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 – No Fucks Given

1338265360835_809270[1]Ever find yourself in an environment that makes you not want to come to work?  Hostile work environments can come in many ways.  It could be a sea of bad co-workers, bad management, or even a shitty work situation that delivers stress.  I’ve been in all of them and found the ultimate coping mechanism, “No Fucks Given”.

When you give a fuck, you care about the product, service, or system.  You strive to deliver quality, accurate work and take pride it in.  When you work with fucktards who do not care or even have a negative impact on the system, you want to see them removed.  In many work environments, management is too scared to remove incompetent people.  You’re often told that you must incorporate these losers into your “team” environment and continue to deliver excellence.  After awhile, you do get tired and bitter.  Why should you spend extra admin overhead to prevent the fucktards from hurting the system?  Is it worth it? There are trade offs when you decide if it’s worth giving fucks or not.  If you cannot leave the job, then you must find another way to mitigate the problems and hope that the pay is worth it. Let’s be honest, we want to trade our labor for the maximum compensation.  This means that we want to get paid and if dealing with difficult people is part of that, then so be it.  However, there is a threshold and many times, I’ve found myself leaning towards “No Fucks Given”.

To start not giving a fuck, you must find the level of system maintenance that allows it to continue.  You cannot say fuck it all and the system comes crashing down.  You just might not suggest improvements.  You’re basically in mood to maintain. That is simply it.  You do not care about building relationships.  You do not go above and beyond.  You spend just enough time to say that you’ve earned that salary and then you look for your exit.

Basic ways to not give a fuck is to not talk more than you need to.  I tend to keep the conversations towards personal, neutral topics such as travel, hobbies, and in my field of work, engineering processes.  I tend to stay away from religion, politics, and drama.  Try not to show that you’re bothered by the drama because then they’ll look at ways to hammer you.  The hostile work environment can get completely worst.  You evaluate your workload and you find a way to do the bare minimum.  A task that would normally take 24 hours, now takes 48 because no fucks are given.  You find simple pleasures such as watching TV shows on your laptop, reading a book that has nothing to add to your job, and spending hours on facebook, creeping hotties.

Not giving a fuck takes the weight of the no-accountability-work and dumps it onto someone else.  Their emergencies are no longer yours.   30 minute lunches turn into 2 hours.  Of course, you must be a ninja and not show that you’re taking longer lunches, but there’s always a way to say it was a business lunch.

You want to avoid the micro-managers or the people who can’t be happy with doing the bare minimum.  These people dislike your care free attitude and want to give you busy fucks. Busy fucks are tasks given by someone else to satisfy their insecurity.  I hate the phrase, “Give a good days work”.  This subjective phrase and expectation changes with the individual.  My bare minimum may be two times the work load than most people.  I may be able to get 40 hours of work done in 20 and use the extra 20 to do something that I enjoy.  There is no incentive to work hard when you’re given busy fucks.  There are several ways to handle busy fucks.  You could invent your own busy fuck and when presented with a busy fuck task, you’re unavailable.   You could take the busy fuck task and completely fuck it up, in hopes that you’re never assigned it again.  You could waterfall (The Art of Delaying) the request and just never do it.  Busy fucks are a pain in the ass and should be avoided at all tasks.  Your time is more valuable than that.  We must also be aware of people who falsely give a fuck. These individuals will drum up busy fucks because they want to show management that they care, even when it’s not true.  Your job with these people is to suggest work that keeps them away from you.

At the end of the day, you’ll eventually find a new job that you’ll care about and we hope that it’s not filled with fucktards.  If it is, rinse and repeat the No Fucks Given process.