If you don't stick it to the man, no one else will. And he will keep being the man (or the woman) forever and nothing will change and it will be all your fault. A friend is quitting a job. She's moving on to better pastures, to a place that appreciates her and where she'll be professionally fulfilled. I asked if during her exit interview she's going to tell her current employer that one of the reasons she's leaving - and why she looked for a new job to begin with - was because she was currently disregarded at work. Overlooked, overworked, underpaid, underappreciated - those are terrible adjectives to describe how you spend 40 hours a week.
"No," she replied. I pressed her on why she'd keep her honest opinions to herself. "They won't listen," she said. "They don't care about me or what I say."
That may be true, but if you don't level your criticisms at the man, you're making sure nothing will change. In fact, you're being complicit in them staying the same. You're guaranteeing that the next body that occupies your chair and your office will suffer the same fate.
It's time we started telling the man and woman what we think of him and her. This is what Carlos Miceli has been getting at with his last few blog posts. Gushing is fine if you're being honest. But if you're just being nice then you're not providing any value. And if you're lying - or worse, silent - then you're hurting things.
No, you're not hurting the (wo)man, but they don't have any feelings to hurt in the first place. That's why they take advantage of yours. They are unable to be empathetic. So tell them the truth. Tell them that they took advantage of you and your time and their rules are stupid and they shouldn't block Facebook at work and they need better toilet paper in the bathroom and they may keep finding peons to fill desks but one day the peons will revolt and storm their proverbial Bastille with baguettes and afterwards we'll all be in the park because it's sunny out and as long as I have Wi-Fi I can work from anywhere so your carpeted cubicle walls can shove it.
If you don't say it, the man will keep on keeping on. And if you do say it, you're on your way to somewhere better, so if the man flips out, you won't be around to see it. And maybe - just maybe - the (wo)man takes a look in the mirror and realizes that at some point along the way they did lose sight of who they were, what they were trying to create, the the difference they were trying to make. And then you'll be a hero.
Chefs break eggs; heroes tell the truth.