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Blind Ambition Must be a Thing of the Past

February 27th 2008 22:08
Every workplace has one. Their curriculum vitas undoubtedly read that they are ‘ambitious’ yet a ‘team player’, though they are only the former. They usually hide behind a façade of niceties and smiles. They may even profess to be your friend. Hell, it may even be you and you haven’t even noticed.

You may know them as Tim from accounts, Susan from HR or Isaac from sales. I know them as the company ‘jobsworth’.

The English term derives from the phrase, ‘It’s more than my job’s worth,’ which would be uttered in response to a request to do something that might be outside the realm of their job description and something they might get in trouble for. However, over the years it has taken on a more general meaning and now describes that person at work who is all about the company, the rules, the regulations, but more than any of that, the self promotion.

I despise these people, these throw backs to the 1980’s when stepping on others to get ahead in life wasn’t only tolerated but actively encouraged by the capitalist governments of the day. These people would be hung, drawn and quartered if I had my way.

I have nothing at all against hard work and reward or even the ambition it takes to reach the upper echelons of your chosen profession, but must it always be at the expense of others? Can we not just prove our worth in our own roles without pointing out the apparent shortcomings of our co-workers?

They will tediously argue that rules are there for a reason and an hour’s lunch break doesn’t mean an hour and ten minutes. What they mean is I have no friends with which to share my lunch, half an hour would be enough for me, so if you take even one minute more than you’re supposed, I’m going to snitch. They will tell you that a well-oiled machine runs on hard work, dedication and punctuality. What they actually mean is I have no life and am here at the crack of dawn, I stay late and I really don’t like the idea of you having a life outside this place so I’ll make it my job to let the boss know every time you leave five minutes early.

Fortunately we live in a time when these hall monitors are held back by their own ambition. You see, Like Mr. McCarthy, my primary school head teacher, used to say, ‘Nobody likes a tell tale,’ and even the people having their arses kissed are becoming uncomfortable with the transparency of these company kiss arses. So the tables have turned. You have to now be likable, sociable and respected to make it in the companies that matter.

Let this be a warning to school prefects all over the world - blind ambition doesn’t always equal success but it does equal eating lunch alone.

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4 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Cibbuano

February 28th 2008 02:01
unfortunately, our culture supports that behaviour...

Comment by Wooderbeen

February 28th 2008 02:27
I agree that people are still trying to step on others on their way to the top, but I believe everyone in general has become more savvy to the tactic. It seems much more obvious and transparent than it used to.

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