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By October 11, 2011 73 Comments Read More →

The Corporate Sociopath

Today I’ve decided to tackle a different subject. Why? Because once again, just this week, I’ve been horrified by the sociopathic behaviour of a corporation towards one of my dearest friends. This friend of mine, I’ll call him Jack, is a hugely talented, dedicated professional who has worked all his life in the people industry. He is a Managing Director, and has the most incredible people-skills. Teams who work with him — even those who may have been somewhat disparate before his arrival — will galvanize together and with him to deliver outstanding results. He is, in my opinion, a superstar who genuinely cares for people and who gives his all to his employers. He’s always been that way. Oh — his input also ensures that his teams win countless national awards for their efforts.

Pretty good credentials eh, wouldn’t you think? Well, I would. And so would his team. And so does just about everybody who knows him – he has an incredible reputation, is well-liked, and fantastic at what he does, because he loves what he does. His most recent employer is a massive and well-respected organization who list among their values “honesty, integrity, courage and fairness”. Yes, they are big words. But those big words can be found in so many typically cheesy mission statements that are stuck up on so many walls of global businesses — and ignored. Jack and I are no strangers to corporate-speak. We’ve both played in the professional arena for most of our lives and have experienced many kinds of corporate animal along the way.

“But you know what, Mel?” he’d enthused at the beginning of last year “This is such a refreshing difference, because this company actually means what they say. They’re true to their values, and I’m really glad to be here!”

Pathalogical Lying

But”¦ and it’s a huge but”¦ his faith was mis-guided because, these values on which my dear friend and so many others had hung their hats, turned out to be nothing more than pathological lies.

“Oh, come along now Mel, isn’t that a bit harsh?” Yes, some people may well say that. And the thing is, it’s because so many people continue with that line whenever corporations behave badly towards their employees (and suppliers, and customers, and so many human beings who are touched by their actions) that they continue to get away with what I now term text-book corporate sociopathic behaviour.

“It’s a dog eat dog world out there!” “It’s not personal, it’s just business!” “Well, you’ve got to be tough to survive in this industry!” Those are typical examples of the excuses for poor behaviour that I hear time and time again during my professional career as a leadership and team development specialist. And it concerns me that it’s deemed “ok” to treat people in the business world in a completely different fashion from the “real” world. It’s “ok” to squeeze every last drop of loyalty from employees. It’s “ok” to promise great rewards, and then cull people at the whim of a new board executive who “didn’t like somebody’s face”

In business, human beings often become faceless numbers — and ambitious, hard-hitting leaders can get away with being ruthless manipulators. “The bottom line is king!” is a mantra that seems to excuse what I would deem inhuman behaviour towards the lifeblood of the organization – the human beings who make it happen. Figures, statistics and profit have taken over — yes, I realize, of course, that these elements are what make the wheels of industry turn. Don’t worry, I’m not turning in to some flakey hippy-type, burning josticks and spouting free-love and peace to all (well, not yet in any case!). I am a successful businesswoman myself. Of course I work to create money — that’s why I’m in business! But”¦ and here’s the important difference”¦ I know that my business depends on the people within it. My team. My clients. My suppliers. We have a simple mission statement “To create raving fans”. And that’s what we do. And in order to do that, we therefore have to be honest courageous, fair — and whatever other number of values Jack’s employers spouted as their guiding values. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

No Conscience

Jack’s employers, however, like so many other companies I have come across in my time, have proven themselves as little more than conmen who will manipulate the truth, believing themselves to be above the law, and turning on the very people who have upheld their banner for them — showing no remorse and no empathy. Hmmm”¦ does this ring any bells here?

Fine, some may suggest that I’m merely jumping on the sociopathic bandwagon to make a point. Others may say that I will spot psychopaths everywhere since I now know what to look out for. I say that my personal experience has now simply allowed me to pinpoint more clearly where those sociopathic tendencies are showing themselves within an organization. Whether it’s seeped in to the culture, whether it’s led and encouraged by the board, or whether it’s just the specific behaviour of an individual. How far it may have spread, and what steps can be taken to counter it. And, trust me – these behaviours can be so hard to spot, and can lull so many wide-eyed and loyal employees in to a false sense of security, that by the time they realise what’s happening it’s too late. Another all-too familiar story perhaps…?

Is it really right that people should come in to work and behave completely differently as human beings? There is an advert on British TV at the moment, asking why we behave aggressively when we’re driving cars, if we wouldn’t behave that way walking down a crowded street? It conveys its message in an amusing and clever way. And to me, it’s exactly the same thing in business. For many years (way before I knew anything about sociopathy!) I have been banging on about the dangers of what I call “corporate double-speak” — the business-babble language that seems to exist purely in the business world. Why say, for example, “we must secure more resources” when what they mean is “I could do with some more people—¦? In my mind, that kind of distancing terminology at the very least merely serve to depersonalize, and in the worst cases desensitizes to the point where we forget we are dealing with human beings. Real people who have real feelings and real lives! It’s clever and it’s subtle – but it’s brainwashing.

Control and Manipulation

Let me ask this in another way. How ‘just’ do you think it is that a company hires a highly respected and experienced people-manager on the promise of long employment and great rewards? That the same company encourages this manager to go out on a limb and “do things differently” in order to get the job done? And that at the flick of a switch, that same company then tells the manager (who has succeeded in achieving the impossible, through dedication, devotion, and putting years of valuable experience in to play) that they have decided on an organisational re-structure and that his role is no longer valid? Fair enough, you may say, business changes. Of course it does. I agree. But what I don’t agree with was the fact that this manager was then accompanied off the premises like a criminal, but wasn’t allowed to say anything to his team. In fact, he wasn’t given any further information — nor was he allowed to share his news or voice his fears to anyone else within the company. He was forbidden to answer calls and emails from his concerned staff. He was given no opportunity to ask for detailed explanations (“your case will be discussed at next week’s meeting — not before”). He was isolated in every sense of the word. Or, as another person put it, was treated to “Mushroom Management”… kept in the dark and fed on shit.

Now, I’d call that kind of behaviour abusive — wouldn’t you?

This treatment went on for over three weeks — can you imagine how his team must have been feeling, deserted by a boss they respect and admire? Are they really going to be willing or able to give their heart and soul again in the future — once bitten twice shy and all that. On top of that, does this kind of short-sighted decision-making really take in to account the long-term health of the company? Surely this is just another example of impulsive behaviour, and a failure to accept responsibility for such actions — you can bet your bottom dollar my friend will be paraded as the scapegoat, while ”˜those at the top’ continue to twist and turn their decisions, re-defining the goal-posts whenever boredom strikes again? Leaving the teams to wonder “what did I do wrong? Is it going to be me next” and forcing people to keep their heads down and walk gingerly over the scattered eggshells.

Does this sound familiar”¦?

At the end of the three weeks, by the way, this particular “values-driven” company went back on what they had promised in the first meeting, ultimately implying that my friend is a liar.

“There’s nothing we can do” said my friend’s solicitor “There were two of them in the meeting and one of you. It’s their word against yours.”

He is finally out of there, with a pretty measly pay-off, having been forced to sign a legal contract promising that he will never say anything derogatory about the company or about his treatment at their hands. His team, however, still have to wait another few days to be told the truth.

Corporate sociopathy to a tee, wouldn’t you agree? There are so many more examples, and I’m only just starting to get my teeth in to this massively unexplored area. So the business world had better watch out, because as you know, I’m not one to stay quiet.

 


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73 Comments on "The Corporate Sociopath"

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I was illegally terminated by a sociopathic employer. I did get a settlement but one that was not what I considered fair nor anything close to what I would have received had the case gone to court. Unfortunately, I had to take their offer during arbitration as I was not in the position economically or physically to fight further.

What I learned is that even in a state with very strong worker protection rights, the odds are very much stacked against the little guy.

Mel – Thank you so much for this piece. There is so much of this going on. It hurts employees. It hurts entire economies – I’ll bet that sociopaths are responsible for the whole financial meltdown. And I’m sure they’re just laughing at all the people trying to Occupy Wall Street.

Great article Mel!!!

A friend of mine, who was my boss at the time was VP of a respected college. One of her co-VPs who was a married man made drunken pass at her at a conference which she rebuffed and several others had to literally physically haul this drunken bum off her…well, guess what happened two days after her Co-VP became PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE? Yep, she got fired in the middle of the school year! Escorted out of her office by 5 p.m. and the staff who reported to her, except for me, looked out their windows while she and my son and I loaded my truck with her personal things from her office. It was like she was contagious with some fatal disease even though the day before these people “just loved” her. She was a great boss, and is still a good friend 10 years down the line. Unfortunately, psychopaths make their way to the corner offices in corporations and in educational institutions, in government jobs and elected offices. They bring with them their manipulative ways and their vengeful, hurtful behavior.

“All that it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

I lost respect for those people that day who looked out the window as our friend and our boss was hustled out of her office like some scab infested stray dog by someone who wasn’t worthy to lick her shoes….he eventually “got his though” and is among several University and College presidents in our town (there are three In our small city) who have been ousted from office and one was federally prosecuted for fraud. All three I think qualify as psychopaths, and I wish more corporate psychopaths would be outed and ousted, but only a few get what they deserve, most just hide behind, “It isn’t personal, it’s just business.”

Thanks for a great thought provoking article, Mel.

Ox;

There are two reasons why so few take action again former employers. 1) Severances are almost always tied to a waiver of any claim to any illegal action by the employer; 2) Fear of being blackballed or at least not getting a favorable reference.

The workforce would be a much better place if the law prohibited severances being tied to such waivers, but this is not going to happen. I fear the direction this country is headed, especially if more “deregulation” proponents are elected.

Corporate culture of sociopathy.

That’s b/c their values were really just a marketing ploy. I love those mission statements that aren’t mission statements at all.

Isn’t this why Dilbert was such a hit?

Since various groups are “protected” by the law, corporate sociopaths are smart enough to take proper action to cover their tracks. Let’s say the target individual is over 40, a protected class. Typically, that person will first receive a poor performance view or may be placed on some internal “probation” for some minor act. This becomes the company’s legal cover when they fire the person.

This just happened to a friend of mine.

BBE:

You are right about the severance deal. So I got a severance last year when I left my job and I did have to sign papers to that effect. So what would happen if I tried to sue them now over a sexual harassment lawsuit with my X spath…would they just throw it out? Or I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on in court? What if I got the best attorney money could buy?

Louise;

Depending upon the state, you may have an out under the theory that your claim only came about after the fact, meaning that when you accepted severence you did not understand that what happened was illegal. Also, in certain jurisdictions, an individual cannot waiver rights, or a waiver of rights might be dismissed if signed under duress.

BBE, yea, my friend got a “buy off” severance package and if she had raised a ruckus she would have lost that, plus being black balled in the SMALL community of College VPs….but it was sexual harassment 110%, no doubt about it. The guy is a PIG! In the end though, she got a much better job and a lot more money, so what goes round comes round. I’m just glad she was able to endure until she healed….it was a real mind fark for her, as it is with all of us when we get BLIND SIDED by a psychopath.

Ox;

I am glad to learn that some come out better from such ordeals!

BBE:

Thanks for the info.

Louise;

The problem with lawyers is that any decision to represent is a business decision. More to come…

BBE:

I will anxiously await more…

I somehow pasted the same comment twice, so editing this one to just these two little sentences. My original comment is below 🙂

Mel, GREAT article and so glad to hear someone speaking up about this. I TOTALLY 100%, hands down, on the bandwagon and waving the protest sign, AGREE with you!!!!!!!!

Henry David Thoreau was onto this years ago when he said, ““Be wary of any enterprise that requires new clothes.”

Has anyone here seen the Enron documentary? I think the scariest thing about Enron is that….these are just the guys who got CAUGHT.

Mel, awesome topic to tackle. I gave up on the business world in many of its forms because I just couldn’t swallow the “culture” for the very reasons you outlined.

Here in Germany, I am very pleased to say, there is more of a PEOPLE focus in business. It’s not a perfect system, but businesses here have more interest in the people than they do in America (at least, probably in the UK too). For example, employees immediately get lots of vacation time, health benefits, the works. Companies help with transportation costs. They even have “flexitime” which is a concept I hadn’t heard of before coming here. This is where the employees can choose their own working hours, which was developed to allow them the ability to have a LIFE outside of work. People stay with one company much longer here.

Again, it’s not a perfect system, but I teach English to nothing but corporations and big companies in this city. I go to the company premises. After getting used to each other, students tend to tell me a lot of what goes on and I have learned a lot about business practices here. I’ve found myself silently thinking, “Oh, good, there is hope. There is a way business can happen without losing humanity.” Also, employees actually care a lot about doing a good job more than just earning a paycheck. This goes even back to the government system that basically balances to make sure no one falls too far below the poverty line (a kind of socialism), which takes that nervous “get rich or die trying” feeling out of the general population. People don’t live their lives here thinking that if they don’t succeed in business somehow, they will be living on the streets. They know that prices will remain reasonable for housing, health care will always be accessible, and their paychecks will cover all basic human needs expenses. They have time for family and travel. Hence, they devote themselves to a job well done rather than survival at all costs.

Much better system in my opinion, though not perfect of course.

Okay I just wrote a lot! I need to go buy food, so I’m going for a walk. See you all later!!!

Take care

Panther 😀 (can you tell I’m tickled pink to be back on LF after my little vacation?)

Mel, we know the redflags of spath in our personal lives. Next step is identifying them in corporations before we commit to that business deal.

Your article was timely, especially considering the economic climate.

Occupy wallstreet is a good start but I’m concerned about spath infiltration. It happens each time the people rise up because they don’t know the red flags.

For example, a pizza place owner has joined the movement. He says he wants to go back to a gold and silver based currency. So he is providing pizza at 75 cents a slice on the condition that he is paid in pre-1964 currency. Sounds good until you realize that each slice is costing you $15!! Scam?

They are everywhere.

Louise;

Very few lawyers are true “advocates” or even professionals. They are first and foremost business people looking to make money. They are not obligated to take cases and virtually always make a decision whether the case’s potential award (or settlement) is worth the time invested.

Thus, lower-income earners when suing for illegal termination are at a disadvantage in that their salary effective caps any award. Some state allow attorneys to be compensated by the defendant (party being sued) on a billable hours basis (sometimes with a multiplier) so as to encourage them to represent low income earners.

However, lawyers don’t like this as most illegal termination cases settle and they are stuck with a contingency. Thus, if a reasonable settlement is not going to net six figures (at least $100K) chances are few lawyers will touch the case.

I mentioned I have a friend who was just illegal terminated, but set-up so it appears his termination was with cause. Fighting his termination would be virtually impossible. However, in his case paying a lawyer on a hourly billable basis to change his termination to “lack of work” will at least allow him to collect unemployment.

Regarding Occupy Wall Street, I finding it very interesting that certain politicians (Bachman, Cantor, Cain) find these protests “un American,” yet they actively support far more vitriolic demonstrations when such is anti-government.

America’s problems are not going to be solved by further deregulation, tax cuts and less government. We need to look at the German model, otherwise this country will be doomed to social strife not seen since the 1920s.

Sad too that in many ways, the USA is now the least free country in the Western World. Maybe we don’t fear our government, but we fear our employer, those lucky enough to have one.

We must be careful what we say on Facebook, as corporations spy upon their employees. Those lucky to have vacation time constantly check-in, so as not to appear dispensable. Likewise, we go to work when sick for the same reason.

BBE:

Yep, I know what attorneys are like and unfortunately, the company I left is very huge with excellent corporate attorneys. This company dominates our city and the city would almost shut down if this company ever went under…that’s how much influence it has. So…you can see where I would be screwed. I wouldn’t have a chance unless I had a lot of money which I might next year. I am thinking about turning the X spath in and demanding that they do something with him or threaten to sue them if they don’t. I am afraid he will only get a slap on the wrist unless I threaten them with a lawsuit. I know I am the underdog in this situation, but something has to be done.

Does anyone think there would be a market for providing a consulting service to those looking to take legal action against a former employer? I would not be providing legal advice, rather, advice on the process, how to choose a lawyer, what to expect, pitfalls to avoid, things lawyers won’t tell you…

I feel I have a wealth of knowledge and if I had somebody like myself to consult my result would have been sooner and for a greater award.

I was thinking a few of $150-$175 per hour, minimum two hours, with any unused time banked. Would this amount ($300-$350) seem too high for the average person?

BBE, there is probably a market for it, but….and the BUT is keeping yourself from being accused of “practicing law without a license”—there is a fine line there for that sort of thing.

Like for example giving psychological advice, people call themselves “life coaches” and such and CHARGE for this advice….but they acting as “therapists” without a license? I think the line is so fine you might be able to do it, but your customers might be too broke to pay your fee. LOL (no joke about that!)

I can give you ADVICE and not charge for it, because it is simply my OPINION….and just because my advice is NO good and you follow it, is not reason you could sue me about it and maybe prevail, but if I am PROVIDING AN ADVICE SERVICE and my advice (you think, whether it is true or not) caused you to make a bad decision that cost you grief or money…well that is a horse of a different color entirely. That’s why professionals have liability polices against such an event. Back when I sold meat to people I had a liability policy in case someone got sick or broke a tooth or even just accused me of causing a problem with my product. My hospital employer also carried a liability policy for me as well as I carried my own separate policy.

I have a liability policy on my farm in case an animal gets out of the fences (my animals or my renter’s animals) and gets on the high way and causes a wreck, or kicks and hurts someone. In fact, I am “insurance poor!” But at the same time, I am aware that people can sue for all kinds of things and even if they don’t prevail you still have to hire an attorney to defend yourself. (been there and done that).

Back when I decided to retire professionally, I let my license to practice lapse, and took a “retired status”—because in the event someone asked me if they should take an aspirin and I said yes or no, then if they got sicker they could sue me and cause all kinds of “practicing medicine/nursing” problems and I didn’t want to have to keep up liability insurance just for that. Now, I am just a “citizen” not a practicing professional so if you take my medical advice and you die, tough, you can’t sue me and get anything because there is NO EXPECTATION that I am giving you professional advice because I am a RETIRED professional, not an active one.

People still come to me and show me rashes, swellings and tell me symptoms and ask “what should I do” and my usual response is, “Hummmm, maybe you should take that up with your doctor.” Sure, I’ve got enough supplies and equipment here at my house just about to accomplish “open heart surgery” (if I had the qualifications, which I don’t) and if my son or a trusted few friends were to get hurt and need an IV I’d have the stuff to do it with and get it going while we waited on the ambulance, but I am NOT going to do that for anyone else. For anyone else I would do what any CPR/Response trained person would do but nothing more, I can’t risk pulling out my handy-dandy medical supply stash and “practicing medicine” without a license. That may sound harsh, but I have to stick to the letter of the practice laws.

Before I would start to give advice to someone I think I would CONSULT with an attorney about where the LINE IS IN YOUR STATE as far as practice is concerned. You might also be someone an ATTORNEY might HIRE to consult for them. If you could practice under the umbrella of an attorney that might work out very well as a sort of sub-specialty. I had an attorney in elder law try to hire me a while back to CONSULT with his clients about their loved ones going to a nursing home, something I could do without a medical or nursing license as HIS employee.

Ox;

That is a good point that my telling my experience might be viewed as providing legal even though this is not the intention. I did check on unlawful practice of law and of course the definition is typically vague.

I investigated doing something similar in regards to divorce.
The reality is……there is not enough people to support a profitable money making venture.
In my area attorneys charge $225 on up……I would have been working with a clients attorney and had the support of them and referrals…..
I think it would be a hard sell to pay $150 hourly for an advocate who doesn’t offer legal advise.
I think a book would be better because it reaches more people…….and you could find a ‘consultant ESQ’ to back you up to validate your direction.
What you’re looking at, I don’t believe (generally) attorneys would support, because you’d expose their secrets and practices.
I’d look into the book market…..and you can also write it from your OWN experience. Nothing illegal about that!

Another article about corporate sociopaths – “The Monster Behind the Marketer’s Mask.”

the author happens to be a Lovefraud reader.

http://www.tmap.biz/pressroom_release.php?key=87

ErinBrock;

The book is a good idea for the future, something I always wanted to do. I agree that even at $150 per hour, it would be difficult to generate enough income to support myself full-time. In addition, I have learned that I am probably not a good candidate to be fully self employed, due to my dysthymia. I am much happier in an office setting, presuming it is a functional one.

Donna,

GREAT Article by Dr. owen, however, the last sentence sort of stunned me about giving them a “letter of reference” and helping them on to some place else.

I’ve worked with and recognized as TOXIC (at the time I didn’t realize what a “psychopath” was) some people who brought down entire corporations—even one specialty hospital into bankruptcy. During a period of 6 months the entire nursing staff of one hospital (over 200 nurse) left, except for one nurse who had been there 20 years. I was among the last to leave, just not being able to “believe” that management couldn’t see what a paranoid nut job this mid level manager was, or why the director of nurses was her pal and did her bidding.

Funny, but even 30+ years later, many of the nurses who worked there with me at the time, trauma bonded together and still keep in touch though we are scattered to the four winds now. Working at that hospital was such a traumatic experience we just couldn’t “believe” what was going on. It ended up with the midlevel manager fired, then the director of nurses fired, then the administrator and since this happened during an ACUTE shortage of nurses, and SPECIALTY nurses at that, the hospital went belly up and the corporation that owned it folded. All because of one psychopathic, control freak mid level nursing manager who DESTROYED the jobs of many people as well as the investment of how many people.

I’ve worked with a few psychopathic managers since then, but none on such a level.

Oxy,
I had the exact same WTF? moment on that last sentence. Why help them go on and to gain more power? Well, I can see that sometimes, it’s the option of last resort. After all, we often thank God for the OW who takes the spath off our hands and redirects his energy.

I still think that the eskimos handle it best: push them off the ice.

Skylar,

Yea, “push them off the ice”—-PTOTI—yea, that’s a good idea for sure. Unfortunately we don’t have any ICE around here to PTOT Off of. LOL Well, Erin Brock has ICE AND SNOW (hee hee!!!!) and it will be 70 here tomorrow, and sunny, after a wonderful day of RAIN!!!!! (eat your heart out EB!) LOL 🙂

Seriously, there are times I would really like to PTOTI but I have also learned that I don’t want to BE or THINK LIKE them….and resort to violence in more ways than the occasional gallows humor like Donna’s link the other day to the “hit man” site.

It is difficult to fight down the anger, rage, wrath and desire for revenge when we don’t get justice or validation from the community or the law. That’s why ethnic and religious wars are fought for generations and prejudice reigns for eons. All we have to do is to look at the middle east in order to see what injustice, revenge, anger, hate, etc does to people and to cultures. Psychopaths ferment that kind of feeling, then egg it on, and the buck has got to stop somewhere. I want it to stop with ME because Ii don’t want to find myself a BITTER old woman to the end of my days.

I think about Hens’ egg donor and how bitter she is, and I do NOT want to be like that….even if I am “justified” in feeling hate or bitterness toward someone, I don’t like what that feeling does to ME–justified or not. I want peace, tranquility and calm in my life and I can’t have that if my heart is filled with bitterness. Living a good life, a peaceful life IS THE BEST REVENGE. It is like No Contact, it isn’t easy to do because we want to strike back at injustice, but if we allow it, peace will still our angry hearts and we WIN!!!!!!

Ox;

Sadly, my aunt is among those bitterly living out her last days, the controller and enabler to the end. Her children are miserable and alcoholic. I made the mistake of arranging a family vacation to include her and iat the time, she ruined it for me.

However, now I see that vacation experience as a lesson in what not to be and what not to allow my life to become.

Corporate sociopathy is not only “real,” but rampant. I worked for a Gannett company for only 2 years because I was expected, as a Manager, to Do Things to cause people to quit, rather than fire them (unemployment benefits, of course). Well, this was the tip of the proverbial icebug, and my belief is that Corporate practices promote sociopathy, at the highest leve, and of the highest order. The Corporate definition of “Restructure” can be loosely associated with “Extraordinary Rendition.” The victim doesn’t have the benefit of any information – just pack these cardboard boxes, get out, and we’ll talk about this at a later date. Why is the person being “restructured” out of a position? It’s always a mystery, and the poor person is escorted to the door by Security just in the event that they go postal.

At the moment, I’m dealing with something that is similar to corporate foolishness, but it involves a paid employee and me, a volunteer and sometimes-paid-non-credit-instructor. Regardless of how much I may love a place and the Director, I will not give my time and energies to any organization that allows one person to behave badly on a consistent basis, especially when their activities cannot be disputed. The employee in question has been mentioned in recent posts (BEFORE the marriage collapse), and I finally discovered why people have been walking on eggshells around me and asking me questions that didn’t make sense this past Saturday – 3 weeks of people acting as if I was getting ready to slip a cog, and New Face finally cleared up the mystery for me.

New Face showed up at my house, last Friday, to retrieve some items out of my studio that I had been storing there for her. With her came a fellow that I have known for 7 years and his girlfriend. With me were my son and my spouse. We loaded her truck up and, as she was turning to go, said in a pained voice, “I wish we could be friends.” I was flabbergasted – inappropriate to say that in front of 4 people who had nothing to do with the issues, and utterly BAD FORM! I simply replied, “We just work together, New Face,” and didn’t say another word.

Next day, New Face shows up at the studio with her husband in tow and doesn’t say a word to me, which is okay, but the hostility level has really been harming the studio. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that the Director rescheduled New Face to work on days when we wouldn’t have to interact with one another – for the past 2 Saturdays, New Face has made it a point to breeze into the studio on a Saturday when the Director would not be there.

As New Face was leaving, I asked her into the office to talk it out. She came in, sat down, and immediately began attempting to take control of the discussion. Of course, I was to blame for everything. She began getting shrill and accused me of getting “into (her) face” and that I was only “inches away from (her) face!” Now, she was shouting and everyone else in the studio could hear her. She accused me of destroying pottery items simply because I thought they were ugly, and many, many other misdeeds. I told her that she was crazy and that I had never done any such thing without proper “authorization” to get rid of something. So, it’s NO WONDER that long-time resident artists are asking me if I am “feeling better” and “why would (I) want to get into it” with the New Face.

With regard to the reason that New Face refused to attend a meeting with the Director, she said (and, I quote), “Of COURSE I wasn’t going to do that! It would only have given you a chance to BITCH!” That sealed it – the woman’s off her proverbial rails and I am resigning as a volunteer.

The Director will never believe that New Face is dangerous because New Face presents a honey-sweet exterior and is very, very manipulative – VERY manipulative. And, the Director is an enabler – she doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, wants everyone to LIKE HER, and cannot deal with confrontation. Well, Truth is what it is, and it’s not always dripping with sweetness and love. Sometimes, the Truth is harsh, cold, and ugly, and that’s just the way it is.

This goes true with Corporate behavior – people just do not realize how simple words can destroy lives: restructure; new resources; outsourcing; etc. I cannot exist in a Corporate environment because I cannot play those types of games with people’s lives, NOR do I want such games played with mine.

Too bad there isn’t better business law with regard to what Corporations are held accountable for. From my personal experience, there is no accountability, at all.

I’m pretty mad at myself for letting the office Jerk and my EX-Boyfriend, JERK my chain last week. I mean really, I blew my best chance of getting a promotion to a different job because I had to go off the deep end in an interview talking about the office bully! I don’t care if he bullied me all that morning, it was stupid kindergarten stuff that would have made most people laugh at him. Instead I let it get under my skin and blow my chances for getting out of his office, yet again!

When I told my manager about what had happened when he was gone on vacation I said that it wasn’t WHAT he did to bully me, it was the fact that I was being bullied at work, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. It bothers me even more that every one knows he bullies, and find it acceptable behavior for him. When I told my boss what Jerk had done, he got all excited and said what good news it was, because that was Jerk’s “management style.” Being the team lead when the boss was gone this proved he was taking responsibility for me as an employee, where he’d refused to in the past.

Hello, my boss just said it was a GOOD thing and that he was happy that the EX-boyfriend who abused me so bad for two years that it gave me C-PTSD is abusing me, “ever so slightly” at work with his stamp off approval!. Why? Because now I’m being treated as bad as every one else that works with him, so I’m a part of the team. Oh joy.

You can’t turn some one in to HR for standing behind every person you talk to all day long to give you the bully look, that is something you really can’t turn them into hr for, but at the same time when others KNOW he does this to bully people into going back to their desks, and submitting to what ever HE thinks is their required tasks, BECAUSE THEY FEEL INTIMIDATED BY HIM, I think there’s something really wrong.

I’m put off in a corner by myself to keep me away from this monster in the office, and so I don’t have as good of working relationships with my co-workers as I’d like, so once in a while I make the rounds, just to let ever one know I’m still over there, still work there, and I can help if they need it. I don’t need the jerk that stole 5 yrs of my life, trying to phyc me out when the boss is out of town, to keep me in line with HIS other slaves.

They have lofty words of what they want there. I read them in the office emails about proper work environment, and I want to laugh out loud, because to make up for my managers kind hearted, though misguided management style we have the office bully/team lead/ex-boyfriend to counter balance it.

Truthseeker,
Thank you for this:
“And, the Director is an enabler ”“ she doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, wants everyone to LIKE HER, and cannot deal with confrontation.”

This has always been my weak spot – I don’t know why I never recognized the “I don’t want any fuss” enablers before, but for some reason I was blind to them. Lately I’ve come to see that the whole bully system would fall apart if it wasn’t for them – so they are probably the most dangerous character of all. And up until recently I always bought their story, even though their true character always comes up when the sh*t hits the fan – and their true character is never concerned about whether anyone ELSE gets hurt. Matter of fact, I think their fondest wish is often that the other person get hurts real bad real quick – so that they can get back to ‘peace and quiet’ and everybody liking THEM again.

And if things start getting wooly its often them who do the dirty work and show their fangs, and the bully gets to sit back and smirk.

Wow… GREAT article! I have always believed that there are many sociopaths leading corporations and I knew sociopathy was at work when my company “downsized” because I’d seen it happen to others… I somehow never expected it would happen to me too. I actually believed that those “others” had done something wrong – something I didn’t know about – and their end was probably deserved. Boy was I wrong! I was Executive Assistant to the President of a larger Florida aluminum fence manufacturer. The President was a bit of an inigma in that he had started small and built his business from scratch, something I admired. But then as the business grew and he hired other “corporate leaders” things began to change. In fact, I came to the company in the midst of these changes. Well, I’ve always been of the mind that if you work hard and do a great job that it will be appreciated. In fact, I’d worked as an Executive Assistant for more than 15-20 years at this point and I was good, very good! I’d never gotten less than an excellent review and that was because I was always willing to go the extra 10 miles if needed and I didn’t wait to be asked, I’d volunteer when I saw a need. Well, when they lost their Human Resources Manager I was asked to do time and attendance until they replaced the manager. I readily agreed but when they found out that I was also completely familiar with payroll they gave me that too. I knew nothing about benefits and insurance but they called in the rep to teach me, they gave me workman’s comp and day-to-day dealing with employees and pretty much every function in the HR Dept in addition to my job as Executive Assistant to the President. For 6 months I carried the company on a promise that I would be rewarded. I came over the winter holidays to assure that payroll was run, I did two jobs for one salary and one would think I’d be appreciated, right? Well I wasn’t… and when they terminated me they were afraid of all the information I’d had access to. They made me sign one of those contracts with a measly severance pay and escorted me back to my office and stood there while I cleaned out my desk. In the contract I was forbidden to speak with employees or future employers about what they’d done. I felt like a criminal because they treated me that way. I don’t know what they told co-workers other than not to talk to me because obviously those closest to me stayed in touch. Just the entire production led them to believe I’d done something unscrupulous and even though “management” told them I didn’t, they knew the employees would think they were just trying to be fair to me when in fact they were doing nothing of the sort. When I walked out the doors that day I had mixed emotions – confusion about what I’d done to deserve this and also relief that I would no longer be a part of a business I could never believe in or support again. You have put a name to what I felt that day, to the people I’d been serving to the best of my ability who felt threatened by my knowledge and had zero concept of what loyalty was all about. Obviously they didn’t have any so they could not conceive of anyone being honest or loyal… that is why corporate sociopaths exist.

Whether or not you support the Occupy Wall Street movement, there can be no doubt that much of the pent up frustration and anger is a result of greedy, selfish, predatory, abusive, remorseless behavior inflicted on honest, well meaning people. I have no quarrel with anyone who defines those behaviors as sociopathic.

My personal destruction at the hands of my ex-spath wife caused me to suddenly realize for the first time in my (now relatively long) life that I have worked for numerous spaths over the course of my career. My story is similar to Jack’s — moving mountains for corporate CEO’s who exploited everyone and anyone for their own aggrandizement.

But I’ve learned a thing or two about subterfuge from my ex-spath, and cruel & abusive bosses can be successfully undermined, if done patiently and surreptitiously. Turnabout is fair play…

Stories like Mel’s should be shared widely and regularly (just as Donna’s doing with Lovefraud) in order to alert people to the very real danger we all face from so-called “leaders” — be they hedge fund managers, bankers, politicians or priests who will say or do anything to get what they want, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

It’s time to fight back and expose these frauds for who and what they are, and toss their bony arses to the curb where they belong. They will never change or give up — we victims know that — and so, neither should we. Exposing these cockroaches to the light of day is the only way to take back our lives… and our countries.

This is the reason that there are unions, associations, and of course, lawyers……..

Oh, dear…I could go on and on about the Corporate Sociopath and the corporate work environment as a whole.

Truthspeak: You said you cannot exist in a corporate environment because you won’t play the games…Bingo! Me either and that is why I got out of there! That is not me to play games and because I didn’t, I never got anywhere. I worked at a huge company and the red tape I endured for 12 years was enough for two lifetimes. I NEVER will go back to corporate. I will work in food or retail (which I hate) before I would EVER go back to a corporate environment.

Shocknawe: You said almost the exact words I said to my X spath in a letter…”leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.” I couldn’t believe it when I read your words! I wrote to him, “you left a path of destruction in your wake.” Also what you said is so true…they will say and do anything to get what they want. My X spath is at Director level of a huge, important component of that huge company. He got there I am sure by exuding his charm and by being able to manipulate people to do what he wants them to do; he’s a leader, but not such a good one. Maybe good on the surface, but evil underneath. It’s unbelievable to me.

QUOTE ANNIE: “This has always been my weak spot ”“ I don’t know why I never recognized the “I don’t want any fuss” enablers before, but for some reason I was blind to them. Lately I’ve come to see that the whole bully system would fall apart if it wasn’t for them ”“ so they are probably the most dangerous character of all. And up until recently I always bought their story, even though their true character always comes up when the sh*t hits the fan ”“ and their true character is never concerned about whether anyone ELSE gets hurt. Matter of fact, I think their fondest wish is often that the other person get hurts real bad real quick ”“ so that they can get back to ’peace and quiet’ and everybody liking THEM again.

And if things start getting wooly its often them who do the dirty work and show their fangs, and the bully gets to sit back and smirk.”

Absolutely TOWANDA!!!! RIGHT ON!!!!!

Katy,
I appreciate sociopathy being pointed out WHEREVER it is occurring, whether it is in personal, corporate or political situations.

Let’s face it, there is no place that the spaths have not or will not infiltrate. That’s why refusing to participate is so important. But you can’t refuse to participate unless you SEE the BS. Sometimes, it’s hard. Lucifer appears to be a shiny bright angel — at first.

Hey guys, Let’s not DEBATE politics here….MY opinion is that ALL politicians are high in Psychopathic traits or they wouldn’t even want to BE politicians….so if we can get along “religiously” and not put each other’s opinions down, I think we probably better leave the SPECIFICS of politics alone.

For what it’s worth…I think that we should be very careful in casting the sociopath label on politicians, just because we’re on the opposite side of their opinions. That can be very dangerous, as well as un-American, and I’d love to believe that none of us fall into that category.

We are living in very unusual times and I’m reminded of the relevant joke that Oxy quoted a few days ago, courtesy of a TSA agent she was speaking with: “Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope, and Johnny Cash. Today, we no longer have jobs, hope, or cash.” (I’m paraphrasing a bit, but I think I almost got it right, word-for-word.)

Jobs, hope and cash! Yup, that about sums it up for the vast majority of the people demonstrating peacefully in our major cities. Unfortunately, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, which has spread throughout our country and around the world, has been infiltrated by anarchists, who possess an unsavory agenda all their own. Just look at what happened in Rome last weekend. It’s downright scary what can happen when frustration and/or fear meet-up with evil intentions.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m very worried about what’s happening and the last thing we need is to assume that the politicians we don’t agree with are sociopaths and the ones we do agree with are not. Politicians and corporate executives are individuals who fall into the same categories as the rest of the population, except that the very nature of their professions significantly raises the odds of them being narcissists, if nothing else.

I’m all for peaceful demonstrations, but I’m left to wonder why there is no “Occupy Washington, DC,” since it would make sense that the people who are responsible for creating regulation and/or deregulation, as well as passing the laws, are now conveniently pointing their fingers at the very people they gave the free passes to!

Think about it…

TU! 🙂

GOT A FREAKIN FULL TIME JOB! After 8 long months of unemployment! I am going in tomorrow to do new hire paperwork and orientation starts on Monday!

Whooooohoooooo !! (((((Liz!!!)))))

I think Remy is your good luck charm. Can I babysit while you go to work?

Lizzy!!!
YEAH! Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers or some such and know that if I were there, I’D be doing it for You! CONGRATS!

The fastest and most effective way to identify a sociopath is to ask them how they felt about something. Don’t ask in regards to something they are being angry about. Sociopaths are good at saying how angry they are. Ask them about something that isn’t anger based and watch for the bewildered look on their face as they try to respond. Works every time.

Nocontact,
can you give us an example or two of a question?

Oxy: Sorry, but I was writing while you were, too. But I decided to go ahead and post my thoughts. However, I think you’re right when you all-but implied that political discussions are better off being discussed on political sites. Let’s face it: We all have enough emotional baggage to deal with without bringing the garbage of politics into our discussions, too. 😉

Thanks so much ya’ll. Sure Sky you can babysit. I actually started crying when I got off the phone with HR. It was the job that I wanted so much. This morning N next door gave me the evil eye dagger look and didn’t say hello. THERE IS NOTHING SHE CAN DO TO ME TODAY-this is a strictly no negativity zone.

I also have a situation that I am dealing with across the street that has me concerned. The sweet little gay guy across the street came up to me this morning while I was outside and told me that he is afraid of his partner. The guy is apparently a recovering drug/alcohol abuser and has quit going to his meetings and calling his sponsor. He sees a mental health professional but he is now abusing narcotics in their home. He asked me if I could talk to one of my connections in the PD about it. He wants to ask out and to ask him to leave but he is afraid for his safety and wants a police officer there when he decides to make the break. It’s so weird but the guy looks so normal and non-threatening-me thinks we have a spath over there.

The captain hasn’t called me back and I worry about him. He said that he doesn’t feel like he is in immediate danger or he would have called 911 but the partner did threaten him with bodily harm if he “did anything to him”, which I think means calling the police or trying to make him leave. I have been out on the porch a lot in case something happens and I gave him my cell number in case he needs help.

Good job Liz!!!! Bravo!!! That is great news 🙂

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