1842 Ground Down.

I’ve always had a really hard time taking shit with a smile, & I truly detest taking the blame for someone else. In any company that has a hierarchical structure you’re going to get this sort of thing. So pretty much every business, government, ect, comes down to the powerfully inept blaming the lower person on the ladder for their mistakes. Of course this is hardly an epiphany. Understanding the value of being able to withstand that kind of bullshit though… That’s another matter.


Welcome to retail taking shit with a smile is the main part of the job.

Customers is pretty much par for the course. Some are detestable dickbags, but you can deal with them without getting down on your knees for them.

It’s when shit goes wrong from within that is the problem. Especially when poor decision makers make poor decisions and expect things to turn out the way their imaginations see it. And point the finger at random when it inevitably does not work, but do not have any sort of contingency plan, so the decision sticks like gum under the desk.

The art of taking crap from management starts with understanding that blame doesn’t necessarily equal fault. Being scapegoat was a big part of my job for many years. It kept management happy, and helped protect the rest of the crew. And if your competence is sufficient, your job should be reasonably secure.

Just because a bird flies overhead, doesn’t mean you need to let it nest in your hair — Martin Luther

Can confirm this shit also happens in academia — someday I’m going to have to let go of the cold burning rage about certain episodes before it finishes eating me …

I never quite figured out letting go, but distilling it into high-yield fuel and burning it during a workout for energy to keep going has always worked well for me.

I’m amazed this hierarchical stuff works at all. I can see that you have to abstract to higher ‘levels’ to keep all the information manageable (no pun), but that this is a more important job than getting the work done at the more detailed level is questionable, and typically requires a less skills. Management jobs should rotate, not pay any better, and have ‘downward mobility’.

Humans are pack hunters. We crave precise placement in the pack hierarchy at a subconscious level, and (almost) all of our institutions reflect this fact.

The thing that Thomas says, in panel 3, is that from a poem, or something?

The secret to “taking shit with a smile to keep the boss happy” is so simple, I’m surprised it took me so many years to learn it. Just stop giving a shit about your job. Once you realize that no matter how diligently you work, it will not affect the world at all, and decide to just smile and do without question whatever dumb shit your boss wants done, life gets so much easier. Oh, and document everything, and keep backup copies to CYA,

Not all companies are like that. Some promote via the Peter Principal (which works in some instances and not at all in others), and there are those more successful companies that see a need, fill a need with a person who actually FILLS THE NEED.

IT is such a weird place in the way things work in the world. If you are not in a support role, chances are you are creating something. And they rarely get rid of creators, so if you create, no matter how shitty your creations are, you usually have a fairly safe job. The support side is where this slips somewhat. Since the support side is both fortunate and unfortunate to deal with clients directly, they often get blamed by the clients for the problems. Since support’s job is to 1) cushion the creators from the relentless cries of the customer, and 2) help implement the fix or workaround for the customer, given to them by the creators. Half the time, clients are reasonable about it. They understand how production works, with some exceptions. First being that flawed software and/or networks will be fixed soon, and the second being that the company tried its hardest to test out the flaws before it went to production.

The real fun (or anti-fun, since I’m being sarcastic) comes when the client knows your company is bullshitting about testing or the problem. And they know that support knows it too. Since you must empathize without admitting fault or naming names, you come off sounding patronizing. Most clients utterly detest someone sounding patronizing to them. They aren’t children – they just want the upfront truth. And this is where a company gets their good or bad reputation. How does support handle it? How do they communicate issues between client and programmer/creator?

The keyword is communication.

As for asshats in power – they are everywhere. They get there because their friends got in and opened the door for them. That’s 90% of the problem. Power is only granted by the powerful to those they trust, and who do they trust better than their buddies? Nobody. So the rest of the hierarchy bumbles along behind them, because … it’s a job, and you need money? I guess?

My advice would be you divide your SOCIAL life with your WORK life. Erect a wall between the two. You do not bring SOCIAL problems to work, and you do not take WORK problems home. I operated that way for many years when I was lower than a manager, and now it’s doubly so in the halls of Management. When I walk out that door, unless I’m on-call or I have an emergency situation, I am not answering the phone for work. Same goes for when I walk in that door. Unless it’s an emergency or I know something bad is happening at home that I need to monitor, I don’t socialize with my friends and family. I sometimes have to remind my significant other that I cannot stop and Snapchat for two hours because I’m being entrusted to work and I get paid for that work. I get healthcare through my work. I get retirement through my work. So I must focus on work.

I see so many who run into the problem that they can’t socialize or interact with friends or family during their work hours. If it’s an emergency, that’s one thing. But to faff about at work because you’re “bored” or your girlfriend is lonely … that’s unacceptable. Either do what I hired you to do within the accepted boundaries you agreed to when you signed the paperwork, or go find another job. It goes for management as well – either do the work, or get bent. And don’t ask for the impossible.

The fortunate side of support is that when something works well and the client is utterly thrilled, they thank you for it. They don’t know how to thank people past you, so they just send your boss the email about what a great job you did helping them fix their crippling code issue (you just dispensed the patch). You get the accolades and the first-hand smiles.

The creators/programmers get awards based on productivity and sales, and not so much the praise of the client. You trade one off for the other.

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