Saturday 1 April 2017

Thought Picnic: Taking the animal out of the workplace

The jungle at work
In a working career that is in its 30th year, I have only twice encountered a situation where the one bestowed the privilege of leadership has been no less a member of the fraternity of the silverback gorilla in the jungle.
It is as if every concept of leading men was taken out of the management guide of Tarzan in his element. They having mastered the jargon and act of obfuscation where the multitude of words suggests the vacuity of purpose, everyone enduring the onslaught of bullshit laid out by the trowel.
Courtesy always matters
In some instances, I have considered myself probably too old-fashioned for certain environments from the surfeit of expletives in the speech to the lack of basic manners in address and conversation, the act of communication might well be served with grunts, growls, barks and quacks.
I have seen better in the animal kingdom in terms of social development and grooming, like who sits beside you on the train or on an aeroplane, you can’t choose the class, breeding or comportment of most of the colleagues you would end up working with.
In the main, even the difficult ones for whatever reason I always found accommodation for and cultivated the means of creating mutual respect which has developed into a friendship. I like to think I am quite easy to get along with. Courtesy matters to me and it is completely in my manner, nature and rearing to be courteous.
Of rotten disrespect
What I cannot stand and abide is indifference and disrespect, especially from those I need to work with daily. Situations where requirements, goals and deliverables that are primarily my function to provide filtering down to me via the grapevine rather than communication and where such attitudes when challenged do not elicit a positive response. A case of persons impervious adaptation within a diverse environment or maybe they cannot handle diversity at all.
Such was the situation that one has had to face in those two situations, animus and uncouth behaviour caught within the metaphor of a rocking horse, much activity, many meetings, idiotic jargon and unnecessary stress borne of being belittled and patronised as if your sojourn in that setting is the pinnacle of your career achievements.
We are first human
The workplace is where people come to work, but primarily the people are human beings, from all backgrounds too diverse to list but amenable to the vagaries of good business conduct. The have feelings, families, lives and much more. When you take away the fundamentals of humanity in your dealings with your colleagues at work, you create tension leading to the untenable.
The absence of the human touch regardless of your inadequacies, prejudices and even ineptitude, leaves one with no other option than to walk and there comes a time when a man has too much self-respect to be treated with disrespect.

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