I often wonder: Could the President of the United States do my job?
This question is an informal rubric I use to grade the effectiveness of a POTUS’ leadership skills. I feel that the leader of the free nation should have the skills to do my job at least as well as I do it.
My job is to ensure that 180 adults with developmental disabilities are fully participating in their community-at-large. It’s up to me to make sure that the individuals under my charge have a full and satisfying social life, understand and engage in self-advocacy on a local, state, and federal level, and oh yeah, take a vacation every couple of years or so. (I go with them on those, too)
I feel strongly that an American President should have the skills to crush that shit.
Sometimes I play the game using other people’s jobs. Like could the POTUS be a shift employee at WalMart? How about a manager at a Culver’s or an In and Out? How would they handle themselves as a project manager at a construction company? If they were a UPS driver, would their deliveries be on time?
This game doesn’t work for specialized careers or fields with specialized education and training. For example, I don’t wonder if the President could be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist. This hypothetical Presidential Freaky Friday isn’t intended to be an assessment of intelligence. I don’t necessarily believe that the smartest man in the room makes the best president.
I only consider jobs in which a person has to work alongside others in some capacity for the purpose of creating or maintaining an entity that contributes to the greater good in the world.
Here are my hypothetical annual performance reviews for a few Presidents, past and present, if they were to have done my job:
Jimmy Carter: A+ He would have put me out of a job for sure. I am known by my colleagues as someone who is not afraid to roll up my sleeves and help with the heavy lifting. but I’ve seen pictures of Jimmy Carter working for Habitat for Humanity. He is the real deal, man. He’s well-spoken, smart, and compassionate.
Carter would have the humility, diplomacy, AND the work ethic to outperform me at my own job.
Ronald Reagan: C+ I always thought he seemed more mouthpiece than policymaker. He could have done my job okay, but probably would’ve run the department from behind his desk. As a manager, I have to think he wouldn’t quite “get” the struggle of those who worked under him. Mr. Reagan wouldn’t have been at the agency for long, I don’t think. I suspect he would have quickly found a (much) better paying job in the private sector.
George H.W. Bush: B He could have done my job with his eyes closed. The low wages wouldn’t have even bothered him because his family is so loaded. He would have had a much neater office/desk than mine, no question. And I seriously doubt he would have ever put the wrong dates on memos like *ahem* someone I know. I suspect he would have delegated a lot of responsibility: maybe too much for that field.
But he totally would’ve turned in his reports on time.
Bill Clinton: B He would totally have been able to do my job, with enough extra time to go out for lunch a few times a week. But he wouldn’t have been at my desk for long. He would have applied for a better position in the company as soon as it was posted. You don’t stay in my position if you are an ambitious ladder climber. I think my job would have bored him.
George W Bush: C The department wouldn’t have folded or anything, but I just see him being terrible at the paperwork, deathly afraid of the poop factor (it’s a thing) and would have been at a disproportionally high number of baseball game outings in the warmer months.
But everyone in the office would have loved him, and he would have been huge fun at the holiday party photo booth.
(OSM NOTE: I have no proof that George W Bush has an aversion to poop. Every ounce of this post is, of course, pure conjecture.)
Obama: A+ With his background in community organization, I think he would have had a fully operational volunteer program up and running in the first week, and soon after would have launched an inspirational grassroots campaign within the DD population: first at the agency, then the state’s capital.
And he would have been so great with the individuals I work with. He would have totally danced with them on the dance floor.
Donald Trump: He would never have gotten hired at my agency in the first place.
What do you think? Could the President do your job?
That’s my piece, and that’s my peace. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my silly words. It truly means the world to me. Carry on…
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