MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

August 5, 2008

The Setup (Watch Your Six!)

In the workplace it is so easy to be setup by your co-works! (or coworkers – cow-workers – as many in the cyber world like to say and is very true!)

Setup to fail.
Setup to look stupid.
Setup to have a bulls eye on your chest for no reason.

It doesn’t take a lot to achieve it. Just a few carefully placed words said at the right time can devastate your reputation or image.

For example at a staff or status meeting a co-worker can say things like "I was finished with my piece of the report at 5:15 last night but Bob had already left for the day" implying that Bob runs out at 5 o'clock sharp.

"I know how important this is to be ready for Monday so I'll come in Saturday to do my part. Susan, do you have plans for the weekend?" thus putting Susan on the spot. If she says she has plans that makes her look non-dedicated and this other person more sincere. Even if Susan doesn't have plans she is now on the spot to come in on the weekend.

"I took this home and worked on it over the weekend. It was tough but I knew you needed it today. Joe was your trip to the beach this weekend?" thus implying that while Joe sunned at the beach this guy was working.

Then there are seemingly innocent comments like when you are leaving someone says loud enough for all to hear "Have a great night Tom!" so everyone looks and sees that Tom is leaving and notes the time.

And then there are in seemingly innocent requests.

Once a co-worker asked me to give a rough estimate for doing something. I explained that it was really hard to estimate without some more detailed info. She pressed for a general estimate and I gave her one of a certain number of days presuming this and that. Later that day she said "I told Carol", our manager at that job, "your estimate and she didn't like it at all." What a bitch! She took a very rough estimate and presented it to management as my proposal. I never gave her another rough estimate again!

It's such a catch-22. You just can't stop and grill someone for every request they make. You get a bad reputation.

Sad thing is some people do this on the job purposely for sport. I've heard people say they are actively working to get someone fired. So much for team spirit and working together.

Keep your resume well polished.

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