Saturday, February 11, 2012


In starting to examine my professional future, I see the attitudes expressed in this article rear their ugly heads all too often. Really? Several things expressed here just hit me all kinds of wrong ways.

I do not have an MBA, or even a degree--though my transcripts show a lot of units and a strong (3.6+) GPA across many subjects--from math and science to history and English. Well-rounded, yes, but mostly just open to learning.

Work started for me at 15 and I've been employed fairly consistently since then because, frankly, I actually prefer contributing to my own livelihood. Apparently, Google and Apple would have rather I lived off my parents and interned at 19 instead of standing knee deep in mud building fencing. Of course, Apple was still in it's infancy back then, as were the founders of Google, but the elitist attitude of that particular item on the checklist grates on me. A lot.

My jobs have included food service, digging trenches, building fences, and weed-whacking for hours on end. On the more intellectual side, there has been software testing, figuring out and following computer code and logic, and even helping put together complex financial transactions. Most recently, I've learned to maneuver in the truly convoluted dimension that some call the healthcare industry, including a high success rate of getting things done within the CMS (Medicare/Medicaid) systems so my customers would get paid. It may seem like a simple thing, but it often means filtering the three different things you were told by three different people to come to the right solution.

I'm not afraid to get dirty. It is not beneath me to fill the paper-towel dispenser. Show me a new program or application and I'll figure it out well enough to run you reports and then give you reasonable feedback on the UI. Give me a draft of your marketing brochure and I'll clean up the buzz words and make you sound human and interesting.

Whatever you give me to do, you get my best in return. What I do well is get in and figure out how to get stuff done, or at least get you more information to move the ball forward--and not just off my desk.

If that's not good enough for Silicon Valley, well that's okay with me. Elitism, be it based on financial or intellectual merits, is self-defeating in any company. Not valuing people who get things done, even before they work for you but especially after, leaves you little to stand on when you need it most. I'm now lucky enough to work for someone who values that, so despite our recent woes, he gets to keep me.

There is much more to say on this subject but there are other things that need doing today. Besides, this is a HORSE blog, right? More on the ponies later, thanks for reading my rant!

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