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Search - "workplace dominance"
Two places: At a major NYC firm, I was in charge of social media. I was also involved with an intranet community. Something went bad with the intranet community project politics and I got blamed for it even though I had emails to prove I hadn't said/done what I was accused of. But to assert their dominance, my bosses called me to their office, sat me in literally a corner of the room, and interrogated me for 2 hours. The only thing missing was the bright light in my eyes and the "good cop" part of the routine. I'm ashamed to say they "broke" me and I just gave up and did what they told me to do to "fix" it even though I hadn't done anything wrong. The bosses were old enough to be my parents, so I wonder how much of that worked its way into the psychology of it all.
The second toxic workplace was where each month the boss would come from his home by the beach to tell us plebes what new ideas he wanted us to work on. We would just get done reporting on the results of his delusions of grandeur from the month prior and he'd pull the rug out and start us on some new thing. Never got any consistent traction on anything. He was the ultimate seagull manager: fly in, make a lot of noise, poop all over everything, and leave us cleaning up the mess. Oh, and we had to change the locks because we had to fire a customer service guy who was a little bit on the ragey side of things. Because of high turnover, I had seniority within 4 months of starting there.1
The one week guide to asserting workplace dominance as a software engineer.