How Much Learnen Y'all Got?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Aussie Thoughts, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    I worked as a stock boy for Woolworth while in college and was promoted to assistant manager upon graduation. Back then they didn't have an HR department per se. Just a personnel director for upper management and corporate positions. Hiring and promotions at store level was done by the regional manager, store manager or assistant, depending on the position that needed to be filled. One of my jobs was to hire part-time staff. Everything from placing the ad to conducting the interviews.

    This was the early 80's a time of relatively high unemployment. Typically whenever I advertised an opening, 40 or 50 people would show up. So I started adding 'college preferred' to the advert, even though these were just minimum wage positions, simply to reduce the number of applicants I would have to interview. At one point I had a Physics Major working as a part time cashier!

    When the economy improved however, I avoided hiring people with college backgrounds, because they wouldn't stay. As soon as something better came along, they'd leave and I'd have to hire and train someone all over again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  2. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Yes. A personnel director was the precursor to HR departments. And the difference is night and day because of just what you said. You ran the entire package. You knew what the job requirements were, not just what they were about. You ran the job from beginning to end. From the ad to the hiring.

    Today's HR departments are a den of people with supposedly specialized training. But they have no experience with the job itself for which they are fielding the candidates. They depend on standardized 'tests' (and I use the term both loosely and with disdain) that supposedly gives them insight into a person they haven't even spent time with yet. Everything is impersonal. Worst of all they are ruled by really stupid concepts. Such as - If the person looks you straight in the eye as they respond, it is impossible for them to tell a lie. HR people love this one. And it is, of course, completely false.

    Instead of helping find the best person for a position, HR departments have become the biggest impediment to finding the best person.
     
  3. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Interesting you should bring this up. I have a close acquaintance who has a similar concern. People with social or mental disabilities make her very uncomfortable. It is not something I have an issue with, so I can only speculate from knowing my friend very well.

    I expect the problem is, to put it simply, the unknown. That is, she is aware she is unlikely to understand a response from a behavioral standpoint. All our social pigeonholes for how people respond become useless. This sets her adrift on how to respond appropriately in return. It not only makes her uncomfortable, very often it makes her apprehensive of that person. They do not seem in control.

    The reason this does not bother me is that I think I do see people with social or mental disabilities the same way I see people with a physical one. Their ability to respond in a social environment (such as in my book store) is not damaged. It is that part of their brain has been miswired and they are responding to the best of their ability. That gives me the perspective to make the attempt to unravel what it is they are asking. Or saying.

    That is my pop psych eval for the day! :)
     
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  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Thank you for the response. It appears my issue is with folks who from many appearances seem "normal" (quite judgemental in its own right) yet can't catch social cues... I am often slow to catch on that their responses and actions come not from being obstinant or argumentative, but from a differing brain wiring...

    When I observe this and my reactions closely, it appears that ignorance, or lack of education would fall in the same category.... Why should we be critical of someone that has not had the same benefit of experience or education as we have?
     
  5. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    In my wife's case, HR follows the diversity profile the company has set up to assure they have a proportionate number of minorities in key positions. Some type of federal tax incentive I believe. This takes precedence over everything else in that company. The net result of course, a lot of unqualified people in positions they can't handle including the HR director! This has been a source of frustration for my wife for a long time now. Her biggest gripe is, she no longer has the authority to fire someone no matter how bad their performance. Oddly enough, she was originally hired under that program. In her case it worked out as intended, but since turning implementation over to HR, that's seldom the case anymore.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  6. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    This brings up another point about me that probably goes way more to explaining my reactions than all the nice pop psych I mentioned above. As a rule, we are more patient with people who have difficulties we have had ourselves. At least that is true for me. I was a social basket case from my elementary school years thru my early college years. For some reason I never picked up what the social norms were supposed to be. I was very shy in the first place. VERY shy. I was also very insecure in myself thru that time period.

    As a result I was a social misfit to the point that I was, for all intents and purposes, crippled. It wasn't until my 30s that my wiring finally started getting straightened out. I talk a lot about wisdom a lot. It was experiencing that brutal period of my life that, afterwards, started gaining me the wisdom to look at reality in a fundamentally different way from then forward.

    I am patient with people who have social/mental difficulties because I can empathize with what they are dealing with. I've been there.
     
  7. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    A much harder question to answer. For me to answer anyway. Let's try this. Are you critical because they are ignorant, or lack the level of education? Or is it that they just have no interest in learning. As I have mentioned above, I have zero patience with people who choose ignorance as a life style. And that has nothing to do with level of education as I have seen this with people from high school dropouts to people with PhDs. They seem to take some kind of perverted pride in their ignorance.

    If that is not it, could it be related to the inability to communicate that makes you critical of people with less education. You and they are essentially speaking different dialects of the same language. You may not have the patience to do the work required to bridge that gap? Or are annoyed that you have to do so?

    Two points to ponder any way.
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    This things I have to work on.

    As I said, if you have a broken arm or are in a wheel chair your disability is obvious, and I hold doors, move chairs, help with your baggage etc... I make adjustments to my movements to assist.

    But when you follow me around chattering incessantly, or trample on conversations, or are noticbly intelligent on one subject and verbose yet obtuse on another and it is all due to some synapses not firing correctly... I don't adjust the way I would to the physical needs....

    My current tendency is to avoid....

    Same with the same conspiracy theorists...which I believe your intentional ignorance applies.
     
  9. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    That's interesting. Had you a particular career in mind with either choice of study? I had my heart set on being a teacher, hence the education degree, but took a few photography classes while at university to fill my schedule and fell in love with that.
     
  10. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Well that was, of course, back in the great days of Jacques Yves Cousteau and his fascinating scientific adventures aboard the Calypso. He very much inspired me. So I was pushing for that marine biology degree. But then I was derailed by circumstances beyond my control; well beyond anyone's control really. I had to stop everything and it was 10 to 15 years before the situation was resolved so that I could continue.

    By that time, the world had changed. My goals had changed. My interests had changed. It was also the case that I was a bit old to start thinking about beginning a career in such a competitive field of Marine Bio. Running off to sea for weeks and months on end was no longer an option. You get the point I'm sure.

    With all that in mind I looked at my options and the up and coming computer industry was looking very interesting. So I took a bunch of classes working towards an eventual MIS degree.

    Then I suddenly had the opportunity to open my own business. What a choice to have to make! I opted for my own business, which you would know better than most takes 110% of your time. So that is how it all played out and here I am today.
     
  11. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    Nice story. I enjoyed that. I've been luckier than most in that respect I suppose. I was still planning to be a teacher all the way up to my senior year, but I sold my first photo essay before I even graduated, that led to another opportunity and that one another and so on and so on. Next thing you know, I'm a freelance photog with a union card and a lot of foreign ink in my passport. Funny how things work out sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  12. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    I like threads like this. You really get to learn a lot about the people you've been chatting with. I've know Aussie for years, but only learned about a year ago that he once aspired to be a teacher. Now I'm learning that he actually completed his degree! I had assumed that he switched majors. ..and DA once aspiring to be a marine biologist. Wow! Well that explains his avatar. I thought it was supposed to represent the devil, but maybe it's some sort of underwater breathing mask...lol!;)

    Hey DA, what tipped the scales for you in choosing to open your own business? For me it was the opportunity to give myself headaches instead of letting others do it for me. I made 75% less money, but was 100% more happy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  13. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    There you go!
     
  14. StevePame

    StevePame Administrator Admin

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    College grad. Eventually went back so that I could get certified to teach in secondary school because the traditional 'business world' wasn't my thing.

    I spent a lot of time talking with my students about what they want to do next. It is a point I've gotten up on my soap box for before, but I think too many people go to college because that's expected of them, not what they want to do. Follow your passions and interests. Some of the smartest people I know never graduated high school, while I know PhDs who can barely figure out how to open a door.

    While degrees don't matter to me, I know from talking with friends and family that the points raised in this thread about HR departments skipping over people who are self-taught or lacking the sheep skin are true. It has gotten even worse now as a lot of resumes and cover letters are automatically scanned for key words and if a college degree doesn't show up, the scan passes you over and you can forget about an interview.
     
  15. Elfiet

    Elfiet Comme je fus

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    Here in 'la belle province Quebec', an anglophone with a degree can easily be passed over for a francophone without a degree.
    Not very gifted in the language skills I am. Blame that bloke of a father I had.
     
  16. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    That's why I initially decided to become a teacher. Farming just didn't appeal to me and I lacked the constitution needed to survive very long in a traditional business setting.
    It's like that with certain professions down here, but for the most part practical still outshines theory.
     
  17. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    I received a B.A. degree with major in History/minor in English... Later received a Master of Social Work. My profession was Social Work with experiences in psychiatric social work; child protective services and case management. Since retiring I have volunteered at a local hospital and served on the Human Relations Commission.
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I used to.have on my list to go get a degree...could be something I do when I leave work and can audit classes.

    It would come in handy now, but I doubt I'd have ever gotten a degree in const mgmt... Today the young whippersnappers with their degree and debt are willing to work for less than I am...
     
  19. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    I started working on my Bachelor's degree last year, I've been slow to the party and it will be a while before I finish. My relationship to education is my curiosity for problem-solving and understanding complexities, so Environmental Science at the local university is the most stimulating place to be for me. As to others, I don't know if I relate differently depending on educational levels, but since I choose my company carefully I most often surround myself people who are also intellectually curious, people who often end up with a degree because of it.

    I think this thread so far has shown a great deal of distrust towards higher education, stating that the ability of a person vary in either case. And as obvious as it is, the value of a person does not depend on their time on school. How could I think other wise when I just enrolled last year! But my position is that a functional institution instils tools to it's students and fail those that can not gasp them. Again, having these tools does not make these people better people. And the tools are not impossible to acquire on their own, but none is there to test that the tools are used properly.

    Tools are vital to to preform a job, everyone agrees that it takes a rocket scientist to design spaceships, and it takes a surgeon to operate on a person. Equally, some of you might agree with me that it takes a degree in psychology or sociology to understand complex human behaviour. And very few of you will agree with me that understanding religious texts and traditions takes tools and years to properly comment on.

    People without degrees can tinker with engines, perform first aid, make observations on human nature and behaviour. And they can have a very deep and meaningful relationship with the divine. None needs a degree to do something meaningful, but I think that having the tools associated with a degree can make you more capable in specific situations.
     
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  20. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    Well done Tea. I agree with just about everything you have to say here. I don't distrust the learned myself. I just don't care for those who get the idea they now 'know it all' after completing their studies and start to talk down to everyone else. Of course, you run into those types among the uneducated as well.

    Now I decided to become a photographer rather than teach after graduating. Much of my skill as a photographer came after the fact and had nothing to do with my course of study. Still, my time at university and the tools I acquired there, helped me immensely to assimilate those skills. I've been doing it for a good many years now and I'm still learning. Sometimes from complete novices who never learned what can't be done.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
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