Posted in Short Stories

Psychological Warfare of any Type of Business

Does it exist?

Business is business no matter where you go in the world, and there will always be problems and confrontation. It is how we choose to deal with psychological warfare of the business.

Everyday life has a way of putting a person in their place. What do I mean? You ask this question as if I know everything. I do not, but I do know when life is like a chess board. The board is unique to how events line up. The board is designed to attack an opponent and pick off the opposing team one by one, but what happens when this is being played by a company such as where you work. It’s happening in many jobs all around the world, but I have found the most interesting field of work is the restaurant industry. While you work for a restaurant company you start to understand the nature of the company, and how working for a corporation or a franchise is no different.

While everyone knows the older generation makes up the majority of the restaurant’s form of income of the business. Yes, there are other restaurants which allow football games and wings for the younger crowd with loud music, and drinks. The Chessboard is played differently in this type of environment but relates all the same to the type of psychological warfare in the business.

Competition is always going to make a person compete to make another person look bad in favor of power. What is power? Why is power effective? The chess board, for instance, has a king. The king in the scenario will be the owner of the company. The queen will be the Vice President, and the other pieces will fall into place according to management, supervisors, and the pawns which are usually the lower level employees. The question should be who runs the asylum? Is it the manager who is in control of his subordinates, or is it the pawns running around the restaurant trying to satisfy the guests’ needs? Who is actually running the asylum?

The king walks through the door, and everyone is supposed to stop and address the king. If the king is not welcomed he will rebel and throw a tantrum, but what happens when the king tells a team member.

“You are not special.”

The type of power in which I am talking about is called conditioning. The condition is. I am in power and you are below me. I can replace you, but when you do this in public where all the customers and employees can hear you this becomes a problem. It has been seen in major corporations such as major store branches who have become a monopoly of power with no limitations of how they treat their employees. The conditioning is you are replaceable, or a dime a dozen.

The employee feels awful because it is embarrassing to them emotionally and psychologically, but it also sets a standard for your customers. Every person who walks into the facility is a customer, including the owner and his staff. The owner at this point has set the tone for his employees who are his internal customers. The tone he has set is simple the cascading effect of power, and the king has either unknowingly or knowingly put up a boundary. He has said at that moment. “I do not care about you or the people.” Implying that all he cares about is the money being sent to his bank account. The customers bring me money not you, but you are wrong sir! The employees are internal customers who supply the demand. The concept if another one of the king’s restaurants opens and takes money from the employees’ lives it takes a part of their livelihood. i.e. the restaurant has a fire, and the employees are affected because they can’t work for an extended period of time. The owner of the company does not give a damn because it all goes into the same pocket. Who’s? His pocket!

The king will make more off of insurance, because of the fact that his investment into his own company will pay him for his loss of product, building structure, and wages.

What happens if an employee was able to have insurance like the owner in case of a fire, or another disaster? The employee would also be protected, and in turn, would also benefit.

The hierarchy of power reflects the mood of the owner onto the upper-level management, and lower level management and the management enforces this mood onto the staff members through retaliation.

It is amazing how many businesses use the schedule as a form of punishment. Employees everywhere if this is happening please call your human resources department! The schedule is a binding legal document the court systems use to ensure the employee is getting the number of hours needed to sustain their household and daily lives and is used for unemployment purposes. If an employee’s schedule is changed the manager must ensure the employee is aware of the change and ask if the employee can work the desired amount of hours. The favorite is the fact when managers put schedules are subject to change. Check your schedules. Is this acceptable? Is it even legal if you are living in an, at will state for employment? It’s illegal and highly unprofessional to use the schedule as a form of punishment, but when the owner has power in their human resources department anyone is a target of retaliation. Whistle blowers tread cautiously in this type of scenario because you are subject to feel the same wrath. The department should be separate from the company and should not be manipulated by source or rather king, queen, bishop, took, castle, in this scenario. Higher ups influence should not be considered if they are contributing to the issue, or are part of the problem. The retaliation point could also be the signing of checks. When the owner signs the checks and takes it to the bank. What are his thoughts and actions, but anyway back to the management discussion, and hierarchy of power?

The manager then turns his attention to the not so special person who is apparently replaceable. It’s a fact of any business who can abuse their power knowing every employee is replaceable. If a vice president the (queen) of the board is pressured by the king. The Queen is bent on pleasing power so in return subjects her power toward the staff and guests making an impact on subordinates and the lower level pawns of the company. Her goal is to set impossible standards and force the (employee) opponent out the door, or in this case taken off the board, but the company feeds the notion of we want long-term employees. Is this at all acceptable? Is it right? Who do you go to when this sort of power crushes your inner character and well-being? The punishment and retaliation of this type of behavior break a person’s moral.

The many problems built into this environment are hard to comprehend. These are just some of the problems associated with the business. A company such as this should focus on the well-being of a person, and not whether or not they can show up to work, but people need to work in order to survive. What about the well-being of the employee? If the employee is ill and needs to stay away from guests and other employees the employee is told to cover their shift. If the shift is not covered they are written up. Three strikes and the employee becomes jobless and the manager is finding a replacement.

What does this mean to the employee?

The queen, rooks, bishops, knights, and pawns are all victims of retaliation and subjected to a hostile work environment. Who wants to work for a king who does not care about his staff and just the money? There is an imbalance in the business, and it is after all just business, but the staff is what makes the king powerful. The staff is the ultimate key to the success of the business, and the power of the king. The chess board is being played by someone else, because though the king is in power. The king has deadlines, licensing, insurance claims, legal issues, and many other issues to handle on a daily basis including loss prevention/food cost. The king has got to look into his heart, and find the reason he started doing the business. Though, yes, we understand it is to make money but is money so important his internal and external customers have to suffer as he crushes his team to make the extra million or two.

Psychological warfare is played by everyone in the Restaurant business even the pawns, but though it is played by everyone in the business it is the source of power which makes the biggest impact on the business and the impression on the person. Telling someone they are not special is not empathetic to the person’s situation. It is cruel! Who would continue to work for someone who gets mad if you are late because every day is different, and every day brings a new challenge? The challenge is to find the one person who stands separate from the rude comments, and the negativity in the palace of sanity or insanity. It overall has affected this person to hear all the rude comments internally, and externally, but when the person starts utilizing the knowledge to set boundaries around their personal perspective, and emotional faults. The person has the ability to become more than just a pawn in the game of psychological warfare. The ability to influence people to help others be successful is influential to this type of environment. Look for the positive in the sharks gliding along on top while you are struggling to swim to the top. Life is a ladder in order to succeed you must keep climbing even after you’ve met the highest level of accomplishment. The issue is we all get comfortable in our positions, but when a person is constantly subject to change and rotation. The growth is exponential internally and externally the customers such as staff and guests know you will take care of their needs, but the acknowledgment and respect from the employees is even greater. The staff learns to appreciate and will go out of their way to help this person.

The kicker. How would you feel having to go to work every day knowing the powerful chess pieces are not able to make a person quit and give up? Ultimately, in order to carry the briefcase, you have to be able to handle every aspect of the chess board and the pieces in which the board allows a move. What happens when you run out of moves? Does the game end, or do you find yourself restarting the game? The guests always come first, but for the king, it is his wishes above the guest. I am served first because I am the owner, and because I am above you the attitude is; I am hungry feed me! Is this right? Is this wrong? Who ultimately fires the employee/customer? I would say the employee/customer fires themselves or just give up, but when the employee/customer gives into this type of treatment. They start to forget the external customer, and don’t care about their lives; they just focus on keeping their jobs to sustain their lives.

The king has won, and the queen has been given the satisfaction of crushing an internal adversary while using his tools such as the manager, bishop, knight, and the rook to affect the pawns in the game, and the effect is the end game. The pawn could be just as powerful as the more powerful pieces in this business all they have to do is think effectively to strategize how to understand the opponent/worker and never let your opponent know what your next move will be until you make it, but while you make the next move make sure the opponent thinks thoroughly about their next move. I would suggest always be three to four steps ahead, and think first before you try and make your next move. In this case the owner and the management. Knowing there dislikes about certain ways of shutting down the restaurant, and adjusting the environment to where the king does not complain to the queen, the bishop, knight, or the rook about who is at fault for things not done. It makes the pawn in the game highly effective in keeping a distance from the powerful opponents, but instead can take action to see, avoid, and stop the stronger opponents’ warpath when the time is right. I would say the two teams are equal but when you clock in the time for moving is essential to being at war with the other team. Every business has what you would call the bottom feeders of the company. The employee who is off the radar, and is doing the minimal amount of work puts more work on other employees. The situation could be approached and redirected without having to crush the internal pieces on the board, but it continues to happen daily as the manipulation and problems are not addressed.

The chess board and psychological warfare in this type of business crushes an intellect and drains the mind of a strong-willed person. The term. “Treats others how you want to be treated” is trumped by others trying to harness and gain power. The game of leaving things which should be put away as soon as an opener opens the door instead throws the previous shift under the bus, and left for road kill. The person who does this stands by and lets the others take the fall when the king complains. Why wasn’t this done? The direct response, for example, is they did not do it yesterday or last night. The initial response the king should say is. “Who opened this morning? Why is this not done?” Instead, the king, lacking the team approach, in turn, is not contributing to the team effort and only thinking of who to blame? Instead, he walks around ranting and raving about what is not done and who is to blame. He should’ve asked the team to get the job done in an effort to alleviate the problem.

Hiring people who say they can do the job, but they really do not have the necessary skills to do the job is another thing. We see this in politics, restaurant businesses, casinos, hotels… Interviewing people who feed you the information you want to hear have the ability to get the job, but when they have the job are unable to perform. All talk and no action. The person is hired to point their fingers and talk crap about others while insuring their faults are not looked at when questioned the person points the finger at the other employees. It drives staff members crazy when this happens and more problems develop. The person fails at ordering, preparation, job knowledge, and constructively critiquing staff because of lack of training. Where is the training, manager? In turn, this person is a fast talker in the circus of employment and does the same thing in the scenario with the king when confronted. The person is special in his own aspect, but is sadly also replaceable, as am I for writing this article? “Not an admission of guilt!”

Longevity or job tenure! What is it and why is it important? In a never-ending changing world, the environment of the restaurant is never the same for too long. Employees who have worked for the company for long periods of time develop methods of manipulation. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman in this scenario because if you have worked for the company for 10 years they have what is called seniority. It means individual employees have an investment where they have invested time and energy to see the company grow and expand as they have grown and expanded their positions, but what happens when the person is a new piece on the chess board and the people who have an investment in the company manipulate the new people? The employees who are new have no idea the environment they are about to embark on. The senior employee who knows their position well has the ability to manipulate others in the work field through scheduling, job duties, and like the king make others feel like they should quit through manipulation causing damage to the person’s perspective, and though the employee feels good about themselves it creates a hostile work environment. Here is an example. In the restaurant business servers who are hogging tables, and not sharing the load with their teammates to ensure everyone has a chance at making money. In order to knock the opponent off of the chess board, the senior employee manipulates the situation while the manager lets this behavior happen without addressing the situation and seating the restaurant accordingly. When this is done effectively the workplace is friendly and engaging, but without balance it is chaos, and thus the question. Who is running the asylum? We all know everyone needs a job and money to sustain a life so the newer employees allow this behavior unknowingly, or if they know the employee will complain to management and lose hope if nothing is done. The newer employee does not know how to respond, or how to handle the situation, and this is how we end up with a self-destructing employee; meaning the employee ends their employment with the company. How would you handle the situation? Who would you turn to if management does nothing, and the senior employee is large and in charge of the aquarium swimming alongside the sharks at the top of the food chain?

In conclusion, a book could be written on the number of issues associated with the restaurant business or any business, but in order to survive the business you must set yourself apart from the chess pieces and the board of checkered boxes, and tell yourself. “It’s just a job in which you are solely making the decision to work in this type of environment.”


3 thoughts on “Psychological Warfare of any Type of Business

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