I've Caught a Case of 'Newbulshit'

There's something that I think most employees experience from time to time, that feeling like no one is listening to me! It happens to everyone from the CEO down to the janitor.  I'm sure the lower down the career ladder you go, the more you experience this feeling.  Many times it really isn't that people aren't listening.  In fact, you're probably being heard, it's just no one is acting upon what you're saying.  It is the one reason that it's so great moving to a new company!  You instantly feel smarter, because everyone wants to hear what the heck you have to say, and then magically they start doing that stuff!  It's also the reason so many people leave for another company, because after you've been around a while – maybe a year or so – you somehow become dumber.

I'm not sure what this effect is called – maybe we need to invent a name for it – we could call it – “Tenuritis”.

Tenuritis: An affliction you get when you've reached that point in your tenure with an organization whereas everything you say, every idea you have, is stupid.  (I feel sorry for Tim, his Tenuritis is starting to show when he speaks during the meetings.)

So, now we need a term for what we call the new kid coming in with all those bright ideas that no one has ever thought of?  Let's call this: “Newbulshit”.

Newbulshit: A phenomenon when you are new to an organization and ever

ything you say sounds like it came from the mouth of God.  (That was some great Newbulshit coming from Tim today at the meeting!)

I think both of those terms are suffice and accurate.

I wish I could say this is shocking to any of us, but it really is true.  I actually spend time coaching HR and Talent Pros on this concept, in terms of helping them gain further influence within their organization.  You see, there's a medication you can take, sort of an ointment you can rub on your Tenuritis, to help make you sound like you know what you're talking about again.  It's called competitive information… You see, competitive information is like crack for organizations – everyone wants some!  Competitive information is like Newbulshit, but with frosting and chocolate chips!

HR and Talent Pros can reverse the onset of Tenuritis by just delivering information about their competition.  Who is the competition hiring and why?  What are they using for their pre-employment testing?  How is it working?  Where did their marketing director go to and why did she go?  What are they paying their sales people and what does the structure look like?  Is it working?  Who would be the top 2-3 people we should be trying to lure to our organization and why?  It's really simple information that we come across every day in our dealings in HR and Recruiting.  Information we just kind of throw to the side – without ever knowing, we are throwing away the cure!

There must be a cure for Newbulshit as well – I've just haven't come up with on.  How about you, do you know of a cure for Newbulshit?


FOT Background Check

Tim Sackett
Tim Sackett SPHR, is the ultimate Mama’s Boy!  After 15+ years of successfully leading HR and Talent Acquisition departments for Fortune 500s and smaller technical firms, Tim took over running the contingent staffing firm HRU Technical Resources in Lansing, MI. Serving as the Executive Vice President, Tim runs the company his mother started over 30 years ago, and don’t tell Mom, but he thinks he does a better job at it than she did!  Check out his blog at www.timsackett.com. Because he's got A LOT to say, and FOT just isn't enough for him.


  1. Jim Fox says:

    Tim –

    While tenuritis is problematic, newbulshit seems to be more like John Travolta’s character in the 1996 film, Phenomenon, in which his character is knocked down by a flash of light and finds himself a genius. Who wants to cure that? Inevitably in life as in movies that kind of genius comes at a cost /does not last and you end up hoping for retention even after the genius wears off. The movie is worth seeing!

    Like the flu, these afflictions are epidemic in nature. Tenuritis in particular seems contrary to our desire for retention – let’s keep them around and remind them how stupid they are. The same person is both genius and stupid depending on how long they stay in our organizations. What does that say about us?

  2. Tim says:

    Jim –

    You’re right – people like having “Newbulshit” – like when you were a kid and broke your arm and everyone wanted to sign your cast and treated you good- you were important! The tenure thing is all too real, unfortunately, we hear executives tell us we want high retention under the assumption it’s because they want to keep experience. But is that really the case? If it was, why are so many 50 year old+ workers, with awesome resumes finding it so hard to get hired? For whatever reasons, too many organization love hearing the new person’s opinion, but could care less what their 20 year tenured vet has to say. I think it probably has more to do with relationship dynamics more than experience. Once you’ve heard your spouses stories/opinions for 20 years, most tend to stop listening.


  3. Katrina says:

    Newbulshit? You probably hired the new candidate for their bright ideas and talent. It seems the cure for newbulshit is careful consideration.

    Often the only response to newbulshit is “we do it this way because this is the way we’ve always done it.” And as I understand it: if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.

    New doesn’t mean inexperienced. It means new to your organization. If a new candidate has a reasonable recommendation that can save money and make your company more efficient in some way (and they can prove it), you’d be a fool to file that under newbulshit and press forward with the sameolshit.

    • HR Protege says:

      Very valid points. But, the missing key is that in many cases the newbulshit is exactly the sameolshit being said by the employee with tenuritis. Here is where the old adage familiarity breeds contempt comes in and the grass is alway greener. See what the new employee is saying is not all that different (if at all) than what the tenured employee is saying. However, it seems as if others in the organization need validation before acting and this is obtained from the new person coming from outside the organization.

      Maybe the cure for newbulshit is when the tenuritis employee shares an idea and it is not acted upon the event is recorded. Perhaps recorded in some type of agreement that reads “This document is to prove that this idea was shared and the decision was not made to act upon the idea. If in the future, if because of newbulshit alone, this idea is acted upon, the person who failed to act upon the idea, must run down the hall screaming tenuritis “you were right, you were right”.” Since many do not like to admit that others were right, perhaps this will help to resolve putting higher weight on the newbulshit when it is just the sameolshit.”

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