Sunday, June 5, 2011

How to Be Subpar

My Facebook status:  “On the 8th week of woo-ork, my new job gave to meeeeeeeeeeeee…8 asshole salesman, 7 gossipy coworkers, 6 broken promises, 5 delayed insurance requests, 4 nasty rumors, 3 creepy cubemates, 2 late paychecks, and 1 unsatisfied, underpaid, burnt-out employ-eee-eee-eeeee….

Alright, alright, I know what you're thinking.  You are thinking “this girl just doesn’t know how to be happy!”  You are wrong.  Again.  Shut up and let me tell you what happened before you get all judge-y and start telling me all your disgustingly optimistic rainbow-striped life mottos.  I started a new job about two months ago in order to work closer to home.  It is in the same crappy credit career path I am going to school to get away from so I did not expect a job that is markedly better than the last one.  However, I did not expect to be lied to right off the bat.  My boss’s boss did all the interviewing, he looks like the dad from Back to the Future so from here on out he will be referred to as Mr. McFly.  Anyway, Mr. McFly lied to bate me into taking the job.  I am especially astonished by this move since there are so many people out of work right now that would have been happy to take any old crappy job.  Just one of the fabrications Mr. McFly told me was that he was paying out maximum monthly bonuses to several of his people.  He said even his mediocre people were getting healthy sums every month.  My new coworkers are quite the talkers and they started offering up their bonus amounts to me once I started training.  They are not getting anywhere near what was told to me.  Surprise, surprise, someone high up in a corporation bent the truth to get what he wanted.  To add insult to injury Mr. McFly jacked up my goals to ridiculous numbers and then called my performance “subpar” when I inevitably did not hit them.  You can take my money sir but no one calls me subpar and gets away with it (except for my mother).  This ridiculous little slam lit a fire under my exhausted behind.  I asked Mr. McFly what his goal calculations are (because they didn't align with the outline he gave me in the interview), ran my numbers, and demonstrated that it is an impossibility for me to make my goals because of the terms he gave to my biggest customer.  He never responded to my email.  I asked him if he had read it and he walked away mumbling something about having to fire that smartass, uppity-schmuppity new girl.  I think he was talking about someone else.

I understand that companies do not want to give out raises or bonuses.  I think it is completely socially irresponsible, but I understand why it happens.  What I do not understand is why some managers decide to crush your soul along with not doling out your well-earned money.   What is psychologically wrong with these people?  For instance, at my last company we had a meeting to go over year-end results.  We were told that the company was on target with their plan from before the recession ever even hit.  Oh great!  Hooray!  We’re back baby!  And then we were told we would not be getting full raises like before the recession hit.  Wait…what?!  Really?  There are half as many people working here doing three times the work they used to and we're not going to get anything for it?  And then you're going to brag to us about it?  Along that same note, I have too many friends that are managers to believe that performance reviews have any other purpose then to crush your self-esteem until you think no one else would ever hire you.  People really are not that motivated to leave their benefits and vacation days anyway, why is it necessary to grind their inner being into teeny, tiny pieces of poo too?

I was reading an NPR article the other day about psychopaths in business (here is the link if you are interested: http://www.npr.org/2011/05/21/136462824/a-psychopath-walks-into-a-room-can-you-tell).  (On a side note I’ve decided to let NPR make all my entertainment and political decisions for me.  They have more time to research this crap and they will make sure I don't turn into a Republican when I’m not looking.)  According to this article, "Robert Hare, the eminent Canadian psychologist who invented the psychopath checklist, ... recently announced that you're four times more likely to find a psychopath at the top of the corporate ladder than you are walking around in the janitor's office".  AH HAH!  So people who cheat, lie, take risks, who are able to appear charming when they feel like it and generally lack any empathy are likely to succeed in the corporate world?  Oh.  Okay, that makes a lot of sense.  Shoot.

What do you do when one of these people has their grip on you?  Do you wait for their inevitable psychotic break (hopefully this happens somewhere other than work), which will definitely result in their firing and prosecution on murder charges?  Do you stay, assimilate, and take the mental beating?  Do you run away, screaming dramatically, as fast as you can?  Does anyone have the answer? 

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