I have involuntarily researched the life and habitat of a mean girl in the workforce for the last year. I was unaware previously that the young hatchlings that we encounter in high school don’t always evolve into kind, decent individuals. However, another theory is that these mean women weren’t the mean girls at all, but that a defect presents itself in some younger human girls, in which their kindness or bashfulness during secondary education morphs into a meanness that they hadn’t possessed before.
Neither theory has been scientifically proven as of yet, however, I fully believe this report to be crucial in the beginnings of a larger investigation into the topic as to protect future employees from misery. This investigation is not to be conducted by me, however, as I have fucking had it up to here.
How to Spot Her
Once mean girls have reached their maturity, they don’t always look like they did in high school. In most cases, they have shed their natural good looks that protected them and replaced it with a shell that looks, more often than not, like Roseanne Barr. Their main camouflage consists of a debilitating fake smile, which is used in the beginning of their hunt, to get you to trust them and take the job you were offered.
How She Survives
The only ecosystem a mean girl can work in is one with a weak leader. A survival tactic she is known to use in her workforce habitat is clinging to the one in charge, most notably the boss. While most other creatures in your work ecosystem avoid the mean girl as if she were a carrier of the plague, the right boss can be easily manipulated. Perhaps it’s the pressure of being King of the Jungle, or the even steadier pressure of being a bad King of the Jungle. The boss likes the mean girl’s attitude, the fact that she will do the dirty work, and, over time, the mean girl becomes second-in-charge, whether or not (usually not) her title or responsibilities make it so. Once this overtaking is complete, you’ll spot another key element to the mean girl’s environment: a constant turnaround. Not all other work creatures can survive in this habitat, in fact, very few can.
If you’ve entered into a workplace that is both physically and metaphorically cold, the offices are almost all empty, and you’re the 27th person in your position in only a few years, be aware; you may have entered the workplace of a mean girl.
What Makes Her Tick
What sets mean girls apart is their frequency to feed on the strong. They prefer a herd of weak colleagues, men and women that make her look better. It’s the ones that are good at their job, that bring something new to the terrain, that she preys on. These are the kinds of workers that may put her in a poor light, and when you look like Rosanne Barr, you can’t afford bad lighting.
Her main diet consists of coffee, various forms of processed meat, and venomous gossip. While she only feeds on the coffee and meat periodically, her intake (and outtake) of gossip is constant and continuous. Without it, she begins to turn pale and tired, and must be re-energized by telling someone a rumor about someone else.
How to Survive for the Time Being
If you find yourself working in the surroundings of mean girl, there are three key ways to survive until you can migrate somewhere sunnier.
- Know it’s not personal. A mean girl doesn’t see anything but a threat in you. Her instincts are fight or flight and she’s too afraid to fly anywhere. Chances are there were many victims before you and there will be many after you.
- Know you are not the exception. Her camouflage is only that, it’s not real. When other workers leave the room and the mean girl begins to squawk negatively about everything from their hair to their professional accomplishments, the same will happen when you leave the room next. No one is safe in her jungle.
- Lay low. Or stand up for yourself. But don’t do the thing in between, whatever that’s called. You’ll survive for as long as you need to if you find your own kind of camouflage, let her poison drip from your shoulders without entering your body, and use kindness as your only defense. OR make yourself seem taller and stand up against her, call her out, make it known that you see through her disguise. You won’t last long, but at least you’ll roam to a new place with less scars.
How to Survive in the Long Run
If you’re of the positive vibes, kind, and hard-working species, it may suit you to find a completely different workplace. The mean girl put in a lot of effort and manipulation, most likely after many failed attempts elsewhere, to get to be in the position she’s in now. You may find yourself feeling drained of your positivity, getting caught-up in the gossip, or losing your defenses.
No job is worth losing yourself over. And the truth is, if the environment so easily nurtures the nature of a mean girl, it’s not the kind of environment of which you should be a part.