…To The Peter Principle.
The Peter Principle states that "In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence."
I submit that in the twenty first century, with the modern meme of being constantly upwardly mobile: “In a hierarchy every highly capable and competent employee will be promoted outside of their subject of greatest interest and passion and into a subject that will reduce their innate enjoyment of the work, thus eventually bringing them inline with The Peter Principle.
Archive for June, 2008
…To The Peter Principle.
I am about at my wits end.
Chef jobs think I am too corporate – over qualified – and at the same time do not have enough corporate hotel of club experience. Though they also always note my lack of academic certification.
F&B jobs think I do not have enough corporate or managerial experience. They also not my lack of business academic certification.
They both think I have been a “boss” so will not want to be an employee again.
Add to that Hong Kong, my home for 14 years seems to reject me as a member on nearly every front. And my US family seems to want to have little or nothing to do with me either.
Were it not for Henry, I would be on the road already. Traveling until I die alone or run out of steam. There seems little other point to life now.
“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die discover that I had not lived.”
I have tried my best to live a life Thoreau would have approved of. But I now find that the bard of Walden has no advice for when that bone appears to have been sucked dry.
I have lived. I have lived a life more exciting and adventuresome than 10 normal people. But now to quote another bard:
“I have of late,—but wherefore I know not,—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire,—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”
Where do you work? Those four seemingly innocuous words: Verb, verb, noun, verb. I have no good reply. I have tried to say I’m retired, but no one believes it. They always follow up with some variation of: “No really.” In the end I am stumped for an answer. I have often thought to say none of your fucking business, but that seems impolite.
In these past four months I have come to learn that people expect: 1. You work. 2. You work somewhere. 3. They will recognize where you work. This usual uncomfortable Q&A makes me feel like I am just visiting the planet of the working people; that I am entirely alien – otherworldly – not of the tribe of working humankind.
Even worse is the shocked frustration in the voices of people who know me when they learn that I have not been hired yet, (though I know they all mean well). “What, why”? As if I know why I have not been hired or as if I know what the litany of prospective employers have found to be lacking in me.
I don’t know, but I know I don’t work “anywhere.”
Actually in the past many months I have worked nearly everywhere, but it seems that would be even harder to explain. I have lectured, taught classes, done charity, done a lot of work in business associations, and when I am not doing that I work on sending out CV’s and meeting prospective employers. I am studying for two significant culinary examinations, in order to be certified in both Europe and the USA. And once all that is done I spend significant time working on cooking, some very complicated and interesting dishes – refining my cuisine – in my own home.
Where do I work? I work in life, but no one seems to recognize that location.