People often ask me where I get my ideas. Usually it's from observing people and circumstances around me or something I read in the media that sparked a funny idea.
I grew up in a town where the focus was on status, those of us who didn't have much status to begin with spent our time in the background, observing as the more aggressive, status-enhanced kids held court on the playground. It wasn't an easy time for a sensitive kid like me, who originated from a friendly California town only to be moved to a posh, star-studded community. On my first day in my new elementary school I asked to join in a game of tag and was turned down. WTF?
When status or money is valued more than promoting decent behavior, blatant rudeness reigns, or rather, blatant bullying. It usually is delivered in the form of backhanded compliments, talking over someone, stinging comments, or acting bored when someone else thought they had the right to speak and lastly, flat out exclusion. Some say insecurity is at the core of all bullying. But I think rudeness in well-heeled communities becomes an acceptable dialect that kids of status-needy parents pick up. The dialect then spreads like a virus and mimicked by others, and the target is always those sensitives shoved into their place of quiet observation.
But there is a silver lining for the bullied ones, the quiet observers usually grow up to be the artists, the musicians, poets, writers, comedians, well-loved friends, functional parents and well, people who know just how much kindness matters. And the quiet observers don't need to insult, or play passive-aggressive games to steal coveted attention from others; nor do we think we have to step on someone to get ahead. As far as money, we too like to own nice things, nothing wrong with that, but our enjoyment of items isn't about mere flaunting. Also our imaginative skills are highly developed due to all that observing time.
We all know bullying reigns in the workplace, I feel it's on the rise due to overblown salaries in the top tier of workplaces when insecure and/or incompetent people with the right status-ties and ego gratification-needs go after the top tier job when it should've gone to someone more qualified and more willing to put in the work. Anything can be interpreted by these shaky souls as a threat to their status-oriented security. Thus they fervently work to protect a salary-(read:lifestyle) they haven't earned and this compels them to constantly put the "subordinates" in their place, as if there is a "place" subordinates need to be put in. Some are really good at this "Overlord" game. What these people don't realize is their toxic presence causes damage that is totally unnecessary. I wonder if they understand the impact of their behavior on another human being. But then, there's always karma some say.
So how do I get my ideas? I was a quiet observer, though I didn't suffer horrible bullying on the playground, and did have my friends, and the community I grew up in offered me some noteworthy educational experiences; it was a struggle to not feel like a square peg in my tween and teen years. In latter years in some of my jobs I observed bullying of co-workers and at times for absolutely no reason, was the recipient of craftily-implemented bullying. Though we're all not perfect–I wish I could take back some of the things that have escaped my mouth over the years, I still wonder about the toxic-career bullies who manage to secure a spot in the high-tier workplace, are they ever troubled by their behavior?
This magnet is for all ye quiet observers in the workplace and beyond: SmirkingGoddess shop on ETSY