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Saturday, October 8, 2011

School Feedback vs. Work Feedback

I noticed a severe difference between the type of feedback you get in school, compared to the feedback you get when working.

In school, especially in Math, there's explicit direct feedback. "You said that the answer is 17. The correct answer is 23. Here's why you're wrong." Even for memorization contests like history, there's feedback. "Truman was President after FDR. Your answer of Eisenhower is wrong." or "That word isn't spelled correctly."

However, it's more vague in the humanities. If an essay is given a B instead of an A, you usually can't prove why it was marked down.

At work, feedback is nonexistent or misleading. For example, if I'm given a programming employment screening test, they usually won't say "The correct answer is X." Instead, they merely say "We're not hiring you.", without giving the reason.

The employer also is failing to get feedback. If they fail to hire someone awesome, they'll never know. If they hire someone who doesn't work out, then that looks bad. So, they try to avoid one type of error (hiring someone you later fire), missing out on another type of error (missing out on someone good). (In fact, "Don't hire really smart people." matches "Don't match people I'm forced to fire because they make me look bad.") Most corporations have a monopoly/oligopoly, so missing out on someone good doesn't matter. Even for startups, the VC connections are more important than having a good product, so corruption still reigns. The fundamental problem is a non-free market. Inefficient employers don't get punished by competition.

Some of the work feedback is outright misleading. Your boss might say "FSK is not a team player." when he really means "You shouldn't disagree with me, even when I'm wrong. I feel threatened by you, because you're smarter than me." Nobody could explicitly say to me "FSK, you're a lousy programmer.", because I'd never believe them. Instead, they make up other excuses.

I used to think it was random, whether I got along well with someone or not. That's false. Some people are decent and some are scum. I get along well with the decent people. No matter how polite I am, scum won't get along well with me, because they're offended by my competence.

Of course, a pro-State troll says "That's a very ego-centric definition. People who agree with FSK are good, and people who disagree with FSK are evil." I'm very well in-tune with the truth now, so it's reasonable for me to define people who disagree with me as evil, especially people who have the parasitic or psychopathic personality type. That also includes intelligent-but-deluded people who can't see past their pro-State brainwashing, and get hostile when I challenge their false beliefs. Of course, a psychopath would define me as evil, although they'd make up other excuses, so it's fairly well reciprocated.

That was a very interesting analogy. In school, especially when studying Math, there's explicit objective feedback. At work, there's either no feedback, or vague and misleading feedback. Someone who's really threatened by your competence will make up another excuse. A coworker who's backstabbing you will be friendly to your face. (I've had coworkers and bosses tell me that I was doing a good job, while they were trashing my reputation to their bosses.) If someone doesn't hire you, they will typically give zero feedback or misleading feedback.

It is very frustrating, that it's hard to get accurate feedback when working. I'm able to see between the lines now, and see what's actually happening, and not what people say. My problem when working is not "I can't write software that runs well." My problem is getting backstabbed by evil coworkers. No matter how good you are at writing software, that won't solve the problem of sabotage by evil coworkers. In fact, being a better programmer and more in-tune with emotions, only makes evil people more eager to eliminate you as competition. Due to the nature of the State, every business has some parasitic or psychopathic people pulling the strings.


Anonymous said...

Another excellent post.

A friend of mine did a university course part-time and won a prize in a competition. Her tutors at university gave her work much praise.

However at work she was being bullied by her co-workers as the new management agenda was to fire older, long-term employees and replace them with young graduates.

Anonymous said...

I went to an elite university. My university projects always gained 1st class marks and were highly praised as original pieces of work by the examiners.

However when I went to a Microsoft interview, the HR woman spent at least ten minutes on the telephone telling me how stupid I was!

I told her I couldn't understand why she was saying these things. I told her I was running my own business and that my software sold very well. The woman replied they had no proof I had written that software!

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