Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

Friday hawt chicks & links – The curse of modern management edition.

This weeks hawt chicks & links thread takes a steely look at the curse of modern management in all its guises. And when I say modern management I want to give particular mention to modern Anglo-Saxon management which takes all the gold medals at the special Olympics for moron management. The act of letting whatever you’re supposedly responsible for fall to bits and then cast around for suitable schmucks to take the blame.

I’ll start off with the quote of the week which I’m going to have to paraphrase as I can’t remember it exactly. It was left as a comment on some site and it went something like this:

Women don’t have careers; they have jobs.

And with that let’s dive into our glorious bag of goodies.

Let’s lead off with Tim Newman’s piece on the subject: Ambition and Mediocrity.

Far too much recruitment of youngsters by certain oil majors is done on personality instead of competence (whereas the older guys are recruited on length of tooth alone). If they see you are a super-bright born leader who speaks four languages and played hockey for your country at university level, you’re in. If you’re a plodder who has found himself in unglamorous, shit locations on shit projects but hung in there and made the best of it, they don’t want to know.

As Tim notes it’s probably worse these days as all they care about is if you’re 100% on message and you tick all the right diversity boxes. You might think that this isn’t such a big deal. Well, it is as it requires you to sell your soul a little bit every day.

Commenter Theoprastus left a great comment on Tim’s piece on the subject:

The management mediocrity with vaulting ambition is a recognisable type. S/he arrives in an organisation and proceeds roughly as follows:-
1. Demands staff provide lots of information that is readily available elsewhere in the organisation. (Anyone who points this out is a marked wo/man.)
2. Hires management consultants or conducts an internal review
3. Announces major reorganisation – often just before Christmas, in the hope that some people will leave in the meantime – with “programme of cultural change”, in which everyone will have apply for the newly designed posts.
4. Asks the power-skirts in HR to deliver an assessment centre with psychometric testing etc that will weed out 90% of the existing staff.
5. Replaces key staff with his/her own appointments, who s/he believes will be loyal and biddable.
6. Explains resulting inefficiencies as the inevitable price of the necessary reorganisation, when it’s simply the predictable loss of organisational memory.
7. Explains the necessary changes will take time to bed in, and will have to be tweaked (ie returned to something closer to what they were).
8. Announces departure for more high-powered post…
9. Rinse and repeat.



Tim linked to this wonderful piece by the magisterial Theodore Dalrymple – In Defense of Mediocrity.

And the rapid and phenomenal spread of education has increased the spread of ambition with it, much of it inevitably of the apparatchik type, that is to say the determination to climb some bureaucratic career ladder detached from any purpose except survival and, if possible, self-aggrandizement. To climb such a ladder you have to be both ruthless and submissive at the same time. You have to be egotistically prepared to stab people in the back in the scramble for advancement, while at the same time being prepared to suppress your own personality by uttering other people’s clichés at the expense of your own thoughts. Unpreparedness to do this, either through lack of training or moral scruple, unfits you for a career in the organization, any organization. You have to learn to lie with clichés, and do so with a straight face.

The only people who excel in that sort of world are sociopaths and professional Quislings. And there are a lot of them about.


Did I say sociopath? The Z Man has thoughts on the matter: Rule by Sociopath.

Notice that saying you are taking responsibility is now the same as actually taking responsibility. The normal way in which one would seek forgiveness is to confess, demonstrate contrition and atone for the crime. In other words, usually you suffer for having done wrong. It is the willingness to accept punishment that demonstrates your acceptance of right and wrong. What we have here is a soulless effort to turn bad behavior into a political asset by fooling people about her contrition.

This sort of thing has become a feature of the managerial class, as it has become increasingly feminized.

Everything is connected. The ripples continue to fan out in little waves.


But I suppose I shouldn’t use the term sociopath. This gives them some sort of credibility, as if the cause for their dreadful behavior is some sort of mental affliction, which will thus confer on them the coveted status of victim.

No, what they do is evil. Stop mistaking evil for mental illness.

For decades, we have witnessed the psychiatric community taking acts long considered evil, or at least immoral and illegal, and deeming them a “psychological disorder” that needs to be cured.  It’s good for business, I suppose.

However, it’s a disaster for the culture.  As C.S. Lewis lamented in his essay “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” when it comes to crime and punishment, we too often are facing off with those who believe “that all crime is more or less pathological.”  Thus, instead of the criminal “getting what he deserves” – what used to be called “justice” – we must heal or cure him, and, as Lewis puts it, “punishment becomes therapeutic.”


They even want to confer victim status on males now. I mean, whowoulddathoughit? No, our boys are not ‘broken’.

One of the most important aspects of healthy masculinity is that a good man must be able to endure pain, to shrug off insults, and to avoid complaining about his suffering. When I’d take my sons on mountain hikes, the younger ones would sometimes get tired and start whining. “There is no crying on the Bataan Death March,” I’d say, and tell them about how soldiers survived that brutal ordeal. Also, I’d point out to them that the greatest triumph of Muhammad Ali’s career was a fight he lost, when Ken Norton broke his jaw, and yet Ali still went the distance, fighting on to finish the 12th round and lose a split decision. Take the pain and keep going — that’s what a man has to do.


The current state of the feminist nation.

Money quote:

These guys are notoriously aggressive animals, particularly right now at the end of the dry season.


Back in the days when Australian advertising was awesome. This commercial was produced before the rise of modern management.




Spread the word.


Shooting Abbott only makes him stronger.


  1. “Personality disorder” is simply the polite way psychology says “human evil”. It’s all there in the name, if you unpack it. Your personality is your *person*. It’s who you are, it’s the difference between you and a warm lump of meat.

    As for modern management: I contract. It’s simple – the person who signs my timesheet and so approves my money is my boss. Last time I worked as an employee, I had four managers. “Matrix management”, I think they call it. It was horrible.

  2. MPH

    Recruitment used to be done by the position owner who understood the competency requirements of the job. Now it is done by HR who have no idea what the position they are filling actually does on a technical level so can’t differentiate candidates on competence, therefore they differentiate candidates based on things they do understand and value. So when your HR department is 80% women with ‘degrees’ in HR or other ‘humanities’ nonsense, guess what their values are, and guess who they’re going to recruit.

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