Have you ever worked for a boss who was so bad you considered him a Neanderthal? Probably.
Neanderthal’s are thought to be extinct, but chances are good that you’re working with one right now, either as a co-worker or a boss.
What is interesting about modern day Neanderthals is that they are widely regarded as a separate species from humans. Homo neanderthalensis vs. Homo sapiens (you and me).
Assuming you’ve worked for or with such a creature, you know what I mean. They’re a separate species.
Anthropologists consider them an extinct species from ice-age Europe perhaps 35,000 to 120,000 years ago. Then, their defining characteristics were a receding forehead and prominent brow ridges.
Klingons with a club, perhaps.
Also interesting is how the species, thought to have become extinct, has actually managed to thrive and prosper. Today, Neanderthals are considered uncivilized, unintelligent, uncouth.
One of my favorite books is Bernstein and Rozen’s Neanderthals at Work: How People and Politics Can Drive You Crazy… And What You Can Do About Them.
These are the same guys who wrote Dinosaur Brains. Yes, that book is about dealing with impossible people at work. Sound familiar?
I’ve worked for and with a few Neanderthals through the years. Some worked for Verizon, and, as you’d expect from a Neanderthal, in a phone company direct contact was dangerous. It pays to avoid them wherever possible.
Look around the place you work. Why is conflict so easy and cooperation so difficult? Why do so many people at work seem like cave dwellers with tiny brains who do things that just don’t make sense to reasonable, intelligent people?
If all that sounds familiar, then you’re dealing with Neanderthals; either co-workers or bosses. Or worse– both.
Assuming that to be the case, then you need help. One way to defend yourself and prosper is to search out a better employment situation, with fewer or no Neanderthals. That’s easier said than done.
I’ve been fired more than a few times, though I’ll admit that only about half of my bosses were Neanderthals (you cannot peacefully co-exist with a Neanderthal) so I write from the perspective of personal experience.
The other half of my bosses, with a few exceptions, were Self Appointed and Anointed Gods. Think of them as the other end of the evolutionary scale, far removed from Neanderthals, obviously intelligent and articulate, but creatures who fell into the trappings of power.
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
For the betterment of your health, absolutely avoid both Neanderthals and SAAGs. I worked for both at Verizon and elsewhere. They seem to congregate and breed in large organizations with long histories, good insurance, bonus plans, and stock options.