Saturday, November 11, 2023

Quote of the Day (Janan Ganesh, on Offices and ‘The Demystification of the Successful’)

“Except in sectors where the minimum standard is kept high through regulation — medicine, say, or piloting — the standard in a profession is always lower than outsiders would credit. This has to be drummed into young people from less privileged backgrounds, all too many of whom believe that every lawyer is Earl Warren, every trader a Fields Medalist. The office allows them to observe colleagues flail under pressure, utter banalities, or just shamble around. The ultimate benefit of going to the office is the demystification of the successful. You can’t see someone’s clay feet over Zoom.”—“Citizen of Nowhere” columnist Janan Ganesh, “Why the Young Should Go to the Office,” The Financial Times, Nov. 4-5, 2023

The image accompanying this post comes from the 1999 movie Office Space, with Gary Cole playing the kind of clay-footed boss that Ganesh has in mind. 

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