Crime and Punishment

By Jon Hillenbrand In Photography, Stories

One of the biggest crimes perpetrated by the company that I work for is that habitually the simple jerks get promoted and stay in charge for years. One of these people in particular is especially adept at using people and making them feel much less than what they are worth. It’s an unpunished crime. Some of the best people I have ever worked with have been treated like dirt by this person. When complaints are raised, the excuse of, “That’s just his style of leadership,” is expunged like so much wisdom from the Delphi oracle. The excuse has grown so old and moldy that it infects everyone who has or hasn’t used it to the point that the company is hypnotized by this person. If he were any older and had less power, he would be considered an excentric. But the way it is, he’s both feared and laughed at by people above and below him. And yet he lingers spreading falsity and personal distrust wherever he goes.

One of my good friends has had the misfortune of working for this person for many years. She has always enjoyed a privaledged existence under the insane leader, living largely immune from his rants and unrealistic demands. But the relationship between the two has changed recently and of course, the insane leader has fulfilled his cliche and turned against my friend. Now my friend, one of the brightest and hardest workers I have ever known in my life, is doubting herself and questioning her own worth. She’s been betrayed. It’s horrible to see. And the worst part is that if there were any justice in the world, she would be in his job position and he wouldn’t even work at the company. Outside of the fake world that we work in, his weight is measured in lead, hers gold.

I was recently screwed out of some of my vacation time by this insane leader while working on a project for him. I was sleuthed into this project against my will, and once the head of the company was involved, I had to see it through. In return for going the extra mile for his little video, I was promised a favor by him. The only thing I can think of to cash in on is to ask this insane leader to back off of my friend. But I know if the favor were ever to pass deaf ears, it would never be fulfilled and if anything it would only ruin things further.

In the end, the only advice I can apply to this situation is something that my dad once said to me, “You can’t reason with unreasonable people.” Trying to get this insane person to start acting like a reasonable person with honor is as pointless as explaining to a grapefruit why you came home late for dinner last night. Attempting to pretend that this person has enough sense to understand or care about how he effects others is futile. His effect on your life should be as brief as a gust of wind but it’s more like the trauma of grade school or possibly war. My friend is brilliant. And I have found that brilliant people, when faced with a constant stream of negative feedback, will begin to use their intellect against themselves to look for a fault within. Stupid people will always look for faults in others by default.

It’s a crime when the innocent are made to suffer for the indignities of authority. Their force doesn’t make up for their lack of wisdom, it reveals it.

What do you think?