Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Racial Fears and Focus

One of the biggest problems in corporate America is the fear of hiring the most qualified candidate if they happen to be Anglo Saxon in appearance. Managers are terrified of lawsuits. Maybe it’s time the concept of race is deleted from our vocabulary. When it comes to work, racial quotas are the most discriminatory invention in the history of humankind.

We must focus exclusively on experience, abilities, personality, and intelligence. Gender and race are meaningless when it comes to job performance potential. Actually the smallest minority in the world are fair skinned, green eyed redheads. Just think about it.

As a job seeker, you must move past the race card. As middle-aged Anglo Saxon job seekers, your skill set and interviewing must be phenomenal to offset the predominant age preferences and the racial quotas in the corporate and education world. It may seem like the odds are stacked against you. However this is why we created this coaching business: to level the playing field.

And likewise if you are a minority, you may feel white privilege prevents you from advancing. Having peak interviewing skills, a well written resume, and the experience makes you a competitive candidate.

Let’s work together to squelch this racial conflict in this great country. Race is who we came from, not the sole defining factor of who we are. In all honesty, many are multi-racial. Race focusing will someday end. Until then, let’s focus on our individual strengths and uniqueness. That’s what makes s candidate STAND out from others!

We understand. If you need help navigating this insane job market, we are here to help. We are offering FIFTY percent off all coaching packages for the month of October.

We won’t talk about race. But we will evaluate your presentation and interview skills and overall impression and help you strengthen your weak areas.

We’ve got you covered.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pronoun Referents: do they belong in the "real" world?

An interesting development is going on in higher academics that soon, if not already, will be bleeding over into the business world. Have you experienced the new social development of personal pronoun referents? Referents are the words one uses to refer back to someone else being either talked to, about, or quoting. Usually gender determines what we automatically call someone. If someone is named Laura and is clearly wearing lipstick and a dress with bust line, we would say /she/. If a person is named George and he clearly has a masculine figure and sporting facial hair, we would say /he/. However, in this gender bender craze, American society is currently undergoing, this is no longer considered politically correct. At first it seems bizarre and then on second glance, it becomes problematic. How do we know what to call someone if we are not allowed to go by visually apparent gender?  Apparently the new protocol is when one writes an email or letter, they sign it with their name and then in parenthesis, they write their pronoun referent preference. For example:

June Narber (prefers she, her, hers, herself)

This strategy is the most sensible way of clearly up confusion but the next phase is even more baffling. There are among us those who do not identify as male or female. They prefer to be referenced as (they, them, themselves). Grammatically this induces a crisis in terms of how we write formal letters, newsletters within a company, or even a simple press release. For example, "Mrs. Terry Smith requests your presence at their reception. They appreciate the interest." When referencing a single person, male, female, or an it, how on earth can we in, even the most barbaric grammatical structure, use /they/ to describe one?  I think that /they/ was chosen as it sound less strange than /it/. But in fact, if someone is not male or female, they are indeed an /it/. If they consider themselves gender fluid being both male and female, are they still an /it/? Have they merged and become a /they/? 

This new development in the ever striving cultural phenomena of trying to cater to a minority of a minority, is going to create absolute confusion. Perhaps gender is something that can be deleted from language but I don't see how that can be done without erasing the very identity of who we are as a people both present tense and past tense. Can you imagine when this segment of society demands that gender neutral terms be applied to our ancestors, the founding fathers, or any historical figure? It is going to be a maddening insane world.

What can we do? We have to do as we are told within our academic and business sectors or we are  not going to be employable. My first suggestion is that we avoid using pronoun referents when at all possible and simply refer to individuals by their last names and/or their title. This may sound cold and impersonal, but I for one prefer someone to call me Narber than a they. And if calling me a she bothers someone, I again would prefer they just repeat my name numerous times within a document than to use the much dreaded word /she/.  But what are we to do when we are asked every time we sign up for a web site, a credit card, an application, or a hundred other things, to check our gender? We are given two choices; male/female  or man/woman. 

Has American reached such an identity crises with their religiously driven gender roles that people feel a need to stop calling themselves female or male? Would it not be simpler if we just stopped stereotyping males and females? Does your office still expect secretaries to be female and fetch coffee? Do you have a preference to work on an all male team?  Are dress codes enforced for women but not men at work with such rules as high heals for women and neutral stockings? Take just a few minutes and read through your company's employee handbook. Are there gender related behavioral expectations? Does sexism have a silent presence in your company with all front desk people being young, pretty, and slender blondes? Are your upper managers suave pre 50 year old men who know how to dress well and sport hip hair cuts? Image is one thing but age and gender preferences for certain jobs may have been the start of this new personal pronoun referent craze.

What we do in our personal lives is well, personal.  If Mr. Smith wants to sing soprano while wearing high heels, a girdle, and a sequined Las Vegas showgirl outfit on his (her) (their) own time, is that any one's business? The problem is when these alternative lifestyles bleed over into the real working world. Minorities have freedom to be as minority as they so desire in the United States. However, there still exists a majority (and I'm going to state probably in the upward 80 percentile) who think the terms male/female and he/she are sufficient for referring to their fellow human beings.

Why are people SO OBSESSED with gender? While I bemoan the ridiculous ideas many churches tout (skirts two inches below the knee, no female scientists, no makeup, girls belong at home pregnant, no female corporate leaders),   I, at no time, have ever doubted I'm female. I'm reminded every month when my period starts. I'm reminded every time I put on a bra. I know this is a fact as I comb my long black hair and apply makeup as I desire to look my best as my skin slowly shows my age. However, when I go to work, when I meet clients or students, or when I  just walk in to a store, my gender is meaningless to any one except me. Well it should be. 

I think humanity has just obsessed over what lies between our legs too much over the centuries and now in the final modern age, this obsession has gone whacko. Some don't want to be anything or desire to be what genetically has been denied them. 

My final thoughts on this unexpected topic that has been weighing  on my mind today, are these: a) let's get sexism out of the work place by having the same dress code for every one; b) let's remove the gender check box on every application on the planet (except doctor forms as they need to know gender for medical checkups etc), c) let's try to focus on goals and objectives, not what we want to be called. 

Have you experienced this insanity? If so, drop me a note at

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Transitions, False Starts, and New Goals

Just when you think your life is fixed and you are on a path that won't change, BOOM, God throws a curve ball at you. I'm sure you have all experienced that. Part of my new resolve in restarting this blog is to keep it real and focused on daily things that may be of interest to many people and to share my experiences along the way.

My change was a sudden move from NC to MO. I really didn't want to move but circumstances domestically demanded it along with health issues and blood kin problems I was hoping to help with.

All of a sudden, I left beautiful Chapel Hill, NC and found myself moved into a really crappy rural house filled with debris, filthy from being vacant for years, and surrounded on all three sides with: COWS.  I never had thought much about cows before this move and experience but now many of my puns are related back to this backwoods, primitive, uncultural, rural setting that I have nick named the cow pasture. I don't mind cows or pastures, and I love farms, but I had never planned
to live in a hick place where it was impossible to find a cappuccino, get reliable Internet, and have constant domestic problems like breaking pipes, clogged sewage lines, spiders, snakes twice as long as jump ropes, a landlord almost 90 years old that won't fix anything, and well, just everything malfunctioning.

After nine months, I had just about given up. The blood kin's emergency had turned out to be a lie with most of them being convicted drug users and con artists. My tutoring business was almost dead in the water due to the nightmare satellite Internet service called Hughes net and then T-mobile broadband, neither of which can maintain a stable, consistent broadband speed making video conferencing with clients impossible. My business partner parked the coaching business we had launched a year prior until I could get the domestic stuff under control (snakes out of the house: imagine one slithering across the floor while you are online or on the phone with a client paying 2k and screaming at the top of your  lungs in his/her ear-just not very good for business).

Then about a month ago, I received funding to return to college for a second Masters Degree in TESOL at UMKC. My business partner/mentor moved to Kansas City to be near by. New students arrived. And I started seeing the problem as not being in NC but in being in a rural area that lacked the resources I need. Hey, rural areas are great for raising horses, kids, and cows but it is useless for someone with my objectives, research library needs, and my unquenchable need for GOOD coffee, sky scrapers, museums, shopping malls, and concerts to name a few.

Transitions come in many packages. Often they do not arrive in the way we expect or invite (or in my case, prayed for). In fact, it seems like God has given me the opposite of what I asked for. I conclude that His ways are far more advanced that my intellectual level can process. I trust Yahweh (God the father) and Messiah (Jesus Christ) and I put my life course, business course, research course, book course, and everything into their very capable hands.

I'm back in business: coaching, teaching, editing, and tutoring online and in person if you reside in the Kansas City area.  I will be here for about two years until I finish this degree and then I will move on to the next academic objective.

In the meantime, false starts can lead to a new and clearer path that in turn, will lead to a higher objective, new opportunities, and other wonderful things.

Transitions are not easy. They hurt. They REALLY hurt.And they make you cry, scream, and think all kinds of things. But ultimately, logic wins out and we learn how to process the new environment, seek out new resources, friends, and opportunities.

So, I say, "Howdy from the cow pasture!" (at least until I transition to KC once I find a place large enough for my personal research library that is ever growing).

Cheers until my next blog.

June Narber