02 Apr Why does Corpo America have to be introvert hell?
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
Well, for one thing, we get told repeatedly that we had better go along to get along and be part of the team. JOIN THE HIVE MIND. ONE OF US. ONE OF US . . .
I recently re-read Sarah Knight’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and there’s undoubtedly some great material, especially for introverts or hardcore people-pleasers who need to dial it down. My thought this time around was: uh, is this really gonna fly during a Great Recession / Global Financial Crisis 2.0? I don’t friggin’ think so!
I know, I know. Debbie Downer. You’re being negative, Sara.
I’m trying to be REAL with you. The idea of skipping meetings, shrugging off colleagues, and ignoring meaningless paperwork sounds great. And maybe during The Great Resignation, you could get away with that. But now? In the face of mass layoffs and the economic downturn getting clearer and clearer? 😐
Sounds like a quick way to get fired or be placed on the sh*t list for the next round of layoffs.
I’m not telling you it’s right or it’s fair. It isn’t. I’m trying to tell you what’s realistic. Companies can and do use layoffs as a way to purge the dissidents, not just to cut costs. I’ve been the token introvert who was “tolerated” due to high production and believe me, it’s no picnic. Honestly, it’s one reason why I decided to give self-employment a second try. I hated being a fish out of water.
And I hated playing the game, which, IMO, if you’re gonna be in Corpo America, you had better learn how to do. Exhibit A, if it pleases the court:
“4 Unmistakable Habits of Exceptionally Happy Workers
These habits of happy workers are what produce great collaboration and results.”
The four tips we’re given are: “1. They practice listening; 2. They get to know about each other’s lives; 3. They celebrate together; 4. They are transparent with each other.”
I see. So 3 of the 4 “unmistakable habits” are skewed extrovert. #1 clearly isn’t LOL, so I guess the introverts have one advantage.
Returning to Sarah Knight’s book, I totally agree that donating to Gail’s ‘buy sunglasses for dogs’ charity event is lame. Or feeling forced to attend a meeting where literally nothing meaningful will happen is stupid. WHY DO YOU THINK I LEFT THE GAME? I got tired of the pantomime and the nonsense. I hated the blatant wastes of time and energy and the focus on conformity. I felt like a left foot stuck in a right shoe – I could walk but it sure was painful.
So Inc.com is telling us that you need to know about one another’s lives (gross and intrusive), you need to celebrate together (one of us), and you need to be transparent with each other (sounds OK but could be culty and creepy if overdone). For me, this kind of stuff is a highlight of why Corpo America is introvert hell. I don’t feel it’s anyone’s business what my family or private life is like after work. I also don’t feel it’s necessary to expect people to huddle up at a happy hour after they’ve worked all day. Some folks have kids in daycare and they need to get there before the facility closes. Why make it so important to prolong the work day with extroverted hoo-ha? IMO, it susses out who will toe the line from who won’t. Who will prize work above all else, including family, and who won’t?
And guess who’s likely to be on the chopping block first? See, that’s a point of disagreement I have with Sarah Knight’s book. She makes the claim that it’s quite difficult to get fired if you’re good at your job. I’m telling you it’s not, especially in a bad economy. If your boss dislikes you but needs you, you have a temporary reprieve. But the minute someone else comes along who will do the job reasonably well AND play the schmooze game, bye bye. Again – it’s not right or fair. I don’t agree with this and I think it sucks. I’m writing about this because: if you need a job to survive, you’re more likely to hang on to it knowing how the game is played than relying on hopium.
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