After working for over 30 companies in my lifetime, I've come to the conclusion that there are only 11 types of personalities and 5 basic scenarios to fuck people over at work.
The personalities consist of:
By the Rules
Give me two seconds in any office and I can point out the troublemakers, the whiners, the kiss-assers and the lunatics. While this is a good trait to navigate in an office environment, it's also a sad statement about people in general. We spend more time in offices with colleagues than with the people we love. We're on an intimate basis with our colleagues - their bathroom habits, their eating habits, the way they pick their nose, the way they conduct themselves, their marriages, their extra-curricular activities, their finances, their children, their diseases - and they, as well, know these things about us! No wonder why offices are so dysfunctional.
Office intrigues, my specialty, are very clear to someone who writes about office intrigues in novels. It's all about fucking someone over for the coveted brass ring. Or, in the case of sociopaths, to eliminate someone who they fear or envy.
The way to ruin a colleague/subordinate and/or boss is quite simple and doesn't involve much brain power. Follow these steps and you'll be on your way!
Discredit their abilities. It doesn't take much time and doesn't require much thought. It can start simple enough as a passing comment to a group of gossips, "Oh boy, he's supposedly an expert?" This can easily be followed up with several snide allusions to the person's workload and flow. When you get to this level, you'll have to monitor what the person does - when he gets in, when he leaves, how much time he spends in the toilet, how many coffee breaks he takes, how much time he spends on the phone on personal matters, how much time he spends online instead of working. JUMP on every small mistake and amplify it. "Oh, Joe fucked up again!" After a week, the office drones will pick up the rallying cry and in no time Joe's reputation is smeared.
No doubt Joe will hear of this. The more agreement people have that he's a fuck-up, the more he WILL fuck up. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a matter of weeks, Joe will be reprimanded and put on probation. Works like a charm.
Demonize their personality. Should Joe show any evidence of emotion, casually saunter around and buzz in people's ears: "Watch out. Joe has a BAD temper." Each time Joe exhibits anger over a mistake he makes, now that he's a fuck-up, it's feedback time. People will avoid dealing with Joe for he's a powder keg waiting to detonate.
Ridicule everything they do. When Joe fucks up, loses his temper, laugh and say, "What can you expect?" It doesn't matter that Joe received raises, bonuses and promotions for the past decade with awards for stellar performance. This is an ADD society. No one will remember while they watch Joe pulling at his hair, snarling at his colleagues, fucking up his work. He will become the brunt of office jokes. Whatever Joe brings to the table will summarily be discounted. For he's now the office tool.
Show fear with each interaction. "Do I have to work on this project with Joe? He's not normal. He's angry, he fucks up, he's a joke. He'll only be a burden." When Joe gets wind that his former close colleagues treat him like Hannibal Lechter, he'll start drinking. His once upward career journey is rapidly coming to an end.
Loathing is the last step. This is the annihilation stage. Everyone hates Joe. He's the cross they have to bear. He's been reprimanded numerous times for his fuck-ups, his tardiness, his sloppiness and his drunkenness. Pretty soon he'll be let go.
On the flip side, if you're Joe, you're fucked. While you're looking for a new job, the least you can do is torment the shit outta your once close co-workers:
- Should you be reprimanded, diarize the situation and demand a meeting with your supervisors and HR. Bring LOADS of documentation of your work, your performance, your workload, the 'mistakes' in question. Then, bring documentation of your colleagues' work, their workload and their mistakes, especially the people who started this rumor. This requires that the supervisor and HR have to go through every detail. It's a total time suck, but demand it. Hint about a potential lawsuit.
- Demand written reprimands and written minutes of these meetings. That usually means you've a lawyer in the wings. Sometimes supervisors and HR back off for a while, especially considering your tenure and recent past performance.
- Should this involve your supervisor, honestly, your goose is cooked. You can play it two ways:
- Go through the process, knowing the end game will be termination and hope you get a new job in time.
- Let them know you know the end game and nip it in the bud right there. You may be fired immediately, perhaps with a nice package, or let them know that you'll get the hell out of there as soon as a new job's on the horizon. All you're doing is buying time.
- Flip it around. You bought yourself time and have nothing to lose. Let everyone know that you're set up to be fired and who orchestrated the deal. Tell everyone to watch their back. At least you can share the wealth of fear and paranoia to all. Should you be fired, your former colleagues will then quake in their shoes, knowing they're next. Let them become the fuck-ups. Then your supervisor will regret firing you because now NO ONE can do their job properly and his job is on the line. Or, it may backfire and the company will keep you on a long-term extended period fearing repercussion and/or a major lawsuit. You may even survive your supervisor and a new management team, but that's a long shot.
Very few people keep their jobs once they experience this. Unless they've contacts in senior management. Beware, though the Joes. In their next job, they'll definitely be the barracuda.
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