Incompetents Anonymous (IA) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from incompetence. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop being incompetent.
Welcome to the first in a series of posts on this exciting new self-help movement. The IA movement borrows heavily from the traditional 12 step recovery process, while taking into account the unique issues surrounding the recovery needs of incompetents. Challenges inherent in dealing with incompetents, as compared to addicts, necessitated the inclusion of at least one additional step in the process. This makes IA the first 12 +1 Step recovery program in existence.
Future posts will discuss the 12+1 Steps of IA in more detail, but first, it is crucial to understand the unique characteristics of incompetents, as compared to addicts, and how those characteristics inspired the movement.
- Addicts must hit a personal “bottom” before any true recovery can commence. For those suffering with addiction issues, this bottom is often a very traumatic and most obvious event. Incompetents, on the other hand, tend to be placed fairly high in a hierarchy and are often oblivious to their ills of incompetence. An oblivious incompetent is, obviously, a more difficult nut to crack.
- Traditional recovery programs emphasize the anonymous aspect of the process. In most cases, an addict can maintain some form of anonymity. Incompetents, on the other hand, are not anonymous to anyone other than themselves.
- A functional addict can still be a competent worker, but the concept of a “functional incompetent” is, in itself, an oxymoron.
Dr. StrangeJob is credited with the development of the 12 +1 Step IA movement. His visionary approach foresaw the need to expand the support function beyond the ills of the mere incompetent. As with an addict, an incompetent can have a devastating effect on friends and family. Additionally, a single incompetent can have a demoralizing effect on the workplace. An addict, for example, can lose control and pee all over themselves, but a single incompetent with managerial control can piss off an entire organization. These concerns dictated the need to develop additional support groups.
Similar to Al-Anon, IA-Anon will provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s incompetence. Alatweet, a sister group to IA-Anon, is an online version of IA-Anon designed for the younger tech savvy sufferer. Dr. StrangeJob also envisioned the need for a unique support group for fellow workers. The adage that your workplace can “drive you to drink” receives its own support group in ACOI (Alcoholic Colleagues of Incompetents). Lastly, IAA (Incompetent Asshole Anonymous), attempts to address the complex issue of severe incompetence combined with the most common personality disorders of the suffering IA member.
Refer to Part II (The Audacity Prayer & 12 +1 Steps) and Part III (IA Membership Drive) for more detail.
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