The most popular workplace jokes often revolve around repetition. "Another day, another dollar." But there’s a reason for this. Life, believe it or not, is not all that interesting. As much as it will pain you to accept (and you’ll fight it!) there are a pre-determined number of ways we can react to situations. Yes, you are NOT unique.
All of us have scripts, games and tapes we play on a daily basis – especially at work. Learn more at this previous post.
Today I want to look at two games I tend to come across quite a bit.
See What You Made Me Do!
You’re working on a presentation and are under a tight deadline. A work colleague stops by your desk and asks you if you want to order lunch. This interruption "causes" you to make a "typo" or lose your train of thought.
"ARGH!" you proclaim.
"SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO!"
This type of reaction from an individual has a tendency to repeat – until people realize they should stay away from the individual in order not to "distract" them.
Of course the "slip" is not your co-workers fault – and the person loves blaming others. The reason we all play this game is simple: vindication. You avoid responsibility and it gets you off the hook. People who play this game too often might find themselves without any lunch pals.
"LOOK HOW HARD I WAS TRYING"
There are three variations of this game.
1st Degree: Imagine a colleague at work announces that they have been diagnosed with some sort of illness – but they say they’ll continue to work – without any change in productivity. This likely will have your colleagues admiring your fortitude.
2nd Degree: A colleague is diagnosed with an illness but remains silent about it. Eventually, they collapse at their desk, proclaiming "Look How Hard I Was Trying." It’s a person looking for love but results in guilt.
3rd Degree: A colleague is diagnosed with an illness, continues to work and doesn’t tell a soul – not even their family. This is the ultimate slap in the face to those you love and respect because they never had a fighting chance to help you.
There’s dozens of others I’ll share in later posts – so please subscribe now. For now, just recognize these games. In yourself. In others. And do what you can to break the pattern! We have a full week of work ahead – so why not make it a little different! 😉