Before the narrative postulated by the aforementioned title begins, let me thank you for giving my blog titled Pseudo Semantic Soliloquies a chance in the hopes that you enjoy reading it every week! As a little summary about the posts that will flood your computer screens every Friday, let me say, this blog will be consisting of a lax, reclining-back-in-your-lazyboy at 9am while all the rest of the world trudges along to work kind of feel to make it a light read. It’s the start of the weekend and I don’t think anyone wants to hear more deflating news than is already blaring on our beloved new channels.
This blog aspires to be a strand of social commentary on daily observations accompanied by a podcast of sorts. There’s no specific direction of thought, no biased angle to an argument, no cohesive structure and most definitely, no conclusion because hey, I don’t have all the answers and I would love to hear from you to help me figure them out!
Now, where was I?
1st stick figure – the blinding whiteness of his veneers shielding the murderous envy in his eyes: “Kudos on the great job, champ. Ace! Top notch! You are the next star of our blah blah industry!”
2nd stick figure – eating humble pie out of courtesy and fear of bad karma: “Oh thanks so much, yes it was hard work but I’m so glad with the end result.”
Followed by: A sweaty handshake-almost like a peeing contest for the fists.
And finally: they both walk away from each other, mirroring doppelgangers of mustachio cowboys in an old western flick inching further away, sweaty palm glued to the cool steel, preparing to turn and pull the trigger at any moment.
Those taut smiles make Botox victims look like BBM emoticons, the glint of venomous jealousy in the dilated pupils so intense, it makes drugged-up malnourished models resemble turgid nuns, and that convincing, eerily jovial tone of voice could make the “four legs good, two legs bad” communist theory seem almost impartial.
Seriously? It’s become that difficult for people to be genuinely happy for their counterparts in this day and age? Since I moved back to the country almost 6 months ago, swapping the doe-eyed teen persona to don one of a career-driven woman, since then, I have been bemused, to say the least, at the mental floggings that people give each other to get to the final rung of the prosperity ladder.
It appears that the unanimous hamartia threaded in our collective psyche as a nation is to never be entirely pleased for someone else’s success. In all walks of life, whether you’re a corporate suit or a bohemian Janis Joplin-wannabe singer/songwriter, or even a homeless hobo on the streets – you will still wish to be reigning champion of the invisible-mortgage brigade by fighting ruthlessly to sleep on the cardboard sheet with the one vomit stain rather than two.
I understand competition in any career and watching your back and the rat race, cut-throat world out there and all the scenarios illuminated to us by shows such as The Good Wife and Mad Men (just with prettier people and great outfits), but do we not realise that we are each a fraction of the X or Y chromosome that swims in the universal gene pool of our competitive nature?
So if we aren’t genuinely happy for someone who has received accolades of sorts, how can we expect people to have our back when the time calls for it? Almost every working person has had an office bully, thereby positioning themselves in the role of the helpless victim. What is startling is the repetition-compulsive syndrome that goes on in the workplace once those preys becomes the predators, because while someone is that to us, we in turn project the same qualities onto someone else – an alpha-male, dominant role transference as such but not in the enjoyable or entertaining Freaky Friday kind of way.
Every effect has a cause, every end has a means and when almost every John Doe “likes” a status of victory on any networking site, we know they have the worst of the Ten Commandments pulling on the puppet strings of the one-man show called, “It should have been me!” All of us can get influenced by the devious succubus called Ambition and healthy competition in the workplace is should be encouraged as a precedence of a successful business model. However, what is important is to not get sucked into that lime-green wormhole completely, because once stuck in that slime, it morphs into quicksand for your self-esteem.
So what should we do? Wish everyone the best at all times? Well, that’s about as possible as the running a car on water … oh wait, it’s not. One option is to probably just yank our ego out from the sea of Parihuanas before they chomp down, dust off the effervescent lint of disappointment and wish the other well as genuinely as we possibly can as an ode to their work, and in the hopes that when it is our turn to have that one momentous day when every clam reveals a pearl, that same stick figure with the mouthful of humble pie gives us a heartfelt congratulations.
Call me skeptical, but that’s easier said than done. So what is the most realistic way to deal with office politics? And what is the best way to ensure the green-eyed monster doesn’t make us incapable of being happy for someone else’s success?
The writer is philosophy major turned journalist turned wanderlust writer and aspiring film-maker with a penchant for going off on a tangent … metaphysically and metaphorically. She can be reached at email@example.com
The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.