Fail Your Way to the Top and Get a Raise Too!

Have you heard about the new dance craze in America?

All of the people over $150K earnings for upper administrative/management employment are shimmying and shadowing to the beat – it’s called the BEAT DOWN of those actually doing all of the work!  It’s truly amazing because the tempo is quite erratic, but they can actually dance to it.

Catch this!  The worse you are in your job in what you do and how you do it, along with  the more catastrophes you cause in the workplace, the more you earn!  Isn’t that AMAZING???  The game of Monopoly we played when we were kids was so stupidly simple.  You had to do well to make money.  But not anymore!

Only in the United States, right?  But better yet, when the bum idiot Republican in Wisconsin proved that he could attack the workers in such a way, worse than the U.S. had witnessed in decades, and STILL beat a recall election because millions of dollars were pouring in to his campaign from outside of the state to “beat down the worker”, it truly says all.  This country has fully “gone to the weeds” and the ugly rancor of corporate America has deeply embedded itself in the flag. The Stars and Stripes are a facade of the truth which does NOT set you free here.

This is no longer a “working country”. It’s a giant, fuck-all-grab-everything-in-sight kind of Game of Thrones warfare going on here. It’s a full-on cancer on the entire American mantra of “work hard, save, raise a family, be a good citizen, and repeat”.  Because it’s impossible to do that in light of the top tier taking all of the raises, all of the mother lode while providing ZIPPO, NADA. They don’t even provide solid LEADERship!  They suck at THAT too!

Here’s a good one for you on a smaller but truly huge scale: the commission that accredits the Community Colleges of California employs people in their leadership who were once thrown out of their colleges by faculty and staff in a vote of “no confidence”.  Makes one wonder: how did these people get to move UP to the position of accrediting all community colleges in California when their own district where they once had a job as “President” or Chancellor or what have you actually let them go?  Who the hell knows?  But what we know and live and breathe every day in my workplace is that they have had their talons in our college for over a decade. They have an axe to grind.  We are a huge community college and like any business or large institution, there have been problems.  Nothing to stop us from doing the best work of the entire state mind you.  Our students rank among the highest.

Three years ago when an “inside job” created an opening to a crazy and nefarious accrediting decision to the college of “Show Cause”.  This “decision” translates to “why should we keep you open?”. At this point, we were delivered a series of “administrators” to take over, run the college, and “turn it around”.  They have done nothing more than run it into the ground hook, line, and sinker. We have been struggling with a huge lack of air while working ourselves into a frenzy to keep the place alive and open to our 70,000 credit and noncredit students.  The more we work, the more they seem to undermine our efforts hiring consultants to the tune of millions and a video marketing firm from guess where?   WISCONSIN!  Imagine that!

Best yet, many of them hail from the Lone Star State which has been infiltrating California by the truckloads lately.  Manifest Destiny has been picked up again, but now it’s a push to buy in and push OUT anyone who thinks differently than the body snatchers.  Progressive SF, take heed.  Who is buying your property?

So, tonight, I write this because after an attempt to deny faculty a pay raise on a pre-2007 salary that has been cut twice, the upper-level administrators just allowed themselves a pay raise that was passed by our Board of Trustees. (Well, actually one Super Trustee who is the current Czar of the board.  They have no voting power…circle back to Wisconsin, Scott Walker, et al).

LotL Fail Your Way to the Top_

Manifest Destiny:  Historian Frederick Merk: this concept was born out of “A sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example…generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven”.

Texans in California building a “new heaven”.  Mark my words…

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About danaj33

I have been teaching in the Broadcast Electronic Media Art department at City College of San Francisco since 2001. I was a part-time faculty member until 2009 when I became full-time. My career as an audio engineer spans 27 years since the first day I began to record and mix songs on my Tascam PortaStudio (cassetter 4-track) in the early 80's while attending college at UC Berkeley. I formed a couple of bands and sang lead (sometimes playing rhythm guitar) until 1988 when I discovered that the "behind-the-scenes" tech realm was much more to my liking. I love how an audio engineer controls the ENTIRE sound mix, and not just one's own instrument. I then began a career as a live sound engineer in earnest and have toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as front-of-house sound engineer for a multitude of bands on various record labels (most notably "Medicine" on American Recordings) and have been a staff engineer at the venerable Bottom of the Hill nightclub since their inception in 1991. The club and its staff are like family. I have maintained a live sound production company since 1989 called dcj Productions that has provided sound to the Bay Area community (mostly in the non-profit sector) in both large outdoor sound events as well as nightclubs and music halls. In 1991, I started recording bands on an 8-track Tascam TSR-8 analog tape recorder and moved into the digital realm in 1993 to 16-tracks of Alesis ADAT connected to a Soundcraft Ghost console in my home studio. In 1995, I advanced to Pro Tools and have been recording exclusively digital ever since, combining audio skills in sound for film as a location recordist as well as an engineer in post-production sound design and mixing. I remained "strictly analog" in my live sound mixing until just this past year (2012). Now that one can obtain a decent, live sound digital mixer at an affordable price, it was high time to check out digital for live. I now have a Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 to work on with my students to give them much needed hands-on experience with a digital console. I co-owned and ran APG Records & APG Studios, an SF record label and recording studio, from 1999 - 2004 which had a distribution deal through EMI. The company folded in 2004. I continue to record music and engineer live performances at many Bay Area venues in addition to full-time teaching at CCSF. In 2001, I was hired to the part-time faculty at City College of San Francisco in the Broadcast Electronics Media Arts department where I have taught many of the classes including Digital Media Skills (BCST119), Basic Audio Production (BCST120), Digital Audio Production (BCST124), Sound Recording Studio (BCST125), Sound For Visual Media (BCST126), Advanced Sound Recording (BCST127), Sound Reinforcement (BCST128), Audio for the Web (BCST135), Video for the Web (BCST136), and Field Video Production (BCST145). I have also taught classes in sound design, audio for animation and games, music video, and computer applications at Art Institute of California-San Francisco, Globe Recording Institute, and Laney College in Oakland, CA. A few CCSF Projects: - Produced a promotional video for the Math department Bridge Program titled "Quadratic Rap". - Produced a new employee orientation video for the Human Resources department at CCSF - Coordinated audio for camera - SF Mayoral Debate, Fall 2011 - Coordinator of Audio Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Fall 2011 - Co-Coordinator of Video Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Spring 2012 Outside Affiliations: - past Vice President and Interim President Board of Directors - Bay Area Girls Rock Camp - past volunteer/contributor to Women's Audio Mission - past member Bay Area Women in Media and Film - current member of Audio Engineering Society - current Board of Directors for Camp Reel Stories
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2 Responses to Fail Your Way to the Top and Get a Raise Too!

  1. Kristen says:

    This is a great post. I worked in low-level/mid-level admin at UC Berkeley for nearly a decade, and saw the decimation of the ranks of people who actually did the work of supporting students and faculty. These were all people earning less than $50k per year, and through retirement, layoffs, and attrition, more work was piled on those who remained while the ranks of upper-admin (with salaries over $100k) expanded. The upper admin folks, as far as we could tell, just floated from meeting to meeting thinking up ways to make the lives of those lower on the food chain more complicated. And that’s their great secret: they get paid not because they actually do any work themselves; they get paid to figure out ways to shove more work onto those who haven’t seen meaningful raises in over a decade (and don’t get me started on the occasional 1.5% “cost of living” raises they would occasionally bestow upon us peasants). Naturally, those at the top received raise after raise under the ruse “We have to retain top talent!” Ugh. That “top talent” is what is ruining a once great university system.

  2. danaj33 says:

    Thank you for your response, Kristen. We have heard the same mantra used in corporate America about “retaining top talent”. It’s a bogus claim, otherwise, why would so many additional consultants need to be hired as well? Should not the “top talent” already be the “experts in the field”?

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