A Knife In The Back

40+117 Sucka Punch!

The best way to begin a holiday weekend is by being sucker punched and stabbed in the back.  Think about your favorite books and movies and you’ll probably come up with a few that follow this model.

Hell, I might have even written a couple of stories that used a similar outline, kind of reminds me of a scene between Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca.

The clip below is really a different situation entirely, but at the moment it feels close enough so we will run with it.

Communication Breakdown

I suppose I should let you know in advance this post isn’t a teaser. You are not going to be given the sordid details of what happened because there are boundaries in blogging and some things don’t need to be shared.

Instead we’ll talk about how communication is important in every facet of your life, including business and that sometimes the easiest way to avoid problems is to do a better job of communicating with others.

Not everyone can do that and some find it impossible to talk about things. Sometimes that is because they don’t know how and sometimes it is because they don’t trust anyone else to be as smart, clever and or intelligent as they are.

So they set the bar so high that others cannot possibly meet their expectations making it easier for them to convince themselves that they are the anointed ones and that any idea that doesn’t come from their lips is pathetic, cheap and useless.

How To Deal With Those Situations

The biggest challenge with dealing with these situations is that you aren’t always aware that they exist. Sometimes the duplicitous and conniving individual you are dealing with manages to get by because they are protected by the patronage of another and sometimes you just don’t see it coming.

However, if you are aware that you are dealing with a snake whose head you cannot cut off and body you cannot trample you still have options.

One is to convince said snake that you would not be a good meal to feast upon. Perhaps it is because you are a crusty old gent whose skin is far too tough to chew upon and whose blood is far too acidic.

The thing is that you can’t rely upon the snake to be smart enough to recognize you will cause it indigestion and or that they will break their teeth upon your rough hide.

And even if the event doesn’t kill you it does cause a certain amount of pain and irritation.

So you can always try to reason with the snake and demonstrate that you wear a suit of armor under your pants and that your heels are outfitted with spurs.

What If It Doesn’t Work?

What do you do if it doesn’t work? What happens if you can’t cut off the head, trample the body or convince the snake that there are smarter choices to make?

Well, you can choose to just let the snake eat you or you can fight.

Sometimes it makes you feel better to leave the snake with a reminder or reminders that you are not to be trifled with but the real question is whether you will walk away with your own set of scars to remember the snake by.

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  1. Tim Bonner July 5, 2013 at 3:57 am

    I came across many snakes in the grass when I was employed.

    Not surprisingly, now I’m at home with my daughter I have to deal with them much less!

    My wife’s work has a tonne of them though. She tries to steer clear of the politics but inevitably you get dragged in whether you like it or not.

    • Josh July 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      Hi Tim,

      I would be concerned if you said you had office politics to deal with now. Kids bring their share of crazy stuff, but the office politics aren’t part of it. 🙂

      I suspect it doesn’t matter where we are, you get stuck having to deal with them.

  2. Mary Stephenson July 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Josh

    Ah yes, the snake in the grass! Venom can be deadly. Had an especially bad one where I worked. She managed to get the best boss I ever had, fired. She stayed for awhile and moved on. I don’t know what the gal was thinking (as in 3rd new boss since) she brought her back. We had long discussions about this and she knew she was trouble. She ended up giving me a great deal of grief in 2010. Then I got laid off and she got into some serious trouble as she dropped the ball and cost the company money. Went back a few times and had to deal with her but it wasn’t as bad for me as I knew I wasn’t staying. She is still there and hopefully she is unhappy as she was 2+ years ago when she threatened to quit. Snakes pay for it in the end with high blood pressure, heart problems, weight problems, etc. And they do have to live with their arrogance.


    • Josh July 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Hi Mary,

      I think you are right. Sooner or later the chaos catches up with them and they pay for their actions. They make the workplace much more difficult and far less enjoyable.

  3. Julie Barrett July 4, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Office politics always baffled me. I see it in black and white – is it good for the customer? Does it increase profitability? Is it moral? OK, let’s get to work. Anything and everything beyond that and behind the scenes or against each other seems so foreign and irrelevant (which made me a great target). If that happens in the future I am kicking it upstairs for the masters to deal with.

    • Josh July 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Julie

      I hear you. I remember my first job and how shocked I was to discover office politics and that some people didn’t do their jobs. I was naive enough to believe that people would just go to work and do what they needed to do.

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