By. Steve N.
It’s a really big deal. It doesn’t really matter what you’re shooting for. You’re shooting to be a full fledged union? Recognized by the NLRB? blah, blah, blah… Or if you just want your existence to be a little more enjoyable, a little more bearable. No matter what. You can’t lose by detoxifying your work environment. Make it a rule of thumb: DON’T TALK TRASH.
Like, “This fucking person over here! This person is such an asshole!” And you’re like, “I don’t know where they’re coming from. I don’t know what they’re dealing with in their life.” Or you just don’t say anything. You make an active effort to not talk trash behind people’s backs, other workers’ backs. Consciously or not, your coworkers will recognize the gesture and likely be influenced by it.
And if the manager is there? Or the owner is there? You NEVER talk trash. Like, Zzzzip! You DON’T talk trash to management. I’ve worked in extremely toxic work environments. I’ve been that person throwing shade at other workers for not helping enough or whatever dumb reason. After working for 20 something years, I have come to the conclusion that this is the best way to make your everyday existence, the easiest way to make your everyday existence a little bit better.
And you know what? Some people are really shitty and you gotta fucking confront them about that, and that’s a whole thing in itself. But, for the most part, what co-workers are complaining about is, “This person said this, this person said that.” None of it fucking matters and it just makes the entire work environment shitty. You don’t wanna show up to work, because it’s toxic. Because it’s contagious. That’s what makes a work environment toxic, everybody’s backstabbing and at each other’s throats and it becomes contagious.
So, DETOXIFY IT. First and foremost, regardless of what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna push for union recognization? You’re gonna recruit everybody to the IWW? Blah, blah, blah… It doesn’t matter. First, make your working situation more livable.
That’s solidarity. You’re not STABBING EACH OTHER IN THE BACK! That’s fucking solidarity. That’s camaraderie. Whatever you wanna call it. That’s just trying to not be miserable, day in and day out. Which is what so many people, most workers, experience on a daily basis in their workplace. It seems to me like the best way to fight back against the bosses is to treat one another with basic dignity, basic forgiveness, basic empathy.
Detoxify it and build solidarity!