Lately, I’ve had a recurring thought come to my mind whenever I’m having an especially shitty day at work.
“Even dogs don’t shit where they sleep”
At my workplace, there is a lot of the blame game going on. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some form of that everywhere I have ever worked, but its on my mind currently because its been going on a rather large amount lately. Of course, it is annoying as hell when it’s directed at me, but I recognize the schoolyard mentality that it comes from and choose to not let it get me, because why give someone else that kind of power over my day? It serves nothing other than fostering a shitstink work environment and making me more likely to not deal with you, but maybe your boss instead.
It used to bother me a lot more. My pride has gotten in the way a LOT over the years. I would be DAMNED if I was going to be blamed for something I did not do and I would not let it go unless it had been firmly established that I was blameless before I would allow anything else to progress. Yeah, I was that real pain in the ass.
Then I had this boss… Now in the boss lottery over the last 10 years or so, I have been making a killing. I would say I’ve only had one dud in all those years and I’m pretty sure they knew how I felt about them. This particular boss was lively, talented, smart and always looked to the future. They sat in a meeting once where the entire thing was nothing but one department blaming another, and another, and those blaming back. It was the kind of circlejerk meeting that usually lasted hours and didn’t get shit done… so, a normal meeting, I guess.
About 10 minutes into the beginnings of the shitstorm, my boss stands up and loudly declares, “It’s all MY fault, ok!? I don’t care what it is, I’m sure I did all of it and I’m the one to blame. So can we work on how to fix it now?” By being humble, taking it all on themselves, and just trying to turn the meeting into something productive, they had unintentionally just made everyone in the room look like a petty dickhead. The entire meeting did a 180 and we finally made progress that had previously been unseen. I finally realized how far pride doesn’t get you. I spent most of the rest of the meeting just trying not to laugh my ass off too.
Where I am currently, they too are still stuck in this rut of blame. They fail to realize we are all cogs in the same machine and in order to make it run smoothly, we have to at least have some level of respect and support for one another. I wish I knew what makes some people grow the fuck up and others not.
I understand that some of it is addictive and its hard not to get sucked into the bullshit unless you can break free from it to some degree too (like hitting reboot on your state of mind). This is why people drank the kool-aid. We want to be liked and accepted. You don’t get that by having a different opinion and defending someone your boss or immediate peer deems worthless.
However, where you work is your home for 8+ hours of your day so keeping it harmonious is something I tend to think of as important. Hence, not “shitting on others” in a place you have to spent a large chunk of your waking day is not just a way of making your own day better, but kind of contributes to the concept of company morale. I know that sounds like a buzzword, but if you like where you work and the people you work with, it reflects in the work you do, even if you hate the work itself.
I’m currently having the problem of reigning in my inner parent that wants to lay down a mass of wrath upon those most childish in the hopes it might force them to learn more effective ways to deal with their peers, but I know nothing comes from force. Nor does it come from anger. I supposed I’m at a loss on how to change the environment. It has to change. I know there is some magic bullet, like my boss used, that truly changed the mentality of entire room full of people, even if just for a day. Even if its just one person, its a start. I’m just not really sure how to go about it.
Anyone out there have tips or tricks you do to eliminate the blame game?