In addition to the fact that I appear more qualified to be in Congress than Darcy Burner, another thing that bothers me about the Burner campaign is what seems to be fairly obvious padding of her resume. Specifically her claim that she is a “successful businesswoman”. The specific quotes from her bio are:
A successful businesswoman, community leader and mother, Darcy will fight for our priorities.And
Darcy went to work for Microsoft in 2000 and became the lead manager for an initiative to change the way software was built. It was very successful and enhanced Darcy’s reputation as a successful businesswoman.
Now maybe I am splitting hairs but as someone who actually owns a business and is responsible for paying the employees and the taxes, I have an issue when someone who is an employee, a “lead manager” or “product manager” or whatever calls themselves a businessperson.
So I did what I always do when I have a question of a politician…. I called her office. I simply asked if Ms. Burner’s claim that she was a successful business person referred to her work at Microsoft since I did not see anything else in her bio that mentioned she ran a company or owned a business. The reply was she was an executive at Microsoft. I replied she was an employee but did not run the business and asked again if she had ever run a company or owned a business. After checking with additional staff I was told she worked for a number of high tech companies including being an executive at Microsoft but had never owned a company. Now I was not going to argue if in fact she was an executive or not at Microsoft. The Burner campaign seems to have ceded that point when they removed those claims from the web site although it appears they have not informed the staff. I know a number of fairly high ranking Microsoft employees who I am fairly sure are well above whatever level Ms. Burner was at and I strongly doubt any of them would refer to themselves as Microsoft executives.
Now there seems to be some confusion about what Ms. Burner’s responsibilities were at Microsoft. Her web site says she was a "lead manager", her campaign staff says she was an "executive". From Wikipedia:
She worked for a dozen years in high technology including five years at Microsoft as a Lead Product Manager, working on the .NET Framework. Burner left Microsoft in 2004 to enter politics.But later it says:
It's not factual to say as in the introduction that "She worked for a dozen years in high technology including five years at Microsoft as a Lead Product Manager, working on the .NET Framework. Burner left Microsoft in 2004 to enter politics." Darcy worked less than 4 years at Microsoft as a marketing program manager, not as lead nor as a product manager. See Darcy's MSDN blog. She did not enter politics until 2006, after dropping out of law school, which she pursued after leaving Microsoft, at other times Darcy claims she left to raise her newborn son.All I know is that if I were hiring and got a resume that stated the person was a “successful businessperson” and the real world activity to justify that claim was being a manager at a large company, I would have to call B.S.
Now I help coach my 7 year old son’s soccer team and we have had a very successful year so far. For the most part my responsibilities entail reminding the kids what goal we should be kicking the ball towards as I know almost nothing about soccer. This experience should not allow me to put down “successful athletic coach” on a resume. I get the feeling that Ms. Burner would.