Employee qualities

Back in November, Business Insider posted a piece, “A Leaked Internal Uber Presentation Shows What The Company Really Values In Its Employees”:

One page of the document defined which qualities all Uber employees are expected to possess. Those qualities, or “Uber Competencies,” are: Vision, Quality Obsession, Innovation, Fierceness, Execution, Scale, Communication, Super Pumpedness

Business Insider picked out two of these, super pumpedness and fierceness, as especially worthy of mockery. And now Scott Adams’s comic Dilbert has exploited these in two strips, from yesterday and today.

Yesterday, super pumpedness:


Today, fierceness:


The adjective pumped (marked as informal) in NOAD2:

(of a person) stimulated or filled with enthusiasm or excitement: I was so pumped that I overdid everything

From this, with the nominalizing derivational suffix –ness, we get the innovative pumpedness, a word of dubious utility. And then with the hyperbolic prefix super-, added either to pumped or to pumpedness, we get the preposterous super pumpedness, which made Alice barf.

As for fierceness, I’d be concerned about it erupting in the Uber offices, and even more in their cab drivers.

One Response to “Employee qualities”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From John Lawler on Facebook:

    I would hafta pronounce that word as /supər’pəmpədnəs/, with an epenthetic shwa, marked optionally by an accent grave — “superpumpèdness” — like “clothèd all in white”.

    That was the pronunciation I was assuming; it’s the standard for PSP -ed before -ness, to avoid the pileup of consonants (/mpt – n/ in this case). But the piled-up consonants aren’t actually phonologically ill-formed, so it’s possible that some people don’t have the epenthetic schwa.

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