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Avoid the Workplace Doomsday Sharks

Democrat & Chronicle Newspaper

Written by Arlene Hisiger


    When you're lost in the rain, in Juarez, and it's Easter time too,

    When your gravity fails, and negativity don't pull you through ...

    — "Just Like Tom Thumb Blues," Bob Dylan

Tsunami, earthquakes, drug wars, drought, disease, homelessness, financial sector scandals, foreclosure crisis, skyrocketing unemployment, privacy-invading hackers ...

If you seek it, bad news is not hard to find.

Bad news is everywhere internationally, nationally and locally. Some of us have the good fortune to be spared direct consequences of the above, but morale can suffer nonetheless.

The trick is, "when your gravity fails," not to give in to negativity because, to spin Bob Dylan's lyrics a bit, negativity won't ever pull you through.

Unfortunately, your resolve to maintain emotional equilibrium may be severely tested by workplace "doomsday sharks" — purveyors of doom and gloom who inevitably surface at the slightest whiff of trouble. Cloaked in conspiratorial tones, they invade your space to share rumors of your company's latest downsizing casualties.

If they are truly practiced in the art of destabilization, they will surely offer their considered opinion, nothing concrete, regarding your own job security. Then with single-minded focus they will forge ahead to carry out their self-appointed mission: infect as many co-workers as possible with toxic anxiety.

But there are antidotes to these types. And it all boils down to strategy.

The most effective way to extricate yourself from an unwanted helping of negativity is to surround yourself with positive people. This might sound a bit obvious, but getting sucked in to the negative vortex of doomsday sharks can be insidious and incremental. Before you know it, you find yourself in the maelstrom without any rope to pull you out.

So, steer clear of these types. Don't accept their offers to go out for lunch. If they invade your space, have something urgent to do wherever they are not.

Hisiger is a freelance writer. 

Contact Arlene at 585-442-6108 or wordtailor@aol.com
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