Category Archives: Business

jerk scan screenshot

A Jerk Scan for Healthy Professional Relationships

Difference of Opinion

Look left, Look right signs painted on the road

The world is in a great political and moral churning. Our traditional values have broken down but many of us want to cling to it and often violently defend traditions even in the face of evidence. It was always like that but the internet has hastened this process. There’s Leave vs Remain, Trump vs Hillary, Hillary vs Bernie and closer home there are bhakts vs tards.

I’m a huge supporter of freedom to choose sides, I like agreeing to disagree. So, I don’t believe that if your worldview is towards the right, you can’t work with someone more leftist. So, even though, personally, I’m as liberal as you can get, I don’t let that affect my relationship decisions, whether it is a personal relationship or professional. So, if I’m hiring, I’m not going to reject people because they support some right-wing propaganda. Same way, I won’t refuse to work with a client because their cultural and political views don’t match mine.

Jerks are Bad for Business

Darth Vader

However, I don’t want to work with jerks, whatever their religious, social or political views may be. Practically, jerks are bad for business: https://hbr.org/2009/08/why-jerks-are-bad-decisionmake/ Many of us do things, at least some times, which are characteristic a-hole behavioiur. However generally, I think of myself as a genuinely nice person and I’m not carrying around a chip on my shoulder.

People with a chip on their shoulder can be extremely focused, aggressive and ambitious. It can be easily mistaken for energy, decision making skills and a no-nonsense, go-getter attitude. However, now that I’m old enough to experience time in longer parts, I see how working with jerks just wastes years of productive time and energy and creates general negativity that takes years to clean.

A Handy Jerk Scan

A measuring device that plots waves on ECG like paper

I devised a simple spreadsheet that you can use in this age of social media to scan potential employers’ (boss’s) and employees’ profiles for information that lets you decide if the amount of a-hole that a person has is okay with you.

I only look at the last 9 months since data before that is cumbersome to get to. In any case, even one incident in the last three months is enough to sound an alarm. Depending on how important it is to you, you can go back, as far as you want. I believe people change and a lot of times for the better, so there’s no sense digging into their past.

Forked from Citizen Code of Conduct (http://citizencodeofconduct.org/), it contains a list of incidents to look for. Just like the source, you’d need to account for advocating and encouraging such behaviour, even if the person directly does not engage in such activities.

If an employer that you plan to work with or an employee that you plan to hire tests positive on a jerk scan, I’d suggest passing the opportunity over. However, please use it judiciously and with full awareness of each incident that you record and remember that everyone deserves the benefit of doubt. 

Also, your tolerance levels for each parameter, especially Inappropriateness may be very high, in which case you may choose to ignore some incidents. Here’s the google spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dN5yt-YO4QI-GxQnWZzWls3zuVO06d-DaUnb7A1N9l0/edit?usp=sharing

Let me know what you think of it. Do you have similar jerk scans or processes that help weed out jerks? Let me know in the comments.