Dean Clough

October 18, 2023

Portico Darwin: Psycho Woke is The 'R' Word


2 Minute Read
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It probably seems like just yesterday that I did what I do here, but it's been a week.  I am back.  Tan, rested, ready, and bearded.   Of course a Cabo Pulmo Mexico Travel Guide is forthcoming, but it may take a while - it's going to be unusual.  That's because it was Bogus and Diamond Certified, all at the same time.  You'll see.

Here's a preview, and yes, that is 2 miles (of the 4 total, LOL) of completely deserted and pristine beach ahead of me.   This was some of the Diamond Certified part.

But today I want to recount a story a very close business owner friend of mine told to me recently.  The company he owns is as progressive as any.  Trust me, and it's important to what follows.

Because of how ridiculous this is, I will not use names, fake or not, only letters.  Heck, the perpetrator of this crime against adulthood could use it in a later lawsuit.  You'll see.

My business owner friend ("M") was conducting a senior staff meeting just a few weeks ago.  The attendees were his leadership team, and the longest-tenured people in the company.  Some date back 5 or more years. 

During the meeting, M was reminding his staff that they're empowered to make decisions on their own.  To emphasize the point, he said "Look, if someone comes to you with a retarded deal, you can turn it down yourself - there's no need to talk to me or anyone."

Next:  crickets.  Or more like:

The entire group looked at M as if he'd killed each of their dogs.  According to my friend, it was silent for a LONG time.  Finally - finally - someone spoke up.  M says this person was nearly in tears, but I'm sure I'm exaggerating.  He was the most junior person in the meeting.

"M . . . you . . . you . . . used . . . the . . . the . . . 'R' word."

At first, M still didn't understand, and for good reason.  Because not one in this group of millennial and younger professionals could find the courage to utter "M, many find the word 'retarded' offensive nowadays."

M would have then apologized profusely and everyone could have moved on with their lives.  But no one could even do that.  They were too triggered activated (you see, I've learned using the word "trigger" triggers those that get triggered, so we now use the word "activate".  Got it?). 

Instead, one of the most senior (and well-paid ) staff members went on to berate M for an extended period, about how his 40 some-odd year-old views are toxic, and that an expert must be brought in from outside to address the situation.  All of this nonsense in a small company that needs to focus on, you know, CUSTOMERS and THE BUSINESS.  And again, my friend and his biz are as enlightened and progressive, internally and externally, as any.

All because M used the word "retarded".  Not to describe a person, but an f'ing business deal.  Yes, he absolutely chose the wrong adjective, and no doubt he'll pick a different one next time.  Crisis averted, at least in the future.  

Because in my world (and M's, too, I think), this senior team member would have had a very stern discussion with me afterwards behind closed doors.  Something to the effect of "Look, you've known me for years, and know who I am.  Yes, that was the wrong word, but your performance in there was total bullshit.  If you have an issue like this in the future, please bring it to me directly, and don't take down an entire meeting like that again."

But of course he can't do that now.  She could sue him for creating a hostile workplace, and put his entire company at risk.

Because M used the "R" word.

Have a great rest of the week.  And no, I did not write this before vacation.  But we did laugh and cry about The Psycho Woke all week, poolside.


Thank you for reading this newsletter.  


Sure, Billie Joe and the boys were referring to George W. Bush, but its title and title song are still perfect.  Here is Green Day, and American Idiot.

About Dean Clough