I’m not a horrible person with whom to work. I come in, I do my job, and I’m friendly. Essentially, I keep my head down, do what needs to be done, keep to myself (because I don’t really think about interacting with other people unless they initiate conversation – not kidding), but I do my job and do it well. I don’t, however, tolerate manipulation by others. I’ve gotten very good over the years at spotting manipulative behavior and those that exhibit it quickly find their attempts fall flat because I prize rationality and reason over emotional display and entreaties.
Because of my job I’ve learned quite a bit about the psychological branch of sciences and now I know the name for those people who like to manipulate: Narcissists.
I am great at research, especially if I find that research is needed to help me figure out a larger problem. My problem right now is working with someone who possesses every single characteristic of a Narcissist. PsychCentral.com even had a quiz one could take to see where they fell on a scale of narcissism. My results after two goes on separate days: 3 and 5. The average is 12-15.
In other words – I’m not a Narcissist. (Interesting note, apparently my score would qualify me as a Detrimental Caregiver… but I’m definitely not that either. I don’t care that much.)
But, great as that is, it’s not so great when you work with someone who is.
Thankfully, the coworker with whom I’m most alike (who recently took the office manager position in lieu of quitting because of the Narcissist) also sees the issue as I see it. So, we’re putting our two brilliant minds together to figure out how to beat the Narcissist at their own game. Right now, because neither of us are a narcissist, we have to figure out how the mind of one works and strategize how we will deal with the situation.
Sure, it would be easy to quit and find a job somewhere else, but where else could I find to work that basically:
-Leaves me to do my job with minimal supervision.
-Pays me what I get now (or better).
-Has the job flexibility I have now.
And there we have it. At least I know that I’m not the only person who sees this bad apple in the barrel and knows something should be done about it, even if I’m not the person who can grab it out and toss it to the chickens.
With that, I’ll be reading a lot more books like The Art of War by Sun Tzu and everything I can get my hands on to become a better player. On a good note – at least the coworker-I-like and I can laugh about the utter ludicrous nature of what’s going on.