What to Do With Stupid Orders – Que faire face aux ordres stupides ?

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

If you evolve within une hiérarchie, you have probably at some point faced… stupid orders. What can we do against stupid orders ? We can think, but we can also act.

Of course, we can choose to secrete some of the stress caused by stupid orders into our heads and that’s OK ! Try doing this for a while though and you’ll most likely stop, because you’ll find it’s useless.

Stupid orders make us think.

Maybe we first have to realize that our managers KNOW his or her instructions are dumb, useless, or counter-productive because after all this game of hierarchy is a matter of masks. At points, it can even become humorous to think that maybe the manager is hiding his own embarrassment when he asks us do – that. Donnez-lui un coup de coude (en pensée).

On the mood-dial of our brains, the needle can go from complete zenitudness (you don’t care about the consequences of disobeying stupid orders – you’re the Zen Master) to complete madness and murderous wishes. Alas, in the hierarchic work world, whatever you “think” can become completely useless. So what happens when your tired skull is fighting responsibility?

We play with this, manage it, compress it, try to understand it, and document it… it’s all ours. Maybe you are great at being able to detect stupid orders, however you prefer not to think about it. So then what do you do with the entire keyboard of options in front of you?

1. You can fight and say NO (aaaand… you’re fired. Goodbye).

2. You can try to explain to your manager (or to his own manager if you like danger) why the order is sooo stupid.

3. You can disobey and hide your “good work”.

4. You can just shut up and do the thing (muttering and mumbling in you beard if need be).

5. Discrete resistance is also an option. For example:  Sabotage.  Slowing the process.  Killing the branches of stupidity in silence and hiding your effort to make these stupid orders a partial or complete failure (however this could lead to betrayal by colleagues and your activity might be detected.)

Tools:

It can be useful to try various types of dissonance in an effort to develop your stance.

Inner Exile can be perfect at times. You are simply not there. You hide like a spider in a hole, linked by a casual thread.

Disguised Acceptation is cool too.  You merely say yes (and smile if you want), but you follow your own path.

At the most you’ll be found guilty of being a free electron. So there!

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