Up the Ladder and Down to Hell

Office politics is a truth of life. It’s just one of those things that we can’t get rid of, like war, crimes, and bad movies. And I guess we are all disgusted by it right at the outset and at some point, we all become resigned to it and accept it as a truth of life. And then we stop caring altogether. And sometimes get dragged into its intricate web of lies and deceit.

The driving forces of office politics are those good-for-nothing people that spread lies and plant seeds of suspicion in everyone about everyone else. But, I’m being a hypocrite. I have been part of this office politics too, which were the lowest points of my life, actually. But the truth is, however much we say we are not going to be involved in petty mind games, we all do it at least once. And then we hide it from the rest of the world because we are just too ashamed to say that once upon a time, we were like this too.

And why do we do this? Because we want to climb the corporate ladder. But is it really worth it? Is it worth it to sacrifice all of your beliefs and principles for monetary gains and maybe glory and fame? Is it worth it to alienate everyone you know and love, even to miss the great loves and friendships that come along only once in your lifetime? You would think the answer to this is, no, nothing is worth all that. But miraculously, so many choose the other side, which is to gloriously plough on, not believing for one moment that they’re on the wrong side of the morality scale.

What happened to treating others as we would want to be treated? Went right out the window is what happened. How often do we preach about equality among the sexes and races and religions and whatever other kinds of divisions society has come up with? Very often. And yet, almost every single one of us throws caution to the wind and goes ahead and treats someone else like they are dirt at our feet.

I’ve often wondered why that is. True, you can’t spend your life being that innocent and naïve person that falls prey to every beast in the wild and eventually is chewed on, devoured, and then unceremoniously spat out. But why such extremes? Why don’t we simply say what’s on our minds and get it over with? You know, discuss things like adults?

Maybe it’s not a certain individual’s fault. I think it’s society. Over time, we are taught that competition is what drives the world forward and that competition is a fabulous thing. So from a young age, we are taught to play on others’ weaknesses and highlight those, for the betterment of our own lives. Not that anyone tells us this directly. It’s just passed on to the next generation in a way so subtle, we just don’t know how we know it. It’s just like the dislike of any person who is not heterosexual; we don’t know where we got the inherent dislike from, but all we know is that it’s there in us. (By the way, I love sexual diversity. So please do not be offended.) The thing is, society dishes out the weirdest things to us, but that doesn’t mean we have to absorb all of them and make them the most important parts of ourselves. We don’t have to fall prey to any of this.

But the good thing is, that not everyone that gets pulled into the web stays in there. Most figure out pretty soon that this bitchy character is not them and hastily backtrack and cut out an escape hatch in the web. But some never believe for a second that office politics is not absolutely necessary to climb the corporate ladder. I know plenty of people who have successfully avoided it and still got somewhere up there in the proverbial ladder. So, see? You don’t need it. It’s something insecure people do when at their worst. Mostly. I am not speaking for those who choose this as a part-time career path.

Whatever the reasons may be, issues social, financial, and otherwise, office politics is something we all have to face at some point. Some of us will always be on the receiving end; it just cannot be helped. But we can make the choice not to be the one to dish the dirty out. And that’s the best part. We don’t have to do the dirty to climb the ladder. And if do, then do we really need to climb the corporate ladder? Because, when you reach the top of the ladder after a life full of underhanded tactics, you might find yourself with a lot of alone time up there. Is that really the way we want to spend the autumn years of our lives?

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