Surviving a Hostile Work Environment

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I have come to the harsh realization that it doesn’t matter how well you do your job, how efficient you are or how well you get along with others, there is always some butthole striving to make your work environment unpleasant. There is no reasoning, there is no understanding, and there is only their single minded goal to bully you, until you either quit or they get you fired. These small minded people are unhappy with themselves and their inability to achieve the success they believe themselves to be capable of and have fallen short of the lofty goal of supreme leaders of their made up universes.  It has become torture for them that you are you, and you are happy and people like you.  No one likes them and they are only tolerated by their co-workers.

Then the unthinkable occurs. Everyone likes you.  Your coworkers want to be around you, and the Pariah want to know what is, that is so cool about you, Unassuming Employee Number #325.  You are approached by the office Pariah and unknowingly, you looked at them sideways or took three seconds too long to respond, and now you, yes you, number #325 have made their list!

It starts slowly at first.  Little comments are made left and right of you, then blatant comments about you and questions to your co-workers.  It now becomes malicious and they start to pick with your work and access to needed materials. Later you find the office Pariah has gone to Human Resources to file a complaint on you that, stating, “She is a bully, and I feel unsafe.”  It doesn’t matter that the Pariah is a man with a small set of cajones, and you are a woman, they feel threatened and that is all that matters.

You don’t have to take it, because the legal term is creating a hostile work environment.  This person is a bully. A weak, insecure, small cajoned, bully! They are creating a hostile work environment and you, yes you, and are starting to feel hostile.  Personally, my best friend is an attorney, so I always have a legal brief prepped and ready to roll, but sometimes, even that is unnecessary.  Here are some words of wisdom by Pastor T.D. Jakes for surviving a hostile work environment.

  1. Understand that God anoints you for trouble. Be sure you are a Christian. Put on the armor of God before going to work.
  2. Don’t expect to be appreciated. Your only expectation should be to get a paycheck. Don’t come to work to have personal relationships. Don’t allow what you do to affect who you are.

    3. Do your job well, but remember your mission. God put you there to be a light.

    4. Seek opportunities to change the atmosphere without commenting on the problems. You have a God to talk to. You’re on an assignment. In quietness and competence shall be your strength.

    5. Don’t let your environment get inside of you. You should influence it, not let it influence you. Stop going to work to be fed- you didn’t come to receive, you came to give.

    6. Increase your capacity to work with different personalities. God will often bless you through people you don’t even like!

    7. Remember where you are does not define where you are going. This will deliver you from frustration. God has a plan for your life. Keep your eye on the prize. When Peter did this, he was able to walk in what other people sank in!

    8. Get the optimum results with minimal confusion. Be effective without making the environment worse.

    9. Don’t be associated with one group or clique. Labels limit your usefulness. God wants you to work with everybody but be labeled by nobody. Use all your gifts.

    10. Always keep your song near you. Keep a consecrated place in your soul. Hold on to your praise.


In the meantime, be good to one another. Life is too short to suffer fools.