The Desk

July 14, 2007

An Uncomfortable Situation

Filed under: Career Advancement,Hostile Workplace,Management — Yvonne LaRose @ 10:18 PM

“Going home shouldn’t HURT,” is what the sign on the bus read and it encouraged calling the domestic violence hotline for Los Angeles County if you’re experiencing abuse. There are a lot of lessons that can be taught about domestic violence and the multiple forms of abuse associated with it. There are even more lessons that accompany going to the various agencies that purport to work toward eradicating abuse and supporting those who are victims of it. To some extent, those lessons are for another day.

More importantly, going to work shouldn’t HURT. Theoretically speaking, the focus is on the work product as it should reach the customer. Quality output, timeliness, accuracy. Those are the primary issues. The pettiness of who is talking about whom, what the color of their skin or hair or gender may be are not part of the product unless this is a salon of some type. But when it comes down to making the numbers crunch, or getting the database to hold and find all of the correct inputs, it doesn’t really matter who did it just so that it did get done. That is not about hurting. That is about focusing on the job and working toward a common goal for the stakeholder.

Another important thing is who made the best [sales] in the last period. Fantastic! Let’s team up with that person in order to learn how they did this so that we can replicate their positive angles, so that we can put our own spin on their techniques in order to personalize to our style and appeal to our class of customers.

Going to work shouldn’t hurt because of venomous remarks, needless comments, barked logic that when stepped away from collapses into drivel. Going to work shouldn’t mean we grit our teeth against discovering some critical document is lost that was in the middle of the desk when we turned off the lights last night. Going to work shouldn’t mean enduring people who interrupt what we’re saying because they know more than us, what we’re saying isn’t important enough to hear, isn’t very interesting, is always wrong.

Going to work shouldn’t hurt because everyone else gets a lunch break but not us. Demeaning remarks shouted out in public before co-workers and clients should not be the normal environment. The integrity of our work should pass muster from the last time our hands were on it to its delivery.

now-dv-ribbon.jpgYes, there are means of dealing with these situations. Reporting them to the appropriate compliance officer is one way of handling them. But the compliance officer has myopia and doesn’t see the situations as plainly as we do. Nothing happens. Is there any way to kick this up the ladder? Maybe not. In that case, it’s time to go to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Examine the situation on an incident-by-incident basis. List each occurrence of something that is askew and the events surrounding it. Review the list. Look for a pattern. Who was present, in relation to other things, when did this occur? Note curious associations. Report these, especially if a pattern is recognized. Is there a time pattern or a cycle? Does this seem to happen to you only or are others similarly affected?

Are the reports you make going unheeded at every level? Then it’s time for you to take matters by the reins. Short of violence, do whatever is necessary to take care of yourself. Document when you have victories and get public acknowledgement of them whenever possible. Add them to your resume as accomplishments. Get endorsements on your networking profile. Make certain your profile is up to date. Circulate.

Do not be intimidated by the remarks when you speak up for yourself. Do not allow yourself to feel flustered and inadequate. Know your rules and ground work and adhere to it. Do not just stand up for yourself. Let people know when you’re asserting your rights. Phrase it so that the consequences reflect positively on you.

And while you’re at it, make certain you start researching where you will go next. While you’re at it, start interviewing for where you’ll go next.

Going to work nor going home should hurt.

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