Monday, January 26, 2009


Ever notice how life can mimic the show ‘Survivor’? Especially in a work environment? It has always been somewhat like that, but nothing like it is today. I can tell you that because I’ve been alive for a long time. Not that we’re all hanging around half-naked on a tropical island, but that everybody has learned how personally beneficial it becomes to form alliances, even with people they don’t like, or have anything in common with. Even with those they intensely dislike. Alliances are usually formed for the purpose of self-protection, to get ahead, or to solidify a position of prominence, even at the expense of one’s own authenticity. Everybody is just part of the game, part of the charade, to be used for personal advancement.
People using people. Hey, it’s a beautiful thing.

I wonder sometimes if politicians learned their fraudulent practices from watching Survivor, or if the contestants on Survivor learned their methods of deceit from watching politicians. Doesn’t matter.

I think we’ve all noticed how quickly some people become ‘best friends’ with other people, how some court those they find useful to their own purpose, or ambition, but not necessarily those who aren’t. I don’t mean to be terribly, and obnoxiously, insightful, but it’s not too difficult to tell who among one’s daily acquaintances are faithful consumers of the television show. Just watch the way they play the game of life. You see it at work, at social gatherings, in politics, at volunteer events even. The television show is about strategy, but it is ultimately about getting what one wants, and doing so without announcing one’s intention. After all, that would be honest, that would be transparent. It would not fit the model of underhandedness that Survivor is based on. The show is about appearing to be transparent while actually being opaque. It is about duplicity, and it is about deceit. It is about kissing the ass of those deemed to be useful to you as a player, but it is also about keeping your lips stuck on their ass without them knowing that you’re kissing it, or the ass of everybody else as well. Takes a special skill to pull that off, but I’ve noticed that an increasing number of people have become quite proficient at the practice, particularly those lacking the courage, the self-confidence, or the motivation, to accomplish anything on their own. They will always find someone else’s rear-end to ride.

In the workplace, the best players are ultimately able to define the environment. They make the rules, survive the longest, and are able to dismiss the compromise of their character with a denial of their own participation in the game.
You know what I’m talking about.
Just take a look around.

I’d hate to work in a place like that!

Those who choose not to play that game are, of course destined not to last. They’ll lose their jobs, or leave their jobs. But at least they’ll leave with their dignity, and their integrity, intact.

They are the true survivors.
Alliances be damned.