re: The lies and lack of self respect that lead to burnout VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

I would add another lie:

It's not okay to be bullied at work

This can range from casual to overtly aggressive:

  • you and your work are being "gently" mock by other team members
  • you are left out of discussions because of your gender/sexual orientation/ethnicity...
  • you are told you're not left out of these discussions because of your gender/sexual orientation/ethnicity but because of [insert shitty excuse here].
  • you're are threatened (orally or in writing)
  • sticks and carrots all the time
  • you're never doing enough
  • ...

If you feel sick when going to work or if you keep thinking about your teammates' remarks when you're home chilling (or worse, sleeping), don't tell yourself it's normal. Or that you're being a wuss. You're not and you're probably surrounded by toxic people. Leave before being dragged in an uphill battle that'll leave you dead inside.

 

This this this a thousand time this. I feel bad for not considering this. I’ve seen it over and over again. I’ve never personally encountered homophobia in my work (has happened in my real life) but I had some older members of the communist warm me off some places due to the stuff they had faced. It’s horrible. Not to mention workplace bullying is such a stealth issue. So many people are victim to it and don’t realise or don’t know how to handle it. I hope you are speaking to the above points as an observer and that none of it has happened to you.

 

I haven't encountered the profiling bullying mostly because I'm white, straight and from a middle-class background. But the last three (and many variations of them), I had a lot, unfortunately.

My first job, as a stained-glass master, I had this boss that would use all the tricks in the book to make me accept things that were not acceptable. An example: during pre-contract discussions, I was told I would earn this compensation but when I came in to sign, I got a much lower compensation written on my contract. And he was, "take this or go home". I was 19 at the time and not prepared for this. Four years of these tactics warped my perception of work as a man-eat-man thing.

Later, I had a new manager who would simply take all my tasks and responsibilities away from me. I would come to work to discover that a big chunk of my tasks had been assigned to someone else. This would make it impossible to do my job properly. And of course, I would get smacked for not being able to do my job properly. This person also tried to pervert labour laws to intimidate me.

I see so many stories around me. In every possible type of job: public sector, private sector, small/big/whatever-sized companies,etc...

On a brighter note: you can learn how to defend yourself

Your article @ronsoak is a wonderful basis on how to reframe people's mindset about work. Then it's possible to learn the basics of labour laws to defend yourself. You can then get out of toxic environment in the best way possible.

It'll also help you keep anger at bay. Knowing the basics of what's allow and what's not, is the best way to start calm and useful conversations with your potential/current employers. No yelling, but a firm grip nonetheless.

Hope that helps someone.

 

I'd like to say a few words on the being left out of discussions part.

It's worth noting that sometimes you're left out of discussions for legitimate reasons that have nothing to do with your gender/sexual orientation/ethnicity.

Sometimes (and I'll be harsh and blunt, so I apologize for that), your opinion is not appreciated on the topic under discussion. It's not your speciality, you don't know that part of the system well, and sometimes (here's the extra blunt part), the people discussing just don't want you involved because of personal reasons (I've seen people who constantly derail conversations, people who talk over others, people who can't listen to criticism).

Engineers (and developers specifically) aren't very good at communicating with others as a general rule, and so you can choose to interpret their "shitty" excuses as them not liking you because of your gender or whatever, but it's entirely possible that other circumstances are in play, or that they don't like you because of other reasons.

It's also entirely within the realm of possibility that some discrimination is in play, but from my experience as a manager and as someone who worked under women, people of all ethnicities, gays, etc. over the years, nowadays, it's usually the exception, rather than the rule.

 

It's worth noting that sometimes you're left out of discussions for legitimate reasons that have nothing to do with your gender/sexual orientation/ethnicity.

Absolutely agree with you on this.

I'll be harsh and blunt

Don't! Take the time to express your opinion in a well-crafted manner. (which you did, btw ;) )

Engineers (and developers specifically) aren't very good at communicating with others as a general rule

I agree with you on this, but I don't think it's an excuse that can be accepted (being honest with you here). When you work with people, you have to step up your people-skills. I'm full of sarcasm. But when I interact with people, I gauge their sarcasm-threshold to adjust my sarcasm-"setting".

I mean, if I take the time to consider all the responses an API can send me back, I don't see why I shouldn't do the same with people. 😄

It's not your speciality, you don't know that part of the system well

Yup, that's a perfectly legitimate reason. If I were saddened by not being privy to a conversation that is none of my business, I'd question my ego and my self-esteem, rather than thinking I'm being bullied.

the people discussing just don't want you involved because of personal reasons (I've seen people who constantly derail conversations, people who talk over others, people who can't listen to criticism)

100% agree with you on this. Some people are hell to talk with. But no matter how much you dislike someone, excluding these someone from a conversation they should be privy to, is not the solution imo.

it's usually the exception, rather than the rule

Our experiences are very different for this point. I'd have agreed with you 15 years ago when I started my career. But I've seen a massive trend going downhill for the past 10 years.

To conclude, this very topic would necessitate long-form, thoughtful writing to cover all possibilities and be nuanced. Very happy to take part in a more nuanced conversation.

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