Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Damned Are the Nice

It’s a thing that really disturbs me to the core: change you, not them!

I have been in therapy for years, upon years. The essence of which has been to accept those things I cannot change and become “zen” with it.

One solution that I have been working on with great focus is changing my own outlook, changing my own self because, well, it is the one thing that I do have control over.

There may be other ways, death, mayhem and the odd assassination come to mind. Or more peaceful methods, like poison...

Let me backtrack for a minute.

Here is an article in the, hateful MSN, world of news: “Stop Being So Nice to Your Coworkers”.

It describes how nice-guys finish last and what to do about it. It doesn’t come right out and say: “become an asshole”, but it might as well, since that is the very thing which is celebrated in the North American work industry.

I read the article and it rings about right. It brings back a flood of memories. From my introduction one can guess they weren’t all good memories.

I was never one of the really nice guys, not by a long shot, however I did very often put the needs of the corporation before my own. In fact, that’s pretty much all I ever did.

This latter is, in and of itself, really my responsibility and I own that. Misguided as it was, it is the way I was brought up and I own that too.

Now the question does come up in my mind, why should the “nice-guy” have to change to become an asshole?

Should the asshole not change him or herself to be more nice, in effect fostering a better working environment, even for themselves? The obvious answer is that they aren’t interested in a good working environment, indeed they are only interested in their advancement within it. The objective is simply different.

So we come to the crux of my bother, if I don’t like nor agree with the objective - self aggrandisement, to advance, to yield more self aggrandisement – then why should I suffer because of it, and why should I have to espouse this? I’m thinking frog becoming bull scenario.

“That’s the way it is,” is not only depressing, it’s the nice guy’s view.

Ultimately, why shouldn’t the assholes have to change themselves, and go into their own therapy to crank it back down a notch?

Really they should!

I tried to implement exactly such behaviour in my teams when I was a manager. I’d systematically value teamwork, I’d recognize the quiet workhorses sometimes thrusting them into the limelight to their great dismay! I knew too well this was the game that had to be played for their own benefit, whether they ever realized it or not. Not all managers above me had the savvy to recognize the true workhorses as opposed to the horse’s ass. So I delighted myself in pointing them out.

Anyone becoming too big for their britches would take a lapping. So there! This is why I wasn’t so nice.

A few employees hated me for it – behold I had changed the rules in favour of the nice guys! I’m proud of that fact actually, not so much for being hated, but for bringing a little counterweight to the culture. Yay me! (Oh wait, I got my ass nuked. Maybe there’s a correlation there?)

But realistically, as much as I hate to admit it, the article is correct: it befalls the nice guy to do the hard work, yet again! That is to change themselves to fit the mould. Unfair? I suppose. Comeuppance someday? Not bloody likely.

Nope. Nice guys just plain finish last. Period.

The real question is: are nice guys happy and content with their lot? Water off a duck’s back, so to speak? Maybe so, but many of us are nice guys, so why do we buy lottery tickets and count the days until retirement if we’re so fucking content with our lot?

I guess it all depends how zen we actually become, doesn’t it?


Blogger Martin said...

Heh.... There's a saying that goes through my head when I read your entry:

"Even if you win the rat race - you're still a rat"

There is a price for everything... And if you choose to run over others to make it to the top - then you will pay a price for that...


July 25, 2007 6:04 p.m.  
Blogger DeathSweep said...

Hi Steve,

Sometimes it feels as if nice guys finish last but I don't think that's really the case. I guess it depends on what one considers "first". I'd rather surround myself with nice losers than be in the company of not so nice winners any day.

Maybe in some eyes I'm one of those losers but I know that the people that matter to me don't see it that way. So in all honesty, I really don't care how I'm perceived by the big winners since first is often last and vice versa.



July 25, 2007 7:18 p.m.  
Blogger MedStudentWife said...

Tuff stuff... I think I play kinda like DS.

When I was in my legal drug pushing days,I longed to get into the rat race. I finally did & realized that I could join them and be miserable, or carve a lonely niche and stir the shit, not care what anyone thought, and at least be at peace with me - ultimately it was me who had to sleep with me at night - and ignore all the office "gossip" about "how odd I am"... they all iz goin' to get their bum bitten, one day,anyways

Guess that is one reason why I like what I do right now- I can be a "lone wolf".Some one once said I should be a contractor & be a "hired gun" for the work I do.

Martin - I just read your profile.. love the comment about the frog *roflmao*

July 25, 2007 8:05 p.m.  
Blogger Steve said...

Hey guys, thanks for the comments. Looks like 3 for 3 opt for "zen", love it!

August 01, 2007 9:08 a.m.  
Blogger DeathSweep said...

Hey Steve, are you ok?


August 23, 2007 12:13 p.m.  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm good, thanks for inquiring. I'm on vacation is all.

August 23, 2007 10:41 p.m.  
Blogger deathsweep said...

OK - cool

September 07, 2007 10:18 a.m.  

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