The New Business Acumen: America’s Death Twitch
As I’m now over 23-years old, I have been deemed, “unemployable” by American companies. Drawing on my strengths and above-average IQ, I started seeking work overseas, hoping the shifting global economy would outsource to a new third world nation. I have found many differences in doing business with foreign nations. They modeled themselves from the American business model of the 1950s: work hard, be honest, uphold family values and workers are worth more then just the future ingredients in Soylent Green.
When first contacting foreign companies, I was delighted to see that if they did not return my email within 48 hours, they apologized profusely and asked my forgiveness. In America, you are lucky to get a response within six months from a medical lab, informing you that you only had three weeks to live.
While working for a Japanese firm, aside from the constant bowing, I was always given a nice little gift at each meeting, treated with the utmost respect and professional courtesy. In America, executives have abandoned signing correspondences with, “very truly yours,” and replaced it with, “go f**k yourself!”
Foreign companies seek out innovation by hiring those who can provide intelligent contributions. American companies suffer so much Peter Principle, the CEOs hire less intelligent people below them so they are not threats to their positions. It continues on down so that by the time you get to the senior supervisors, they need three weeks off per year to attend Remedial math and English classes.
Foreign companies will pay my invoice via PayPal within 48 hours. The head of the largest American corporation’s billing department is known for hitting vendors over the noggin with a shovel as they render their invoices, burying them somewhere between Vegas and Phoenix and then scoring meth and hookers with the money for the entire board of directors. That, of course, is the kinder, more gentle side of corporate professional practices.
It is not only the upper levels of business that suffer from 30 years of cutbacks to our educational system. The illiterati that fill the lower levels of corporations and the service industry, force most transactions to have at least three follow up calls to repair wrong orders, broken merchandise or overcharges on credit cards. They figure twenty-nine percent on a one hundred dollar balance is three trillion dollars and they will argue the point until they tell you they studied math in the leventeenth grade.
I actually find myself preferring to speak with someone in India to resolve a problem. Their English is better than the average American and they know the words, “please” and “thank you” as opposed to “whatever, dude!”
When I go to a fast food place, I don’t even tempt fate by ordering with a simple number as the counter person might become confused by having to count up to a “number nine value meal.” I have just started ordering by screaming, “doy-duh-doy-doy!” Inevitably, they get the order right.
As my children continue in middle school to have language choices of Spanish, French and incoherent mumbling, while the future global economy will need those who speak Chinese and Arabic. Their science classes consist of making Jello Volcanoes and the actions of oxygen on an apple. Children in foreign nations are learning four different languages, including English and nuclear and agricultural sciences. Which child will be asking the other if they want fries with that and which child will answer, “doy-duh-doy-doy?”
The real shame of America is the lack of innovation encouraged among workers. My foreign clients are ecstatic when I offer them a better way to create a product or production method. We discuss applications and they excitedly introduce the new ideas into their business within a week. In American companies, where decision-by-committee makes a simple group lunch order go around the conference table for six months, middle management is afraid to introduce the innovative ideas thought up by the everyday worker, who sees more efficient ways to do business, for fear of change and possibly backing an idea that might not work. It is thought, among supervisors, that it’s better to take twice as long, at three times the cost, than to listen to ideas that might move the business forward. Stagnantion is the new business growth. Not moving forward, but not decaying too quickly.
The average worker has come to the conclusion it is better to just follow any order, no matter how inane. Risking displeasure by thinking, innovating or attempting to work hard and get ahead is suspect from managers. In America, being plain and quiet and not sticking out as a leader is the way to move ahead, using the Peter Principle as the stepladder to upper management. Skulking in dark corners has become a safe business move, fearing the light of exceptional thought and action that will illuminate other’s mediocrity and incompetence.
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