An open letter on continuous training and political divergences, by Eric D.

The letter that follows is the focus of this article and is used as an example. Any similarity between the X school and past/current/future organizations and/or persons is fortuitous.


Ladies and gentlemen,


I regret to inform you that, finally, I decided not to pursue this training project with the X school of Nice because, apart from the fact that I think I have found other training opportunities as regards management and sales management that are better suited to my profile, there are some aspects, in terms of organizational culture, which could pose compatibility problems. Arguments to that effects are set out in this lengthy e-mail message, hoping that you will have the opportunity to read it with a cool head.


In view of the visible signs of your organization’s culture (in particular the X school poster that we’re seeing at bus stops and in the package you sent, as well as photographs of student parties posted in the entrance lobby of the X school of Nice), it should be a foregone conclusion that I wish to point out the following: that has nothing to do with me, even taking into account age difference because, furthermore, it’s a fact that you’re aiming to train an audience largely made up of young people, or else there would be a simpler explanation.


The current generation of young people, or at least what we have been led to believe with regard to today’s young French people, isn’t like the way we were when we were young. Apart from this typical aspect of trends, such as cultural and generational (or so-called generational) differences, it’s clear, judging by your words, our discussions and the promotional brochure for a charity tennis match you gave me, that there would be a partnership or common grounds between X and the Rotary Club, and it’s, in my judgement, unethical and unprofessional.


On the one hand, a commitment to charitable activities should be a right and a personal choice and, in law or in fact, this is apparently indeed the case. On the other hand, as regards the Rotary Club and, more generally, humanist brotherhoods, there’s a danger, something which unfortunately has become all too frequent in some western countries, that company cultures will be confused with cultural ideologies in the broadest sense of the term, increasing the risk of everyone involved going against a fundamental freedom: the freedom of the individual conscience. I’m not saying the freedom of the individual conscience is better implemented in other countries.


At the risk of sounding somewhat provocative but, and I want to make this clear, it’s however only one assumption, in summary I would like to say that, assuming that the X school’s policy (and I can’t tell you that absolutely) is aimed at comprising a pre-selection of the candidates to exclude reactionaries or fascists, the objective is attained.


Because, wittingly or unwittingly, by the very fact that the marketing campaign is what it is, the institution would succeed in making individuals such as me withdraw from it, given that it concerns nonpartisan candidates having in common ideas which would be hostile to the organization’s culture. Not only that, on the same assumption and by the very fact that the marketing campaign is what it is, X would also exclude candidates being included in the indicative and non-exhaustive list following: members of the Bloc Identitaire, Corsican regionalists, traditional Catholics or traditional Arab and Muslim people, or certain Africans or people in the Caribbean who are, like me as a white man, opposed to changes in attitudes as far as France is concerned and (crazy) Socialist marriage laws.


You will tell me that this has nothing to do with X, that there’s nothing to stop individuals from thinking what they like and that classes are taught from an essentially professional and technical point of view. I would like that to be the case. Unfortunately, when we see that X is posting photos of androgynous people and that, for the rest, we get leaflets in relation to the Rotary Club, this gives the impression that, whether you like it or not as I have already stated, the school is in favor of "living together", election returns thought to be "of the center", feminist approaches to civilization, etc. It’s often said that the habit doesn’t make the monk, but you know, just as I know, that the image people portray of themselves is important, and that any image can be interpreted as a message.


Since the early 1990s, particularly in sales and property, I have been used to working with all sorts of people, always respecting others and professionalism (and I have been "breaking down the doors" for many years, as we would say colloquially in the trade, selling products to professionals or private customers). I have obtained several reference letters that testify to the authenticity of my professional experience, including as manager and supervisor, and doing so over the course of several years, this evidence having been submitted to other training organizations that are seemingly more independent, leaving them free to verify the information by giving a call to the present management. Coming back to the topic at hand, accepting the visible signs of X’s campaign would be based on a specific commitment that goes, in case you need reminding, beyond the framework of business life, in a climate of strange resemblance to the conventional thinking of our day, which could be loosely described as social democracy, a "global village" or a "full opening".


That doesn’t mean that I support the persistent stalemate that hurts France: I find it extraordinary that modest steps taken by the government to reform the labor market (I have read the draft law), as a pseudo-reform that is typical of excessively lax policies as we have unfortunately seen for several decades, entail substantial violence paralyzing the country because of a gang of thugs (trade unionists and troublemakers), with an absolute disdain for the interests of the people. Every day there are statements to the effect that there are barriers to employment in France and this isn’t a recent occurrence, this system that has long stood for coexistence, through a misleading propaganda (transgender persons, migrants, travelers, undocumented workers, entertainment workers, CPAM and URSSAF workers and other profiteers, such as IUFM/ESPE teachers who have been destroying the education system for almost 30 years now), being falling apart, former allies being now adversaries: leftists as opposed to parliamentarians. This should illustrate that, by seeking to open the borders, all politicians involved are giving rise to conflict instead of calming the situation, and that relationship networks making heavy use of cooptation with efforts to combat discrimination aren’t adapted to the needs of the world, calling for less culture and more pragmatism.


Put more simply, each organization advertises for its own clients: after all, X hasn’t broken any law and its advertising posters aren’t an offence, and therefore each candidate is free to estimate whether his idea about the school concerned, no matter how true (and it’s the last time that I say it), is commensurate with his definition of marketing, as the question of values has been addressed previously. The fact remains that, notwithstanding the high professional qualities that have contributed to X’s good reputation for several decades, the image that X is creating isn’t and never has been the image I want to give, and I refuse to support it, simply because it doesn’t match my past and my current identity. Clearly you may ask me with relevance if assessing posters, charitable events and your sympathy for the Rotary Club is sufficient for me to finally decide not to submit an application, and I think the answer to your question would be yes because, however, it seems to me that there’s a commonality that we share: the notion that advertising affects whether or not people go through that process. Every organization has its own culture, which is primarily more or less neutral, and everyone must be free to choose whether to be a member of it or not.


Worse still, there’s another reason why I feel uncomfortable with your approach: once again, I apologize if I’m mistaken, but it would appear that X devotes significant attention to encouraging the formation and development of new businesses. This is understandable as a part of a Master of Business Administration, even though I’m not the only one, amongst men of action, who wants to become an executive and not an entrepreneur. I know that you’re aware of the situation in France, where there’s a real danger in the creation of new businesses, and this is borne out by the figures, based on the suicidal rate. Everyone knows this.


It’s never easy to be upfront and honest without however being hurtful or offensive and, in this spirit, my choice would be to develop an argument, as I have done right now, to try to achieve this aim with, regrettably, difficulty and no guarantee of success. Now, as to the professional competency focused tests, you can take my name off the list of candidates. I wish to inform you that I will be absent with respect to 28 June and later dates. I oppose the communication of my personal details with third parties and I must remind you that this is a private message, in accordance with the law. I would be much obliged if you could stop calling me. Wishing you the best of luck, and thanking you for taking the time to read this and forgiving me for the inconvenience caused, but it will never happen again, I would be glad if you were to accept, ladies and gentlemen, my expression of deepest gratitude.


Mr. Terence DEN HOED

(alias Eric D. when we were working together)