Step 6: Were entirely ready to remove all defective characters in our way.
Incompetence Anonymous (IA) Step 6 is often misquoted at traditional recovery meetings as a Freudian slip by nervous newcomers. AA’s Step 6, Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character, is sandwiched between admitting the exact nature of our wrongs and asking our higher power to remove our shortcomings. In IA, however, Step 6 is preceded by criticisms from a condescending boss and foreshadows an office reorganisation without you in it.
As discussed in brown-nose nose-diving effect, incompetent bureaucrats and sociopathic bosses tend to hire less competent underlings or employees they can fully control. Unfortunately, if you do not fit their mold of minion, then you need to be dispatched. For them, an intervention is nothing more than removing a name from an organisation chart. If you have ever found yourself on the wrong side of a burnt bridge after an office restructuring, then you know exactly what I mean.
Speaking of constructive dismissal, let’s not confuse an incompetent supervisor with someone who is just being an arsehole. It is no secret that many incompetent bureaucrats suffer from the dual affliction of incompetence and arseholism. Arseholism, as you may be aware, is an extreme personality disorder associated with many incompetent bureaucrats. Anecdotal evidence suggests a correlation between incompetence and arseholism, but further study is required to determine the exact link. Suffice it to say, that where there is one, then the other is likely to surface.
If an incompetent arsehole suddenly becomes competent, then they may no longer be incompetent, but they are still an arsehole. Not to worry, IA saw that one coming. IA’s holistic approach to recovery developed a range of IA support groups, and Incompetents Arsehole Anonymous (IAA) was developed for this particular situation. IAA is proving popular with existing members working in the political arena and is expected to become the flagship program for IA.
To be honest, I must admit that I have worked for many competent bosses, and most of them did not suffer from arseholisn. I have been fortunate in that way. That said, the few arseholic bosses that I have worked for were also stellar candidates for IA. I guess it’s a chicken verses the egg scenario. I have met many accountants, for example, and most of them are a tad anal. Does becoming an accountant make one anal or do anal personalities gravitate towards careers in accounting? Same thing about incompetence and arseholism.
My theory is that any incompetent hired under the brown-nose nose-diving effect is an arseholic in the making. That may be a moot point if you are sitting one rung below an incompetent arseholic on the corporate ladder. Unfortunately, the only way to survive this situation is to duck and cover. If you do not follow your supervisors every directive, then you may find yourself out of a job. There may be no “I” in team, but from their perspective, unless you do their exact bidding there is no “U” in team either. In corporate environments, they call that downsizing, in IA we call it brownsizing. Believe me; I have been there.
Future columns will discuss my continued journey through the IA recovery process. Until then, feel free to view the inaugural IA meeting, learn about Incompetents Anonymous, read the Audacity Prayer and 12+1 Steps, or become familiar with IA’s additional support groups.