Seeing is Believing, so Why are We in Denial?

Preface

To give you some insight on my day today, I received an email from a guy who’s been at the company about a month. Funny thing is, he tried to call me out on a number of things and CC’d his entire team and my boss which is even more hilarious because my boss reviewed what I sent and was fully aware of the information presented. In addition, Mr. Hot Shot tried to make me look bad by asking me if I had contacted a specific person he had sent my way, which I had. I wrote back two simple distinct lines that were devoid of emotion and signed with a pleasant “Thanks” at the end of the email. A “go fuck yourself for trying (key word ‘trying’) to make me look bad and CC the word” would have not been appropriate I guess. If you are wondering what ticked me off, you are in the right. I haven’t given you much information to go off of, but I plan on providing clarification that will help you to see the raw, real situation.

This new person, let’s call him Mr. Hot Shot. Mr. Hot Shot is formerly in sales. Nothing wrong with that per se. I’ve worked in sales. BUT, there is a difference between the “super intelligent, sell to your needs” sell and super helpful attitude and the “slimy, gross, cheap, I will just lie to you and manipulate you to reach my goal” sell. You can imagine which one I am and which one he is. At first when he joined the company, he was funny and cool. He came in and warmed up to me quickly. Talked openly about his life, his kids, his cool motorcycle and to be honest, I thought he was great; someone our stiff, super control freak, slow as molasses company could use to shake things up. I was WRONG, unfortunately. Everyone else had that “he stinks” attitude toward him and I totally vouched for him and even got upset when people made comments. I verbally came to his rescue a few times and now completely regret it. I will admit, I was embarrassingly gullible until a meeting last week when he confronted me in front of a large group trying to tell me how to do my job (seriously a first for me. Interesting fact is I was poached from another company to come to this company to do what I do). And now this email was the cherry on top of my “Shit, total character assessment fail” situation.

“Seeing is Believing, so Why are we in Denial?”

We’ve all been there, so it’s no secret to how shitty it feels when you have stood up for someone, believed in someone’s “I am a sheep, not a wolf” story. And at this age, I can’t believe that I can still be taken and fall for such a ruse. There’s a great saying, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” I’ve heard it in many forms and many ways, this saying in particular is from the lips of Maya Angelou. The wisdom that pours from it is amazing and yet, although we hear it, it may not truly resonate in our brain and protect us from these occurrences. I ask the universe, “Seeing is Believing, so Why are we in Denial?”

Do we honestly reflect ourselves on other people or hold on to small traits and characteristics that are presented in only a brief moment? Is this the same thing we do when we fall in love with a new job or a new company? Do we focus on all of the glitz, glam, fun, and promises, even though time and experience should have prepared us to see through our rose-colored glasses and realize otherwise? Is the truth present at first glance, but not aligned with our naive hopes and dreams for the future? Can we blame it on our optimistic nature to have the ability to make things better or fix things?

Is your corporate entity mimicking Mr. Hot Shot? If you have been laid off recently, shifted to another department, had your growth potential stunted, or thrown so much work that the salary that first seemed generous and now seems like pennies, this may be true. We ask you to Keep it Real, Corporate! Stop selling us lies and playing on our hopes and dreams only to use us and abuse us. We are tired of your corporate speak and having to speak in corporate speak because it’s the only language you want us to be fluent in.

Corporate, we see you who we are. The mask has now come off. The denial is slowly fading and the cognitive dissonance is now setting in…

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“They’re a Product of Their Environment”

Preface

Today, I had a tough time being straight with my boss. It was tough because I did not want to hurt his feelings. I had to level with him and let him know that I feel as though we are misappropriating our resources and doing a disservice to employees. You see, the fact of the matter is, we are give-a-way happy. I mean ridiculously happy. At every turn we are throwing money at the employee or raffling off some gift or rewarding someone for something. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love gifts and believe that all companies should be as awesome as my company. But the truth is, we give gifts for losing weight or taking part in an event or just because (I kid you not). And again, I LOVE it! Truthfully though, we don’t reward employees for actual performance besides the standard year end bonus. So I felt obligated to say, “I see an issue here. We give gifts, rewards, and money for fun reasons, but we don’t actually reward performance.” And he said, “Well we tried that with our bonuses at the end of the year.” And then I said, “Yes, but these aren’t immediate rewards. They aren’t given in a timely fashion, therefore they don’t reinforce the positive behavior.” I tried to give another quick 2 minute support to my argument, but his facial expression said enough. I then realized that I had struck a cord, especially when I recalled him telling me last week that bonuses were going out late (OOPS!), but regardless…I am glad I said what I had to say.

“They’re a Product of Their Environment”

I remember being at my Grandmother’s wake (May she rest in peace) and I looked around at the family members in the room. I was eleven at the time and still remember noticing that on one side of the room there were women, men, and children dressed in the fanciest clothes with suits, lots of perfume, pearls, make-up and hair done, the whole nine yards…and the other side of the room had women, men, and children dressed what I like to call “ghetto fab.” I turned toward my dad and said, “Who are those nicely dressed people on that side of the room?” My dad began to explain that both sides were made up of family, but different sides of the family. The well presented, well mannered, and well dressed side included doctors and lawyers and were overall, very established and wealthy. My other side of the family was just the opposite. I asked my dad why my other side of the family was not like the glamorous rich side. He said, “You see, where the wealthy side is from, they were brought up with the expectation that they would be doctors and lawyers so that is what they strived to be. They were well educated and were rewarded for being successful. The other side of the family grew up poor and in the ghetto. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you see where this side is from, you are more likely to be celebrated and rewarded for coming home from jail than if you go on to receive higher education or land a professional position. You see striving to be better is often seen as thinking you are better than everyone.Therefore, more young men and young women make the wrong choices because they are rewarded incorrectly. They’re a product of their environment.”

Get it together, Corporate! Wake up! What behaviors are you rewarding? What outcomes are your employees producing? Who is to blame when things are not up to par? Are you creating the right environment for your employees? Check yourself, Corporate.

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