1299 Get Out.

In a relationship with someone like Thomas there inevitably comes a point when you have to decide if you trust them or not. It can be so difficult to tell where your place in their machinations is that you simply have to decide if they have your best interests at heart or not. It’s also difficult to get an accurate read on them. The best way to decide what to do, if you can’t parse out any other aspect of their personality, is to find out exactly what their goals are. If said goals align with your goals you can sit back and contribute as much as you like. If not you need to be very careful not to come into conflict with the known goals. Leave them to their own devices and have as little to do with them as possible.

If the person in question is evil try not to know anything about their activities. If you find something out about their activities tell someone who is unconnected to your situation, so you don’t risk them getting wind of what you know. Once you discover nefarious activities, unless you want to risk implication, you need to find someone who can help you shut them down. A manager is not always the best person to go to in that situation. Contacting loss prevention directly is, generally, the better way to go. If your store manager is evil things can go very bad very quickly. If you don’t act fast in a theft ring situation you can very easily get swept out with them, or worse, implicated and incarcerated. Vigilance is key. If you get ahead of them you can end up as the last person standing, which affords you many opportunities when the rebuilding starts.

Thomas is unique in that his goal is not to advance. He wants to stay where he is good at what he does, doesn’t have to exert undue effort, and eventually be fired for taking on more than he can handle. His self estimation is probably lower than his capability, but he likes being a big fish in a little pond.

For those of you interested, I hope to have this month’s chapter of the fantasy story up on Sunday or Monday, for patrons. I’m not going to promise it, since this is homecoming week and I have no idea what exactly that will cause in the Teen’s world. Hopefully no more drama than I am already accustomed to.

21 Comments

luckily (or unfortunately?) I haven’t met anyone quite like thomas. I’ve seen some people with some aspects of him, but not quite the way he is

This is why Thomas will never have to worry about his job security.

Well you know, apart from the retail industry shrinking to eventual oblivion. Not true oblivion of course, more that the current species are undergoing severe environmental stress; the niche they evolved in has disappeared, and they must evolve, OR DIE MUWAHAHAHAHAHA. Alas, evolution is not an intelligent process, and we probably won’t end up with anything significantly better.

The real trick to dealing with someone like Thomas is hard, cold cynicism. Classic Diogenistic style Cynicism (like the capitalized variety you occasionally hear about if you ever talk philosophy. The basic tenet is that Society is inherently corrupt. In fact, Thomas’ actions here exemplify that here. He acknowledges that he is manipulating people to his own ends (re: being a part of society). In response, Ed needs to realize that he is doing the same thing. So long as they both get what they want out of the corrupted interaction, does it really matter who is manipulating whom? Especially since they are both doing it anyway (although one more consciously than the other…)

My first pass through College I Majored in Psychology. I didn’t finish the full course, but six or eight classes gave me a pretty good understanding of how the Human Mind works. Over twelve years of Contract Security I dealt with a constant stream of Humanity, from my coworkers and the Client’s employees to visitors and the street bums who huddled around some of the facilities I worked at. After a while, I realized I could practice one discipline in the performance of the other, and I qualified for my Masters in Mindfuck (Minor in Manipulation).

Let me tell you, though, for me, it’s rather demanding on ones psyche. Manipulating people at opportune moments can be easy, but doing it consistently and well is draining. A few people caught on, and Ed’s reaction here is dead on the money. If Thomas can keep this up for extended periods, my hat’s off to him!

Ah – homecoming. Be sure to fill us in on how it goes for the teen. This can either be a great, fun experience of inclusion and engaging in fun frivolity, or a rotten experience of rejection and exclusion. For her sake, I hope for the former. Just encourage her to not give any substance to the cliche’ of “off like a prom dress” – and maintain her dignity and self respect. She needs to be her own person and not bow to perceived expectations of others just to fit in.

Of course the big problem occurs when the person doing the theft is the head of loss prevention (true story, my partner found this while working for auditing at a major department store). Theft only occurred when the store manager was out of the building (vacation or some store manager’s meeting). It all stopped when the head of loss prevention left his job.

The Peter Principle: People rise to the level of their incompetence.
The Thomas Principle: One stops below their level of competence and manipulates their colleagues unmercifully ( or rather mercifully as the case may be) at their leisure.
In addition, as Ed is undoubtedly aware, being aware that you’re under the influence of mind altering substances (or people) does not necessarily mitigate the effect of said mind altering substances (or people). I learned this from the X Files. And I’m sure I’m remembering that clearly. I’m sure I am………….

I disagree entirely. In the instances you described, especially if they’re evil, you push when they pull and pull when they push. You be the sledgehammer to their kneecap during their Machiavellian waltz. For two reasons:
1) Never play politics or allow it to be played. It is inherently destructive to everything, every-time. Trust no one who plays politics, ever. Because you aren’t people to them. You can’t be.

2) “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke) –Admittedly applies more in your evil manipulator example than you’re good one.

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