Salary Survey Extra: The question about that thing you've already forgotten
Posted on
May 16, 2019

Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Do you remember the anonymous editorial that was in the New York Times last Sept. 5?

Yes, we're about to divulge the results of another question from the group of questions at the end of the survey where we ask about the Not So Serious stuff. Before we reveal which one, however, it's probably worth saying a few words about the process by which we come up with those questions in the first place.

Half of them address actual IT topics that we're legitimately curious about. For example, last year we asked how many people to take the Salary Survey had ever cheated on a certification exam. With the other half, we typically try to lighten the mood with some breezy questions about this or that amusing, outlandish, or culturally relevant milestone or current event.

Some of the time, of course, by the time we're looking at the results of this or that wacky question, we (and probably most of our readers) can scarcely recall the event or milestone that inspired us to ask it. This is one of those times.

Way back in early autumn of last year, the New York Times published an anonymous editorial allegedly written by a "senior official" in the White House who claimed to be actively thwarting bad policy from within the Trump administration. In any other presidency, an incident like that would probably have stood the test of eight or nine months: we'd still remember it.

In this instance, so many other unlikely (and now forgotten) things have happened since that even people who remember the Times editorial probably think it happened in 2017, or even 2016. But no, it was only eight months ago. The anonymous editorial stirred up enough of a political dust devil at the time that there's a detailed Wikipedia entry describing it.

The author was unknown at the time and has remained anonymous since. We had our suspicions, however, and asked for survey respondents to vet them for us. Who done it? The general public may never know β€” and, OK, nothing we're about to reveal is likely to be helpful or insightful in that regard β€” but it's fun to speculate.

Q: The anonymous editorial printed in the New York Times allegedly from a "senior official" secretly thwarting bad policy from within the Trump administration was actually written by:

The junior staffer on the New York Times editorial board who forgot to schedule a column for Sept. 5 β€” 33.2 percent
Vice President Mike Pence β€” 13.1 percent
Vice President Mike Pence's pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo β€” 9 percent
Former Director of Communications Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci β€” 8.8 percent
Papa John β€” 8.7 percent
Jimmy Fallon β€” 8.3 percent
Melania β€” 5.2 percent
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders β€” 4.9 percent
Ivanka β€” 4.7 percent
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson β€” 4.1 percent

So there you have it. Vice President Mike Pence is apparently the prime suspect among actual White House insiders, but Papa John (who was in hot water and in the news at the time) and chief-executive-hair-mussing talk show host Jimmy Fallon didn't get off scot-free.

Of course, nearly a third of all survey respondents lined up behind the admittedly humorous notion of a Times ditch digger ingeniously saving his or her own skin after winding up in a tight spot. Perhaps without even realizing it, some of you thereby settled on the option President Trump himself probably would have selected: fake news.

About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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