Blindsiding in the workplace: My longstanding pet peeve


I have great peripheral vision. I think it has something to do with having grown up in the South Bronx. Walking home from the subway at night meant being extremely vigilant staring ahead trying to gauge what was occurring blocks head, listening intently for footsteps behind me and developing peripheral vision to see around corners.  There was no way, I ever wanted to be blindsided on the streets of New York. As such I could never play football. If I were a footballer I would fall into a full-blown rage if I were blindsided which happens a lot on the play field.


Sadly, blindsiding also occurs in the workplace which is one of my great pet peeves.  Having a pet peeve is all the rage for it marks one as quirky and unique.  As a supervisor I take the perspective of serving as a mentor. I want to grow staff and take pride and delight in my team members being shining stars. I always tell my team members that I will have their back in public and that I will serve as advocate looking out for their best interests. The one thing I ask for in return (well besides doing a good job) is that they don’t blindside me. There is nothing more disturbing to me than a team member deliberately trying to go behind my back or cause additional work in the workplace.  So strong is my belief in this, that recently a workplace jeopardy game (as part of a training) had the answer “do not blindside me” under the category of quotes.  It was in good fun to include that answer as part of the game but it is a serious matter as well.


Do you remember hearing about the Mayweather –Ortiz boxing match in which Mayweather blindsided Ortiz?  It was a controversial complicated and weird boxing match. Ortiz had headbutted Mayweather and apologized kissing Mayweather on the forehead. He had a point deducted from his score.  Then they came back to the middle of the ring and Ortiz had his hands down and the referee was looking off to the side.  Then Mayweather left hooked him followed by a right hook and Ortiz went down.  Some say it was legitimate sequence of events and others cried out that Mayweather blindsided Ortiz.  At the end of the day, the first rule of boxing is to protect yourself at all times and keep the eye on the ball.


However, it becomes tiring to always be on guard.  It would be nice to believe that workplace “fights” would be fair and there would be no blindsiding. It does occur, unfortunately.  Blindsiding at the end of the day is a very passive-aggressive move by angry or very manipulative individuals.  Despite this being a tactic by some I still believe that one should not tolerate such behavior. It is my number one pet peeve in the workplace. When it happens we should call it out and not enable it to keep occurring.   Then again, I was recently told that the reason I am so disturbed by such behavior is that I am a Taurus. Not too sure what that means other than perhaps that as a “bull” I cannot tolerate much BS.


I would like to advocate for us all to get along in the workplace. However, if that is not possible, lets stick with a rule of not blindsiding each other.  The workplace should not be a Game of Thrones environment. However, should it be one here is a word of advice.  The one that engages in blindsiding eventually gets either blindsided themselves, becomes ostracized or gets their own hallmark meme.


So, its Friday. Get into work and get the work done. Live and let live.





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