One thing you learn while out in the business world is how valuable a commodity ‘senority’ is in the workplace . In any company there is a hierarchy and any employee stepping over another’s senority to get ahead is usually so shunned by the employees he or she stepped over, they don’t stay very long. When a company brings in an outside star, plopping them in a coveted prime spot, ignoring senority, it automatically puts a wall between the new employee and the rest of the crew. Employees like to know that a person who got the slot ahead of them, earned it. Otherwise, what’s the point of their hard work?

In the nightclub business, this was called ‘paying your dues’. It meant you’d done your share of grunt work and taken the shit shifts without complaint. You’d earned the right to be called a team player. On a busy weekend night, team players reaped the rewards of their efforts. But if you were the club’s prima donna, you might be the one who was always sent off the floor to fetch something, while everyone else was on the floor making money. You might be shoved into the worst corner of the room, or be the brunt of several practical jokes, all designed to keep you looking just a bit inept.

I’m going to go way out on a limb here and give my gut-reaction-opinion of Sarah Palin’s Telehand notes, used on her recent Q&A at the Nat’l Tea Party Convention, following her $100k speech. Whole story here.

I believe someone who knew better told her it would be ok – no one would notice. Whether it was Sarah’s idea to put cheat notes on her hand or someone else’s makes no difference. The ‘backstage’ areas of these events are enormously crowded. Camera crews trying to capture behind the scenes footage, hair stylists, make-up artists and speech writers are all over. Gofers run around making themselves available to the guest speakers. Event coordinators are always scrutinizing those about to go onstage to see that hair, make-up, clothing is just right and no one has spilled soup on a tie or blouse before walking into the spotlight. Someone in prep had to have seen Sarah writing on her hand prior to giving her speech. Someone had to. Yet no one told her how badly it would affect her image.

Mark my words. Sarah Palin’s star slot on Fox News Channel and in the Republican Party is a coveted position. There are stacks of people who believe she hasn’t earned her prestigious status. There are bound to be those among the staff who believe her spot would be better-filled by someone else. These are the very people Sarah will need to tell her if there’s spinach on her teeth or wrinkles on her jacket. And I believe these otherwise kind folks are deliberately going blind.

FNC has surely paved the way for Sarah by instructing all their paid commentators/pundits/crews to watch out for her (she’s new, she’s green, but the party needs her – be a team player and do whatever you can to make her look good…) but you can see the disappointment in the faces of people like Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly when they’re each one on the air with her, as they begin to realize their highly-paid star is not so bright and shining after all.

So how long do you think this is going to last? Sarah has already been given horribly bad-hair advice prior to appearing on Oprah. She’s not been told to brush her hair over a lump on the side of her face so obnoxiously big a camera was certain to capture it, (and that would be the story, not her speech). And now she’s seen on-camera, live, reading cheat-notes off the palm of her hand like a 14 yr-old taking an exam for which she’d not properly prepared.

Sarah Palin, despite her ignorance of facts, ineptitude towards current events and poor judgement of human behaviour in general may well be a driving force in the Republican Party. But so is jealousy. Minutes before Sarah sat down for her live Q&A on 8 Feb 2010, shown where the camera would be and handed a microphone, someone in the Republican Party knew what was on her hand. They knew her intention. They knew it would make her look really bad.

And that ‘someone’ let her go on-camera anyway.

I don’t think it’s going to be very long before Sarah is ‘on her own’ with the regular folk at Fox, either. And if she insists on broadcasting from Wasilla, rather than migrating to NY to be an actual part of the Fox crew, she will alienate herself even more.

Sarah hasn’t paid her dues and everyone knows it. Her political platform is one of party reform but her expertise is limited to criticising her opponent. She offers no solutions, no real discussion for actual reform. To Republicans and Tea Partiers who do believe in political reform, Sarah’s routine of not answering questions put to her – even when the answers are right under her nose – has got to be wearing thin.

Mark my words: Everyone at the convention knew how much money Sarah would be taking home in her pocket. One of these people knew Sarah had written cheat notes on the palm of her hand and sent her out in front of the camera anyway. And as long as Sarah continues to behave like well, Sarah, this grade of poor counsel is going to keep on coming.

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8 Feb 22010 4:50pm
*Update:
Channel 7  (Australia) evening news just reported on Sarah Palin’s criticizing of President Obama using a teleprompter – then using cheat notes on her hand to deliver her own speech at the National Tea Party Convention. I just about killed myself scrambling to get from my desk to the living room and  only caught the very last of the report but this last comment was clear as a bell. I quote:

“… with the Republican Party duly noting that Sarah Palin -only- speaks to friendly audiences…”

Oh dear oh my… were they saying this like it was a good thing? Or… oh dear, oh my…

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title Catching Up: Mark My Words and click the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud

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