The Turd in the Proverbial Punch Bowl


Nothing is worse than getting a great work opportunity to suddenly find that some panty-waste has come up through the system with a position and ego the size of Houston, yet with the brain the size of a pigeon.  Oh!  But he knows his job well since he has been doing it seemingly since Jesus Christ first turned water to wine.  And to top it all off, you have somehow been positioned as this fellow’s subordinate.

Don’t get me wrong!  There is nothing wrong with people moving up in a company and becoming successful.  It’s what they do with that power and success that truly matters.  Do they become a symbol of great meaning in the lives of the people at all levels in their organization?  Or do they become a snobbish bully?

A lot of this, I personally feel, depends on their upbringing.  But some people will argue that it is their experience on the job that molds them into who and what they are.  Ideally, it is probably the balance of both.  For example, if you take a fellow who was constantly picked on as a kid and put him in a position of authority, there is a good likelihood that he will exert his power over others with an iron fist.  He will talk down and belittle his workers in an effort to get every bit of last sweat they can foster from their quivering brows.  However, if — somewhere along the line of his employment experience — a mentor takes him under his wing and grooms him to be a true leader, then it can all turn around for the better.  Unfortunately, in my experience over the years, it seems that the proverbial turd in the punch bowl has usually been the common situation…bosses who demean their employees for the simple reason that they simply can.

Fear not, if you are one of those employees who find themselves at the wrath of some unfortunate legend within his own mind, all is not as lost as it may seem.  It is all psychology!  And nothing will piss off this bullying individual more than you forcing him to watch you succeed.  But don’t let him beat you down mentally and emotionally.  And don’t let him see you sweat…no matter how hard he tries to buckle you over.

Show this ass-hat that RESPECT IS A TWO-WAY STREET!  You should always do what he says (or you will, of course, lose your job!); but anything that will DIRECTLY glorify him to his boss should be done with the same care and precision as he takes when it comes to making you feel good about yourself in the workplace.  However, everything that glorifies YOU to that same boss should be done with the utmost care and precision. Maybe with a little bit of firm diligence and and unwavering dedication to success you can become one of his peers and compete with him directly.  Who knows!  Maybe within a few years, the tables will have turned full circle and you will be his boss.  If that does happen, it may be tempting to redirect justice against him in the same manner that he did to you…but don’t give in.  Let him see that you truly are better than him…but most importantly, direct him to be better to those who look up to him.  Let him know that disrespect toward his subordinates will no longer be tolerated.  Spread the love and dispense with the hate.

Personally, I have always worked hard as ever for the bosses who treated me with respect.  I have always called them sir and ma’am as they deserved.  But once they demean me, all of this ends!  The bullies I have encountered have tried unsuccessfully to break me.  In my mind, I just tell myself:  As a Marine recruit at Parris Island, I survived drill instructors who could chew you up and spit you out in ways you could never hope to overcome.  These guys cussed me, kicked me, and mentally and emotionally abused me in ways you could never imagine.  You are NOTHING in comparison.  I was over you when you extended your first bit of abusive power and disrespect toward me.  You can do whatever the company will allow you to do to me.  But I can endure you without even a blink.

Never forget!  The true power of a manager lies within the people who work for him or her, and that is usually you and me.  

It should be common sense to all employers:  If you want your people to achieve winning results, then you better treat them with a winning sense of respect that fosters an overpowering sense of good morale within the entire workplace.  And if they achieve this, they need to weed out all these small-minded fools who contaminate an otherwise functional organization.

Just because there is a turd in the punch bowl, you do not have to take a drink from it.


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