“When facing a storm, regardless of it’s strength, feel confident knowing it will eventually pass.” JSM
Imagine if you will, sitting in your office at work. Generally engaging in your job related tasks. A normal day. A work day not unlike any other day of the week.
Perhaps you’re daydreaming about the future, thinking about what the family wants for dinner that night, or deciding what book should be pulled from the shelf for some light reading when the chores are finished. Conjuring up images of your vacation from last week. Listening to music, or your favorite podcast through the ear buds.
Wondering how the kids are doing in school, or what your significant other is up to.
Maybe you’re contemplating taking the dog for a walk. Maybe you’re single, living life as a solo entity, pondering the night activities or where you want to go for entertainment when the work day is complete.
Either way, you’re doing your thing at the job site and being yourself. Living your life and completing the responsibilities and obligations. Managing to the best of your known abilities. Everything is seemingly normal. Plodding along through the work day at the regular speed and doing your best to be your best.
Sure, work isn’t always fun. It has it’s issues. It sucks sometimes. We may clash with a disgruntled co-worker, deal with an unhappy customer or find ourselves embroiled in disagreements with the boss and butting heads from time to time, but the company considers you a valued member. They need you and you need them. You feel safe and secure knowing you’re important to the overall construct. At least, that’s what you’re led to believe over your many years in employment.
However, behind the scenes, a conspiracy is afoot.
You hear a whisper through the grapevine. A rumor from around the corner near the water cooler. A secret you were never meant to hear. You’re now privy to knowledge that was never meant for your ears.
At first you shrug it off. It may be nothing. A figment of your imagination. Perhaps I heard that wrong.
The next day, you feel the stabbing glares from others in the office. The whispers become louder. The chatter escalates around you in corners and muffled by the petition walls. Cliques form, and people you once considered work place friends are now giving you the evil eye and the cold shoulder. You walk by a co-worker and they shut off the monitor to their computer, denying you visual access to what’s on the screen. You walk towards a group of peers to chat about the show last night, and they shuffle away from you as you approach them.
OK… something’s not right.
The office grows tense and uncomfortable. At this point, you know something’s wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it and dare not speak a word. What happened to everyone?
People you’ve spent time with out of the office. People who’ve visited your home and enjoyed holiday parties with. People you’ve considered to be on the same page, the same team, and even in some instances, close friends.
The one thing the co-workers forgot however, is the fact you have the ability to remotely access the company computers from your office space, and dig up the information that’s been hidden. Guess the boss man should have reconsidered my administrative access. Let’s see what ol Jesse in accounting was looking at, at 3:15 yesterday afternoon. What are you hiding from me, Jesse, old buddy?
Once inside the system, the back and forth email pops into view. A twelve person chat where the topic of conversation is… you. The eventual outcome of your job position. The steps that will be taken to either force you to quit, or be fired, and more than half of the office is in on it.
Startled, anxiety spreading through your veins like wildfire, you erase every shred of evidence that showed your activity. You return to work and attempt to muscle through the remainder of the day, and pretend all is normal.
Now, everything changes. Now, you have that secret information that wasn’t meant for you. The conspiracy has been discovered. A secret revealed. You’ll become an eventual victim and there is no escaping the inevitable fate. You’re doomed to watch the events transpire around you, helpless, and all alone. One person against a corporate empire.
What do you do?
Do you transform and become like those attempting to do you harm? Do you fill yourself full of poison and strike at them like a wounded and cornered scorpion? Do you confront at all? Do you continue on, and merely hope for the best? Do you ignore and pretend you never saw it? Do you make arrangements to leave, or do you wait to get the pink slip? Do you seek justice? Do you seek clarification? Do you pray, or scream at the sky?
I did a little of it all. I transformed. I screamed and prayed. I sought to make it right in a non-aggressive manner, and in order to accomplish a daunting feat such as that, emotion goes straight out the window. I hoped for the best, but expected the worst. I ignored it to a point until the day I confronted. The only thing I didn’t do, is wait for the pink slip.
I arranged for new employment. I left the office of my own free will and found something much better. Especially when I discovered the C.E.O. of the company was responsible for the conspiracy in the first place.
Dealing with an event such as that, changes you. You see people in a whole new way. You embrace the concept that what you had, was coveted by others and in order for the office staff to climb the ladder of success, your elimination is essential to the collective. You come to understand that at any given moment, people will turn on you, especially if they see a prize or a reward once the workplace obstacle (you) is out of the way.
It doesn’t stop there though. Oh, no, no, no, no. It’s never that easy.
After signing the contract for the new job and settling into the new office, the C.E.O. of the old job contacts you through Skype.
“You need to return. The company needs you and your skills. The whole thing wasn’t meant for you. The email auto corrected from Jesse. It was all a big misunderstanding. Will you come back?” Excuse after excuse, backpedaling and redirection, offering more money and practically begging.
“Not a chance in Hell.”
I don’t watch reality television anymore. No… I’m sorry, I lied. I watch various reality shows depending on the season, but I like to say I don’t. My two favorites are Masterchef and Survivor. This current season of Survivor is number thirty three. I’ve watched every episode since day one. I’ve won money off Survivor betting pools and have always been envious of the competitors, knowing I wouldn’t last a week out there.
As a viewer, the best drama on the show (other than the games) is the tribal council blindside. A player who feels safe within the tribe and solid in their position. “Knowing” that (s)he is secure, and has the numbers, alliances, and advantages in the game.
Then at the end of the vote reading, that player who once felt safe, is voted out of the competition. Completely blindsided by the folks (s)he trusted.
And the tribe population always says, “It was for a better, stronger, more unified tribe.”
Each time I see a Survivor blindside, I fist bump the air above me. It pumps me up. They never see it coming, and if they do, it’s too late to do anything about it. Sometimes it’s filmed in such a way so the viewer is blindsided as well. We think one thing and the opposite happens instead.
When the voted player’s reactions are shown, it’s always one of surprise, bewilderment and head shaking confusion. Eyes filled with tears. At the end of the show, I eventually sympathize. I know what it feels like.
My blindsides through life have been brutal.
The Island eviction, was no different.
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