The Workplace Is Like An IED

Note: To get a background of the source of the feature image, go to my blog: “TO USE HUMOR TO A RUMOR.

So what’s a fool? According to Websters Dictionary it means a person lacking in judgement and understanding. It can also refer to crazy, insane, kooky, senseless, stupid and witless. It’s just plain retarded. The word is still in the dictionary although when said aloud is not politically correct. Beware that one should not say the word in public or your name, family, friend and life be destroyed in social media platform.

Friendships is a relationship of mutual affection between people. It’s characteristics include love, affection, sympathy, understanding, honesty and trust. But there are times where you refer to persons you just met as friends. No they are not friends, they are just acquaintances. Most of all is the ability to be oneself, expressing one’s feelings and making mistakes without fear of judgement from the friend. This is special. But there are times where you refer to persons you just met as friends. No they are not friends, they are just acquaintances.

I feel a warmth when discussing about friendships but there is a lot of expectations when you get into a relationship. It’s supposed to be mutual but often it tends to be a one way street. The fool and the fooled. The fool is winning!

Friendship in adulthood provides companionship, affection, as well as emotional support, and contributes positively to mental well-being and improved physical health. The next step for this young adults is after university/college is looking for employment. You gain new friends (I call them acquaintances first, then when I get to know them, I can call them friends) in the workplace but meaningful friendships is difficult to maintain.

The workplace is like an IED, an improvised electric devise. Your friendships are temporary, fireworks of competition, colleague quirks, Human Resource complaints, lifestyle envy, love life envy, harmful gossips, etc.

People learn to hide vulnerabilities, people can be fake. People will throw you under a bus/train. Sooner or later that IED will explode and will injure or kill you – emotionally and mentally.

Lessons learned. I have invested 30 years in the workforce and have experienced some of this things. The IED exploded but it did not kill me. It almost killed me. There was DRAMA all the time. My foolish actions in these unhealthy workplace situations:

– Potluck. A panic and stress to participate what to make, bring or buy. It has to be expensive. I will be judged. So I ordered a tray of Chinese egg rolls. My out-of-pocket $35. I spent money to impress specially my boss and was inundated with complements. In my mind, they will like me and be my friends. My boss will tread lightly on me. In reality, they forgot the next day.

– Birthday Celebration Potluck. I really do not want to attend but my boss and co-workers may notice and call me anti-social.

– Wedding Shower Potluck. The lady boss is having a shower. Panic. I gave her a candle warmer. It is different, unique and she will relate the present with my name. Voila! I was right. After her wedding she told me that she uses the warmer as a night light. Yesss! She did think about me … in my mind.

– Baby Shower Potluck Another panic and stress situation. I will be judged again. In my mind, the present has to be at $20.00 at least and cute. In reality, it’s just a complement of ooh’s and aah’s that sounds like music to my ears. They will forget about it next day.

– Last Day of Work Potluck. A nice male co-worker (we both hated out boss) was leaving and we were going to have a potluck lunch for him the next day. In my crazy mind, I made a grandiose dramatic gesture. I bought 3 orders of 8- piece Kentucky Fried Chicken worth $35. I spent to impress. He never said thank you. My other co-workers benefitted and left the lunchroom stuffed. My name in my department was trending for now.

I realized I am a fool. Why spend that much? I wanted to impress. I had the conclusions in my mind to the planned action I was going to do. So, I seeked therapy and along with that are medications. I am not one of those who reject anti-anxiety pills because it does help. I was impulsive and vulnerable with hard earned money and my pychological behaviors.

Now, I am more guarded, I am stronger, I can say ‘No.’ I don’t want to spend a single cent ever to whatever potluck there is. I have built shields. I reinvented myself to think of my well being first. I will never allow my brain to go to that space where I want to impress. No more panic. No more stress. There is no longer this white noise or background chatter.

Work is work, Upon the advice of my psychiatrist, I took down photos/pictures of family and vacation. He says: “Work is not your home!”

So the application of the saying about playing the role of a fool is enlightening. Wherever you go there are foolish people who gets you in trouble by making up stories, while you raise a hand to say an opinion when there are no other hands raised but still lady boss will not acknowledge you, the goal is to embarrass. Also, when the job is easy but during a performance review you fail. I wonder … I’m a college graduate and can’t get it? I have 10 years of experience and service with the company but a new employee gets a raise already? Lady boss’ wants to make my work life miserable. Why do some bosses make a subordinate cry? I think they like it, they want to see an ugly cry. My thought is that you should only cry when a family member dies, a loved one is very ill or a friend committed suicide. But crying at work is now a trend. A very sad cruel trend.

To get back at this retarded fools, first show that you are vulnerable that you can be attacked or be wounded. But in the end, I can say a big “NO!” or “I do not want to participate in the department’s potlucks!” Period.

The best revenge is ME playing “The Fool” fooling the retarded Fool (fake friend/boss) who foolishly thinks they are fooling me. Redemption.

Stock Photo: Nene Leakes Instagram

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