The workplace monster

2014-07-03 07:09

After reading about the "Bhisho Sex Scandal" in the dispatch earlier this month I was left with such mixed emotions. How people's life, marriages and families have been destroyed. It's funny how we are so quick to point fingers at corrupt government officials and not hold all the parties accountable. Poverty is so deeply rooted into society people would do everything to put a plate of food in the table. When I look at some of the women trapped into this monster I ask myself were they really trapped into poverty? Some women who were interviewed said they did it because they wanted a promotion at work. The word promotion already give you some idea where the levels of poverty are. I am taking about a country where graduates go and work in retail stores to make an honest living.

The issue in this Sex Scandal is not only about how much these women had been violated and manipulated. It has everything to do with the value system of the women involved in such scandals. Why do we see so many graduates from Eastern Cape flocking all over South Africa and achieving great things? It is about making your own opportunities. In the few years that I have been working I have realised that each workplace has its own monster. It is up to the individual to stay or run away from such monsters. Women meet many monsters in the work place including man who feel threatened by women. Does it mean we are not going to strive for excellence simply because someone else feels threatened by us? A workplace is where ones values and principles are tested. If people do not live by a strong set of values then they will be victims to these things. Accountability is key if we continue to feel sorry for people who get caught up with these monsters we are not helping. In fact those women who were involved in the Bhisho Sex Scandal need to be addressed, maybe in my cruel world even face possible disciplinary action but I am not the one to make that call. I would like to appeal to the minister who is addressing this monster not only look at the one party who abused their authority but to also address the women and create more women empowerment initiatives.

Some may think my arguments are because I am still young and have not seen much of how cruel life can be. I have met different types of monsters within my working journey as well. The one monster that I would like to advise my friends to run away from is the “comfort monster”. The “comfort monster” allows people to focus on the present and not think about the future. The comfort monster is also common in those individuals who stay for many years in one organisation doing the same thing. Those individuals often brag about 30 years of experience and so on when in reality its 30 years of doing the same thing. Those are the same individuals who resist change and make it difficult for the younger generation to learn and explore new things. I have seen a few individuals making friends with the comfort monster. When you make friends with the comfort monster it is very difficult to grow and develop.I am not saying everyone should strive and go the academic route. But people should strive to learn and educate themselves. Dr Nelson Mandela once said “education is the most powerful weapon we have to change the world”.

We need to make women empowerment a reality, start having those difficult conversations with our sisters. These things such as the Bhisho Scandal we read about them only in the papers and in reality no one wants to talk about them. I would love to see a proffesional having a workshop with these women not to talk about who was wrong or right but to get a deeper understanding and insight on the motives behind. How they can help other women not to fall in the same trap.

We need to look into these challenges differently. It not about the situation you are in but what is important is how you respond, your actions and attitude towards the situation in itself. We need to equip and educate one another.

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