How I have been coping in a toxic work environment

Young black businesswoman working in office
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No one likes negativity or a toxic situation; whether it’s relationships, family or work. Well, in this case it’s work.

If 2020 have taught us anything, it’s not to take life for guaranteed and always show love to people whether they deserve it or not because you don’t really know who needs it.

But you know, it’s not everyone that gets this. 2020 actually brought the worst in people while for some it brought the best.

For me, it will be a little bit of both; the best in the sense that I didn’t give up despite the challenges and obstacles thrown at me and the worst –it brought out my anxiety. I have been suffering from depression for 10 years now and each year that happens, it gets better –what I’m saying is I manage it better; I get through it by talking to friends, watching comedy, praying, meditating and exercising.

You would think with everything happening in 2020, some people might want to do better and live better but no, it just brings out who they are.

So I was transferred from another site to where I am now and to be honest some people warned me about this place but I just thought;”Is it not the usual work politics” which it was but with everything going on in the world right now, it was difficult to take it.

Working where I am now has been difficult.  I’m someone that like honesty and prefer you show me you don’t like me than smiling with me and stabbing me at the back…As my friend and colleague would say “it’s like killing me and telling me sorry”. That made me laugh but it’s true.

Someone is actually backstabbing you and in your presence they act like they have your back – that’s how I feel with the person I’m working with. And this sort of triggered my anxiety because I’m thinking; there are no jobs right now given the pandemic, how will I be able to bounce back especially as the year comes to an end.

But the thing is, these people don’t care what you are going through, what’s going on around the world unless it affects them directly. They don’t know where you are coming from and what you have been through but because you look a certain way, they feel all is well with you.

toxic work environment

And if they succeed in making the company let you go, well you’ll be fine. At least that’s what they think; they forget just as them (well, if they do), you have mouths to feed and bill to pay.

I won’t advise my enemy to work in a toxic environment. It’s very unhealthy and depressing. I used to love my job, regardless of the pay and the headache I face with clients but now getting up in the morning is usually very tiring.

Fear of not getting to the office late since that’s the only thing they’ll try to use against you if you really know your job.

Fear of facing one drama or the other from subordinates /clients and not it being escalated by the site supervisor to management.

When you work in a toxic environment;1) communication is really poor – in my case, information is usually not communicated or they are passed late. And you hear things like;”I forgot to tell you, I didn’t think it was important”.

2) This leads to forming clicks, exclusion and gossipy behaviors

This person I work with is fond of talking about irrelevant things that has nothing to do with the job, gossips about clients and people in management-Its annoying because we share a really small office so it’s a struggle to neglect.

Most times I just connect my earpiece and watch a funny skit on my phone, listen to music or watch YouTube couples.

3) Poor leader ship

The reason why I was brought to this site its cause our MD found out that this guy didn’t have a Help desk with him and he called his supervision poor. Well, as always, to save face, the site supervisor said it’s because he doesn’t have a help desk.

And to be honest when I got here and saw how nonchalant the technicians are to work, I believed. To be honest I don’t blame them; when your leader is into some unethical things on site –sleeping on site, having sexual relationships with our clients stewards …what do you expect his subordinate to do.

Since I have been working here, I don’t have rest of mind and it just takes me back to six years ago when I worked in a very toxic environment. I kept falling ill all the time, I was not motivated and it seemed like I had no goals.

How I have been coping in this work environment;

Staying away from any side talks – why this is necessary its cause even though you are not saying anything while they gossip, the fact that you are there, will make your superior assume that you engaged in the conversation/rumor.

Praying and meditating

I don’t know if it’s the African (not all that pray ,do righteous things) in me but I believe in prayers and meditation – before I leave the house, I pray, in the bus I pray, when I get to the office I pray as well. I like to involve God in everything I do because he is the reason why I’m here and he is the only one that can decide when I leave here or not.

He also protects you from this backstabbers, trust me it’s a spiritual thing too, lol.

Talking to a friend that doesn’t work in the same office /company

Most times because of how exhausted you are from the psychological trauma, you just want to talk to someone; you can only talk to a friend outside your office and rant as much as you want. It’s better than talking about the issue with someone in the same office/company that could easily use it against you when they are being offered something in return.

Am I done with the toxic work environment? I hope so… but in this part of the world it’s really tough to avoid not just a toxic work environment but people. We just learn how to manage them. Other parts of the world, office politics is about being best at your job /competing on the job but Nigeria, they just hate that you are doing a great job and you look good doing it.

And just as you can’t stop being the best or reduce your performance just to be in good terms with your colleagues, you can’t change these people (we call them haters) …Just keep being your awesome self, do your best and leave the rest.

I really love the industry I am in right now, just not in sync with the person I’m working directly with. And it’s making me want to ask to be transferred but there is no available site right now. So I have to endure until next year, hoping we get another site or I get a better job –hopefully in the industry.

That’s how I have been coping with toxicity in the office, if I can do it so can you. Don’t stop learning, don’t stop being your best self.






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