While queued in line to pay for groceries yesterday, I couldn’t help but hear a father lecture his pre-teen son. Apparently, the boy had experienced some sort of run-in regarding theft among his group of friends. The boy mentioned that he didn’t trust a recent new acquaintance who recently became part of his circle of pals. The dad said something to the effect of this: When a bad person associates with a group of good people, the group becomes corrupt.

The conversation reminded me of an occasion when this happened to my circle of work colleagues several years ago. We were basically an average collection of coworkers who meshed very well together as a company team. We all had each others’ backs. A newly hired young woman was assigned to our work group. In apparent attempts to prove her value and worth to the company, she boasted about her educational achievements, her status at her previous job, and that she wished to be an irreplaceable asset to our company.

She attempted to claim sole credit for a documentary about domestic violence our entire group had researched, wrote, and produced. This was accomplished through attention grabbing. Flattery and insults were other techniques in her blatant take-over and domination of the team dynamic. Naturally, this created plenty of discord and infighting within our group.

The scenario came to a head when another group member accused the newcomer of plagiarizing his work. During the next several days, a few of us noticed that our other work had been sabotaged. There were also several pranks pulled on staffers who had become the newcomer’s adversaries. Our group had become very toxic with the discord spilling over into the general office culture of the radio station.

One day, the program director and the office manager finally stepped in to assess the problems. They evaluated the situation. They suspected that the newcomer was committing “workplace misbehavior”. The p.d. and the office manager reported their suspicions to the general manager. The rest of us learned that the newcomer had been placed on probation and was given a chance to redeem herself in the company.

The young woman seemed to accept the general manager’s verdict and did not cause any apparent overt friction. What we didn’t know until later, is that she had become more secretive about her sabotage and dirty tricks. Furthermore, she attempted to frame one of our team members regarding the theft of a pair of the company’s newly purchased loudspeakers. When her continued misbehavior and probable larceny came to light, the young woman was fired and criminal charges were filed against her.

It took several months for our work group to recoup some of our comradery and reestablish a level of mutual trust. In the end, the group dynamics had changed. It took over a year for our team to fully recover from the newcomer’s assault. Even so, the group dynamic was never the same again. The young woman had not been compatible with not only our work group, but with the company as a whole.

The excellence and esprit de corps of the team had been diminished by the young woman’s deceit and heedless misbehavior. Thankfully, we did manage to slowly come together again as a friendly team. Management also learned an important lesson about incompatibility.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes author and poet, Lamine Pearlheart. “We choose people based on perceived outward good looks, but we reject them based on their confirmed inner ugliness.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Friendship, Meanderings, philosophy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Incompatible

  1. She was the co-worker from Hell! One rotten apple can spoil the barrel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.