May 24, 2010

It is not fair!

A couple of weeks ago, I met with a good friend of mine and in our conversation she talked about a female colleague in her company … actually she was having a bit of problem at work and was looking for someone to listen to her grouses. She told me “Shiek, it is not fair … my boss seems to agree to everything my colleague says and is especially nice and generous to her whereas all the things that I proposed never gets his attention”. I simply told her that maybe her discussion in the boardroom is not as effective as her colleague’s pillow talk in the bedroom and asked her if she ever wondered who is jumping into whose bed? Immediately she asked me how I knew. Oh come on, is it so difficult to guess? Workplace is the number one place for (extra marital) affairs … especially the boss-employee type.

Scenario like this is very real and is happening every day in many companies. This often leads favouritism, biased intentions and unfair decisions. Sad as it may be but that is the fact.

Back to my friend … she asked me “How arr? Should I confront my boss?” I told her nobody is stupid enough to confront the boss. Well, maybe occasionally there will be someone foolish enough to brazen up to the boss and most likely in the process numbered his or her days in the company.

“It is not fair! I worked so hard for so many years” she said almost in tears. I can see the anger, disgust, jealousy and distrust, all flashing across her face. I told her that contrary to common belief, hard work doesn’t always pays off. My friend is a classic case of a person who strived on working hard and makes an honest living but suffered quietly. The reality is hard work and honesty won’t get you far. Even if they do, it is a very old fashion slow process.

Sometimes you feel like you are working for ass holes and getting shit, right? The following illustration explains it all.

The Company’s Hierarchy

When top levels look down, they see shit.
When bottom levels look up, they see ass holes.

So, you want to get things done fast and move up faster so that you don’t get so much shit? Then be an ass hole. Try pillow talk on the bed and if the boss is not jumping into your bed (or you into his or hers), then try “rubba rubba” (my slang for polishing) some important backsides. It is fairly easy to pick up the “rubba rubba” skill … you just need to have thick skin, a yes-man attitude and sweet talking ability … no need for hard work and honesty. If you are not into pillow talk and “rubba rubba”, then I would suggest some tactical approaches like back stabbing, finger pointing, blame throwing and names calling. Bad as it may sound but at least these tactics will let you step on someone to get out of the frying pan. Appalling as it is but that is the reality in the working world today.

So, if you are like my friend, an old fashion hard working employee making an honest living, life is never fair. Live with it. The moment you were born, you were crying while everyone else was smiling … you know it is not going to be fair.


Kok Beng said...

Haha.... very good one Mr Shiek, especially the bird diagram... it's brilliant actually... thanks for sharing.

Shiek Eng Meng said...

You are welcome KB ... YES, the bird diagram is a funny (but somehow quite true) analysis of a company's hierarchy ... I got it from a friend and I thought I should share it with all.

Anonymous said...

hi shiek,

tis article really interests me n it just potrays myself in d same scenario wt ur fren. i shall not elaborate but guess u understand how i feel, being unappreciative n downplayed despite being d most hardworking subordinate. u r rite! sweet talk n yes man attitude is d ans to getting into bosses' favourite list.

one thing for sure. it a a dog eat dog world out there!

i m d type who try to avoid getting together much wt other collegues, as most of d times, wat i hear is complaints n gossips n rumuors. i hate tat. but i guess tat's also part of human nature. in front of boss, yes, yes n yes, but at d back, stab, stab n stab!

life is unfair, but v got d choice to live how v want to live. all v need is to seek for d opportunity to live happily.


Shiek Eng Meng said...


Believe me, hardworking is an old fashion very long process to move up in the corporate world. I know, I was in it for almost 30 years.

As much as you hate it ... gossips, yes-man, back stab, favouritism, sweet talk, pillow talk, etc ... all these you have to live with working in the corporate environment. And at times you have to use them tactically to survive !