Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Why philosophy damages your career prospects

How about these questions as part of a job application form that I just completed for a yet to be named firm (answers on a five point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree):
- There are quite a lot of people who do not deserve to be respected.
- I believe in looking for the good in everyone.
- I always put a customer's happiness second to my own
- I favour a democratic approach to leadership.

I think this is much easier if you don't have a philosophy degree (or even a remotely inquisitive mind).

Well, even if you don't go into definitional issues (and if you do, all hope is lost), there will be times when respect is due, and others when it is forfeited. Perhaps at one point in time in a given area...there will be 'quite a lot of [undeserving] people' and then again, perhaps not.
Again, there will be times where a customer's needs ought to be serviced, however inconvenient for myself, and there will be times when the customer is taking the piss. Assuming that there will always be completely unreasonable customers, unless you have some sort of fetish for self-abuse, you cannot always be subservient to customers. A point will come where you ought to say, if you don't like it, go elsewhere, and waste someone else's time and money.

How is this particular firm able to evaluate me in any meaningful way from my response to these type of questions? Unless I gave obviously stupid responses, such as I strongy agree that customers are secondary to profit, it seems pretty meaningless to me.
If they give me a job, then of course, it is a deceptively ingenious and effective system.

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