At My Workplace! (Outlook)
Bosses Simply Cannot Change!
- The exercise of religious duty will not atone for the fault of an abusive tongue!
- A man cannot be a Muslim till his heart and tongue are so!
- Humility and courtesy are acts of piety!
- Whoever has been given gentleness has been given a good portion; in this world and the next!
- All above from The Hadith (Religious Book Teachings)
It is my way and style of writing that I always try to speak directly to you from my heart and giving you the examples and illustrations from my own experiences and exposures in life – and or from those near me – and from friends that I know. The intention and purpose is that we can all learn from each other – and try to adopt and change accordingly. There is no intention to show off – or to blow my own trumpet – and or to be talking about myself only always – believe me in this!
I do not know about you but if you have read my books – especially Psychology of Arab Management Thinking – www.myown-ebooks.com – you will undoubtedly recall that now I am retired – my best boss will always remain the mixed race African and German lady in my first jobs in Tanzania in 1968 onwards. I still remember her fondly – not because she was tall and pretty – but by the way she treated and respected me.
Looked Like Her!
She was drawn to me because I was dedicated and committed – as she had told me herself. But what she liked me more because if she really needed an opinion or view in sometimes how to handle or plan for delicate and sensitive matters she knew where to find me – and she always encouraged me to not to change in this regard – and remain frank and open always. The same counsel and advice was given to me by my Nigerian Director at the oil company place here!
Incidentally so did my various European bosses in and at different times – though one even dared to confront me saying if he was allowed to terminate an Omani National with no strong reasons – then he would have fired me – and that would have given him the greatest pleasure in life! Yet when I was transferred from him to another Department – he still maintained that he had high respects and esteem for me – and what I was as a person!
Before he boarded his plane for his final departure from Oman – he called me at 2 a.m. and repeating the same to me. He gave me the same advice – please do not change – but be careful of your own peoples – because they will make (ominous!) great troubles for you. Take care – my friend – he concluded in goodbyes!
Images For Demonstration Purposes Only!
Frankly his words all came true – with very few exceptions! One of my worst bosses was a colleague that we worked together in the same level – before he became ‘the boss of my boss’! That is the ways of the world – that the guy you gang with against your boss now knows all your tricks and gimmicks – and makes sure you remain where you are job and promotion-wise – and he has a shield to ‘protect him’ by putting a just created new position of an expatriate boss over you – and making sure that you will never replace that expatriate!
The ironical and tragic part is he is also retired now – and tries his best to crack jokes – and be funny with me. But I pretend to go along – because it is my upbringing and religion more that kicks in – rather than the other niceties like customs, traditions, heritage and culture. He tries to justify his actions by saying to me ‘he was told to do so by higher up’ – and was just following orders. We all have heard that excuse before – even in history and in politics too!
I think I have written quite a lot and intensively on this particular subject – and perhaps shows more of the disappointments, fall-outs, dismays and frustrations than anything else – like aforementioned from my own particular people – with exception of very few isolated cases. I have not had bosses like Indians, Pakistanis etc – but from indirect ones – and colleagues and peers – and that is why and one of the reasons for my book A Cry For Help! – came into being!
Frankly, if you ask me my worst bosses were those in my last few jobs – be they as temporary and project works even. That is why I have now refused to accept any new offers – even from those people and places I know – for the same very reasons. The situation has gone beyond recompense and repair. Admittedly, I may still need the money – but at this age and particular juncture in my life now – respect and esteem are just more important than just the money itself!
Do I feel that things will ever change for the better in the offices? Frankly, I do not think so! Would they get worse before they get better? Similarly, I do not think so! They will only get worse by the day. Till a breaking point will be reached! Or the stroke that broke the camel’s back! Call me pessimistic – or seeing the half glass full. But this is the ugly, sad and real truth!
It is not only me saying these things! Look at the other columnists in this newspaper (and others) – and by fellow Omanis too! People are simply not happy in the offices – so they take it out at home. They are not happy at home – so they take it out in the offices! They are not happy at both the home and the offices – so they take it out behind the wheel and on the roads – with more accidents and fatalities. It is a vicious cycle – that goes round and round – and is here to stay – always!
And there is no preparedness to hear and listen – and to be wise, pragmatic and realistic in dealings with issues, aspects and problems – and to be objective in putting the country first before individualism, what-is-in-there-for-me selfishness, jealousies and envies!
Please Take Care!
Majid Al Suleimany
ADDENDUM – How They Behave!
It can be helpful to identify certain unacceptable actions that annoying bosses commit on a regular basis. They can include such actions as:
- Insulting staff members in a very personal manner, often publicly
- Invading your personal space without asking
- Threatening you verbally or non-verbally
- Sending emailflames
- Interrupting you rudely during meetings
- Giving you dirty looks
- Acting as if you are invisible when it suits them
- Withholding praise even though you clearly deserve some
- Second-guessing all the time or demands perfection
- Making cynical and sarcastic remarks, jokes or teasing you as a means to deliver a nasty message
- Reminding you in front of everyone where you stand in the hierarchy
- Touching you when it’s clear that you don’t want this
- Making two-faced attacks – you understand one thing from your boss, only to learn later that your boss said something completely opposite to somebody else
- Stealing clients or accounts from other workers
- Bad mouthing the firm’s culture
- Refusing to help or explain anything when asked (but will deny this if pressed by anyone else, and insist it was you who didn’t ask for help), etc.!
- Use doctrines implanted as a way to control, manipulate and dominate you.
- Many others…..