We are still students, but many of us have had the chance to enjoy the pleasure of work, (not only helping our parents in the garden, but proper work for which we received payment - YAY!) Whether it was a summer job, or a one-time opportunity to fill our pockets. In most jobs, we work with our colleagues and that can sometimes get a little tricky. Here are a few principles that we might find in the workplace, whether we are aware of them or not.
This work is so annoying!
The point of this principle is to convince your colleagues that a casual activity is making you want to throw something out of the window (preferably an object needed for an activity) due to it’s irritatingly rousing nature. The best way to do this is by constantly complaining about the said activity. For instance: “I can’t take this any more!” “It’s driving me crazy!” “Why do I always have to do this job?!” and probably the most effective phrase: “I’d rather do (insert a different activity, which you would, in fact, prefer to avoid) than this!”
It is of course effective only when the chosen activity is not in fact annoying, or difficult or unpleasant in any other way. Keep in mind that it is something you actually want to do. What you can achieve by this is, the ability to manipulate your colleagues into avoiding doing the activity (whichever you choose) and leave it to you. You will offer to ‘sacrifice’ yourself and do it. They will take care of the other tasks, which they will believe to be easier or at least less unpleasant. You will have tricked your colleagues. They will be under the impression that they are doing the easier work and everyone will be happy!
Of course, you don’t have to use the ‘annoying’ aspect of an activity. You can complain about it being physically demanding, never ending or even painful! Just pick whatever best fits you and the ac-tivity, being careful about the more altruistic of your colleagues. They might offer to do the task in your place and thus spoil your plans!
You are so strong!
This principle exploits one of our greatest weaknesses - our ego! Imagine a situation when you have to move a bunch of heavy boxes from point A to point B. You don’t really feel like doing it and so you call your bigger and perhaps stronger colleague Bob. You say to him: “Bob, could you please help me with these boxes?” He may help you with say a half of the boxes.
Now, instead, you say the same thing, but with a little extra phrase: “Bob, you are stronger, could you please help me with these boxes?” This will make Bob feel special and his ego will grow a little. It will grow to such an extent in fact, that it will shade his common sense and he will carry all the boxes. In addition he might even carry several at a time, and do the work for you just to demonstrate his strength.
So remember, whenever someone is telling you: “You are so strong!”, he’s in fact saying: “You are so stupid (and you will do the work for me)!”
There’s an alternative of this principle - so called taunting. This is perhaps more commonly used, but it is also less effective, because people make their taunts too obvious and their victim can see through their effort. Don’t worry, there’s a solution for everything. In this case it is subtlety, which is not so vital in the original ‘Strongman’ principle. All you have to do, is to taunt your colleague carefully!
These principles are of course not to be taken too seriously. Keep in mind some of the far more effective (at least more effective for the collective) principles of teamwork, common sense and good will! They make the work more bearable for everyone, not just for you!
by Martin Krč
Year 2, Issue 1