I never cared to play follow the leader. Especially since for many, that leader is not a human. It's money. And if your goal is to always chase something, you'll never catch it, because that's not included in the plan.
In the corporate workspace, I called them brownnosers. The shittiest, dirtiest, ugliest, fucking disgustingly two-faced people on this planet.
They'll be the ones who share that goddamn 'follow your dreams' meme on social media. The plastic smile selfie and all this other nonsense that'll set the stage, making it appear as if they truly have their shit together and want to be a shining example for the rest of us to follow.
Followers following followers.
Round and round they go.
I remember my first big promotion.
It wasn't much. A better shift, small increase in pay, more challenging tasks, greater responsibility.
It wasn't much at all but I knew I needed to get there, in order to get to the next place. It wasn't much but because I had been denied the position seven times over two years, something so small turned into a massive victory.
The brownnosers hated me for advancing. They hate everything. Only nice to people when there's something to be extracted. Since all they think one needs to do to get anywhere in life is kiss ass, their distorted version of reality insisted their way was the only way I could get anywhere, so therefore I must be one of them, all while they're in complete denial of who they are and what they stand for.
I'm not sure why they try to hide that shit. Everyone reading this knows exactly what I'm talking about.
Nobody likes them. They expect to get ahead by taking shortcuts. And they can't bloody well handle it when others succeed.
I had several reasons and a few excuses for turning my back on a solid career. One with constant room for advancement; plenty of opportunities; a damn nice payday.
Chipping away and clawing my way up that ladder only to realize my new boss was a brownnoser.
Thinking: How the hell did this sack of shit manage to pull that off.
And when you're working under one of these nutcases, they expect you to be kissing their ass. If there's a problem, you don't dare bring it up. That's an insult. A blemish on their perfection record.
Give them one ounce of power and they trip. They could be running the establishment into the ground, so their boss shows up, since everyone in the corporate world has a boss.
One week later ten employees have lost their jobs, two are being demoted, twelve got written up. Bossman pulls up in a new car.
Show up to work and all that's left are brownnosers; and you're expected to hire more to fill the gaps.
I'll take a raincheck.
I remember getting on with life. Eventually working with a friend simply because the job was offered and I had nothing better to do that day. The guy was like a brother to me. Close. Even had apartments in the same building. Could be pissed off with one another then show up the next day with a beer like it never happened.
Turned out to be a brownnoser. The boss would call him up and holy shit even his voice sounds different. Puts the phone down and right back to being the shithead I always knew.
Eventually that power trip element kicked in. Started treating me like shit on the job. Right out in front of people, too. Embarrassing. So not only did I quit a job but I also lost a good friend. Once he went into beast mode he never snapped out of it. My suggestions I thought would make life easier and work more efficient were treated as insults. It was impossible for him to be in the wrong and he knew if the boss found out I had a better plan, he'd look like a fool in front of the guy he only cares about when they're in close quarters.
The next job, on my first day, I discovered my coworker who I'd be spending most of my time with was a brownnoser.
Thinking: This is not going to go well for me.
On paper we held equal positions. In her mind I was the new guy and she was my boss. Not a leader. Not someone willing to train and offer guidance to help secure the road to success. Just a head full of boss.
Cruel and unusual; until the owners/real people in charge showed up. Then she was the epitome of everything nice. Taking credit for all the wholesome goodness and complete turnaround from the disaster I walked into my first day.
I needed organization so I took it upon myself to begin sorting things out. I had fourteen years experience. She had two. I didn't like how much time and money she liked to waste. I didn't like how she blamed the previous coworkers for the disaster, as I'd watch her contribute to it. Everything she did was ass-backwards and stupid.
Cut corners now to save time now and worry about it later; that was her mantra.
I didn't like how she backed the forklift into something really expensive, during a fit of rage. When asked directly, "Who did this!" She pointed her finger at me.
I didn't even say a damn thing to her that day but apparently, "because I got her all worked up," that made it okay to go looney, so whatever happens, it's my fault.
So as I'm sitting there trying to explain to these people in charge that I don't even drive the forklift anymore because she hides the keys (psycho), it suddenly dawned on me.
"How many people have you had to hire to fill this position of mine in the past two years," I asked, feeling confident I was about to be fed a high number.
Twelve people had to deal with that crazy brownnoser, including me, and I was on my way out the door before they even got a chance to fire another one.
All that time and all those resources spent hiring and training, hiring and training, hiring and training. That's lost time, lost productivity, lost money.
All they had to do was realize a brownnoser had them wrapped around her finger; and put her in her place.
The world has gone soft.
How could somebody possibly be an indecent human when they're so good at manipulating people into thinking they're top notch...
I don't have a problem with genuinely wholesome and down to earth people who just so happen to have it together, look good and healthy, seem happy, successful. Everyone reading this knows those people as well.
Those good people who mean well often have trouble stomaching the thought of someone who looks and acts just like them being dragged through the mud and outed for what they really are. Shit.
We let things slide. People get taken advantage of.
So I think it's time to open up the zoos.
Nature used to have a really fancy way of taking care of these things. Those lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Those animals do not give a shit if you're nice and friendly but only when they show up.
But you know the brownnoser is going to be all like, "Nice kitty. Nice kitty. I have a TREAT for you!"
This entire thought process stems from concerns raised in a recent post about some of the changes we can expect to see here on Hive in the near enough future.
You might wake up one day, check your notifications, and after experiencing months of bitter silence, suddenly your comment section is lit up with all these random compliments; so you're excited to meet your new friends!
You'll see some of the nicest compliments ever getting downvoted and think, "What the fuck is wrong with this cruel cruel world..."
And when you discover it's just a brownnosing robot expecting comment upvotes for being nice enough to take advantage of your naivety, your heart will shatter into a million tiny pieces of what could have been your long lost love, forever. Sigh.
Comment upvoting will most likely become a thing again, though some of us never really stopped. It could become more commonplace though and with that comes the brownnosing compliment robots you'll need to learn to ignore, no matter how nice they are.