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So you want to keep your lover or your employee close. Bound to you, even. You have a few options. You could be the best lover they've ever had, kind, charming, thoughtful, competent, witty, and a tiger in bed. You could be the best workplace they've ever had, with challenging work, rewards for talent, initiative, and professional development, an excellent work/life balance, and good pay. But both of those options demand a lot from you. Besides, your lover (or employee) will stay only as long as she wants to under those systems, and you want to keep her even when she doesn't want to stay. How do you pin her to your side, irrevocably, permanently, and perfectly legally?


You create a sick system.Collapse )

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( 315 comments — Leave a comment )
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(no subject) - gwendolen - Jun. 13th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC) - Expand
ficangel
Jun. 13th, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)
This...exactly describes my position two jobs ago. Holy crap. The constant pressure, the daily uncertainty between punishment/reward based upon quota systems that employees had no realistic way of influencing (hell, we can do our best when customers come in, but we can't force them through the doors), encouraging employees to socialize only with each other so that we couldn't come up for air...wow. I refer to it as Retail Hell now because I had two moods left by the time I got out, panic or blind rage, but I didn't realize how sick it was until this post. Thanks for making it.
(Deleted comment)
issendai
Jun. 13th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
Please do!

Churches are ideally set up to become sick systems. Between the small rewards, the rolling crises normal to any church, and the overarching message that calls to all the crazies and provides a pretext for any damn thing the pastor can get past the parishioners, churches are excellent places to see really well-developed, inground sick systems in action. Home-grown small denominations are the best--no governing body (or a governing body consisting of wack jobs) and no alternate branch to go to if the branch closest to you goes crazy--but mainstream flavors of Christianity put in a good showing.

Which is not to say that churches are inherently sick systems. Most of them are perfectly normal. But by their nature, they have a strong tendency toward sick systems; and by their nature, they do heavy damage to people who are caught in them when the system goes bad.

I'm glad you got out of the church you used to attend. Many people aren't strong enough to do that. And I hope you've found a church that's healthier for you.
gygaxis
Jun. 13th, 2010 06:16 am (UTC)
Thank you for the really interesting an startling accurate read. I've definitely been part of this kind of system in the past and parts of it definitely fit some ongoing systems I'm participating in. In reading about this and noticing the parallels it makes me very much want to address and rectify the situation. found out about this post via theweaselking and shared it again on my own twitter and facebook feeds since it intrigued me so much as I went through.
forestgreen
Jun. 13th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
This has let me blown away. I've never been there with a relationship or jobs, but I was *raised* in such a political system and I didn't even realized why it worked until now.

I got out...

...but, whenever I go back to visit families and friends and see them running inside their little hamster wheals I keep asking myself, god, why don't they *see* this is never ever going to change, and well, I kept asking myself why it took me so long to see it, too. I believe I was almost at the end of your entry, when it suddenly downed on me why it all felt so familiar if I had never been in a personal relationship or a work environment like that.

Thank you!
issendai
Jun. 13th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
YESSS. It took me decades to realize that sick systems and crazy people fascinated me because it was where I came from. I got out in stages, and the third-to-last stage was recognizing that there was no point to staying in order to help the people left behind, because the people who were left weren't going to help themselves and damn well weren't going to leave. It's been painful to watch them get ground smaller and smaller. But you know... they're adults. They have their own incomes and full legal rights. And their abuser isn't going hurt them if they leave--they know because I left, and the abuser actually treated me better afterward. (I think this confirmed their belief that the abuser isn't abusive after all.) They can walk away or demand change, and they're not doing it... and that's their choice.

I wish it weren't, though. I wish there were some way to shake them and make them see that they're playing a game of monkey's paw. People's moments of epiphany are so individual that there doesn't seem to be any way to reproduce it from one person to the next--have you ever had any success in helping someone who's trapped?
(no subject) - forestgreen - Jun. 13th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lovewithoutfear - Jun. 16th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
legolas_is_mine
Jun. 13th, 2010 09:05 am (UTC)
I was linked to this via telesilla, and aspects of it really really remind me of a friendship of mine. We "fell out" about 8 months ago. Best thing that ever happened to me.

Then I saw her yesterday whilst out shopping and just did not know how to react! So seeing this last night was SO timely and helped me put it behind me, where it should be! I actually even hesitated a lot before commenting because what if she sees? But then I realised I actually don't owe her anything and I can comment if I want.

Thank you, so much. Seeing it in the context of a sick system (although it certainly wasn't as bad as it could have been) makes me remember all the sly put downs and insults-disguised-as-compliments and such and makes me so glad I'm no longer in the situation I was in.
bellacrow
Jun. 13th, 2010 09:23 am (UTC)
I'm stunned, you just wrote about my marriage with Mr. Bipolar who couldn't remember to take his meds. 4.5 years of being in one crisis after another until _I_ started being depressed & medicated

The 1st year after I left was so quiet, so nice, I got my sanity back.
issendai
Jun. 13th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you got your sanity back. 4.5 years of hell can do horrible things to the sanest person. It's why family counselors refer to the officially "sick" patient as the "identified patient"--because the member of a group who's acting out the most may not be the sickest member of the group, and sometimes, depression is a reasonable response to what other people are putting you through.

Welcome back to the real world. I hope you never have to leave it.
lafinjack
Jun. 13th, 2010 12:30 pm (UTC)
This is also how the military gets people to keep reenlisting.
issendai
Jun. 13th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
Oh god, that explains so much about a friend of mine. He hated the military, but signed on for another four years because... Well, because. Because I don't think he could envision anything else. None of us could understand what he was thinking, but then, none of us were in the military.

Thanks for that insight. Ow, my paradigm.
(no subject) - natf - Oct. 7th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lafinjack - Oct. 8th, 2010 02:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - natf - Oct. 8th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lafinjack - Oct. 10th, 2010 11:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - natf - Oct. 11th, 2010 11:40 am (UTC) - Expand
kelemvor
Jun. 13th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)
Wow.

This is so very close to how things are at work at the moment that I might have to print this off and display it. Or link to it from the home page of the company's Lotus Notes client...
sethg_prime
Jun. 14th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
Hey, there’s one company out there that uses Lotus Notes!

(An ex-Lotus friend of mine waxed nostalgic about Notes when I described how a co-worker spent six hours generating an expense report using our new corporate overlords’ SAP system. The next step toward reimbursement was printing out the report and sending it to the overlords by postal mail. And then, of course, he would have to file another expense report, in order to get reimbursement for the postage. Speaking of sick systems. :-)
hennes
Jun. 13th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
Here via my friends list. This is an awesome post. Propagating.
tigerbright
Jun. 13th, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC)
What if the sick system is inside yourself?
gh4acws
Jun. 13th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
one still tries to get out of it
or in the case of 'internalized' stuuf get it out of one.
I suspect this is different for different people - I try to look for signs that I tell myself that I am inferior, will not find anyone else. am responsible for this company that person.
I try to be alert for this and to remember that there is no need to make myself small - there is always volunteers that will do that for you why make their work easier by doing it to yourself.
Living alone or unemployed may actually be preferrable to living in hell.
Outside the parent child ( and legal guardian ) relationship it is impossible to take ove responsibility: We can be responsible for our own acts and ommissions but not for other people.
Also if we think the company / that person will founder without us we usually overestimate ourimportance. We are not responsible to keep the sky from falling.

Your milage may vary.
(no subject) - issendai - Jun. 13th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tigerbright - Jun. 13th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - buymeaclue - Jun. 15th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - griffen - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
wednesday42
Jun. 13th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
This is brilliantly put.

I have been here before, in employment, in a friendship, and I recognize that I often do it to myself (as do a large number of people, I suspect).

Linking, with much gratitude.
irishsideofmoon
Jun. 13th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
Wow, I really like this.

I've added a link to this page to our Facebook Page ( http://www.facebook.com/IrishSideOfTheMoon ) to bring it as many of our listeners as possible. I'm gonna put it on our blog, too, as soon as I finish this short comment.

I see this, all the time. With the world, the government, the job I used to have, the ex-girlfriend. You name it, it's there.

Damn. :(
rogue_priestess
Jun. 14th, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
This is frakkin BRILLIANT!!!
azureavian
Jun. 14th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
The is the most f**cked up thing I've ever read and it's scary that, as I read thru it, I recognize both my work and my ex in this.

I keep saying I'll find a different job, but I'm too down to deal with it and I never would have left my ex if outside issues hadn't forced the issue. Re-posting to my private journal.

Thank you so much for posting this.
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