RE: Getting Black Balled by a Doc Manager & Filing for Unemployment-Need Advice

Subject: RE: Getting Black Balled by a Doc Manager & Filing for Unemployment-Need Advice
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, "Kevin McLauchlan" <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 15:03:38 -0600

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

> What you're missing is probably the part of the voting
> process in which even a single black ball would exclude the
> person being voted upon regardless of how many white ones
> there were. IOW, one negative vote means you're out of the
> club (or in this case, the company); no other organization
> needs to be involved outside of the one where the voting is
> being held.

It's true that the term derives from the ancient practice of vetoing
someone's membership in a fraternity or club by putting a black ball --
negative vote -- in the ballot box. But that's not the only meaning, not
the most current meaning, and not the meaning it commonly has in a
business context. Per Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: black*ball
Pronunciation: 'blak-"bol
Function: transitive verb
1 : to vote against; especially : to exclude from membership by casting
a negative vote
2 a : to exclude socially : OSTRACIZE b : BOYCOTT

In business, meaning 2b (which has no membership or social component)
generally applies.

> It's the other applications of this term that are the "sideways"
> ones.

At Google, "industry blackballed" gets about 100k hits. On the first
page, I found such phrases as:

-- I was blackballed by Exelon from nuclear industry for 18 months ...

-- "You'll get run out the industry for this!" ... Your Job and Your
Life from Corporate America (August 31, 2005) would get me blackballed
from my industry. ...

-- Researchers who don't "play ball" and help distort these drug trial
results are blackballed and will never find work in the industry again.
...

-- Now, which one is more likely to get you blackballed by the industry?


-- When she returned to America, ready to make her mark in talking
pictures, the movie industry blackballed her.

-- A television actor drinks too much and gets blackballed from the
industry, and then he decides to break back in by directing his ...

Industry blackballing has far too long a history to be considered a
"sideways" application. I suspect that Kevin's phrase, "you'll never
work in this town again!" is what most of us think of when we hear that
someone's been blackballed. It's certainly what I think of. YMMV.

Richard


------
Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-777-0436
------




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Re: Getting Black Balled by a Doc Manager & Filing for Unemployment -Need Advice: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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