Workplace Toxicity and Its Normalcy
Have you been conditioned?
Have you found yourself enduring any sort of toxic relationship in your adult life? Try looking inwards for the answers. Since most of your adult life is spent at work, how do you survive toxicity at work? How do you come out top of your game?
For many millennials, toxic whirlpools were first formed at home and evolved from that point on. The faces and names changed but not the game. You may have heard the stories. Some people are quite familiar with being ‘respectfully’ silent in the presence of a parent. Or ‘disappearing’ from the sitting room when daddy came back from work. Or not having an identity, much less a voice at the place you called home. All of these happened because it was the respectful thing to do. We would later find that this same ‘respect’ culture transcended to relationships with teachers, care givers at school, and eventually every symbol of authority. Somehow, the tradition cascaded beyond generation X. The next generations, Y and Z have also inherited this norm.
It is safe to assume that this passive relationship with verbal, emotional and psychological abuse transcended to relationships with ‘bosses’ at work. More recently, you may have heard the ugly stories from your friends, family and peers. Bosses daily raining curses and/or insults on employees, regularly threatening to fire employees for no proven cause, delaying salaries while taking out money from the business to fund luxury trips and treats.
It is deplorable, no question about it. After all of our exposure and modernization, are there no fair methods that can be adopted or borrowed to allow some sanity into the mix? Our society is so conditioned that abusive and toxic workplaces and bosses are as normal as Lagos traffic.
Conditioning versus Complacency
Is this toxicity a contributory factor to prevalent health issues of many young people? What does coping with abuse for the most part of your life do for your physical and mental health? How about your self-esteem? And if you happen to be the one to speak up against what is apparently misguided and certainly unlawful, you become a leper. Suddenly, something must be wrong with you.
Well, if we do not begin to demand fair treatment at work, just like good governance, it will continue to be elusive, a mirage. Arguably, every worker has the personal responsibility to speak up for themselves in pursuing their rights to be treated fairly. At the same time, there exists a system to protect all rights and maintain a balance. This particular scale is unbalanced, however.
In our maintaining the culture of subservience, have we unknowingly allowed toxic parenting pave the way for workplace/boss bullying?