Published February 19, 2010
An Illinois firm recently posted an ad looking for a technical writer, one who mustn't be an "arrogant American." Because the job dealt with the Chinese, Viva USA — a placement firm — wanted to make sure applicants were "respectful."
Naturally, once this got out, the ad was taken down and the firm blamed the client for the wording; they didn't read the ad they posted, they seem to be saying — which I doubt.
Now, it's not really a big deal, unless you consider how it might have turned out if Yanks weren't the target. Imagine if the ad had read:
"Please, no drunk Brits need apply or, if you do, don't vomit in our plants."
"If you're violently Scottish, please refrain from knifing anyone in the parking lot (unless they really deserve it)."
"Sneaky Russians are welcome, but don't poison the boss with dioxin until you're sure he's a spy."
Bottom line: That "arrogant" wording in the ad got through because everyone who saw it agreed with it.
And let's face it: We are arrogant. And by arrogant, I really mean successful.
See, the world views our success as arrogance, because we're really good at doing good. And to most of the globe, that's bad.
We now live in a world where competing is unseemly — unless of course, you're trying to out-recycle a neighbor.
But if you're trying to invent stuff, save thousands of lives from disasters and disease or eliminate maniac dictators, you're kind of a jerk.
I wonder where they got an idea like that. Oh yeah — probably America. Heck, we're even the best at anti-Americanism, too!
And if you disagree with me, you're probably a racist homophobe who eats cats.