I remember a conversation from 2000 with Gary Namie, during the early stages of my affiliation with the Campaign Against Workplace Bullying (now the Workplace Bullying Institute). He told me that he had done a radio talk show program devoted to workplace bullying, and callers kept comparing their experiences at work to a new TV reality show called “Survivor.”
Neither of us knew that the show would become something of a small-screen phenomenon, but the parallels that these callers had drawn to work were striking to us.
“Survivor” apparently retains its ability to connect with the experience of work. In a piece for the Southwest Airlines magazine (link here), Massachusetts writer Nathaniel Reade draws upon the lessons of “Survivor” to offer these pieces of advice for coping with the modern workplace:
1. Align yourself with the power person
2. Don’t fight the power—work it
3. Blend in with the crowd .
4. Charm but don’t intimidate your bosses
5. Make it look like you’re working hard
6. Gripe to your dog
7. Trust no one
8. Choose good over evil
I don’t want to steal Reade’s thunder, so you’ll have to read the full article for his entertaining and insightful explanations on each point. I suggest checking it out, as this guy understands what it’s like to be stuck in a lousy workplace:
Several years ago, I toiled in the most dysfunctional office on Earth. The boss berated and criticized virtually every member of her staff to the point of tears. . . . And No. 2 was even worse: A master of smiley charm and managing up, she undermined anyone who threatened her, which meant most of the best people there.
You also can link to a pdf of the magazine version here.
Hat tip: Lisa-Marie Mulkern