The People in My Office
I often sit quietly in my small cube, at the work place and wonder, as I listen to people talk around me. Sometimes I glance at certain folk, if they are visible, through the tiny mirror that sit on my desk. It is positioned so that I can see behind. I listen to some of the voices, especially the ones, exposing rather fake personalities. I can not be fooled, as I often wish I could be. Sometimes the ability to see through to people can be both taxing and bother-some. I listen to how phony and superficial some people seem to be towards one another and wonder why those particular individuals are the ones most often promoted. They are often the ones who find it difficult to be themselves. What are they hiding? Could it be that they are uncomfortable expressing their true feelings, likes and dislikes? Is it me? Or are most people trying harder and harder, it seems, the more material possessions and educational degrees that are acquired, to impress those that can be impressed? What is the significance of it all as I ponder the thought? Can we all be that insecure or have we lost touch of who we are as individuals and what's really important in life?
There is one person in particular, that I believe truly desires to be close to certain individuals in this particular office. I am a bit saddened for her, as I sometimes wonder if she is conscious of the notion that no one in the office really likes her. Itís not that they are jealous or even that she is mean or disrespectful in any way. It is mostly because she is who she is. I suspect the way she was raised may have contributed to her personality. I truly donít think that she knows how to be any other way. She comes across as not being sincere or real about anything. Although I think she means well, she seems rather uppity, superficial, self-indulgent, self centered, judgmental and just plain old plastic; often times demanding attention with loud outbursts of laughter and meÖmeÖmeÖall eyes on me conversations that are as meaningless as her personality. Is that enough or do you need more?
Then there is this other person that never seems to think before he speaks a word out of his mouth. He is often harsh and cruel and extremely sarcastic- using words as if they were whips, with unrelenting lashes of small, quick, deliberately careful and diligent, blows, one after the other. Once he realizes that he may have seriously berated someone or have came down on a particular conversation or thought- a little too abruptly, it is immediately covered up with a painstaking glimpse of a smile in an attempt to hide his arrogance. I can always tell when this is taking place because his face and ears are as red as cherries. I am amazed at how people discipline themselves to ignore such cruelty, all for the sake of not wanting to confront the particular individual, especially if he is clearly, the bossís pet.Politics in business can be harsh and worth ignoring at times, I suppose.
And might I add that I am a true believer that people are shadows of their leaders. An example of this is a girl that I casually spoke to in my building. She seemed very nice and pleasant towards me, especially when she thought I might have been of a higher status than what I actually was or even the same level as she, at the time. Why can't we see individuals for the nice and respectable people that they are rather than seeking out their position or power? This person and I, would often hold conversations with several groups of people, chatting together as if we were close. To my surprise she had gotten a promotion, from an associate to management. She was now in my work group, holding a small title above me. Our previous secretary had retired under grim circumstances because she could not please a new director that seemed cold and rigid. Although the new director smiled often, there was something about this woman that I couldnít put my finger on. Being a highly sensitive and feeling person, I could feel a lack of understanding and compassion coming from this individual. To the contrary, she possessed an array of sophisticated smiles and deceitfully warm facial expressions behind cold and calculating eyes. It was with each and every encounter that I grew more and more suspicious of this womanís true nature. The interesting part about the situation was how I saw my causal friend changed before my eyes. The drive for power can create monsters in normally well grounded, seemingly sincere people, if they are not strong enough to hold on to themselves in light of their successes. This particular individual became more and more a replica of the individual that she worked for and eventually started to mistreat me and another co-worker in the process, with her chastising and berating disposition; this is proof, that if the leader is genial and friendly, the people who report to him or her will be that way. If the leader is calculating, demanding, mean-spirited and not trustworthy, then the reporting people, in that given organization, will be that way, as well.
This brings to mind a personality type of yet, another person in my office that seems friendly. She laughs allot and is very careful and courteous in the way she speaks to any of her co-workers. She is always the same, pleasant, helpful and joyful. I respect her allot and I truly like this person; However, I do suspect that beneath all of her jovial disposition is a temper to be reckoned with. Where there is a ying, there is a yang, where there is a positive; there is a negative sure as there is the sky above ground. I must tell you, that I enjoy working with these type personalities, whatever they may be. I enjoy working with this personality the most, only because, they will never think to intentionally hurt you in anyway, unless you threaten them or they believe that you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes. They will not disrespect you, unless you are naÔve enough, to take their kindness for a weakness and then - wonder who is the vile creature that has suddenly appeared, before you. You have to love these types-because they are gracious enough, always, to give the other person the benefit of the doubt.
Although I could probably go on and on describing the different personalities of certain individuals that Iíve encountered in my daily work experiences, be it past or present, I could not close this article without mentioning one last individual. This person appears to be or maybe even desires to be- very sweet and gentle and caring, but happens to be-everything but that. There is something dismal about her that makes me want to distant myself as far from her as I can get. I think it may be the fact that I simply don't trust her. She deems to be extremely curious or might I say, just plain old nosey. She is often times full of more negative energies that may tend to weight a spirit down below survival level. There are always going to be those individuals, in the office, that leave earlier than they are supposed to or come in later than they are supposed to or even call in sick, when you know they really arenít; Theyíve probably just run out of vacation time. Nevertheless, this particular individual is always walking around, noticing who is doing what, at any given time. She comes in before every one else and leaves later than every one else, taking mental notes of who is doing what, whether it be surfing the Internet or taking more than an hour for lunch. Who cares? I certainly donít, but unlike me and most other people in the office, this particular individual thrives off of what everyone else is doing - adding unnecessary burdens to an already lonely existence. Itís a wonder, she hasnít lost her mind. Other peoples business seems an awful lot to keep up with. I can only wonder if she gets mentally tired after a while, wouldnít you think?
I must tell you also that there are a few people, such as myself, that often refrain from saying much of anything and although they may hear and see most of what goes on in the office surroundings, they are careful never to repeat or admit to anything in question. I suppose we are the people that sit back and watch and inhale the silent hints from everyone else. I would think that we sort of sense what type of people that we are dealing with. Letís face it; the business environment can be like a small fish swimming in the ocean surrounded by many different shark-like creatures, from all walks of life. Sometimes you just donít know who to trust or befriend. To me, it all comes back to the fundamental stuff. Do the homework and study your surroundings. Donít say anything to or about anyone that you wouldnít want coming back to you. If you genially like people than your level of tolerance for the many different personalities that you will encounter, will eventually show itself.
If communicating with people is an effort and causes you to become instantly phony or out of character, than donít bother. You canít fake it. Itís hard enough trying to deal with the many sides of others, let alone the many sides of your self. Letís face it, we all have multiple personalities within us; Iíd like to think that each of mine are reflections of the many people that I know myself to be, as well as the many people that Iíve encountered. How about you? Why not be true to yourself? Friendships, communicating with others, should come easy, if that is indeed the true part of the person that you think that you are. There is a difference between wanting to hold a pleasant conversation, wanting to assist a co-worker with a task at hand and taking the opportunity to blow your own horn or lash out and be cruel and mean to someone, especially with negative commits that do nothing to help build confidence or character. I would hope that, as people who have to work with and around each other, we develop an obligation to each other and to ourselves - to be the people that we really are inside which, if you really think about it, could be any of the people in my office.