Quantity Trumps Quality


If we are lagging in production, medical services, wages, quality of life, education–it all has everything to do with the margin of greed we have accepted as a fact of nature as certain as death. This then promotes the petite bourgeois bureaucratic mentality that governs virtually all thinking and managing on the job, everywhere. I do understand that there are qualified people who want to serve, but mostly they get weeded out by the petty authority that usually gets promoted because petty authority is more easily managed and gets on board with the less-than-qualified-good-enough mentality. Also, they are less inclined to promote people who are as qualified or more qualified as they are; their positions most likely having been secured by what quota they fill. But this is integral to the general inefficiency anywhere hiring and promoting practices emulate this pattern. I am still trying to figure out how this helps anyone. It does not.

There are enough people who can turn a blind eye to bigotry–just ask white people. There will always be enough who will deny that any kind of on-the-job prejudice against Italian-American men exists, some who might even say it is about time because I am white, and others who to themselves will say you don’t like it, do you, as if two contrary wrongs make a right–actually they would only result in a zero for everybody, including the people who the organization serves. But let this not sound like sour grapes from a white catholic Italian-American man, and only like a genuine critique from a citizen who sees quantity again triumphing over quality and race centered hiring and promoting and rewarding on the job for what it is, racist, racist, endemically racist. I do understand when people of color say America is an endemically racist society. Of course, we are, and everybody, I mean everybody, participates. All of us everywhere all the time.

Waste is  managed, not eliminated, except where government grants fund the operations. Then a pseudo-marketplace mentality is assumed, and administrators get to play in a pretend big-time world where their decisions are judged as they would be in a for-profit company, at least in so far as the bureaucracy manages its quotas for performance evaluation.  There is generally no regard for time of service, seniority, or for quality of work because again, less qualified can be manipulated into good enough to meet the government’s numbers at the end of the fiscal year. This we see in education across America–particularly in ESOL where for sure, less qualified seems to be rewarded more greatly than qualified, particularly if it is in New York City and the less qualified or those with less seniority are people of color, better, women of color, even better, African-American women. If you are a Jewish woman, then this is better than being a white Catholic male, Italian American, absolutely. I am speaking from experience, yet I understand that if the shoes were on another foot, then speaking about discrimination based on race and/or gender would be accepted without question. I am, though, a white man, a Catholic, an Italian-American. I know that I am being excluded from the inner circle of operations at work based on race and ethnicity. We cannot say that African-Americans can be racist. We’re not allowed. I know that my time of service, my rate of retention in the classroom and my student’s rate of advance is among the highest. My scores on the refresher course we have to take to continue administering the computer based exam we give to our students are among the highest, yet, I am excluded from post testing, I am given a lot fewer assignments at registration and teachers with years fewer on the job than I have are given extra classes over me. Race, race and race.

The inefficiency or even the buffoonery that arises from time to time in policy decisions–but mostly decisions by race, by ethnicity or by gender–that get made are primary in an organization that does not have to show profits to survive. In the marketplace, presumably, the more qualified should get hired irrespective of race or gender or ethnicity, but oftentimes even in the marketplace, quality coupled with bureaucratic quantification is primary. Age discrimination has become one of the most acceptable forms of job discrimination, rationalized by the idea that younger workers, although less experienced, will give more for less–and this less is important. To maximize profits, profits determined by margins of greed not endured in the west since before the French Revolution, costs need to be minimized. First, this is accomplished by cutting benefits or eliminating them, most easily by increasing the number of part-time employees and decreasing the number of full-time employees. (ESOL programs across America are notorious for treating their dedicated and long serving teachers as if they were serfs, management and administrators acting with impunity as they play hop-scotch with people’s livelihoods).

Non-profit or virtually non-profit organizations do not need to seek quality workers for any of their positions. Good-enough is the marker of determination, more specifically, what racial or ethnic quota can be filled from any of the semi-qualified to quantify that the non-profit is not racist or prejudiced in their hiring. Of course, this infers that the only kind of racism in hiring that could exist is one where white HR workers hire white appliers. Except in how many people of color HR hires and promotes, there is no way to prove that the company is not racist when it hires anyone based on qualifications that have not been lowered. Qualified people of color need not apply. Quotas in hiring are privileges established to address actual or perceived or media received inequalities. However, they only add to the stress of inequality in society; they do not eradicate the inequality; they were never meant to do so. In fact, they reinforce inequality, oftentimes causing us to look for or create the illusion of inequality if it did not persist. This kind of privileging does not demand quality and therefore, there is a lessening of the need to acquire quality in skills or talents. Furthermore, quality, actual quality is ignored. The preference is for the less qualified man or woman from among the established quotas because  the man or woman of quality from among the quotas is only going to think of his job as a right and not a privilege. It’s not that qualified people of non-color get hired either–mediocrity is sought to rationalize or even silently justify the lower rate of pay.



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