Who Gets Laid Off? The Abels ...
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 031701)

... For those who hide behind naive notions
that laid off folks 'deserve what they get'
or 'must be sacrificed for the good of the
holy corporation' ...

Consider the following, and ponder the
unfair and unjust manner in which the
good and pro-human Abels of the world
are manipulated and taken advantage of
by the Cains of the world ...



... The co-authors start with the premise that
"There are Cains in 'the real world," both male
and female.

"Cains operate in every kind of organization
-- corporate, political, academic, military,
even charitable. ...

Cain is a backstabber and a liar. He is a
self-motivated, manipulative and ruthless
individual. He aims to control people and
situations for his own advancement, using
a variety of tactics to accomplish his goals."

And who is Abel? Well, as his name sounds,
the key to the nice guy here is ability.

"Underlying the Cain-Abel interaction," write
Lange and Domke, "is a cardinal truth about
human relationships:

Abel's ability is a fundamental threat to Cain's
personal achievement and ultimate success,
and Cain knows this all too well."


The co-authors assert that a Cain can be
remarkably sophisticated in hiding his or
her intent.

In the chapter "How To Know a Cain," they
write: "Cain is eager to do favors -- especially
when he has to 'bend the rules' or 'shade the
truth' to do so -- because it gives him leverage
with people.

He doesn't want to hear 'Thank you.' He wants
to say, 'You owe me.' To Cain, these are the
three sweetest words in the English language."

Abel, write the authors, "is someone who
has been conditioned, by his own nature and
experience, to assume that good behavior
will automatically be rewarded and bad
behavior will be punished.

Abel believes in behaving 'decently.' He is
considerate of others. And his accepting and
unsuspicious nature can be easily exploited
by Cain."

If the main motivation for a Cain is described
by these authors as self-gain, the main failing
of an Abel is what Elizabethans might have
called a "sweet nature." And Domke and
Lange offer 27 suggestions meant to help
Abels get a little smarter in the field.


"Most people are Abels. There is a tendency
to think of them as naive because they're
well-intentioned and they assume that
everyone else is also well-motivated ...
unless there is evidence to the contrary.

But this isn't naivete, it's normal. If
someone has a positive view of life, he's
justified in thinking that most people are
like him.

Obviously, they can be taken advantage
of when they run into a Cain. Normal
people can be fooled by Cain's superficial
charm and surface attractiveness."

Cains have a polished manner. They know
what is expected by other people, then they
project exactly that.

And they're good at it ... precisely because
they have no conscience. They don't care
whether the image they are projecting is
genuine. In fact, sincerity may be irrelevant
to them because they are not even consciously
aware that they're doing what they're doing.

They don't really think much about other
people at all -- they are focused on themselves,
on what they want, and they don't consider
much of anything but that.

When they do happen to think about other
people, they see them as objects to be used
for advancement. This is how Cain views the
world, and how he views his place in it."


While the business section of a bookstore
may be filled with guides to office politics
in one form or another, "Cain and Abel at
Work" is a standout for its straight-ahead
concentration on the concept that there
really are bad folks out there, people who'd
like to get you.


if you're willing to at least go along for their
ride, entertain the concept of Cains among
us and think, in that light, of how best an
Abel can protect himself, you'll find this
an interesting read on, as the authors put it,
"why good things happen to bad people."

- end excerpt -

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Tempted to comment, am I, but I'll just
leave it at that ... oh, so tempted to comment,
am I ...