11
May
11

honey, would it kill you to hail satan once in a while?

Welcome to the latest in our company’s monthly leadership seminars, Advanced Conflict Mediation techniques. Today, we’re going to equip you with the tools you need to take that conflict, pull a pillowcase over its head, and bludgeon it to death with the nearest fire extinguisher.

As a supervisor, you should always adhere to and serve a clearly outlined, dark, nefarious agenda. A workplace full of united co-workers could easily stage a bloody coup against you, so it is critical to play one side against the other at all times. Many workplace conflicts stem from disputes over community property, such as radios or the break room refrigerator. When people are compelled to share space, it’s only natural that a little friction could occur. Use this to your advantage by arriving early to steal office supplies from your workers’ desks, then cackle with delight as aspersion automatically falls upon your office’s few ethnic minorities.  Remember, a good supervisor is equal parts farsighted leader, trusted confidant, and manipulative puppet master.

If you are ever forced to confront a problem head-on, dazzle your subordinates with some middle management communication techniques, like turning any noun into a verb. By verbing them, you’ll already have the upper hand! Also, don’t paint yourself into a corner by making commitments of any kind: always talk in circles to diffuse responsibility to multiple mid-level employees, so that you’re never left holding the bag if things go wrong. When all else fails, just roll your eyes and give a “we’re trying to build a file on her” nod in the direction of that lady who you’re starting to suspect only wears shoes to work to conceal the track marks between her toes.

At the root of every workplace disagreement is a solution that can be reached when everyone compromises a little. For example, over the years I have paid hundreds of dollars in overdue fines at my local library, which entitles me to stop by every morning to bathe at the sink in their sparkling public restrooms after a night of restful sleep in my car. And in conclusion, if that troubled loner who keeps dumping heavy black garbage bags in the office dumpster after hours ever begins physically assaulting a vending machine, it may be wise to let the two settle their differences without managerial interference. By keeping to himself and never bothering anyone all these years, clearly he’s earned a little goodwill, am I right?

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