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I can’t stand the backstabbing…

Dear Office-Politics,

I can’t stand the backstabbing of the general public. I have now become self employed… I refuse to stab myself in the back.

Protecting my Backside

dr. john burton

Dear “Protecting my Backside”,

While it is difficult to stab oneself in the back, you need to be aware of the injuries that are common to the self-employed; shooting yourself in the foot and falling on your sword.

Dr. John knows both of these well, since I am self employed too. With no one else as part of the organization I have only myself to blame every time something goes wrong.

When a contract falls through, or a client looks at my proposal with all the interest of an Alaskan talking to a refrigerator salesperson – I look down and see the smoking gun in my own hand.

I have not reached the point of falling on my sword yet, but every month-end when the inflow of cash is overwhelmed by the inflow of bills I am tempted to put an end to it all and look for a nice safe organization where all I have to worry about is the occasional back-stabber.

Thanks for writing to Office-Politics. Good luck in your solo flight.

Dr. John Burton

Dr. John Burton LL.B. M.B.A. M.Div. Ph.D. is an ethicist, mediator, lawyer and theologian. He has taught alternative dispute resolution at Queen’s Law School and Ethics at the Schulich School of Business. John was recently located in Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada, working with Canada’s aboriginal communities. He is now teaching at UBC, Okanagan Campus.

Publication note: This letter was originally published in 2002. We are republishing the best letters from Office-Politics and integrating them with our blog format.

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