Apr 23, 2007 - Society    10 Comments

In the republic of mediocrity, intelligence is dangerous


The most insidious influence on the young is not violence, drugs, tobacco, drink or sexual perversion, but our pursuit of the trivial and our tolerance of the third rate. –
Eric Anderson

Is it just me or are there other people who get completely pissed at the lack of passion, conviction, time and quality that seems to go into creating everything around us, be it consumer products, pieces of art or literature. Is it just me who wants to break the maddening and never ending cycle (or so it seems) of mediocrity where everything inventive is shunned because it either requires effort and time or you actually are required to get off the oft trodden path which is unacceptable to so many of us because it is “The Known.”
When I accept a job, I generally assume that people have hired me because I am good at what I do and people who hire me claim to need me so that I can enhance the existing quality of work. Recently, I signed on to rewrite the web contents of a technological firm. The original website had too many typos so I sat down and rewrote some parts and edited and proof read the rest. I finished my task in the stipulated time but only a few pages at the website were upgraded. When I asked them why have they not changed the rest of the pages, they said that they don’t need to change them as those pages don’t get hit often. I was flabbergasted. I mean I have already done the work, and if you can upload 6 pages, why not upload 11 more pages? How hard can that be? They had already paid me the full sum of money promised, but they opted not to use my services to the max. when I argued more, they terminated my 6 months contract after just three months of services. Needless to say, I’m really not proud of the site and have not included it in my CV. I don’t want people to know that I am responsible for a site where major typos exist. What the world has come to? As a person, I offered my best to the world, but I was ridiculed and insulted and I still cannot believe that I was punished for not my worst effort but for striving for the best.
Ask anyone, they bemoan the fact that they cannot hire smart and talented individuals who can independently carry out tasks. I used to believe all such individuals till I encountered “The Wall.” I wanted to change my job and started looking around. I applied to a few places and some other people called me as well when they heard that I was available (in the job market, that is). I went for all the interviews, all the interviews went great, my CV is quite impressive (yes, I know, I am not modest) I am articulate, confident and has proven my ability to deliver the good innumerable times, but I was never appointed although I got great vibes in all my interviews.
Now, the question that I ask myself is, how do I, and other three and half people like me, control this celebration of everything mediocre and mundane, how do we put an end to this ongoing festival of the sub-par? Do we die trying or try dying? If you’re like me who can’t stifle the passion that goes into your work, you will probably die trying.

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10 Comments

  • Well said! Bloody incompetents holding us back! Haha

  • yes. true this is

  • I guess you over impressed frekin interviews, they give good vibes but why should they hire someone who can challenge there almost non existent intelligence and can question there authority.

  • Well! love to live with the fact that people hate to hire who are intelligent and could question their authority. Darling world is of mediocrity. It is extremly difficult to be in job and remain so vocal. Well if you can withstand it.. certainly you will make a mark. I can understand as many a times I am also the victim.

  • u couldnt be righter about the republic of..but maybe thats how it goes ..or has been so far atleast
    yo tazeen i still think u should get hitched 😉
    save some breath for the big fat bald one(not to mention ‘mediocre’) and unleash all this upon him no?

  • you want me to get hitched and that too to a big fat bald one !!!

    ok but he has got to be as rich as King Abdullah if he is fat and bald (and it goes without saying that he too would be mediocre)

  • There are two kinds of people in this world, actually make that three – (1) the ones who believe that no work and maximum pay is a career objective (2) the ones who believe that only that much work that will make your boss nod his/her head is part of their job description (3) the ones who believe that job satisfaction is about proving to yourself that you’re good. The question of course is, which of these three is the smartest strategy. My guess is 90% of the population would say the first. The ones who opt for the third option would in all probability be frustrated with their jobs or frustrated with their incompetent team. Probably those who didnt hire you (or me) believe that if a third kind came on board they might lose their jobs. I mean you wouldn’t want someone to figure out you’re incompetent would you?

  • Do your own thing! The mind needs to constantly create & what better than to find a means of expression in the real world. Easier said than done, one needs a balanced perspective of areas like finance, marketing etc before taking the plunge into launching a business venture. As for me, I am still doing time with a startup out here in Bangalore. But the level of freedom to experiment & create seems inversely proportional to the size & organizational hierarchy that sets in place in any reasonably successful creation. You & I cleary do not fit in the “process” mould required to work in large setups, so the writing is on the wall. Start something new:)…

  • Tez,

    I know exactly what you mean. I had started a software company in Pak – and after butting heads with my Pakistan based partners over pretty much the same thing, I cashed out with the intention of NEVER looking back. Luckily, for peeps like my self, I have the comfort of Silicon Valley to get right back to, however, I feel for intelligent, talented, and hardworking (a rare breed even in Silicon Valley) peeps back in Pakistan. I wish you all the best. Actually, if I get bitten by another bug of trying to start something again in Pak, I’ll look you up!

    Cheers! and keep up the good work – don’t ever give up on you, just remember to dump the moron employers the first chance you get.

  • Mediocrity, be gone!

    If only we learned the power of ‘excellence’ in everything we do…

    If only we dared to hire people who’re better than us…

    Ps. Dont give up. Nature actually does favor those who’re committed to excellence and innovation.

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