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Toxic Collective - Image
Toxic Collective - Image

Video: Toxic Collective - Image

Video: Toxic Collective - Image
Video: Derek-cosplayed-as-the-toxic-avenger-at-collective-con-jacksonville-2016 2023, March

“We spend more time with the team than with the family, so it is still unknown who is closer to us - colleagues or relatives,” my friend once joked. Curiously, there is a lot of truth in this joke. In these days of weak family ties, employees are often the only available social circle. They share their soreness with colleagues, ask for advice and help, celebrate with them, go to dachas and visit, discuss news.

Bloodline employees

It is great to work in a friendly, well-coordinated team, where not only tasks are solved quickly and efficiently, but also warm relations. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky and not always, there are also toxic teams, work in which affects the psyche as destructively as life in a toxic family. How do you recognize them?

The first thing that should alert the applicant is the insistent emphasis on "nepotism"

“We are one big family of such-and-such firm!”, “We are not just sitting in the same office for eight hours with a lunch break, we are more than just colleagues”, “we treat our subordinates like relatives” - all these at first glance, beautiful phrases in their best version (I emphasize - at their best!) can mean that the management will ignore elementary business ethics and work discipline (all these "we are our people - we will count"), and at worst, it can be done through a year to find yourself working for three with overtime and overnight stays at work for a penny and even without oral thanks, because "we picked you up, gave you a chance, took you into our big family - and you?"

Yes, at first the “collective-family” fascinates. Everyone carries homemade pies and jams to work, the bosses demand that they be called strictly in "you" and by name without any patronymics, there is no dress code, they do not reprimand for being late and you can always take time off. Work and rejoice.

But when it comes to salaries (and yet most people work for the sake of providing for themselves and their families, and not for the sake of office teas and sincere conversations), and it turns out that subordinates must get into the position of employers and be patient. "Now money is tight, new projects are being started, but we are a family - we will count!" Problems also arise with the definition of official duties - in a team-family, everyone does everything, they regularly stay or go out to work on weekends, of course, without paying overtime and allowances, since “you don’t demand that household members pay you extra for washing dishes? You don’t count in the family, who did and how much today?”

It is very bad when management or colleagues begin to demonstrate the usual behavior in domestic families:

  • rudely ignore personal boundaries
  • put pressure on self-esteem,
  • show passive aggression,
  • choose a "black sheep" from the collective for general persecution,
  • to arrange public scandals and to manipulate feelings of guilt.

Leaving such a team is also not so easy - to keep the right employee, everything is used, from tearful pleas ("Are you really leaving us now, in the midst of a project / in such difficult times / when everything depends on you?") To threats ("But who will need you? We accepted you, gave you experience - and you run? Do you think someone is waiting for you? We will not take you back!"). If a person nevertheless breaks out of the close embrace of a family collective, then most often with the loss of unpaid money and complete exhaustion after overwork.

For a common cause

Finding yourself in a team - a “toxic family” - is not the only risk for an employee. You also need to be wary if you are lured by the "high mission" of your future job and they talk more not about official duties and labor guarantees, but about what a bright promising future awaits you all. You only need three months to get a job placement for free ("we give you a chance to learn new things and try yourself"), and then there will be money, which is not yet clear, the main thing is that the prospects are brilliant.

Employers from this category love moralizing reasoning: “We don’t need soulless robots who came at 9.00, left at 18.00, received a salary, and that’s all”, “we need people who will burn in their hearts for our common cause!”, “We don’t we pay people a salary - we give a person the opportunity to earn money with us”, and, of course,“a real professional must first of all think about what new things he can learn with us”.

The stronger the collective rationing of a person, the deeper his individual immorality

Carl Jung

If you hear this at an interview, it is better to consider another employment option, because beautiful and emotional speeches about new projects, prospects and Common Cause often hide the desire to exploit employees to the fullest, paying for this exploitation on a leftover basis.

When an employee then dares to give a hint about this Common Cause to employers (for example, with a demand to pay for labor or somehow compensate for the efforts), he will hear a beautiful and emotional speech that this is not a Common Cause, but a very personal one that the founders have invested everyone risked everything, and now some who have come to everything ready and receive a salary are also trying to eat a piece. Leaving (most likely, after an ugly scandal) from such a company with a “high mission”, an employee may find himself not only sagging in finances, but also having lost his ideas, projects and established connections.

Total control

Most often seen in small teams or in new projects. But working “in a large and stable company” is also not without risks. The applicant should pay attention to the following point: is there a “staff turnover” in the company. If, with all the promised stable salaries, bonuses, bonuses and guarantees, for some reason your predecessor ran away in less than six months (and he is not alone), then either the guarantees are not so ironic, or for everything promised you will have to work hard, in such conditions that no money is needed.

Irregular schedule, sanctions for sick leave, time off and vacations, a system of fines for any awkward movement are common occurrences in large companies

Not everyone will be comfortable working in conditions where, sorry, even going to the toilet is monitored through the access system, and there is a surveillance camera in every corner.

It is not uncommon in large companies to inform and deliberately instill an atmosphere of general mistrust and fragmentation, or, on the contrary, endless team building and emotional pumping of the team - in short, everything that allows people to control.

Of course, the lack of clear signs of an unhealthy work relationship is not a guarantee of your excellent career with the company. But still, there will be more chances where, instead of empty words and loud slogans, labor legislation is clearly observed.

Expert opinion

Corporate for Cinderella

Olga DYACHUK, psychologist
Olga DYACHUK, psychologist

Recently, many people associate December not with the smell of tangerines and a Christmas tree, but with New Year's corporate parties. But this new form of organizing office leisure can easily become stressful. Especially in a toxic group. Especially in women, where the slightest mistake is punishable. Often, in anticipation of the holiday, our "princess" part, like a New Year tree, hangs on the future "toys" - their own expectations, including the obligatory prince. Which in the heat of the holiday can be both the boss and the courier.

Be careful! You are not Cinderella, you are Tanya from the client department or Masha from the accounting department, and he is not a prince, but your colleague! Want to ruin your holiday? Forward. Remember what happens in the fairy tale? The carriage is a pumpkin, the dress is rags … and further on according to the script.

There are some simple rules on how not to spoil your reputation. Remember that the work collective is not a family, not close people, not school friends. Corporate parties end, but incriminating photos remain. And most importantly: no expectations - no disappointments.



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