Smear Him, He’ll never hear it.
He won’t even know it happened.
You see, I prefer to maneuver behind the scenes. I spend my days working with people from every level and department. I’ve been here for years; everyone knows me. I’ve fought for their interests and bought their children’s popcorn. They like me. They trust me. And they tell me everything. Nothing is private here. This place is crawling with snitches. They play both sides – and they’re usually the people you’d least suspect.
I only need to make one call to scuttle my turncoat’s lateral move. I can make an offhand remark that frames how leadership views him going forward. And I can tar him with the most loaded word in the corporate lexicon: Whistleblower. So let him vilify me to his peers. I just smile as I imagine that lump forming in his throat when he writes my name down under “Supervisor” on a job application. Yeah, he probably forgot that I’m a pillar in our industry and community. They all know who I am – and they like me too.
I fondly refer to this as my M&M strategy: Malign and Marginalize. You see, management is a fraternal order; we keep each other’s secrets. So just let him try taking shots at me. My peers will brand him as weak and a complainer before blacklisting him. Then, they’ll pity me for being saddled with someone like him. That’s the unwritten rule of corporate life: If you defend yourself, you’re just being defensive. The rules applied to me are much different than those governing him. And these double standards serve me well.
Shocked? Don’t be. You’re no saint. Under pressure, you’d act the same way.
Written by Jeff Schmitt