CAROLLA: Ridiculous Euphemisms Turn Workplaces Into Wokeplaces


The following is an excerpt from Adam Carolla’s new book Everything Reminds Me Of Something: Advice, Answers…But No Apologies (Post Hill Press, July 2022). In his sixth book, the comedian, podcaster, and provocateur does what he does best – doles out advice and opinions with utter disregard for our politically correct, self-righteous, virtue signaling, woke times.

Q: How do I respond to all the intersectional identity politics at work? It’s not even about being treated equally anymore—if you are in the “wrong” demographic, then you have to admit you’re a racist and that you need to just shut up and let the others tell you what’s up. Except that it’s just too exhausting for them to have to explain it all to you. If you don’t innately get it (which you cannot do, by definition), it’s just more proof of your hopeless racism. This stuff is crazy and absolutely scary. If I didn’t have a wife and daughter to support, I would be less risk-averse about this. ~Bobby, 53, Metairie, Louisiana

I’d say start your own business. As your own boss, you’re not going to force yourself to do antiracism training. It’s weird that identity politics has crept its way into the workplace. This nonsense was formerly relegated to liberal arts colleges. Now it’s gotten into corporate America. Like a virus from a Wuhan lab, it has escaped and mutated and now has variants. We should have locked down the colleges to stop the spread.

Here’s my take on all of this, and it’s less about race and more about employment practices. So much race discussion happening at work means not a lot of work is going on. Guys who work on deep-sea oil rigs aren’t talking about “white fragility.” I worked in carpet cleaning. I didn’t know people’s last names, never mind who they voted for. I couldn’t talk to my coworkers, because the steam cleaner was so loud I couldn’t hear myself talk. Guys work-ing in factories and at logging camps don’t give a f*** about race discussions. They’re trying to avoid getting killed by the machinery they’re operating. They don’t have time to care about the race of the person next to them; they care only about whether that guy secured the safety line so they don’t get crushed.

It’s corporate America’s fault for calling the chick making eight dollars an hour stirring the beans at Taco Bell a “team member.” It implies she has a say. I was a goomper who worked my way up to being a glorified goomper. “Hey, idiot” was how I was greeted most days on the construction site. Now everyone is a “valued associate,” “partner,” or “colleague.” Language like that levels the field and implies an opening for a conversation about your pronouns and gender identity, or about race and microaggressions.

If inmates in a maximum-security prison were referred to as team members, and the warden talked about striving to create an inclusive place where everyone’s voice would be heard, a day wouldn’t go by without a guard being taken hostage.

Worker euphemisms hit peak absurdity last year for me when I noticed a sign outside a Jimmy John’s sub joint.

No wonder the Great Resignation is happening. Jimmy John’s is hiring rock stars. Who’d work as a bank teller and be a “team member” when they can go across the street to Jimmy John’s and be a rock star? As far as euphemisms go, this even beats Disneyland’s calling the failed musical theater student in the Pluto costume a cast member. Obviously, Jimmy John’s workers are not literally rock stars. Slash and Dave Grohl aren’t slinging the composite-meat products behind the counter. They’re shredding on their guitars, not shredding iceberg lettuce. But even figuratively, “rock star” doesn’t apply. People in sales or advertising are called rock stars when they close a big account or do something else that’s outstanding. How can someone stand out when they’re assembling sandwiches and will soon be replaced by a robot? It’s all part of the failure of the self-esteem movement. You can’t give someone self-esteem. It has to be earned. We can change the language, but it doesn’t change the job. Calling someone a rock star doesn’t make them one. We can rename herpes “happies,” but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a sexually transmitted disease.

But I think it’s too late. This sh** with race discussions and ridiculous euphemisms for workers is just going to continue. Workplaces will continue to become wokeplaces, and intersectional identity politics will become part of corporate culture. But on the bright side, like those OSHA-mandated signs in the break-room advising workers of their rights and the safety mandates of the building, they’ll become like wallpaper that you don’t even notice. Though I do look forward to seeing a sign next to the one that reads “115 Days without an Accident” declaring “28 Days Since Last Misgendering.”

Adam Carolla is a comedian, podcaster, and a well-known film, television, and documentary producer. He is the author of six books, including his latest Everything Reminds Me Of Something: Advice, Answers…But No Apologies (Post Hill Press, July 2022).

This excerpt is taken from chapter 12 ‘Get a Job and Fight to Keep It.’ 

The views expressed in this excerpt are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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