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[DRAFT] The Write Stuff

A place to spoil daily issues for those who haven't had them yet, snigger at typos, and discuss ideas for new ones.
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Candlewhisper Archive
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[DRAFT] The Write Stuff

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Thu May 19, 2022 12:42 pm

We have an issue about handwriting already, but I think this one has a new angle, being more about judging people by their handwriting.

TITLE:
The Write Stuff

VALIDITY:
some bureaucracy, low rudeness, computers allowed

DESCRIPTION:
A disabled Civil Service official has complained of job discrimination after @@HE@@ was asked to provide a sample of handwriting as part of the application process for a higher level position.

OPTION 1
"Graphology is debunked pseudo-science, and there can be no foundation for asking for handwriting samples," complains the young @@MAN@@, whose hands were lost in a freak air-guitaring / combine harvester accident at a country fair. "We, in the Service, should be setting an example to industry by rigorously excluding any ableism within our interview processes and day-to-day work. In fact, I'd be delighted if you were to set up an official board to oversee this, and glad to accept promotion to Permanent Undersecretary to act as Chair."

OUTCOME:
Civil Service isn't really a hands-on job

OPTION 2
"Nobody is trying to analyse personality traits out of handwriting here, this is just a practical skills test for the job," argues the Semitemporary Oversecretary of Appointments, who happens to have a controlling stake in the nation's largest fountain pen factory. "While official documents are typed, we need to be able to take notes on the job, and pass quick written memos which require a certain level of legibility. You might argue that these tasks could be assisted with, but the key to efficient government is efficiency in Civil Service systems. We're keeping costs down for the public purse! What nobler endeavour could there be than that?"

OUTCOME:
civil servants who write things on the back of their hands are congratulated for saving on paper

OPTION 3
"While it is perhaps not absolutely rigorously proven in laboratory settings, it seems to me to be self-evident that neat writing indicates an ordered mind," asserts your own Permanent Secretary, who is so organised that @@HE@@ has managed to present you exactly four decisions to make per twenty four hours for as long as you can remember. "Civil Service is an Art, not a science, which is why most of have degrees in the Arts. Instead of pooh-poohing our methods, why not appreciate our results? Indeed, it might be wise if you were to vet potential ministers for your own Cabinet with a handwriting test. Remember: tidy chirgraphy, tidy mind!"

OUTCOME:
a recent petition from former Cabinet Ministers complaining about unfair selection procedures is nearly illegible

OPTION 4
"Typical Civil Service bureaucracy to be spending taxpayer money on debating handwriting on memos," complains your brother, whose handwriting was once described by a schoolteacher as being akin to a drunken spider stumbling through a puddle of soot. "Government makes the decisions, the people at ground level implement it -- why do you need all these middle managers delegating and documenting? Do us all a favour, and cut the civil service budget, force all these pencil pushers to get real jobs."

OUTCOME:
it's pot luck whether government remembers to pay public sector workers on any given month
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Fri May 20, 2022 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
editors like linguistic ambiguity more than most people

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Verdant Haven
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Verdant Haven » Thu May 19, 2022 2:35 pm

Just a real quick note before I have to run... I suspect the speaker in option 3 wanted the word "chirography" rather than "chorgraphy"

I enjoy the issue concept.
- Verdant Haven

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Outer Sparta
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Postby Outer Sparta » Thu May 19, 2022 8:10 pm

Handwriting samples hmm? Interesting concept but what would even handwriting be used for in this day and age where everything is typed on a computer? I suppose having a written signature would be one use, but nobody seems to care ahout legibility of signatures. :lol2:

Great writing though!
Last edited by Outer Sparta on Thu May 19, 2022 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I don't stand with Ukraine. I don't stand with Russia. I don't stand with the US, NATO, or EU. I stand with the innocent civilians being caught in the crossfire while the politicians, the media, and weapons manufacturers continue to stoke division and conflict in their geopolitical chess games and treat the people of Ukraine as mere pawns. Zelensky is a corrupt, opportunist oligarchic politician who is not fit to lead Ukraine through anything and wants to inflate his own ego and offshore accounts.

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Baggieland
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Corporate Police State

Postby Baggieland » Thu May 19, 2022 11:51 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:whose hands were lost in a freak air-guitaring / combine harvester accident


How is it possible to write at all if both hands have been removed?

Also, why does the official need to be disabled? This is almost forcing players to choose option 1. Plenty of able bodied people have poor penmanship.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Fri May 20, 2022 12:38 pm

Verdant Haven wrote:Just a real quick note before I have to run... I suspect the speaker in option 3 wanted the word "chirography" rather than "chorgraphy"

I enjoy the issue concept.


Right you are. Knew the word, but typoud itt
editors like linguistic ambiguity more than most people

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Fri May 20, 2022 12:40 pm

Outer Sparta wrote:Handwriting samples hmm? Interesting concept but what would even handwriting be used for in this day and age where everything is typed on a computer? I suppose having a written signature would be one use, but nobody seems to care ahout legibility of signatures. :lol2:

Great writing though!


It does happen in a lot of jobs still, enough that there's been case precedents for exactly this situation -- a disabled applicant saying that asking for handwriting samples is discrimination.
editors like linguistic ambiguity more than most people

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Fri May 20, 2022 12:45 pm

Baggieland wrote:
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:whose hands were lost in a freak air-guitaring / combine harvester accident


How is it possible to write at all if both hands have been removed?

Also, why does the official need to be disabled? This is almost forcing players to choose option 1. Plenty of able bodied people have poor penmanship.


You could dictate to voice recognition software, or you can attach a prosthetic. Actually, even amazing handwriting is possible without hands https://time.com/5577252/girl-without-h ... g-contest/ but that's exceptional.

As to why they have to be disabled, I think that's needed to make it an issue about discrimination. I think as well that you'd need to lean left to say that jobs involving handwriting shouldn't be allowed to examine handwriting as part of the application process.
editors like linguistic ambiguity more than most people

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Bormiar
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Postby Bormiar » Fri May 20, 2022 1:24 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:As to why they have to be disabled, I think that's needed to make it an issue about discrimination. I think as well that you'd need to lean left to say that jobs involving handwriting shouldn't be allowed to examine handwriting as part of the application process.


Right, but doesn't it diminish from the absurd GATACA-esque discrimination if they have a genuine disability?

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Baggieland
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Founded: May 27, 2013
Corporate Police State

Postby Baggieland » Sat May 21, 2022 6:10 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:You could dictate to voice recognition software

This has nothing to do with this issue.

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:or you can attach a prosthetic

Then this should be an issue about the quality of prosthetics.

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Verdant Haven
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Founded: Feb 26, 2013
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Verdant Haven » Sat May 21, 2022 7:03 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:It does happen in a lot of jobs still, enough that there's been case precedents for exactly this situation -- a disabled applicant saying that asking for handwriting samples is discrimination.


I think that may be where this split is - is this issue about reasonable accommodation, or is it about whether handwriting examination is valid? A person doesn't need to be disabled to have bad handwriting and to want to fight against its use as a promotion credential. Currently, the initial description is framed in a way that appears entirely about failure to provide reasonable accommodation for a disability, and part of the first option seems couched in that as well. The other portion of that argument, as well as the other options, seem to be about the question of whether or not it's valid to use handwriting as a determining factor in general. I feel like those are two very different questions. If good handwriting is an acceptable requirement, then the more important question becomes about reasonable accommodation, and perhaps whether or not bad handwriting itself should qualify as a disability. If good handwriting isn't an acceptable requirement, then the disability becomes moot to the discussion because it doesn't affect the conclusion.

Personally, I would love to see reasonable accommodation as a primary issue subject - I took tentative steps towards an issue like that 3 years ago, but even working with a specialist in the field and basing off a real scenario I am familiar with, I failed to develop a draft that I was comfortable trying to take forward because I had focused on an individual with cognitive difficulties, and it felt too close to the line of disrespect or stereotyping. Yours is a much better way to approach it. From that perspective, it feels like Option 2's speaker needs to be explaining why providing an accommodation for the disabled candidate would be an undue hardship, and thus shouldn't be considered, rather than just defending the use of handwriting samples from a person who obviously has made do sufficiently so far. The Option 3 speaker totally ignores the disability question and focused on graphology, which I feel like even the most committed of pseudo-scientists wouldn't try to apply to a person whose hands were chopped off, except perhaps to say that they're an unknown factor and therefore shouldn't be trusted with higher authority.
Last edited by Verdant Haven on Sat May 21, 2022 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
- Verdant Haven

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Sun May 22, 2022 1:47 am

Outer Sparta wrote:I suppose having a written signature would be one use, but nobody seems to care ahout legibility of signatures. :lol2:
If anything, being illegible is better. A neat signature can be forged by anyone else who also has neat handwriting, but duplicating a particular person's brand of illegibility is harder.

Verdant Haven wrote:
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:Personally, I would love to see reasonable accommodation as a primary issue subject - I took tentative steps towards an issue like that 3 years ago, but even working with a specialist in the field and basing off a real scenario I am familiar with, I failed to develop a draft that I was comfortable trying to take forward because I had focused on an individual with cognitive difficulties, and it felt too close to the line of disrespect or stereotyping.
Just butting in to note that #830 is about reasonable accomodation for disabilities.

Other than that I agree with everyone who says that reasonable accomodation for disabled people and bad handwriting in non-disabled people are completely different questions.

(I don't think that illegible handwriting can count as a disability by itself, for the simple reason that in my experience, nearly everyone has it. It's having legible handwriting that's remarkable.)


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