A job's need to project success through you is a clear sign of its self-loathing being externalized. In extreme cases, jobs may even tell you to lose weight through wellness programs. Don't become a pawn in a company's battle with its own identity.
It Flirts With Other Job Applicants Right In Front Of You
Yes, it actually happens: Your employer meets another potential employee and interviews them right there in front of you. You may be standing there, with your mouth agape watching them carry on like you don't even exist. Or they may even have the gall to ask you to join in on the interview.
While open office plans work for some, they require careful communication between all parties involved: You are all put in a more vulnerable position with everything hanging out for everyone to see. The last thing that anyone wants is to be surprised by a new candidate in the office. When this happens, it is understandable for you to feel uncomfortable and is not something you need to "loosen up" about.
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"Hey, Claire. I'd like to introduce you to Better Claire."
This behavior is not a loving invitation for a new person to join the team. It is a power move. It sends a message that you are replaceable, whereas your job is desirable enough to be filled by a multitude of other staffers. Employment should be a mutually enriching experience where both parties grow together, not a competition about who can get staffed and who can get filled.
If these behaviors sound familiar, you may be in a job that suffers from narcissism, low self-esteem, or full-blown personnelity disorder. Should you find yourself in a string of abusive jobs, you may consider spending some time just working for yourself. The most important employment contract you'll ever have is the one you negotiate with yourself.
"FUCK YOU, I AM BEST CLAIRE!"
We all deserve jobs that value us for our true selves, jobs that don't try to control us or make us more "productive" than we naturally are. Unfortunately, those jobs have all been taken by someone younger and more employable than we are. The best we can do is try not to repeat the dysfunction of our old jobs and create a better workplace for our future direct reports (if you decide to one day have direct reports).
Aaron Kheifets is an occasionally mustachioed comedian, writer, and director. You are allowed to follow him on Twitter, watch his videos, and look at his website.
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