I don’t know why, but whenever I hear the word “nepotism” I instantly think two things:
-1. something has died.
-2. it has to do with men.
Thank goodness my brain kicks in, albeit three seconds too late as these images have already crossed my mind.
For the first point, obviously I was considering “necrophilia”, the sexual attraction to corpses. That is so fucking gross I don’t even know where to go with this sentence.
The second point has to do with our culture of sexist language, as well as how long women have (not) been in the work force. I’d always considered nepotism to be a male figure showing favoritism to his son, typically by hiring him on at the company and giving him all the unearned privileges normally passed on to more seasoned employees.
or favoritism shown
on the basis of family relationship.
No mention of one sex or the other. Not sure how this idea came into my head, but I’m always open to educating myself and being rid of faulty notions. Hoorayz for dictionary.com!
A recent and somewhat vocal example of (alleged) nepotism circulated throughout Hollywood several months ago when a new HBO show called GIRLS went on the air. We don’t have cable, so I’m sure it made a big splash, or maybe not — everything good will eventually be available on Netflix so I tend to avoid “keeping up with the [television programming] Joneses”. You’ll have to let me know if this was a big hit or flaccid miss.
Anyway, I guess the four main actresses are each the child of a celebrity (though I was admittedly unfamiliar with the parental units), and there are all kinds of people pissed about it, because (*le gasp*) networking and pulling strings is only okay in Corporate America, not in TV Land!
I have to admit — I don’t really give many shits over this issue. Not being an actress, or even an aspiring actress, I don’t see this as a personal problem. Because I gotta tell you, if I did decide to go into theater, you better bet your sweet petunia I’m calling in all my cards. er… That’s… metaphorical cards. Not real ones. My parents aren’t celebs. Just so we’re clear.
Yeah, Hollywood can do whatever it wants, and I just can’t muster the energy to care.
But when nepotism — the bad kind — hits a little closer to home, that’s when I start to snarl like the rabid bitch that I am. My hubz used to work for a company which dabbled in nepotism like a shark dabbles in pool. The owner was a pretty okay guy — extremely generous, actually. To the point that his douche-bag brother was given management over one of the branches.
My hubz worked at that branch. It was miserable. The guy was a known perv who had been accused of sexual harassment on more than one occasion. All the cases ended in settlement, of course, the victims’ silence purchased with large sums of cash. He was also renowned for disappearing for long stretches of time and returning obviously high on something. He took credit for all the work he dumped on his employees… among them, my hubz, who had the job of “acting manager” because the real manager was too fucked up to do the job properly.
It’s the owner’s brother, though, so what are you going to do? The owner knew his brother was a jack-hole and did nothing about it.
Eventually my hubz got his own store. And then the company owner’s SON came to work for him. You can imagine how nice that was. That little piece of shit was a coke-head, too, and he liked to cuss out the shoppers when they got on his nerves. Do you think my hubz was in a position to fire him? Not so much.
But even I recognize that these are extreme examples of nepotism, and very negative ones at that. Nepotism doesn’t always have to be a downer. Networking is a mild form of nepotism. Think about it — you know someone who works at a prospective place of employment, and you ask them to put in a good word for you. As your friend, the person does you a favor, pulls some strings, and gets you hired. How is that any different?
Or another mild example: My father worked for a company for several years, and when I reached an age where I could apply, I did so. Normally an applicant should expect fourteen interviews throughout the process, but because of my father’s reputation as a good worker, I cut that down to a mere three interviews. And I damn-well knew the whole time I worked there that it was only because of my dad that I got such an awesome job. Again, how is this different?
Behavior is what’s different. Assuming you are grateful for what your friend has done, and assuming you don’t act like a fart-brain after getting hired, and assuming you do your darned-est to prove that taking a chance on you was a good decision… then everything is gravy.
My hubz doesn’t hire friends of his employees. It always ends badly. The last time he made an exception to this rule, the guy he hired was a total loser who admitted to other employees that he had no intention of doing any actual work. When my hubz told the original employee — the one who made the recommendation — that a firing was eminent, she actually said she was glad because he was completely worthless as a coworker.
And so ended that friendship.
Nepotism — whether giving favors to friends or family — if you’re the one lending a helping hand, keep in mind that your hand might end up getting bit off. If you’re the one on the receiving end, maybe you should consider NOT being a complete and utter ass-hat. Your actions impact others, and make everyone associated with you look really, really bad.
AtoZ August 2012 — A Month of Controversy
Throughout the money of August 2012, my dear friend Aaron @dadblunders and I are doing a dry run of the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. This past April was my first official participation in such activity, and I had no idea what I was doing. No theme, no forethought, purely spur-of-the-moment. This time around, I have a plan. Join the fun!
For this event, I am engaging in a month of controversy. Consider yourself forewarned.