Dear Mr. Blake,
My office has received numerous complaints in response to Tuesday’s speech to the sales team RE: the Glengarry leads. These troubling accusations detail verbal abuse, workplace bullying, emasculation, damage to self-esteem, and the overall fostering of a hostile and cutthroat work environment, all of which flies in the face of the core values of Mitch & Murray Real Estate.
You employed inflammatory language and certain epithets that you can’t use anymore (and never should have been able to use, if we’re being honest), leading to a speech that was offensive to a multitude of groups, even those not present in the room (note to self: we should make a concerted effort to hire at least one woman to our sales staff).
In the past, you have responded to these HR complaints with diatribes that inquired about the whereabouts of my genitalia and relentlessly mocked my “soft, bureaucratic, Subaru-driving, beta-male, limp-wristed handshake.” I believe his instance, however, offers a unique teachable moment to address some glaring lapses in your managerial style.
These accounts cited numerous instances of emotional debasement, including: “You call yourself a salesman, you son of a b***h?” “The f**king leads are weak? You’re weak.” “You think this is abuse, you c**ks***er?” You used so many expletives, in fact, that while typing up this report, my star key snapped in half, so I apologize for spelling out these vulgarities in full from here on out.
Positive language has been proven to be more effective than cruel, berating tirades. Use encouraging phrases such as “I’d prefer it if you did X” or “Might there be another way to accomplish Y?” rather than “Fuck you” and “Fuck you.”
DO: Ask open-ended questions about your coworker’s role as a new father.
DON’T: Tell him “Fuck you, go home and play with your kids.”
There are better motivational tactics than bragging about the size of your watch, your car, your salary, and one complaint mentioned a literal set of brass testicles, which I can only assume/hope was a custom-made visual aid. Setting clear goals will inspire collaboration, rather than selling one another out for the sake of winning a set of steak knives.
As I have made clear in several intra-office memos, coffee is not reserved exclusively for closers. That communal pot of coffee is designed to promote an inclusive corporate culture that extends across different success levels and economic strata. Sales is a relationship business and sometimes the best salesman, sorry, salesperson isn’t the one who closes the most deals or brings in the most revenue.
Most unforgivably, you continue to perpetuate this “Always Be Closing” school of thought despite it being discredited by most management consultants. As outlined in the countless pamphlets I have left on your desk, we now embrace the mnemonic techniques of: Always Be Compassionate. Always Be Caring. Always Be Conscious of your employee’s emotional state before saying anything that might be construed as offensive or unnecessarily ruthless based on a perceived lack of manliness and/or failing to live up to a narrow definition of success. ABC. It’s simple.
Yet no matter how many carefully worded suggestions or thoughtful performance reviews I offer, I have not witnessed a single indication that you are willing to alter your toxic behavior. Despite all of my efforts to improve this office’s morale, you will continue to be a frustrating, regressive presence in this office who only serves to–
Know what? Upon second thought, I’m suspending you for the next three months without pay. That’s right. It’s my call to make and I just made it. I’m from HR and I am here on a mission of vengeance.
Oh. Do I have your attention now?
And I’m sure you’ll be whining about some guy in HR won’t who cave to your abuse. Some pencil pusher who won’t let a real man do his job. Well let’s talk about something important: genuine human connections.
Good salesman? No one gives a shit. Crushing it on commission? Go cry about it in your BMW as you drive home to your future ex-wife. “Fuck you” should be your name. And you know why? Because manliness doesn’t mean broad shoulders and a raspy voice and a Brooks Brothers rewards card. It means a concern for the well-being of those around you, you pathetic testosterone-soaked protohuman.
So respect others’ personal boundaries, you pencil-dicked walking overcompensation of a man, or I will put the “severe” back in “severance.” Hit the bricks, pal, and beat it because your Sun Tzu-inspired Dunning-Kruger confidence isn’t going to save you this time.
If you have any follow-up questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. My schedule will always be clear.
Doug from HR