I had a motivational missive from Linked In today. I keep getting these things and they are pretty much all the same. They are generally American, but you just know that the UK management guru types are lapping them up, nodding in agreement and forwarding them to their captive audience of puppets for their consumption.
It had, like all these things, a message. This was a tale of setback and redemption through tenacity, strife and the realisation that the psychopath who knocked them back knew best after all. In this case an evil being, “Mr Rant”, was exceptionally rude and unpleasant to someone trying to get a job in film and tv. Later in life the victim realised how much they had to thank him for. His manner had caused them some distress at the time but it had allowed them to develop an inner tenacity, and make a change of direction which enabled them to find the right job in their chosen field rather than the dream job which was just plain wrong for them. And gosh goldarn it, how right he was to have identified that their own choice was incorrect.
So what we have is a bully and probable psychopath who rather than find out what the talents of this person were, has a great time making them feel small and humiliated and destroying their hopes and shuffling them off into a second choice, at best, career. We don’t of course hear about all those who, whether really talented or not, were depressed, shattered and ruined by their repeated contact with people like Mr Rant.
Now it may well be that the person writing this (assume for a moment this tale is real rather than a parable for the work ethic and the boss is always right mentality) believes this analysis of their humiliation. That is sad. Not only are they a victim of bullying and aggressive defence of an established power in creative business but they are colluding in the perpetuation of this victimisation. They aren’t coming to terms with reality they are pretending that bullies and power crazed loons actually know what is best for us.
This tale would have been inspirational if the victim has kept their dream alive, found another way to get into their chosen profession and created material that helped push their detractor’s career into oblivion. It would have been doubly morally engaging if, when they succeeded, they offered helpful criticism and a hand up to genuinely talented people and helped the system, company, organisation, department, whatever it may be, to get better. Those who didn’t have the talent could be let down gently rather than being attacked and vilified.
A fairy tale perhaps, but no more so than the tidal wave of tosh that flow through the management stroking machines of HR and PR at the moment.