Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Google) posted a rather extraordinarily desperate press release about HR 1695 (the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act) that has a lot of flaws, but here’s one in particular that stuck in the craw.
Rep. Lofgren’s criteria for a suitable candidate for the head of the U.S. Copyright Office is particularly striking; the most suitable candidate would be “…an active Register of Copyright who is compliant and accountable to the Librarian.”
Savor those adjectives for a moment and then ask yourself how it would go with a human resources department if you included those words in a job description.
WANTED: A compliant and accountable, yet active, employee to report to the executive suite. NOW HIRING!
Or perhaps in an employee performance evaluation:
Employee X [was/wasn’t] sufficiently compliant and accountable. She [willingly/failed to] accepted everything I blamed her for without question. She [was/wasn’t] sufficiently “active”.
You know–check all that apply.
Or maybe a qualitative scale:
Employee X’s cooperation in struggle sessions was (check one)
Not Compliant Sufficiently Compliant Exceedingly Compliant
Want a prediction for how that kind of vocabulary would be received in this century by any HR department in the world who didn’t also employ Don Draper? Gnashing of teeth and rending of garments about sum it up?
I’d suggest that this is exactly the kind of executive vocabulary that foreshadows the lack of sensitivity that often results in retaliatory firings.