Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Game I Won’t Play

It’s a very old game, older than Hide-and-Seek or Peek-A-Boo. It’s not a board game or a card game even though it is played indoors for the most part. Yet, even inside it’s one of the most violent games known to man and makes World of Warcraft look like a sissy’s game. Still, physical blood is rarely ever shed. Now, emotional and mental wounds are too painful and numerous to count. It’s a brutal game full of intrigue, back stabbing, lies and betrayal. Friends don’t matter. Family doesn’t matter. When the game begins it sucks almost anyone in. However, it’s also a game I refuse to play.

As much as I hate sports, I’ll still play a game of flag football or a pick-up game of basketball. At times I’ve even been known to play some volleyball at the beach. I’ve even tried golf once and if they ever allow me back on the course I might try it again.

However, I cannot stomach the game of politics and I flat out refuse to play. Oh, people have tried to force me to play, attempting to drag me into their conniving manipulations. It’s happened within companies I’ve worked for as one manager has tried to pit me against another so that he’ll have more followers in his camp than his competition. It’s even happened in churches as one pastor went after another and each tried to convince me they were justified in their backstabbing or as one deacon I knew went around sowing the seeds of discontent because he didn’t care for his pastor instead of just packing up his self-righteousness and attending another church. Sadly, it’s even happened within the family as some need to feel superior to others and don’t wish to share a parent’s love and affection. Still, I will not yield. I’m not playing.

The game of politics begins in the school yard. It starts as circles of friends are being gathered and people fight to be in the popular, inner circle. It doesn’t matter if you hurt an innocent kid’s feelings on the way up. You scratch and claw to be accepted. Most kids are so scared that in order to feel more powerful they have to make someone else feel weaker. If you want to be accepted you have to play the game and choose your friends while abusing your enemies.

It doesn’t end at graduation, either. I’ve watched as friends have tried to claw their way to the top of their little group only to shove others out of the way. They don’t share; they compete, and friends should never compete with each other for the attention of other friends.

It’s not just the students, either. The entire Teacher’s Pet syndrome is all about the child who sweet talked the teacher the best. It doesn’t help the child in school and it truly hinders him in his adult life. It does, however, prepare them to play it in the business world.

Company politics is why I have a job and not a career, because I refuse to play the mind numbing, reputation bashing game. The only thing ass kissing does is give you bad breath. It should not be necessary. I want to be promoted and appreciated based on my job performance, not how far up my boss’s ass I can cram my nose. If the boss needs his ego stroked that badly, then I suggest he buys a dog that will wag his tail at every asinine overture he makes. Really, that’s all they want, someone to laugh at their not funny jokes and think them wise and superior. I would much rather be passed over constantly than lose my dignity in such a manner. No job is worth it.

I don’t allow anyone – jobs, churches, family, or even friends – tell me who to be friends with. Those who think they can dictate such things soon find I’m no longer hanging around them, instead. A CEO will never dictate how I live my life, where I go or what I do. Once I punch out at the end of the day, my time is mine to do with as I please with whoever I please. I don’t want to be pressured by their personal beliefs or their sense of right and wrong.

I’ve seen it happen to the girls. The companies have tried to control who they interact with on social media sites even if they had been friends with the person long before the company hired them or promoted them. Furthermore, I’ve watched as one employer tried to enforce his weekend activities upon his employees, because he felt he had the better choices. Once he was told that she already had plans that boss exploded into a childish rant resorting to belittling comments and name calling.

What faith they are, what political party they belong to, or their prejudices mean nothing to me and mine should mean nothing to them. I’m not there to cavort or convert. I’m there to work, that’s it. Furthermore, that’s all they should be there for as well. If they want to invite me to something, that’s fine, but never demand.

The really sad part, however, is that it works. Those who have climbed the ladder like to be stroked and idolized and they will always find people who will pawn over them for scraps tossed from the top. It’s amazing how far a little ass kissing will get someone in life and none of it is even remotely genuine. Furthermore, there are those who don’t care about tearing others down in order to get ahead. Friends, family, innocent bystanders, it doesn’t matter. The object is to win the game, no matter the cost. I simply find the cost too high. The game has too high of a casualty rate for my tastes, and therefore, I’m not playing.


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