THE THRILL OF INSUBORDINATION
When a Joint Secretary took charge as Secretary (Head of the Department) on promotion, to a new Department in the government, one of his new subordinate officer, herein after I refer him as Mr.Fox, has come to him too politely and tried to convince him with his obedient behaviour that s/he is the hard-working, sincere and reliable subordinate among all the staff. Then the Secretary thought of having an employee like Mr.Fox was blessing for him. For few days, at any time when there was emergency or extra pending work to be done, Mr.Fox used to say, “I will do it sir; you do not worry sir, I will take care of it Sir. With his submissive behavour Mr.Fox soon acquired adequate accessibility to initiate any talk with Secretary and began to bring parties to the boss to get favours.
But, as the days are passing, Secretary noticed that Fox started publicizing that he is very close to the Head and also discharging the functions quite against the rules, delaying in sending the files and not reading the files thoroughly and despite his work load, regularly taking two or three times tea breaks, each for about 30 to 40 minutes, soon after coming to the office, and two hours lunch break and again atleast two tea breaks in post-lunch period. When Secretary tried to discuss these lapses, Mr.Fox retarted “I’m not the only person to do so sir, I have got lot of work, I’m doing the work of five people…only to avoid headache I take tea breaks often sir…” This situation continued for long time. Then Secretary got mystified and frustrated.
Secretary in fact did not entrust by force to do all the work done by Fox alone. But, when he suggested spreading out the work load especially that which is pertaining to some important files among others, Fox felt that Secretary was suspecting his honesty and confidentiality. On realizing the guilty nature of Fox, Secretary started disposing for him self certain files, insteading of depending on Mr.Fox and other subordinates as he found several of his subordinate staff are similar to Mr.Fox. Then Secretary also realized that after his promotion he entered into the world of dangerous Passive Aggressive Employees, instead having enjoyment of promotion. Passive Aggressive employees are not only insidious at work but also very intelligent, captious and belligrant on upright collegues. Intelligent in the sense, such people usually are similing and have many friends among the staff and skilful in aggression that is easy to deny and they show great impact on co-employees and on the overall performance of the Office, by instigating the collegues not to cooperate with the Head.
The Passive Aggressive subordinates always keep a watch on the movements of the upright and honest officers or other honest staff and always assess their actions with presumed fears. They always like to play win-lose game and put some kind of problem on their enemies and disrupt the work from being disposed speedily. Another unique feature of the Passive-aggressive subordinates is to put the Head on the defensive side after habituating him to certain weaknesses.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE SUBORDINATES: One of the important feature of the Passive-Aggressive subordinate is that s/he frequently demonstrate the incompetence and helplessness in discharging his/her functions. That means the Head can notice that even the simplest task, such as filing the papers in sequence in chronological order, writing the notefiles properly, seems beyond his/her comprehension and they get irritated when the Head reassignes the same task for corrections. Next, The Passive-Aggressive subordinates always seek excuses and defensiveness at the time of important meetings. That means the Head gets bad image in the important meetings with other superiors, because the Passive-Aggressive employees arrives to meetings unpreparedly, and also without required files/information. In meetings they seek execuses that makes the Head ashamed among the peer Officers or before superiors.
Next, Routine delays is another significant feature of the Passive-Aggressive subordinates. That means every time when the Head gives an assignment, the task is performed late or not at all. And when the Head insist for immediate completion of the task, the Passive-Agressor shows several blind reasons and later becomes irritative and argumentative. And when the Head himself does it for himself, the Passive-Aggressive subordinate finds joy in teasing the Head with such repeated delays.
Another unique feature of the Passive-Aggressive subordinate is the habit of back-stabbing. That means, the Head frequently hear from ther subordinates that a certain aggressive subordinate regularly questionsthe authority of the Head and denigrates the decisions and assiggnemtn on which the Head has placed importance. These signs may appear as isolated incidents, but continuation of this kind of situation over a period of time would endanger the image of the Head.
SO WHAT MUST BE DONE BY THE HEAD? The Heads of the Departments must be careful not to overreact to some one whom he suspects as passive-aggressive subordinates. In order to aovid confrontation from many such kind of Passive-Aggressive elements existing in the department, it is the best for the Head to look first at what not to do , that is damaging to both himself and for the image of department. For example: not to point out the general behaviour of the Passive-aggressive subordinate, without specific instances to show his/her mistakes. Because the Passive-Aggressive subordinate always like to produce anxiety-attack on the Head and in such situation of altercations, if Head says “get out”, the subordinate feels rewarded to escape from discharging the duty and other heavy work-load. There the Passive-Aggressive subordinate feels Thrill in Insubordination. So dealing with such persons must be learnt according to the situations must be according to the situations. Even if persuaded with good words the Passive-Aggressive subordinates do not change that easily they are not only opportunists but also backstabbers. So, the Head must always be stern to confront them firmly, otherwise the subordinates damage the morale and performance levels of the co-employees by constantly brainwashing them that they too become target of Head’s anger, one day. By dchaitanya
Tags: Thrill Of Insubordination , Public Administration , Public Policies , Administrative Reforms , Administrative Theories , Executive Functions ,
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