My curriculum vitae is bursting with crappy work experiences. I have had more lousy jobs than hairs on my head. When I was younger I believed that (simpleton!) the more effort I put into working, the greater the reward. I truly believed that accomplishing my duties efficiently will lead me to professional success. That the key was to be diligent and industrious. Nothing could be more distant from the truth! The harder I worked, the more the idiot bosses I had exploited me, the less money I made, the longer and duller my work days were.
My first boss made me repeat a letter 30 times. Yes, 30 times. I still have nightmares about it even today. Why did he do that? Because, according to that virtuoso of administrative correspondence I was totally incapable of typing in the right position of the sheet of paper the capital M for the salutation, My Dear Sir, as it would have been appropriate for a competent secretary, skilled and efficient. Oh, poor me, insolent illiterate who even used a tilted symbol instead of a signature! That scholar terrorized me with his implacable index finger pointing to the cellulose molecule where I should type the first letter of the first word of the aforesaid salutation on the typewriter.
Another of my bosses was a rich kid, set up in the post by his mother, the owner of the company. He had studied at the same school as –at that time- Prince Felipe (today King Felipe VI). I hope from the bottom of my heart that the King of Spain had made better use of his school time than his class mate, my boss. It wouldn’t be acceptable for a King to write the two words “with” and “you”, that is to say, “with you”, blended together in one word (“withyou”). My boss scolded me for being such a sloppy secretary and not replicating his letters word for word on the computer (time had gone by then, and typewriters had given way to computers, although with no Internet yet). Since that moment, I copied his enormous spelling mistakes against my will with bovine obedience, scattering them all over Spain, Europe and the United States. I certainly kept a copy of his original handwritten manuscript, as a token of my absolute fidelity to his spelling mastery. I still keep many of his letters in the depths of my junk room, shameful proof of why Spain can’t progress, no matter the Internet, no matter social networks, no matter ergonomic job design, no matter zero tolerance, no matter same-sex marriage, no matter «We give birth, we decide”, no matter bilingual education, no matter this and that.
Progress in Spain continues to be hindered by lack of humility, envy, inability to cooperate and the tremendous cultural deficiencies of people arbitrarily chosen for positions of high responsibility.