It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise incompetent people can still manage to make the wrong decision with the consistency of a bee following a mislaid trail of pheromones. It seems purposeful, and sometimes it is- but sometimes it’s not. Making bad decisions 100% of the time would require a certain level of competence.
This is one of the problems I’m having at work: the boss’s boss is in charge of all personnel matters and she makes 180-degree backwards decisions like clockwork. She recently took an 18-year-old Somalian single mother whose reputation- among residents and coworkers- is that of a retarded, self-centered, deceitful, shortsighted, psychopathic, uncommunicative brat…and made this person the full-time receptionist at the front desk. You can ask this girl for directions to the nearest bathroom, and then go in the opposite direction she’s pointing in order to find it.
Personnel lady decided “This person is now the face of our business. Everyone should meet her first when they walk in the door.” This is one of those cases where I’d suspect malice (if only on statistical grounds) because the lady seems to be trying to single-handedly tear down the company, parent company, and grandparent company by causing as much mayhem and bad press as possible. But I’ve seen her attempt other tasks, like practical nursing. She has a 4-year university degree for this job where only a 2-year degree is required, and only about 4 weeks of training would be necessary, in all honesty. I’ve seen her attempt information management, with results that would be cute coming from a 5-year-old child, and alarmingly retrogressive coming from a 10-year-old child.
When I speak of consistency, I mean that you can read any book on leadership or people management or similar, and observe the opposite. The book says to praise in public and discipline in private? Opposite. Fire* people who fail to show up for work at least once per week, and retain people who show up on time every day? Opposite. Lecture individuals on recurring dress code problems rather than the entire group? Opposite.
(To be clear, it is essentially illegal to fire people in the healthcare industry. It would be easier to get them sentenced to death and lay them off post-mortem on the grounds that they haven’t shown up to work lately. What employers actually do is cut 75% of a person’s scheduled working hours so that they’re forced to quit and find alternative employment.)
Thus, I’ve coined the term “anti-intuition” for this phenomenon. It is unknown process of mind- perhaps instinctive?- by which a person of insubstantial intellect overcomes their limitations at critical moments in order to make the wrong decision. It is a sort of anti-genius, similar to the proto-creativity of chronic liars and manipulators who are capable of great imaginative feats in the pursuit of unreality. It is also seen in cruelty, where people who otherwise lack instinctive empathy are able to simulate it in order to cause greater harm to their victims. It can be observed in philosophy, when an inferior mind is driven to grasp and transcribe an abstract system of overwhelming complexity, circumscribe it with parentheses, and write ¬ in front of it.