The Meritocracy is a Tool of Discrimination and Oppression

INTRODUCTION
It was in the mid-1970s, and I was about 11-12 years old when I got a paper route. It was my first job where I report to someone else AND deal with customers. The scope of personal contact far exceeds a situation where I’d be mowing a lawn.

The job involved delivering The Indianapolis Star seven days per week. On Sunday, the paper was delivered in two sections, with one section being all about advertisements and coupons. I would have to get up extra-early and put those together before delivering them.

My typical time getting up would be 4:00am.

My father would drive me around town at 4:30am in his 1942 Willy’s Jeep from World War II.

I was enthusiastic and worked really hard. But it wouldn’t be long before my enthusiasm was killed by horrific adults.

Keep in mind that this is in the Midwest, which is a VERY Christian region of the country. I am relatively dark skinned, as a German, so we are hated by the whites if we’re too dark. I was a known non-believer, so they had that against me. And while I did not know that I was Autistic back then, I was Autistic and received the abuse that all Autistic people receive from unfeeling Christian Neurotypicals.

Circa 1976, the year I was delivering papers. I am convinced that I was not white enough for their liking. I definitely was not Christian enough.

This story comes in three parts. Now that you have the set-up, let’s get to it.


PROBLEM 1 of 3: THE LIARS
These are people who would lie and say that they DID NOT receive the Sunday paper. Some would even call the paper to complain that I was lazy or stupid. I’d get asked about it by my rep.

My father would dress in his police uniform and deliver the paper himself. He would let them know that HE was driving me around on my route and HE was making sure I delivered ALL papers, and then encourage them to STOP calling the paper to complain about my work.

I was working hard, but no matter how hard I worked, many customers felt compelled to LIE about me. Yes, lying is “bearing false witness,” and bearing false witness is in their god’s Top Ten list [Ten Commandments]. But when it comes to “THE OTHERS” [non-white, non-Christian, non-straight, non-American, or anyone who isn’t 100% like them], they are ALWAYS willing to lie, and lie, and lie, and lie.


PROBLEM 2 of 3: NON-PAYMENT
The way the job worked is I deliver papers. Peopel are supposed to leave payment outside their door. If not, then I can go see them and collect later. As unnerving as it was, I would knock on doors and talk to grown adults abouthow they need to pay their bill.

They viewed me as a child who could be easily ripped off, and they were correct.

NOBODY wanted to pay their bill.

The problem is that I would have to pay for the newspapers up-front. It’s like I was buying the paper from the Star, then selling it at a profit. In order to keep the papers delivered, I would mow lawns. I would walk along the highway and collect glass bottles to turn in for cash. I would even sell some of my possessions or chip in with lunch money. Yes, I would SKIP LUNCH to make sure deadbeat Christians could get their papers and coupons.

The last straw for me was a guy who decided to FINALLY pay his paper bill. He wrote me a check for $57, which represents a LONG TIME of not paying for the paper. The problem came later in the day, when he was hit and killed by a garbage truck.

By the time the bank opened on Monday, a freeze had been placed on his account. The teller talked like I was trying to commit some kind of scam on a dead man’s account.

To be clear, this was and is a VERY small town of 1,200 people, so EVERYONE knew that I was delivering the paper.

It got to the point that I could not keep up with what the papers cost for the entire town. So I quit.

PROBLEM 3 of 3: MERITOCRACY USED AS DISCRMINATION
About one month after I quit, I went to Huffman’s Pizza. There was a bowling alley attached and he had a pinball machine and jukebox. I went by myself to play a few games of pinball, nothing big.

There were TWO adult men there, eating dinner. I don’t want to say who they were, as I still fear retaliation by their families if they ever found out.

As it turns out, they had a few words for me.

“Well, if it isn’t the lazy paper boy. Or should I say, the FORMER lazy paperboy, who was too lazy to do his job.”

I told him that I delivered ALL papers ALL the time, and that my police officer father personally drove me to deliver these papers.

I then added that grown adults were not paying their paper bill, and I got tired of mowing lawns to ensure that their papers would keep getting delivered uninterrupted.

This is when The Meritocracy was thrown at me.

“Well, if you were actually GOOD at delivering newspapers, then people would have paid their bill.”

This move is sometimes done as a way of gaslighting the receiver. But I couldn’t be gaslit on this, as my father drove me and confirmed that I had done a good job.

Since that day, The Meritocracy has been used against me as a form of discrimination that is intended to suggest that I am failing because I am lazy, I am stupid, and I am not deserving.

And they suggest this could be the case because I’m not a Christian, or I’m not white enough, or I’m weird [Autistic].

It’s an excuse.


WHAT IS THE MERITOCRACY?
It’s basically the idea that if you are smart enough and work hard enough, that it will pay off and you will “make it” financially in America.

This video gives a decent explanation.

The upper class hoardes wealth. The middle class hoardes opportunity.

Basically, it’s condescending bullshit that is used as an excuse to write off another person’s bad situation.

So after I worked hard and gave my all, I had nothing resembling wealth. I never owned a home. Never owned a new car. Didn’t buy my first piece of new furniture until 2009, shortly after my 44th birthday.

All that I have to show for my hard work is people telling me that I’m a failure and a loser, AND I have Type 2 Diabetes from sitting in an office chair 12+ hours per day, 6-7 days per week, working feverishly to make other people wealthy.


ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS
It’s another mind game played by feckless hairless apes. I’m sure this may end up being misunderstood, just as my previous entry about Domino’s Pizza. But something tells me that they ARE NOT misunderstanding, and instead are propagandizing the way they are taught, just like they are taught to hate others who are not exactly, precisely like them.

And that’s the case for anyone who isn’t white, or straight, or Christian, or upper class, or neurotypical. After we work hard, we are paid almost nothing, and we are told that we are lazy, stupid, and need to work harder.

When we work harder and nothing comes of it, they say, “You have to work SMARTER, not harder!” And after working smarter doesn’t pay off, they declare that you’re not working hard enough.

You didn’t go to the right college.

You didn’t get the right kind of degree.

You… just don’t fit in.

In other words, people in various classes will work very hard as gatekeepers to keep out those whom they feel are “not deserving” of a better life.

This is where things like fitting or having friends can pay off. I’ve seen that pay off for others a lot, while actual merit does not. Since I’m an Autistic adult, I don’t fit in with anyone anywhere, by definition.

I am the social outcast, and I must remain the social outcast, as commanded and monitored by those who view themselves as better than me or more important than me.

That’s what it’s all about in America: Better better than someone else, and feeling good about yourself because you’re better than someone else.

I don’t get it, and do not engage in that negative, destructive, inhumane, mindless, gormless behavior.

Believing yourself to be better than others because of your education, finances, etc., is a fool’s errand. It’s meaningless. It makes no sense.

If you need to feel that you’re better than others, then you’re actually weaker than you are willing to acknowledge. If you have to stand upon a pile of corpses to feel that you’re great at your job, then you SUCK at your job, because you’re not doing your job, and instead are engaging in social work politics.

You’re self-delusional.

Whatever I decide to do, I strive to be as good as possible. I don’t feel the need to be better or smarter than another blogger. It makes no sense. But what DOES make sense is that I feel good about my efforts when I put them in, and the results of those efforts are seen in the work.

What I DO NOT feel good about is that my efforts and the results often times are not matched with pay.


IN THE END
I had gotten a call from a temp agency that had a job for me. It was a one week assignment, where they wanted me to create a spreadsheet and enter their data into the spreadsheet. They estimated that it would take a person one week to do this job.

I complained to someone that this is is the type of work that I usually get. They told me that this was my chance to test The Meritocracy. They reminded me that I can type 120-130 words per minute, have incredible spelling and grammar capabilities, and I know my way around a computer.

“If you get that job done as fast as possible, they will notice your strengths and talents! They’ll want to hire you on! You should go for it.”

And so I did. Instead of taking me 7 days to create and populate the spreadsheet, I did it in just over 6 hours. I proofread my work and rushed it over to the agency, who sent it to the company.

Did they recognize my hard work?

Did they recognize my talent?

Did they want to reward that with anything?

Did it pay off?

I’d ask you to place your bets, but everyone knows where this is going.

The company, as it turns out, said “thank you” for getting it done so fast. Then they paid me for the six hours, and moved on.

The thing is, if you have anay useful talents, then you’ll be exploited until they’re tired of you, before they move on to the next SUCKER.

So when job search people tell me that I have lots of talents, ability, and intelligence, I can only laugh.

Yeah, yeah, intelligence, talent, and ability. But I do not have what it takes to earn a living.

I need something outside of that realm of intelligence, talent, and ability. Because these things HAVE NEVER PAID OFF FOR ME, AT ANY TIME, EVER.

The sad thing about it is that I am not the only one.


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Published by DrumWild

Writing about drums, music, and philosophy.

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