The tension is unbearably thick. Accusing eyes scan the room. The boss – the conductor to this orchestra, basques in the awkward silence he has created by his mere presence in the room. He smiles smugly and takes a sip of his steamy beverage.
Nothing goes ahead without him and he knows it.
Decided on his approach, he throws his cards on the table. Cutting through the silence with his bladed tongue, slowly, he begins the sadistic routine of going around the room; picking out each victim one by one, secretly assessing their reaction to his quick fire round of multiple questions. Of course each question is loaded with cruel intention.
Watch out for when he asks for your opinions and your input.
It always starts with a “So, How are you finding things so far?”
This is a test.
Unfortunately, he already knows the answers, but the true revelation comes the moment you realise this test isn’t even for you. It comes the moment you understand you are just a mere pawn in the game of his office politics.
You see, the boss knows you have no clue to his line of questioning. So before you rack your brain desperately trying to conjure up a smart answer, admit your defeat.
Who he really wants to identify is the unappointed shotcaller when he’s not around – observing from the sidelines, waiting for the opportunity to jump in with the answers you don’t have.
The moment they jump in, falling for the trap, he has revealed his cards.
We all know this is no way to play poker.
The quiet new bloods in the corner sink into their seats, already defeated, for the purpose of the inevitable – they just don’t stand a chance!
Welcome to the ‘The office meeting’ – the moment of the day you walk out of a claustrophobic room populated by your coworkers with a feeling of complete delirium, wondering, what the fuck just happened!
Prepare to be humoured by an awkward exchange of words between people whose dry banter would otherwise drain you.
Put on your game face ready for the back and forth power play between seniors. Listen out for the sly insults hidden behind a transparent curtain of sarcasm and gritted teeth. Watch your coworkers as they nod enthusiastically at nonsensical task delegations, from the dictator at the top end of the table.
Meanwhile, you spend most of the time watching a ping pong match of opinions flying from end to end of the grandiose table in a little room, nodding every so often to show you are awake and interested. The whole time you think to yourself, “My job could have been executed perfectly without this information”. Yet you don’t share this opinion, you in fact choose to appease your seniors by smiling in their direction.
Sitting silently, awaiting your gloomy fate of impossible deadlines and targets for the week, you stay quiet and for a moment, your invisible………well, until he sees you.
Deep down, you hate him almost passionately.
You take very shallow breathes.
Admit it, you’ve been tricked. Tricked into attending a time wasting bartering exchange between your seniors, purely for the entertainment of your boss.
The meeting is also the godforsaken part of the day when the guy with the massive ego who likes the sound of his own voice, pipes up for a prolonged speech about………….well, himself. This is also the guy that will ask extra questions to ensure the director smells his not so hidden desires. The self appointed shotcaller at the table waving his cards around. Yes, that prick!
The boss humours him for a while, until he becomes sick of him, then he moves on to his next minion.
The office snitch – who walks pitifully into the arena, head sunken, no eye contact. Aged by years of undermining and empty promises of a promotion that never came.
Gosh I almost feel sorry for the lad as he sits quietly next to the boss.
He’s almost a teachers pet, but rather than being eaten alive, he’s sadly used as an ‘office informant’. The snitch. The one who informs the dictator whose late, under performing or getting divorced.
Yep, don’t feel sorry for him.
Understand that the great white sharks of the office and their evil minions awaiting to catch you alone in the sea, so they can pounce and feast on your blood, all boils down to what happens in that meeting.
What role did you play?
I’ve come to the conclusion that nobody is safe here, so put your best poker face on and be ready to reveal your hand.