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When is it OK for Employees to Become Collateral Damage?

When is it OK for Employees to Become Collateral Damage?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The obvious answer is never, but the reality is whatever stands in the way of the company and making hundreds of millions of dollars, is expendable whether intentional or not.  According to the US Department of Defense, the term collateral damage is defined as:

Unintentional or incidental injury or damage to persons or objects that would not be lawful military targets in the circumstances ruling at the time. Such damage is not unlawful so long as it is not excessive in light of the overall military advantage anticipated from the attack.

For the purpose of this exercise we’re going to adapt the meaning of collateral damage to civilians, and specifically apply the definition to a salesforce, since they are usually one of the larger divisions within an organization.  Applying one concept or idea from another industry is often the best way for us to gain insight to a problem viewed myopically previously (ex. applying the characteristics of a sociopath to companies to diagnois problems or The Sociopathic Business Model™

This should work for almost any company or any position though.   This exercise will work best using a previous company you’ve worked for and not your current, I’ll explain why at the end.  Write your answers down for maximum benefit.

Overall would you say you were treated fairly for the duration of your tenure?  Y / N

What were your three biggest complaints while you were there?

Did you express those complaints to management or HR?  Y / N

Where you aware of others having the same complaints?  Y / N

If yes to questions 3 and or 4 was the outcome acceptable?  Y/N

  1. If no, what was done and what would you have liked to see happen?

Did your employer or manager ever demean or embarrass you?  Y / N

Were you ever lied to? Y / N

  1. If Y, what was the most major lie?

Were you ever asked to do anything illegal or unethical?  Y / N

  1. If Y, what were you asked to do?

Were you threatened or intimidated if you were not compliant to what was asked of you? Y / N

  1. Were there repercussions?  Y/ N, (If so, how?)
  2. Were you retaliated against? Y/ N, (If so, how?)
  3. If N, did you see others experience retaliation?  Y /N

Were you ever unfairly blamed for company strategy?  Y / N

What is your single worst experience at the company?

As part of the on-going case study of killing my career I will answer these questions (without editorial which, so you know, might crush my soul a little but in the interest of research, I will resist). 

Overall would you say you were treated fairly for the duration of your tenure?  Y / N

What were your three biggest complaints while you were there?

a.       Direct Manager and his superior were allowed to be blatantly sexist towards self and other women 

b.       Lied to regarding a product-felt there were no options

c.       Rewarded when doing what was illegally asked of me and punished and retaliated against when I refused             to comply

Did you express those complaints to management or HR?  Y / N

Where you aware of others having the same complaints?  Y / N

If yes to questions 3 and or 4 was the outcome acceptable?  Y/N

If no, what was done and what would you have liked to see happen?

             Manager was sent to “Sensitivity Training,” twice.

             HR ignored 3 written/verbal requests to transferred to another manager

             Retaliated against twice, opened an investigation with Parent company’s legal department who                              did any independent investigation and turned results back over to subsidiary to handle.

                                           1.       Was reprimanded for having people call on my behalf.

Did your employer or manager ever demean or embarrass you?  Y / N

Were you ever lied to? Y / N

b.      If Y, what was the most major lie? Manipulated to sell a specific product for how it was ‘designed’ and not for how it was ‘approved,’ which was illegal.  Further still manipulated because the product did not work for how it was ‘designed’ either.  I sold a totally useless product to surgeons and their patients because I believed what my company had told me. 

Were you ever asked to do anything illegal or unethical?  Y / N

a.       If Y, what were you asked to do?  Sell a product the company knew that did not work but I thought did work, at their insistence.

Were you threatened or intimidated if you were not compliant to what was asked of you? Y / N

Were there repercussions?  Y/ N, (If so, how?) Placed Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

Were you retaliated against? Y/ N, (If so, how?) Wrongfully Terminated.

Did you see others experience retaliation? (If so, how?)  Y /N  Threatened, PIP, Terminated

Were you ever unfairly blamed for company strategy?  Y / N

What is your single worst experience at the company? Realizing the salesforce wasn’t collateral damage but the moment we signed on the dotted line to work for the company, we were damaged with intent for the exclusive purpose a few to illegally benefit.

The reason I asked you to write your answers down is we often don’t realize the amount of damage done or what we endured was illegal and in fact abuse, until we see it staring back at us.  It’s easy to be frustrated with a colleague over business matters but make the target of the anger and frustration those who created it.  Righting a wrong with the truth will go a long way towards healing yourself all and all the others who were  intentionally damaged.

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