News / Opinion / Columns

Thamsanqa Mkwanazi
2 minute read
9 May 2017
4:35 pm

Workplace things that will rub you the wrong way

Thamsanqa Mkwanazi

Those in the workplace will tell you about a few things that annoy them, and I also have to add that I have my own list.

Thamsanqa Mkwanazi.

The first one for me is the use of words by managers to sugarcoat whatever agenda they are trying to push. Take the classic example of the term “lateral promotion” for instance. Take the time to dissect those two words, and you will see that it may qualify to be contradictory. How can someone be promoted laterally? Is that not like making progress backwards?

We all know that a promotion is exactly that: upward mobility to a better role within an organisation where your workload, remuneration and level increase. These days, that is not a guarantee. People receive fancy HR letters congratulating them about their “lateral move” but with no change in salary or level. Can someone explain that one to me?

I also have a problem with various hoity-toity designations that mean absolutely nothing. I have always had the view that anyone can call me whatever they want to, as well as they pay me what I deserve and I get to do my job. Whether I am a vice-president to the assistant’s assistant, I am happy with whatever title. I have colleagues who chase after titles as if their lives depended on it, but I am yet to hear of someone being satisfied with an empty and made-up title.

What do you call it when the CEO and founder of Facebook goes around the USA in a bid to visit all that country’s states? He is making it his mission to get in touch with not only the ordinary man on the street, but as well as those who have major influence in various spheres. Is it electioneering, or is he just on an extended vacation? I say nothing is a coincidence, and he is definitely looking at a career in politics.

Should you one day wake up with an urge to kiss random babies and visit total strangers, do you expect people to believe you that you are not looking for votes of some sort? English is a versatile languages, and that’s great, but it also allows those who know how to use to sweep issues under the carpet with the general public being none the wiser.

Whether this is in the corporate workplace or anywhere else, if you are campaigning for a certain position, just say so!