Posts tagged ‘career’

August 12, 2012

#45) Learning from an idiot who just might be a genius

If you are reading this and know who Taylor Grey Meyer is, then by definition, she would have to be considered a genius, because just over a week ago, no one had any idea who she was.  If you haven’t heard of Taylor Grey Meyer, read further and decide for yourself.

Sometimes the line between idiocy and genius can be a blurry one, and the story of Taylor Meyer is an example.  After moving to San Diego with hopes of landing a job for the Padres baseball team, she met with one rejection after another.  Even her application for a minimum wage job selling tickets was dismissed with a form letter.

Then, she was presented with an “opportunity”, which basically entailed her spending $495 to go to a job fair at Petco Park.  Taylor Meyer declined, putting forth a different proposition:

“In the spirit of reciprocity, I would like to extend you a counter-offer to suck my dick.  Clearly I don’t have one of these, so my offer makes about as much sense as yours.”

In a week, the email has taken on a life of its own, circulating through offices across America.  I learned about it from an article by blogger Chris Brogan in which he asks, “Would you hire this person?”  Reaction to the email has ranged from the traditional “She’s burned her bridges” school of thought to many comments praising her willingness to shake things up and tell it like it is.

Perhaps Taylor Meyer speaks for many people who are either unemployed, under-employed or miserably employed.  Perhaps in Meyer, those higher up on the corporate ladder see someone who’s not afraid to take chances, who won’t overthink decisions and will lead companies in a bold new direction.  Just as Peter Gibbons, the character from the film “Office Space”, got a promotion by  bucking corporate convention, Taylor Meyer might find herself receiving opportunities that might not have come her way had she played it cool and kept her mouth shut.  The fact is, for better or worse, many more people know who Taylor Meyer is than a week ago.  Having been unemployed for close to a year, and having had to drop out of law school, Meyer undoubtedly felt that she had nothing to lose.

Of course, only time will tell if Meyer’s letter was a good move.  But if only one person answers “yes” to the rhetorical question Chris Brogan posed in his blog, then the letter will have done its job.  And even if no one hires her, that letter still just might be the work of a genius.


April 2, 2012

#38) Learning From Idiots, Part 3

Talk about hating your job.

Hans Url, a 56-year old Austrian man, was told that the government disability benefits he was receiving would run out if he refused a job that had been found for him.  He responded by sawing off his own foot to remain on disability.

As bizarre as the story is, and as unsympathetic a character as Url may be compared to the countless people in the United States and elsewhere who are desperate for work, I’ve caught myself thinking about his plight since I first heard about it last week.  When I’ve found myself being less than thrilled about work, I think at least I don’t hate my job enough to cut my own foot off.  Come to think of it, I’ve never had a job–even working in a Greyhound bus station or teaching special education in South Los Angeles–that I’ve hated so much that I would consider doing something like that.

It’s safe to say, too, that Url is obviously not quite right in the head.  Like the killers profiled in Jonathan Kambouris’s Last Meals Project (see D-Theory #24),   Url is a human being, however inappropriate and dangerous his actions may have been.  No, he doesn’t get many sympathy votes when compared to people who suffer such devastating injuries through no fault of their own, but he obviously was in some sort of emotional pain and distress.  After all, nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to cut off their own foot, no matter how much they hate their job.  Whether he’s a dangerous psychopath or a victim of an inefficient government bureaucracy, Hans Url’s story stood out to me among all of the other news items I’ve consumed recently.

The irony is that, for all of his efforts, Url may have to go to work after all.  Like Cary Elwes’s character from the movie “Saw”, his efforts may be all in vain.