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Stop with the Meanness Already! January 13, 2009

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Da Pinoy Employee, Working with Bosses and Officemates.
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I’m not trying to dictate anyone to try and change their behaviors but really… how mean and tactless can you get?  A lot of people are shallowminded enough to think that just because they have a job and others don’t that they could look down on them and make fun of their current circumstances. 

Are you a meanie?  If so, has your career improved because of it?  Why not start changing your tactic this year?   Here are simple ways how:

Don’t be rude to applicants.
I heard this conversation a long time ago and until now, it never ceases to amaze me:

Mean girl 1: Hey, remember Ronnie?  I met him a couple of days ago. 
Mean girl 2: Yeah… Ronnie.  Do you know that he applied for a job at my company?  (Let me clarify that when Mean girl 2 said ‘my company’, she meant the company she worked for, not the company she owned).
Mean girl 1: Really!  Ewwww…  How pathetic.  What made him think he’ll fit in?
Mean girl 2: Yeah… He came up to me and asked if there were any open positions.
Mean girl 1: So what did you say?
Mean girl 2: I looked at him and said, ‘Yes, we have a job vacancy.  Why?  You need a job?’

Cue in meaningless laughter and high-pitched giggling at this point.

Okay… so maybe I’m just a little slow or stupid but what gives?  Here’s Mean girl 2 who worked for a company that needed someone to fill in a job vacancy.  And here comes poor Ronnie who needed a job and wanted to apply.  What’s wrong with the picture?  If you were Mean girl 2, shouldn’t you be happy that there’s a candidate for a job that your company obviously needed someone for?  Furthermore, shouldn’t you be glad that someone actually wants to work for a company even if you’re already there mucking the view?

C’mon, now meanies… people need jobs.  That’s why they send in their applications, make phone calls to inquire or send e-mail attachments.  No need to treat them so shabbily.  For one, you don’t own the place.  You’re just one of the employees at that company.  It just so happened that you got hired first.

Second, you’ve been in the shoes of ‘pathetic’ Ronnie and the likes of him before yourself.  Remember the time when you pounded the pavement looking for a job — any job — and sucking up to the snobby receptionist just so she would put your resume on the active file?  Remember the time when you sat nervously at the reception area clutching your bag and fiddling your fingers, eyeing 20 or 50 other applicants like you, trying to assess what your chances of getting hired were?

Remember the time when you prayed so desperately for someone to call and tell you you passed the exam/initial interview/final interview?  Remember the time when you stood in line for God knows how many hours just so you could get your name in and submit the resume that has nearly turned soggy in your damp hands?

What are you being mean for, anyway?  Your company is not your empire… it’s your employer and you’re just part of the paid labor.  Are you scared that the newbie has a better looking resume than you and might steal your thunder? 

Stop the meanness, already.  Next time an applicant comes around, smile, thank them for bothering to apply, let them pass through the process of recruitment and then let it go.  After all, you might not even be involved in their hiring because… uh, you don’t really have the authority to be involved.

You know, you’re better than that.  A lot of things at work are just temporary, including your position and even your job.  Wouldn’t it be better to try to be nice and fair about your relationships and your job than to be a mean bastard?  After all, with this kind of economy, you probably don’t have a strong grip on that job anyway and could lose it at any time. 

Don’t let whatever ‘power’ you might have corrupt you. 
Authority is vested upon you because you can be trusted and because you probably deserve it but it doesn’t come with a clause stating that you have the right to make other people’s lives miserable. 

After all, you probably don’t know these people well enough to treat them so shabbily.  You never know… they could be the one person that could help your company recover and save your jobs from extinction or they could bring excellent qualifications with them and could actually help your office come out of the present rut it is in.  Or, they could very well be your next boss.  You never know…

Unless you are authorized to assess and screen these applicants, you have no right to be mean to them.  So just get back to your job and be thankful you still have a paycheck coming.

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