The rise of morons?

Animal offers up some pretty ugly images of our future as a nation

The other day national treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson brought us this gem:  Is America Entering a Dark Age?  Excerpt:

Does anyone believe that contemporary Americans could build another transcontinental railroad in six years?

Californians tried to build a high-speed rail line. But after more than a decade of government incompetence, lawsuits, cost overruns and constant bureaucratic squabbling, they have all but given up. The result is a half-built overpass over the skyline of Fresno — and not yet a foot of track laid.

Who were those giants of the 1960s responsible for building our interstate highway system?

California’s roads now are mostly the same as we inherited them, although the state population has tripled. We have added little to our freeway network, either because we forgot how to build good roads or would prefer to spend the money on redistributive entitlements.

It’s not a pretty picture.  We used to a nation, a society, a people that built things.  In a span of two hundred years we went from a couple of million people huddled along the east coast, having just broken away from the most powerful empire in (then) world history at great cost, to a great shining city on a hill, the arsenal of democracy in World War 2, the rebuilder of the global economy after that war.

Now, to get a few miles of track for an ill-advised “high speed” rail line laid, it takes decades of agonizing by sixteen layers of bureaucrats before a single shovel can move.

Of course, it is not just government ventures that seem to be suffering from a lack of common sense, ineptitude, and gross stupidity. Working in the restaurant/bar business for 30 years I have been witness to the rise of corporate idiocy. I do not know how many times I have had discussions with bartenders, servers, cooks, bussers, managers that ask the same questions. What type of idiots are running this place? It is almost as if the corporate big shots sit around meetings writing down all the stupid ideas they can come up with. I would suspect these idiots have zero practical experience. 

Everytime new “guidelines” come down from corporate, everyone at the restaurant shakes their head in aggravation over more inane rules, and “service guidelines”. These almost always mean service will suffer. Severs and bartenders will be saddled with extra duties because it means the restaurant can run with lower labor cost, which means they have less time to do THEIR jobs. And customers will see service suffer. Everything is increasingly scripted and robotic. Individuality? Heaven forbid! Thinking on your feet? Thinking at all? That is verboten! 

Rather than greeting new customers in a genuine, friendly manner, everyone must parrot some corporate greeting (which is a sales pitch) because no one sitting at a bar or table would ever order food or drink without that fake sales pitch! All of this takes away the individuality of the bartenders or servers personality, and this makes their job less fun. 

Managers? They are worked too much, and kept so busy with counting, recounting, that actually helping the front, and back of the house run smoothly. But that is OK because “best practices” or something. 

Then, of course there is that employee handbook, loaded with so many standards and rules, that everyone is guilty of breaking at least one or two them daily. No matter that many of these rules are counterproductive. And the restaurant business is not alone in this sea of stupidity. I bet you have as many stories as I do

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