“Rankism Training for Underlings”: The Lesson of Dean Piattoni

3 May

You know the Dignity Movement (against rankism) is gaining traction when a faux-news outlet crafts a tongue-in-cheek piece on rankism in the workplace. Oh, how far we’ve come since the initial publication of Somebodies and Nobodies!

I stumbled across this piece on Twitter the other day while searching for #rankism. Here’s how it starts. (Note: you can read the full piece here.)

Dr. Harvey Piattoni, who has served Lake Huron University for thirty years as as the beloved Dean of Faculty will host a professional development workshop next Thursday for junior faculty and staff.

Sounds normal enough, minus the thirty-year tenure (a bright-red warning light for rankism). The article continues with a quote from said Dean:

“I’ve always prided myself on offering special opportunities for the underlings,” said Dean Piattoni. “Many of my former staff members have left Lake Huron soon after they were hired, and now they’re deans and vice presidents themselves. I know it’s because I helped empower them to move up the career ladder more quickly.”

You can see where this is headed. The description of the rankism workshop is especially great:

Dean Piattoni’s workshop will include topics such as:

How to make everyone happy all the time so you don’t feel marginalized
How to stay in the same job long enough to consistently earn incremental promotions so you’re no longer junior-level
How to swing any way the wind blows in order to please the person above you

As the old saying goes, “It’s funny because it’s true.” How many of us have worked under bosses who thought they were on the cutting edge of morality, while in fact, they were merely blind to their own rankist tendencies?

All the more reason to direct ample attention to our own tendencies toward rankism, lest we become Dean Piattonis ourselves!

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5 Responses to ““Rankism Training for Underlings”: The Lesson of Dean Piattoni”

  1. Leah Wescott May 3, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    Thanks for the coverage. Higher education is rife with unrecognized rankism and we can use a giant dose of the Dignity Movement. We’ll add the pepper of humor.

  2. Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    Great! Glad we can work together to eliminate rankism. And yes, the education system is rife with it. I wholeheartedly believe that we won’t see much progress in ending rankism until we can remove it from the school system. It’s a long time coming… but we’ll get there!

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