Surviving a Hostile Work Environment – Drawing a Rainbow with a White Crayon


Sometimes, you’re asked to do a task that IS IMPOSSIBLE.  There are moments in your career where the person asking you to do something impossible, may not understand what it is, they’re asking.  I’m zoned in on the asshats who do not fully understand physics and the inability to perform the said task.  It’s like they ask you to take a white crayon and draw a rainbow on a white piece of paper.  Impossible.  Fuck you.

So, the first response is to clarify and hope that they understand that you cannot walk through walls.  It’s physically impossible.  However, if you’re able to convince them that it’s not happening, great! But in a hostile work environment, these assholes cannot take no for an answer.  It’s time to waterfall.  Let me remind you that the Art of Waterfalling is the only way that you can deal with these assholes.  No matter how fucked up the task, you cannot directly tell them no.  It’s like I should put on a jet pack and fly up to the unmanned drone to fix a problem (this was a real response I gave once). In their fucked up minds, the task can be done and you’re just too lazy or resisting.  Drawing a fucking rainbow with a white marker can be done.  How? They read it in some jerk off self-help book or heard it from a one-upper (If you have 4 wheel drive, they have 5 wheel drive).  You always tell them that “I’m working it now.” and just go back to whatever it is that you’re done.  When they ask for status, you just repeat yourself, “I’m working it now” and continue doing nothing about it.  Eventually, they’ll realize that you’re not doing it.  By this time, they’re too exhausted to deal with you.  You win.

Surviving a Hostile Work Environment – Proper Work Attire


It was casual work attire Friday and I decided that to wear shorts and flip flops to work.  I’m at a point my career where I want to be comfortable and don’t care what other people think.  My next career jump will be to another company and then, I’ll start playing the dress game.  Until then, I’m staying comfortable.

When I walk down the hallways, people look at me like I’m committing a crime.  Some may be jealous, while others think that I’m just another bad employee.  I finally ran into the site facility guy who asked me the good question, “Have you read the dress code policy?”.  He wants me to say no or to feel bad.  I responded, “Yes, yes I have.”  He was waiting for a follow up, but asked the question again, “Did you read the dress code policy about shorts and flip flops?”  I responded, “Yes and I feel great.” I twinkled my toes in my flip flops just to show him how wonderful I felt.  He followed up with a threat, “there are auditors here today and you don’t want to look bad in front of them? Do you?”  I said, “People I don’t care about? Don’t care what they think. I feel great.”  He walked away in disappointment.  I walked away making flip flop sounds as my feet left the floor.

At the end of the day, I get max raises and max performance reviews.  I must be doing something wrong.  I’m not in an area of responsibility (I purposely shun it).  Maybe my next job will have that, but for now, I’m a full-time engineer and a full-time job.  I don’t have time to give a fuck about what people think, when my plan is to leave.