Saturday, February 16, 2013

In a Rare Defense of the Oblivious

So today on, a story ran depicting the apparent obliviousness of a ring girl working a recent MMA event. The article openly mocks this girl and the comments posted reinforce a basic idea: How could anyone miss the obviousness of the fact that the fight was over?


The writer of the Yahoo article paints a picture of the situation and wonders out loud, how in the world could someone miss any detail of a fight when all eyes are clearly on the ring for the entire duration of the bout? This observation makes a lot of assumptions including that everyone who is working at a fight has the opportunity to be watching the fight as if they were a paying customer. But even beyond that, there can be a couple of very simple reasons why this girl appears to be completely oblivious to the situation unfolding around her.

She may not know very much about MMA bouts or how her role fits into the bigger picture. This is a situation where compartmentalization of information hamstrings a single part of the whole. In this case, her instructions may have been limited to a simple, "When the bell rings, take your sign and walk around the ring." That's it. And why? Perhaps because the promoters and organizers of these events treat these girls as unintelligent in the same fashion that the readers of Yahoo! apparently concur.

She may not care much for the actual fight: it's a modeling job. If you are a young woman with few prospects but big dreams about being discovered, you may believe that any exposure is better than none. And for the ring girl given the "Round 2" sign, I can imagine that she wasn't counting on the fight being over before she got her moment in the spot light.

She may be just like any of one of millions of working people; if it's not part of her job, it's not her concern. This is the point that I think is most important. Readers of the Yahoo! article, or even those who saw the fight, feel free to criticize this girl forgetting on simple fact: it's a job. I can tell you from my own experience that there are many, many people in every walk of like who treat their own jobs the exact same way. Many people go to work, clock in and then do what they are tasked to do. No initiative. No observing the rest of the company. And most time, people just plain don't worry about what else is going on in the world around.

So why did this girl miss the fact that the fight was over? Probably because she is just like most of us. Too busy thinking about what we need to do to notice what anyone else is doing.

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