8.5.08

What animals did I meet in the corporate jungle?

Someone asked me to post something about my corporate work experience. Although, I have fully disappeared from that scene 5 years ago, I think much of what I will write here remain relevant to today's working environment. So here goes.

The first time you landed a job, did you expect to find total cooperation and smooth sailing in the work place? I did. But I was forced to think again. I was naive. After leaving my first job in the government sector, I expected the corporate setting to be much, much better. I was in for a surprise.

First, I did not expect to find my first ever, corporate boss to be devoid of all decency, a fellow who loved talking incessantly about his accomplishments, his exploits, and how he won over so many sales contracts because yes, he was good. He was a true blue hustler who extracted the same hustling attitude from the people who worked for him - that included me. To him, do anything to get the sale.
Sadly, I had to face the fact that I had to stay on, no matter if I completely disagreed with his style.

My boss - I call him the hustling animal.

I certainly did not follow his lead. I knew better. What I did was to develop honest and sincere business relationships with my prospects. Eventually I won them over. They became my customers.
(His wife was part of the company and she somehow tempered my boss' unscrupulous business style.)

Expectation number two. That the sales prospects I called on belonged to a decent group of people who were just there to make a business connection.
Nothing more. Wrong again. I shudder thinking that at some points in my sales career, some of these 'respectable' fellows thought I was included in the transaction.

These zoo inhabitants are variantly called - the sexual harassers, perverts, and DOM's.

Third expectation. That office gossip is an easy game to play. Not true.
My co-worker was fired because she happened to raise the ire of my bosses' wife. You see, she was young, fresh from the university, flippant in demeanor kind of girl. Most of the people working under the boss' wife were envious of her. Aside from being cheeky, she was at times brazen and pushy.

Unfortunately, for her she was forced to leave because almost all the staff ganged up on her. My boss wife was ill-advised and lacked the sense of equity to weigh everything with objectivity. My heart fell for her. Although, I was a few years older, I completely understood who she was. I was in her confidence and I gave her good counsel but it was rough for her. I classify the boss wife as a self-righteous b _ _ ch who didn't know any better.

Moral of this anecdote: most of the time corporate life sucks. Be careful you do not get swallowed by the system.