The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Taking the Workplace As Battleground to Settle Scores

There seems to be an unwritten law somewhere that even if people live under the same roof and meet regularly elsewhere, they should settle their scores at the workplace.

Landlords, the police, commercial sex workers and a motley of other providers of both legal and illegal goods and services seem to want to demand your attention at the workplace.

By so doing they forget that they will be directly competing with the interests of the employer.

Under labour laws, people work for eight hours daily in exchange for payment, and it won't be reasonable to expect full payment in instances where one would have eaten into the employer's time fighting personal battles.

Companies employ people to boost production and make money.

They do not do so to be treated to free drama by people demanding payments and a fair share of the love pie at the expense of production.

How you present yourself to others in the business world speaks volumes.

People often form first impressions about others within seconds of first meeting them; therefore it is crucial to ensure you are properly prepared to present yourself as a professional.

Do you think clients would continue doing business with you if they walk into your office and find your wife firing barbs at you?

Would they want to associate with you or your company if they hear that you do not sleep at home every pay day?

"Zirume rekupi risinganyare? Ukatambira mari hausvike kumba, unozouya mari yapera. Ndinovapeiko vana vako, murume wangu ndazvitadza," women will say to you at the workplace without caring to understand that your personal issues have no room at the workplace.

Some people's quest to be elevated goads them into inviting outsiders to wound a rival's reputation through unfounded claims.

Uncouth bosses bent on getting a subordinate fired have in the past been known to invite prostitutes who then address the targets in uncomplimentary terms just to spark physical and verbal fights which will be used against the unsuspecting bloke.

Itsoro mwachewe! Upenyu wekubasa kurongerana.

Gentle reader, if you want to hear dirt about someone, just pay them a visit at the workplace.

Guards who man entrances to these places do a lot to protect the images of certain philanderers by keeping would-be attackers at bay.

As I commit pen to paper gentle reader, some companies have in the past had to call the police to disperse rowdy people from their premises.

Some employers have also had to repair windowpanes smashed by people seeking to settle scores with their workers.

Others have been forced to send people on leave to ensure they solve their personal problems before making their way to work.

"Mukoma dai mambonozorora muri kumba mozouya kubasa mhepo dzenyu dzagadzikana," yours truly heard a colleague who operates a fleet of kombis telling his driver.

There is something about disturbing someone at work that makes the lion in some people roar.

Countless workers have been left picking up the tabs after having their clothes torn by rival suitors at the reception.

Only recently, H-Metro splashed pictures of someone who had his car smashed in the workplace carpark by the husband of a woman he was reportedly dating.

Week-in, week-out papers are running stories of jilted men being dragged to the courts of law for trailing their former spouses to work and assaulting them there.

Numerous workers risk losing their jobs, not for their misdeeds, but because of some people who pay them visits during working hours.

It's as if workplaces have no rules.

Hardly a day passes without news of a worker being dressed down by a spouse, ex-lover, relative or creditor in front of his peers at work.

The unlucky ones have had children dumped on them for want of child support.

This is usually done by incumbent of former spouses who conduct their smear campaigns while donning tattered and soiled apparel to paint a picture of outright neglect.

"Ukada kushamisira ndichakunyadzisa kubasa kwako," you hear people being told straight in the eye in the communities in which we live.

"You are going to be sorry the day I will come to collect money for the beer you quaff up here without caring to pay. You will rue your poor drinking habits," shebeen queens often say and sometimes live up to their threats.

Unonyadziswa ukanzwa butter pabasa.

People must learn to respect other people's workplaces.

No matter that your brother has a big post at a public institution, that does not give you the right to order his workmates around or use the telephone as if you work there.

Some sleepy not-so-town-like workers have suffered the ignominy of being slapped across the face by their bosses' girlfriends.

"Kana adzoka umuudze kuti achakurovesa neni kana achibuda asina kureva," the onion-shaped women often say to timid workers.

People need to learn professional etiquette and how to conduct themselves at others' places of work to avoid embarrassment.

Women must have a culture of discussing and solving their grievances at home without being a nuisance at their husbands' workplaces.

Attempts to embarrass people at their places of work have often backfired for some people after having police set on them besides being the wronged parties.

Employed people must also learn to respect themselves and their employers by ensuring that information that has nothing to do with work is not funnelled into the ears of the bosses.

People have no role to play in their workmates' bedroom politics and it serves everyone right not to keep them within earshot.

Workplaces are sacred, respect them.

Inotambika mughetto.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.