WHEN a person performs his job well or when she is on good terms with her boss, sometimes, a coworker would say that person is “sucking up” to the bosses. In Pinoy lingo, he or she is a “sipsip.” This is a case where positive traits (work excellence and good interpersonal relations) turn good employees into workplace outcasts. Seems strange? Well, not in the Pinoy workplace where oftentimes peer pressure (or is it crab mentality?) conspire to prevent Filipino workers from becoming globally competitive.
In some offices, the pressure is no small thing; it can take the form of malicious gossip, anonymous poison letters and mean pranks (think Drew Carey). The office becomes a battleground where wars are waged with as much sinister intent and means as the protagonists in Star Wars. And people who just want to do well at work become easy targets for snipers who have no work to do (or simply don’t want to do work).
So, what can an office “sipsip” do? Well, here is a master battle plan to implement the revenge of the “sipsip.”
1. When your boss gives you an assignment, accomplish it well and submit it early. Make sure the office storm trooper sees you turning it in and getting praise from your boss. Savor the moment as he rattles his weapons futilely.
2. In your department’s regular meetings, be sure to give your two cents worth of ideas on how to improve your department’s operations or solve your department’s problems without dominating the meeting. For all you know, your two cents may be worth thousands of pesos in terms of savings or new revenues for your company. As you voice your suggestions, make eye contact with the office clones and see them contorting in jealous fits before finally exploding in bits and pieces.
3. Be as helpful as you can to coworkers in your department and other departments. After all, everyone benefits when the company progresses and achieves its goals. Building an atmosphere of friendly cooperation and teamwork will contribute a great deal to discouraging empire building at work. People who withhold support for new ideas because they find pleasure in seeing other people fall flat on their faces are like the sycophants of the Emperor. It will be harder for them to “trip” people who have created a strong bond of mutual cooperation and benefit.
Battling the “dark side”
4. Be open to giving and receiving positive and negative feedback from your coworkers and superiors. Nothing irritates the “dark side” more than bringing to light (and truth) information provided by malicious gossips. The lightsabers of sincere and respectful communication among all levels will surely cut through the crap of deceit and lies.
5. Only cowards hide behind the anonymity of unsigned complaints or poison letters. If you do become a victim of such a dastardly act, like a true Jedi, you can use your superior mind to simply ignore these filthy missives and its senders. When you believe the enemy does not exist, then he will surely fade into oblivion.
6. Learn from your office Jedi Master Yoda. There are wise, good and powerful people in your company and having one as your career mentor will surely help in building the competencies you need to succeed at work and life. The mentoring relationship is one that should be used for your professional growth and not for utilitarian purposes like getting financial perks from the company.
Success of the rebellion
6. Mean pranks (like getting a dead rat on your table) are certainly mean but cannot be considered as “pranks.” If such an incident happens in your office, you must report this incident to your HR Dept. so they can properly investigate it and take the appropriate action.
The person responsible for such misbehavior can be given the appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with your company’s Code of Discipline. The disciplinary action can range from a reprimand, suspension from work and even termination for a just cause. Like Luke Skywalker in the final battle with Darth Vader, you have to confront the enemy to make sure he can no longer do mischief.
With this battle plan, the rebellion of the office “sipsip” will surely succeed in placing work excellence, teamwork and open communication in the proper perspective—worthy traits worth polishing by every globally competitive Pinoy. May the workforce be with you all!
Author: Regina Galang Reyes. First published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer May 22, 2005.
Photo credit: www.freeimages.com