Friday, 1 March 2013

Thought Picnic: The Dank Art of Arse Covering


We are first, human
There is something I still believe matters in the work environment; the realisation that you are still dealing with people, a subset of humanity that have personalities, interests, ambitions and lives.
Just because one is paid to work somewhere and by reason of that, fulfilling a role in a job does not take away from the fact that core elements of interaction as in courtesy, respect, appreciation and gratitude do not matter.
I find that in some cases I do appear culturally old-fashioned in appearance, demeanour, speech and written word, but it remains of the utmost importance and it does not cost a thing.
Covering arses
What I cannot stand is professional dishonesty, not so much because the person is morally bankrupt but because the environment is infused with a blame culture that everyone is afraid of being told-off because we have been deluded into thinking we are all infallible.
Maybe I should rephrase that, I have worked in places where what everyone does is find ways to shirk responsibility from owning a problem or admitting a mistake to the point that the problem becomes too obvious to ignore but with no one available to solve it even though all interested parties have both the ability and wherewithal to tackle the issue and provide a solution without much fuss.
In common parlance, I once wrote to a colleague, I cover my arse by getting the job done not by looking for someone to shift the blame unto.
Unhealthy environments
However, an environment that fosters the abrasion of basic humanity for meeting targets where the goal is to win all the accolades and foists all the faults on others even in the face of damning evidence is poisonous and unhealthy; it makes one adopt an antagonistic stance where mutual respect should grow and pitches people in camps ready to war against each other even though they work for the same organisation.
Sadly, there are no clear processes to glean where activities within an organisation are inimical to its development; the system becomes business as usual; the culture and the way things are done.
Bear or dare?
The more frustrating element to this is where people have accepted things as they are, after hitting so many brick walls they have become inured to what outsiders are newcomers consider an unnecessary inconvenience that has developed into an atrocious aberration.
You then wonder, whether you will be subsumed or stand aloof of the fray, maintaining both the composure and comportment that has always defined you – from what I know of myself, when it gets untenable and the environment is impervious to change, a walk is prepared for another challenge than to have one’s soul destroyed because we cannot find the best of our civility to do business together.

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