One thing I’ve noticed in the last few years across various industries and workplaces is that many workers are hampered by something this buzzword concept you always hear a lot about, “Training.” In theory it’s the be all, end all. Struggling? You need more training. Promotion? More training. Attempt to troubleshoot? More training is needed first. Want to problem solve a bit more? You need this certification. It’s a disaster and monster’s own creation. It’s become worse then just a vague buzzword.
Years ago I was looking to move up the ladder a bit as a 3rd shift stocker, at a grocery store – perhaps take on more responsibility, place some orders, do inventory, etc. My manager didn’t mind the idea, but mentioned that you needed to take some classes on the computers in the back of the store to make a bit more money and move up. I remember thinking to myself, “What and how does training courses on a computer help me better in my current role?” Obviously, it didn’t.
The Z-man had a post about human capital and if people are better of today than in the past. He theorizes both yes and no and about genetics playing a part, besides the Pinkerton analysis that the decline of interpersonal violence means we are better off. (I do think Pinkerton makes a good point on that subject.)
My thoughts however diverged in a different direction from his initial post. There’s a key element to human capital that we tend to overlook; predictability. I’ll try to hastily summarize it here and perhaps better think through it for the future.
I suppose this happens when you get older, get married, hit that magic 30, grow some gray hairs in your fatherly beard, and of course have some kids. For others it just a slow unraveling of the established wisdom you learned as a kid through “young” adulthood.
My kids – toddlers or not – when at restaurants weren’t going to use our phones to entertain themselves to stop them from tantruming and screaming. They weren’t going to toys in Walmart when they threw tantrums. (Yea I was definitely wrong on that one.) You have a specific way of thinking about your present circumstances and a supposed plan for the future.
One thing I’ve realized in the last few years coming off my self identified edgelord time – if it can even be called that – is that I don’t know as much as I thought I did. This realization applies to all aspects of life. I’m in a different season of life now and not only have my circumstances changed, but this isn’t 2006 or 2008 anymore.
Lost in the twitter chaos and YouTube backlash to that Gillette commercial – now the 5th most down voted video in YouTube history is something that really leaps out and grabs you by our apparent toxic natures:
Take a second look. No, it’s not that this commercial doesn’t actually bother discussing anything about shaving.
Catch that? The rolling around in the dirt, trying to get the best position and hold? It’s quite an ancient and historied activity throughout many cultures across the world since the beginning of time. Wrestling. In all of it’s forms. Olympians of old and new, rituals, state competitions, any old tussle in the backyard; it’s apparently a demonstration of the ever widening examples of toxic masculinity.