What are some common and uncommon manipulations in the workplace?

Corporate gossip at its finest
  1. Verbal assignments this is your boss’s favorite weapon. It works like this – give your best employee a vague verbal assignment and then in an important meeting, ask the employee if they have finished a task (related to the verbal assignment). Of course, the employee will not have finished it and will be embarrassed if not destroyed in front of other co-workers and superiors. This has the effect of making the boss look good, while making the employee look like a mediocre idiot. Understand: if your boss gives you a verbal assignment, then ask for it via email in writing. You’ll be sorry if you don’t.
  2. Passive aggressiveness – an office staple. If you tell a joke, a manipulative co-worker will glare and say that it was offensive (even if it wasn’t). This serves to place you off balance and make you worry that you hurt someone’s feelings. Or it can take other forms such as cutting remarks, laughing at you when you’re not looking, etc. Or it can simply be responding negative to anything you ever say.
  3. Throwing you under the bus/blaming – If one of your co-workers or boss was supposed to complete a task and didn’t, watch out. You’re now a prime target to be blamed for them not completing the task. If your boss was supposed to turn in a report, and didn’t, and the boss’s superiors ask where the report is, chances are your boss will respond that it was your job and how dare you not complete it and give it to the superiors. Understand: you’re at a big disadvantage in working at a company to begin with.
  4. HR going on indefinite medical leave – HR/ company does this when an employee brings a potential multi million legs claim to light. HR personnel who field these issues and discuss them with the employee are routinely placed on medical leave so records “go missing”.

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