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Quit Your Job, Incompetence Is Your Friend

Updated on April 30, 2009

If you've ever held down a job, you've probably been stunned by the incompetence of those around you, including and especially that of management. There is a reason that Dilbert is so popular, and it's not because it depicts some alternate reality where cruel and shallow people are promoted to preside over the terminally inept. No, that's reality. Real reality. As in, not a joke.I can't believe they never mentioned this in school, where we were lead to believe that as an adult, we'd have to actually know what we were doing in order to achieve success.

(None of this applies to you or me of course, we care(d) about your job and do(did) it well. It's those other idiots bringing us down.)

But it is why I now work alone.

Every day I spent in an office made me marvel at the fact that the world as we know it hadn't crumbled into oblivion about five seconds after our ancestors crawled out of the primordial ooze and appointed a project manager.

In an office, communication between any more than two people (and even two people was pushing it) quickly deteriorated into a game of Chinese Whispers so obscure we may have just as well been speaking in Chinese. And we're not Chinese. Even the Chinese guy, if you can imagine that.

Management would assign insane tasks and then become incensed when a 'can do' attitude wasn't enough to fix the mess the'd gotten themselves into. The mess you warned them about when the project began, the mess they dismissed whilst nodding and smiling.

Yet somehow, these companies thrived. Which leads me to believe that incompetence must be the friend and constant companion of the company. Like a parasite, incompetence attaches itself to any large business organization and feeds off it by degrees, not destroying it completely, but slowing it down considerably. Decisions that should be a matter of common sense become a matter of politics. Messages are delayed by inbox malfunctions, sick days off work and people who never really cared anyway. Deliverables become possibilities, features are dropped, clients are fobbed off and then convinced of the fact they got a good deal in spite of the fact all they really got was a 30 page report.

So how is incompetence your friend? Well, as a lone agent, you have a head start. You may not have a big brand or a penthouse office, but you do know who your clients are, what they want and who everyone's name in your place of work is (even if it is only you and Tiddles the cat), which is a considerable advantage over your corporate competition, who stand a good chance of knowing none of those things.

Are you crazy to quit your job in this economy? Some might say yes. Others might say that what the current economic crisis has demonstrated is that those dependent on a company for a paycheck aren't as safe as they once were. The myth of the safety of a 9 to 5 has been debunked once more, and a brave new world awaits those prepared to go it alone.


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Management: promotion to the level of one's incompetence.


    • colorsuz profile image


      9 years ago from Ann Arbor, MI

      I just quit a terrible job in food service. amen to this!


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