even if I work hard and start a successful small business, I'm subsidizing incompetent evil people via taxes.

beta_plus said...

I think I have a new idea for a manosphere blog - the quote of the day.

This would be mine today:

"Another aspect of HR is that it's "wishlist" for qualities and traits in a candidate for a job is equally impossible as the typical Ameircan woman's "wishlist" for qualities in a man for courtship. I've spoken of it before, but when they're asking for 5 years experience in a software that has only been on the market for 3, you might as well be asking for a bad boy alpha motorcycle riding preacher, who's an animal in the sack, but only after you're married, who's also rich, but never married, and no children, but wants to take care of your 3 children from 4 other guys."

Cogitans Iuvenis said...

"So why do you want to work here?"

And I reply with


And thanks to the captain I have found a new line to use. In fact, I am willing to wager that this response will weed out the good companies from the bad.

I image that good managers would laught at the reponse because they themselves no how foolish the question is.

Jay said...

That's how I felt working at Kroger.

I worked my ass off and stuck my neck out. I talked with everybody and tried to befriend everyone. When they needed someone I offered myself, even if it was a day off. They would tell me (oh you're a great worker, just you need to work on your speed) year I've only worked there for 2 months, you can't expect me to be flash gordon...but what pissed me off, was I would see everyone standing around bullshitting themselves while I put my nose to the grindstone and work. What was my thank you for that?

"We're sorry but we'll have to let you go."

Cap is right. This country is just Bullshit.

The irony was...most of the lazy asses and bullshitters in my company were men and it was the men who told me to "be more efficient" but wouldn't tell me how and would just say "hey gotta hit that ground running" all the while they would try and interrupt my work so they could talk about their life.

CBMTTek said...


I like the analogy in theory, but the problem with your premise is this:
When you try and fail repeatedly in a situation where the rules are known, then yes, the problem is with you. (Example, I cannot, for the life of me, play a musical instrument, despite numerous attempts.)

On the other hand, in normal human interaction, there is no universally agreed upon rule book. If you repeatedly fail in your quest for a date or job, the problem is not you, it is your ignorance of the rules under which you are expected to play the game.

No, I am not saying that you should "play by someone else's rules." That also is a violation of the rules.

When successful dates/interviews happen, it is not because of planning, brilliance, tolerance, or any other factor. It is because you went into the situation with a rulebook that had enough overlap to allow successful completion of the game.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog Cap... but you sure do whine a lot.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty much the best post I've ever read here.

I can fully relate as I have been "laid off" from almost every job that I didn't quit. It was never because I was an inefficient or bad employee. It was always one of two factors:

The management was entrenched, lazy, and incompetent, and feared anyone with a true work ethic and innovative attitude. These people must be eliminated because eventually they will expose the managers as the incompetent, lazy, fraudulent, self-preservers they are.

The second reason is closely related: due to the incompetence, greed, and inefficiency of the management, the hard-working entry level people always had to be laid off due to declining productivity and profits.

The takeway lesson is this: never outshine the master, even if doing so would benefit the organization as a whole. These pathetic worms would rather throw you under the bus than have to earn their oversized salaries for even just one day.

Nothing but the life of the entrepreneur left for me. I have no choice: I'm allergic to bullshit, bad ideas, and the whole concept that "teamwork" is the highest ideal, above even efficiency, profit, innovation, etc.

They are screening for "team players" (brown-nosing sheep), not innovative and ethical contributors. Well all of the best things this world has ever produced have come from solitary visionaries, that then had their ideas implemented by various teams. It is not the teamwork that creates profit, it is the maverick visionary that does, and there is no place for that man in corporate america.

Anonymous said...

Even if you do everything right, you play by the books, get in your suit, have an answer to every question, and are qualified for the job, there's still a good chance the HR rep doesn't like you and you won't get the job.

dr kill said...

I don't understand why you would seek employment at a firm with a HR department anyway.
There's hot dog carts for sale on EBay right now for 2500 bucks.

Anonymous said...

Imagine, interrupting the HR rep and telling them "You misunderstand. Explain why I would want to work for your company."

The unsaid message is "I don't need you, you need me."

Now that "Alpha arrogance".

Anonymous said...

HR is great. A friend gave his boss my resume. Boss was impressed (as he should be - not many undergrads have published papers) and said I should apply for 3-4 positions. The very next day, I got the HR 'screw you' letters for all positions. The boss never even got a chance to consider me.

BTW Cap, TIME agrees with you:

Anonymous said...

This is why I've worked for myself for the past 12 years.

The Smiling Guard said...

In the physical security "industry" this has been the rule for ages. Never be a problem for your bosses...STFU, MYOB and GTM (Guard the Mouth and Get the Money)

Excellent post!

This led me to create a blog a few years ago.

Opus said...

It's not just American Women and American Companies - great essay!

Victor Pride said...

Great post, Cap!