How can I seed further workplace dysfunction?

Hank Asked:

I seem to be marginalized by co-workers in my office. It is a real mystery to me, because I make a point of maintaining optimal dysfunction in the workplace at all times by gauging the tenor of the workplace and then acting on it. If I sense that a group of colleagues has a dominant position, I will side with them and disparage outsiders in order to strengthen my status within the dominant group. Often, I can subtly set people against one another by seeding mistrust and other interpersonal strife. My aims are achieved and my involvement usually goes undetected. The strategy is useful, but in the long term, I am rarely satisfied by the outcome. I recently received an anonymous note describing me as a “feral schemer”. Someone else placed a discount coupon for a local dog-training service on my desk. How can I gain acceptance from everyone while always maintaining the upper-hand? ~ Hank

Advisor Phil answers: Obviously not everyone at work is smart enough to realize just what an asset you are, Hank. You’re going to have to step things up to the next level now. Start some rumors about everyone that you dislike or distrust. If you can weaken the position of your friends too, all the better. Look also to others to tell you who to hate. You know that the best way to lead is to follow. If you do nothing else, convince yourself that you are in charge. I also recommend reading the works of Benito Mussolini, Draco, and Gladys Kravitz (Bewitched). The real problem at your office is the same old thing that I have seen time and time again. It always comes down the boss – to management. It’s the man, Hank. He’ll get you every time. Just stay negative, and sooner or later you’ll have more people scheming and sharing your sentiments. They won’t even know why they are upset.

Best ..



  1. Phil’s answer misses the boat completely on this one. Hank, I know that you want to feel accepted, but there is no hope for you unless you learn to let go of your pack mentality. People are human beings – not dogs. Have fun. Cheer up! No one will take away your food. Woof!!

  2. I agree with you Jen though I think that Phil could use more walks in the deep … deep woods 😛

  3. Would you like a cup of tea?

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