Musical Chair

In an organization, you can lose your seat (job) for 2 reasons. The first is the impact of the external environment on the business. The second is the musical chair played every now and then within the organization.

Here is what happens inside the organization.

The business changes:

  • People on the inside get mixed with new people from another company because of an acquisition or a merger
  • Business expands
  • Business shrinks
  • Business closes

People around you changes

  • Organizational structure changes.
  • Bosses, colleagues and subordinates come and go.

Your job changes

  • Your position becomes redundant.
  • Your regular job becomes a term job.
  • Your job is downsized and given to someone else.

How your boss treats you. This is probably the most important work relationship you have in the organization.

How well your subordinates work with and for or against you.


Dear Diary: Sandwiched


This is a write up about a real situation at work. It illustrates how it not only could be a waste of time and efforts but endurance of emotional hurts suffered in working for someone else. It has nothing to do with our own work performance but the situation leaves us cold, either out of a job or looking for a new one. When that happens, we cannot meet our family responsibilities or financial commitments.

There is no solution offered in this written situation. This article is just food for thoughts. A lot of us have been sold this idea of working at a job and building a career. It could be much better road if we had started our work life creating and building our own work.


It is your new job. It is a small country club with 150 people. You report to the General Manager (GM) but there is a Deputy General Manager (DGM) that the General Manager works closely with and you rank in the organization just below her as a department head. The DGM has been with the firm for a long time and was promoted from her post as a departmental head.

The Sandwiched Situation

The situation you are in may be the same, except the job titles and gender may change. On the surface, both the General Manager and the Deputy General Manager seems to get along but the Deputy General Manager will ask for things to be done even if you do not report to her and have her own disagreements with how the General Manager approach or deal with business operations matter but she is selective about what to bring up directly to him.

The GM just wanted to get by in his job and all he cared is to be able to hold on to his job. If anything is broken but is still working, he is not going to do anything about it.

The GM would offload tasks that he finds difficult or troublesome to deal with to the DGM. The DGM would accept them and complain bitterly behind the GM’s back. When the DGM disagrees with what the GM plans to do or doing, she would either bring it up to him behind closed doors or at the spur of the moment, while there are other people around.

These do not make things tough for you.

What Cause the Situation to be Difficult

The problems that you face is that the Deputy General Manager use you as an instrument to put forward her agenda to the General Manager when she does not want to do so. It would seem to the General Manager that you are the culprit.

In addition, should you do that in order to pacify her and see that it is a valid matter, she can turn around and stay on the same side with the General Manager when he disagrees strongly with you.

The third point is that when she is unhappy with how you deal with a situation, that it does not fit I with how she would like things to be or her agenda, she would call for a meeting with her and the GM to go over the matter.

Should You Decide to Resign

If you resign, your tenure is going to look bad in your employment history. So what do you do?



Living in a Conforming World

This is a lesson for those who just enter the job market and generally want to be the star employee so that they can climb the corporate ladder.

Almost all organizations, whether for profits, not for profits and non-profits adopt a hierarchical organizational structure.

What this means is that anytime there are layers of people above you that hold increasing powerful positions as we look upwards.

Unlike school, the workplace is not a place for finding friends, although you should always appear to be professionally friendly.

This means you are expected to conform to some extent and some people may have unhealthy egos.

There are some basic rules that you have to keep in mind:

  • Always know in a workplace where people come and go, you would have a chance to encounter the good, bad and ugly.
  • Watch what you say.
  • Never go against the boss that you are reporting to.
  • If appropriate, ask “What are your instructions on this matter?”
  • Ask yourself “Will my efforts be appreciated if I take up things myself and do more?”
  • At the end of the day it is just a job even if we hope that it is an opportunity to serve our community or country. We may want to serve the larger purpose but others that we work with may not care and may not agree.