When I talked about HONESTY I talked about a co-worker who was going to engage in some shameful tactics. Well, she did.
Today, I got called in for a good tounge-lashing from senior management. Things were said that were attributed to me, things that I said were misquoted, and things were taken out of context to maximize the damage. It worked.
The end result was I had to be penitent and beg to keep my job, which I did, but they gave me the most personally humiliating sentence I could have received: I have temporarily lost my office.
Normally, I run on a pretty even keel, but I am bothered by the fact that two people who have received numerous complaints from the customer base will be in my place for the next week. I can already see all the damage control I will have to do to fix this mess, and I’m not even talking about the destruction to a damn good reputation. I will have to earn the loyalty from customers that will be pissed off about the way things go in my absense.
That’s the way it works sometimes.
People might ask why I agreed to the public humiliation. I am good enough at my job to be able to find another. I did so because I don’t plan on working in the industry for a long enough time to make going to another instituion worthwhile. I tend to give a lot of loyalty to the company I work for, even if the company shows me no loyalty in return. This is the game: Temporarily, they (those who would see me fail) have the upper hand. Since I am not willing to leave right now, I have to allow them the upper hand, and play with the one I have.
I feel truly sorry for the person that instigated this. I have no doubt that this person believes they did the right thing. I have no doubt that there was some pressure from on high to allow things to go as far as they did. Had this person approached me directly, I would have more empathy for this person. As it is, I have no anger towards them- as I said, I believe they felt they were doing the right thing. The problem that comes to bear is that this person will inevitably slip up somewhere in the presence of an influential customer, and the customer will bring this slip-up to the attention of those in power. The co-worker will, at that time, realize that they were played by the same game I was. Too bad it will be too late by then.
I mention any of this because this type of office politics is not uncommon. It happens all the time, and usually a young person bears the brunt of whatever happens. I took my lumps, and I will easily go through their gauntlet, emerging as a winner. If you get caught up in this type of thing, try your best to avoid the political repercussions. If you cannot, don’t try to come out swinging. Do what you need to do in order to keep your job. When you leave a company (as you would inevitably do, facing this mess), leave on your feet, through the front door. Understand that karma, fate, or divine intervention will catch up with the bad people. Companies will come and go throughout your life, but you will always be stuck with your own dignity. Some would think there is more dignity in quitting: I believe they are wrong, and that there is more dignity in doing what is needed to keep your job, or at least to not lose your sole source of income.