Managing out management.

*Just to say, this one’s miserable, ranty, full of really foul language, and I don’t seem to be seeing the BT’s right now. Normal service will resume tomorrow so skip it if you can’t face it.

What a lovely tidy phrase it is. Quite acceptable in most business circles, commonly read in all those guides you’ll pick up idly in the bookshop, or order from Amazon in the hopes of boosting your career or making your 9-5 easier or more enjoyable.

What a phrase to hear from your GP as you sit, downhearted, trying to be supportive. Apparently he often sees people, seeking help with a non-existent body odour problem who’ve been told to make a doctor’s appointment as they obviously have a severe problem. Imagine taking this humiliating step to be met with incomprehension from a non plussed, harried health professional who can detect no problem – who goes to the lengths of burying his head into an armpit and sniffing hard in an effort to prove his point that, in fact, there is no dreadful odour.

Common tool apparently in the arsenal of middle management trying to rid themselves of all the square pegs jammed into round holes. Casually he mentions that he’d be able to testify in any unfair dismissal cases. What with the overdose, and the anti depressants and the wearisome repeat appointments. It’s just part of todays work environment, hard times wage slaves, hard times.

Managing out? Don’t you mean bullying out? Because you’re not the right shape and your clothes aren’t the kind that the cool people like. Because you believe in working as hard as you can in your work hours and then going home to your family instead of swanning around inefficiently then staying on afterhours working your fingers to the bone, being the last to leave in pizza eating martyred glory.

Because you believe in reliability and loyalty and consistent everyday sustainable performance rather than fevered showboating, and going home early and having a few days off exhausted and ill. Because you manage down, to the team you’re part of. That you think each person has something to be offered, that a combination of different strengths and talents make a successful team. That everyone doesn’t have to be like you to be good at their job. That a succesful business values all ages, parents and non parents. That it’s not all about managing up, being “seen” and approval stamped by upper management.

Telling someone they smell and making a concerted effort to chip away at their self-esteem by questioning every decision they make and criticising without explaining or justifying. To accuse every day of wrongdoing and then when discovering it was your own mistake to never apologise. To openly ridicule in front of other staff and to encourage to them to look away and not comment, silently agreeing this is acceptable because they are too afraid of these tactics turning on them is bullying. To be told that what you have done is not good enough, with no witnesses and no explanation of what exactly is wrong yet left a list of double the workload the next day is bullying. To be hysterically telephoned on your day off and left a series of curt accusing CALL ME IMMEDIATALLY email messages which make it seem as though spending the morning of your official day off swimming with your two-year old daughter who you love more than the world and regularly miss precious weekend time with was professionally neglectful is bullying. To ring, feeling sick to the stomach, to be told your manager is too busy right now and will call you back so you sit anxious and distressed hand hovering over the phone for an hour finally trying again to be told she’d forgotten she was going to call and it was in fact that you hadn’t left a detailed enough handover note this morning… about a book return people, not brain surgery, is bullying. Something that could have easily waited until the following morning, when you would be back in work. I think this is bullying.

It is as distressing and distasteful as it was in school. Insidious and demorallising yet deeply ingrained into a corporations culture. To continually drop the hint that you are not good enough, young enough, suited enough, management speaky enough in the hopes that you will just leave. Because there’s actually no reason or cause enough to openly fire you from a job you have loved and done for twenty years. That fact is suspicious and strange enough in todays work culture and everything that is odd and doesn’t fit your companies template that it has spent considerable marketing pounds on developing should be pruned away and, gosh, they value the managers with good bullying, sorry, pruning skills. Nice.

Apparently it is ridiculous. lt is woolly liberal and revolutionary communist and unrealistic and naive of me to think there must be a better way. To hope that  thriving successful businesses can operate in a respectful, honest ideological way.

What I need to do is get real.

Fuck real I say – you bloody fucking stupid shortsighted evil ugly hearted selfish stupid narrow and hidebound cunts.

Obviously I don’t say that – but it’s in my heart as I rub the back of the person who is sick every morning before leaving the house. When I wake up with a start when the bed beside me is empty in the cold grey night and I have to slip down the stairs, just in case, as I can’t face dialling 999 and asking for an ambulance like I had to do at the beginning of this year. Every time I answer the phone and have to be cheerful with very little reason because I know I’m a tiny thread of hope to the person on the other end. Trying to understand that some people’s sense of self and worth is bound up in the job they do and this means they can’t shrug it off and walk away in the way I could and would. To wait out this outing and to hope that karma does it’s job eventually. To have faith. To keep leaving the house myself – to abandon my children to the cruel vagaries of the world where people are vindictive every day and applauded for it. This is how capitalism works, if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. To understand that there are other rooms that I think we’d all prefer. To convince him of this.

Please, something, help me manage the managing out.

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3 responses to “Managing out management.

  1. I have been following your post’s for some time and have enjoyed them so much. Your usuall cheerful out look makes me long to be a part of your urbanite world. Alas I live in a “land of no sidewalks”, and a community so full of HATERED, and SELF LOATHING it’s hard to believe that there are only 6k people that live here. I believed that following the husband (now a ex-husband) was the right thing to do to raise our now 10 yr old son, only to find out that the things my friends were stating about this small rural farming community where the “horror” stories from thier family memebers were not just the bad “ER” hospital stories. These are every day ways of life for this community, where death, stealing, drugs, child abuse (in every form possible) is the norm for this community of farmers/migrant workers/native american (idians, which they hate being called now after 100’s of years).

    There is litte advice that I can offer to your sweetie, I also experinced this type of BULLYING, however there was not a term for it back in the early 90’s when it happened to me. I was working for a Family Practice Medical Office…I loved my job, I loved helping all types of peolpe struggle with the confusion and first generation of “Managed Health Care” concerns/questions. As they tried to work w/in the system to get thier medical needs met.
    The practice was bought out by a company out of state, the billing office turned from a 2 person office not far from my home. To be moved even further away, with the commute from HELL, to be stuck in a room full of self hating, back stabing, arrgrant obese cows!! I at that point was a power walker daily, and was fairly fit in early thirties. Blonde in good shape, and a power walker that particiapted in many walking for the cause events.
    They rode me like a jackass, when they could find nothing wrong with my work. They started changing my work load so that I would have to come ask for things to do, I could feel the ugliness of thier faces everytime I turned my back. I could hear the snickers of joy, when I turn to leave with the lowest of assisgnments to perform.
    When they couldn’t brow beat me into quiting my job, they attacked me on a personal level. I was told that my body lotion was offense to my co-workers. I was using AVON Skin-So-Soft after showers. That I smelled bad after my lunch hours where I would go power walking to help releive some of the stress, as I was living alone at that time and had no one at home to help me understand that this attack on my person was NOT ABOUT ME.
    I then adjusted my daily routine to place my showers the night before I went to work stopped using my beloved after shower Skin-So-Soft. I stopped taking power walks at lunch, and started taking my lunch to eat and read a book in my car or jsut outside. Then it was my shampoo/conditioner that they stated was causing the problems. Which I found so unreasonable to believe since I was 12hrs after a shower atfter the fact.
    Working in the medical office, I did go to the dr’s there and confronted them on my body smell. I subjected my self to a physical exam, which was inclusive….needless to say I got the “some people has a more senstive sense of smell then I & my nurse must have”.
    The self loathing obese cows, did finally find a way to discontiue my service there. However I held my head up high when I left and I have never looked back.
    I am so sorry for the trama that I know that this causing with your sweeties mind and soul. And the burden of that your family is now being faced with.
    I prayers go to you that this torment will find a happy ending.
    Don’t let them force him OUT!!! He has NOTHING to be ashamed of!!! He has done NOTHING WRONG!!! Live your lives as you have continued to and believe in the fact that YOUR LIVES are so much BETTER than THIERS!!! They are full of petty hatereds!!! Just looking for a outlet for thier own self loathing of their own lives.
    Besides “revenge is a dish best served cold”.

    karen

  2. Same thing happened to my mum when she was nearing retirement age. Bullied by a jumped up PE teacher. She left early.
    Give him lots of hugs from me. It sucks so very very much.
    xxxxxx

  3. I think the beautiful thing is that he has someone in his life that loves him so much. XxXx

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