I've always suspected that certain managers at my evil global biotech company are part-Neanderthal.
Okay, I'm stereotyping. That's a bad thing. I'm working on the cliché assumption that Neanderthals were sort of brutish and lacked good reasoning skills. Picture, if you will, a club-wielding, exceedingly hairy man with a prominent brow ridge, short and slightly bent over, and dressed in bedraggled animal skins, who chooses a mate based on who can be dragged away easiest by their hair. I wouldn't want to be racist (or, I guess, the best term is *species-ist*) about Neanderthals. For all anyone knows, they were tender, loving, hippie types. Just about the only thing known about their culture, as far as I can tell, is that they lived in tight-knit social groups and resisted changing their technology. That's apparently why they died out – they didn't adapt to changes in the European climate and didn't cross social groups.
Now imagine if those Neanderthal types were leading a company. Resistant to new ideas from outside their tight-knit group. Not thinking things through in a long-term, rational manner. Dying out because they didn't adapt quickly enough. Yeah, I stick to my original suspicion.
A recent news story suggests that there may, indeed, be real-life Neanderthals working alongside me:
The finding of a skull in a cave in
Though their cultures inhabited the same regions, there isn't much evidence that Cro-Magnon and Neanderthals actually mixed culturally or even with warfare, but who knows? Maybe some desperate Cro-Magnon gal drank a little too much fermented ox milk (or whatever the heck they drank), saw a Neanderthal guy from across the field, and thought, "You know, I always wanted to get shagged by Fred Flintstone. Yaba daba doo!"
This isn't a new idea. Back in 1999, the skeleton of a 4-year old boy was found in
So are some of my managers actually part-Neanderthal, acting on their primitive impulses? Well, let's just say the Cro-Magnon in me isn't interested in mixing.