You know what I have realized through my time at work?
We have a culture that teaches and supports making ourselves feel included by making others feel excluded.
Example: The mistakes we make individually someone else may make too however ours are not worth being ostracized for while someone else’s same mistake is.
There was a coworker at work who most people did not like and it was for numerous reasons. The person often and openly proclaimed how lazy they were and they took several short cuts to avoid doing work they didn’t wish to. At the same time they took on a lot of jobs at work that not many people jump to immediately, and not even begrudgingly did they do this.
They were highly ridiculed often by most of my fellow coworker. I too jumped in and out of ridicule and when I did not ridicule I stood by and allowed him to be as negative word spread behind their back.
But what I realized just yesterday and in moments when I do listen to other people say all mean and insensitive things about them, is that these things apply to me too, that they apply to all of us one way or another.
That I too take short cuts and am lazy yet I am also likable and make people laugh and listen to people and am strategic about what I do and don’t do at work in a way that works to be conscious of how it impacts my fellow coworkers.
I’ve seen myself take as much time as this person does to finish certain jobs. Or absent-mindedly do things wrong. Or just things in general that this person has done. I’ve seen coworkers be in similar or same situations that this person has been in.
Yet there is extensive time ridiculing this person for what they do wrong and their work ethic when not all of ours is “up to par” either.
And it’s because clique culture is a thing and we all want to feel a part of something. And a lot of the time the way we can feel a part is by ganging together to make someone else not feel a part. Because then there is a community built around that, something to talk about, something to agree on, a way to avoid being the odd man out.
We’ll come out of nowhere to talk about them when there isn’t really a reason to. I felt myself almost mention this person, when they weren’t even at work, in order to connect to another coworker. But before I said anything, I stopped and told myself that’s not the type of community I want to build or continue to promote. That if I don’t have anything nice to say then fuck it, stay quite, live peacefully without feeling like I need to cast someone down to do so.
I’m sure with this person gone, there will be someone else to pick on. Actually there already is and I’m sure they know it too.
Shit I may even be the next person. Shit I may already be a person cuz we all talk about people behind their back no matter if we’re told not to or how we perform in front of them.
At the same time, so what if I am. I know what I do, am capable of. And I can and do take responsibility for it. So if I get talked about because it then fuck it, at least I’m being authentic and real about it.
Just like this person was regardless of what was said about them by anyone. Which is the one thing I honestly admired about them, was their ability to be honest about who they are and what they do, no matter the thoughts or comments that come with those choices.
I think it would be better to be not a part of such a culture that would purposefully and continually ostracize someone who they don’t agree with or their tactics. Talk to them, see them, understand where they come from, even if you don’t agree cuz we have all been there, we have regardless if we don’t want to admit it.
So here’s to actively reminding myself to not participate and to activately do my best to not to. To catch myself when I do and to switch behavior. To be a better me and be better for everyone like me who at some point was believed to be worthless and still stood knowing that what is worthless to someone else is not indefinitely without worth.
Someone sees you, but more importantly you see you. And you’ll always have a place in what is your Truth.