…of small people and Big egos


That’s how I have felt for the past few months.

Someone once said “black people don’t need to go to therapy, they just need to go to church!” Well, I have to say while dealing with my abusive boss I came so close to needing a therapist seeing as I had no one to report my grievances to therefore hopelessness and depression were my best friends.

I contemplated quitting for months but we all worry about being ‘a disappointment’ to our parents so I stayed on. But finally, I had to make a decision and consider the consequences. I quit. No one is inclined to stay in an abusive relationship…be it work related or personal. I am the kind of person who has no problem doing any kind of job just to make a living (even waiting tables) but a line has to be drawn somewhere because bullying just doesn’t cut it.

I have been reading ‘The Use & Abuse of Office Politics‘ by Mark Holden and I have learnt one or two things about surviving and thriving in the corporate jungle. I love what I do and I intend the go further in my career. It’s unfortunate that all the while I had been working for a VERY SMALL organization that had no regard for employee welfare. Office politics i.e bullying was pushed under the rag leaving employees with only two viable options;

  • Quit and find work somewhere else
  • Throw yourself in front of a moving train and end your misery

I do agree that office politic is necessary to some extent but Diplomacy is the best way to go.

I have felt alone and misunderstood in trying to deal with all the underlying issues that I somehow learnt (naturally) the survival tactics of dealing with traumatic events without letting out my true feelings. One thing I have learnt from all this is, “don’t judge someone’s choices if you don’t understand their reasons”

Good and honest people get hurt by the manipulation of office politics which often destroys self esteem, confidence, performance and significantly career. According to Mark Holden there are 3 groups of people involved in office politics;

1) The Androids;- They are the people who come to work, do what they need to do, do it well, go home and get on with their lives and other interests. They are usually;

  • Quiet
  • Reliable
  • Have limited ideas or input
  • Have a small group of friends
  • Unambitious and often have outside interests

2) The streetwise (and this is where I belong);- it may look like these people are just happy to work and live but really, they are silently ambitious. They achieve their goals by aligning with the goals of others. They are generally;

  • Competent
  • Supportive
  • Co-operative
  • Generally well liked and sociable
  • Have wide networks of contacts

3) The hustlers (the kind I have been running from) ;- these are the organizational merchants who peddle stories, rumours and miss information all with the goal of self promotion. It is characteristic of sanguine personality types who may seem friendly and charming at first until you get to interact more with them. They are always looking for an angle that will gain them advantage; always sucking up and putting others down. They are generally;

  • Manipulative
  • Coercive
  • Bullies
  • Self centered
  • Controlling
  • Egotistical
  • Unenthusiastic towards the success of others

Its is the hustlers that make life miserable, causing stress and tension for everyone who work with them; directly of indirectly. According to a questionnaire I filled out…it was identified that the level of politics in my workplace was at 70 which meant ‘strong undercurrents of negative politics that made the work environment uncomfortable’ characterised by;

  • Little social interaction
  • Self interest and focus on individual tasks
  • Constant confrontation and by constant confrontation I mean ‘daily morning confrontations’
  • Constant suspicion
  • Personal agendas
  • Disregard for individual success
Life is too short to confine yourself to a toxic work environment.
Being successful is not about stepping on other people. It is about working hard for what you want and knowing when to stand up for what you deserve. It is not about demoralizing others but self- empowerment. It is not about being arrogant but displaying your confidence and intellect as a badge of pride. It is not by asserting superiority or self entitlement but recognizing your own worth and value. So if you feel you have to bully people in order to control them them I’m sorry to say you have failed as a leader.



2 thoughts on “…of small people and Big egos

  1. renxkyoko says:

    Ah, Viv ! Finally you did it ! Congratulations ! That was brave of you !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s