Linkedin posts are insufferable.

First one I saw today was a guy saying that he learned to code while working at a gas station. His coworkers told him to stop, he says. They said, “coding is for smart people, not people like us.”

“Well, they were right,” he says. “It wasn’t for people like them. It was for ME.”

It ends with him saying that Today, he is a senior software engineer for an awesome Memphis based company.

All the comments are from white collar people talking about how inspirational he is.

The dude looks like he’s 30, and his job history places him in a “Director of Operations” role from 2009 to 2019 for a non-tech company.

I don’t doubt that he was at a gas station for some period of time, but it was likely a ‘character building’ summer job that he had to take at the behest of his parents when he was a kid, it certainly wasn’t a role he was stuck in. There’s a world of difference between working a shitty summer job that you know will end, that you know you have a way out of, and working a shitty job and knowing there isn’t a realistic way out.

And the “that’s not for stupid people like us” line sounds like a caricature of something a working class person would say. I doubt it ever even happened. When I told my coworkers at Starbucks I was learning to code, they were generally supportive. I’ve worked in some toxic, shitty environments in retail, and even in the worst of them I don’t think the “we’re too stupid to get out” response would be the norm. It’s largely unspoken, but most people know economic success it isn’t about how ‘smart’ you are. Most working people do, anyway.

Why do rich people so commonly pretend to be from a working class background that they actually have no experience in?

It feels related to the story that’s broke out recently about the white professor who pretended to be black for clout in her academic field. People pretending to be something they’re not because they get some kind of credit in a small, insular bubble for it. They pretend to be from a status that comes with obstacles in our bigoted and classist society — and within their bubble they get respect, but they never experience what it’s like outside their bubble. They never suffer the general bigotry or obstacles that having such a status brings in wider society. They only get a narcissistic ego boost from colleagues complimenting them on overcoming adversity that they never actually experienced.