Use your bad role models for good

I’ve banged on about it before, but I recently left a job I was extremely unhappy in. It was starting to make me depressed, miserable, and not fun to be around.

Don’t worry, this post ends on a positive! 🙂

Anyway, in this job, I had two managers. Let’s call them Christine and Prudence.

Christine and Prudence could be quite difficult to work with, and for. And that’s an understatement.

The girl in the position before me had a nervous breakdown and left the job on stress leave. The girl before her left with no job to go to (as did I). The girl before her was laid off when she was six months pregnant. And at some point in the middle of all that, there were 3 interns back to back, who lasted a few weeks of their four month contracts. You get the idea, anyway 🙂

Don’t get me wrong – I know this story is common in many companies, volunteer places, or other groups. But to give you my background…

Christine did as little work as possible, took the credit for your work, but threw you in it when something went wrong.

Prudence had the Jekyll and Hyde thing going on: one minute she was your best friend, the next minute she was shooting you devil looks and questioning why you had just done something (that she had asked you to do) – and you never knew what mood she was going to be in. Every day was a surprise. Fun and games for the whole team! 🙂

But… by far the worst thing (for me) was the general aura of negativity they both had going on around them. Nothing was ever good enough – no colleague or work contact could do anything well, life wasn’t fair, and there was always something to moan about. For hours.

We all know people like this. I’m not saying I was special in spending my working life in the company of these dementors 🙂 (as I affectionately called them in my head)

All sounds kinda crappy so far, huh?

However! Not so fast!

I’ve now left that job, but even when I was there, these two ladies helped me A LOT.

Why? Because they were my worst role models possible!

Let me explain.

The other day I was in a moany mood. I was starting to moan about something, and then I caught myself. I sounded like someone I knew… who was it…?

Yep! I sounded exactly like Christine! Heaven forbid! I shut my mouth quick as a flash, and forced a smile. Took a deep breath. Was it really that bad? No. Did I need to moan about it to my partner (and did he want to hear about it)? No, no, no! Do I want to sound like that? No thanks.

It’s good to know that a positive can come out of such a horrible situation. These two ladies are a reminder of the person I don’t want to turn into.

Think of someone who really bugs you. Maybe someone at work who’s a bit of an asshole. Think of what bugs you about them. Their arrogance? Their negativity? They way they talk over everyone else, or think they’re so clever?

Then use it to make yourself a better person!

If you find yourself being a bit arrogant or negative, think to yourself – hang on, do I sound like that guy from work? A little bit? Sheesh! I’d better shape up!

You can use these people to your advantage.

While the experience I had with these two women wasn’t great, I’m kind of thankful that they gave me such a clear view of what I don’t want to be like in life.

I’m not saying you should consciously aim for bad role models. But you can turn it into a good thing! And it feels like you’re having the last laugh, in a weird way.

Do you have bad role models that you can use to make you an even better person? Who don’t you want to be like in your life? Keep a lookout for them!



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