I have just seen human nature exposed and raw. And it’s not pretty. I sent out an email to three of my colleagues asking them to confirm that the documentation existed in a certain database. One of them just came rushing up to me. I could see the glistening joy in his eyes and the gloating in his voice as he triumphantly told me that I’d made a mistake in the subject header of the email.
Now as it turns out, I hadn’t made a mistake – he simply wasn’t proficient enough in English to understand the header. But that isn’t the point at all; because even if I had made a mistake, I wouldn’t have expected such a reaction from him. And I wouldn’t mind but this is not the first time this has happened to me.
I’m seen otherwise kind and friendly work colleagues on other occasions turn into machiavellian monsters, rubbing their hands with gleeful excitement, as they rightly or wrongly spot a typo or another error.
The truth is that I’m just as guilty as the next person. I also secretly gloat at someone else’s misfortune – especially at work. I also very much enjoy these big shouting showdowns between various managers. In fact, I would love to do a PhD thesis on the power struggles and interactions between different departmental heads and different managers. It seems the higher up the work ladder you go, the further you puff your chest out. I particularly enjoy watching high-up people being taken down 50 pegs or so by other high-up people and I have to take great care not to smirk openly in these situations.
Yes, you heard it here first. Mumpy’s true identity has been revealed. And schadenfreude is my middle name.
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