Confessions of a Corporate Climber

The obsession to be successful at all costs, can transform us into a shadow of our original values and expectations. If we are not bound by faith, character and convictions, we may conform to aspects of our alter ego that are not flattering. We see people outside of work who are nothing like their work persona. At work, they wear masks and a suit of armor to project a facade of invincibility. They are ruthless and insensitive. They do not want to be approached because close inspection may reveal their blemishes.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favorite movies. In the movie Dorian Gray is vain and conceited. He inadvertently makes a pact with the Devil to maintain his youth. He becomes more arrogant and evil. His prized painting of himself begins to change to reflect all of his evil deeds. Each time he exhibits a character flaw another mark appears on his portrait.

Some people who climb the ladder of success and collect casualties along the way as they become a counterfeit version of themselves. They alienate co-workers, family and friends.  Their wrong actions may catch up to them and cause to face the consequences of years of neglect. They may not recognize themselves when they glance in the mirror of their soul. Personal introspection may cause them to present, resent and repent their sins and seek forgiveness. Here is a sample confession of a corporate climber, which does not apply to everyone.


Confessions of a Corporate Climber

I do not like what I have become,

Easily rattled, easily shaken,

Cautious, conservative when risks

Should be taken;

Indecisive and feeling forsaken,

I dream conspiracy theories

And when awakened,

I find myself confused

And sadly mistaken.

I do not like what I have become

Self centered and locked

On those things convenient;

Consumed by justice

When mercy says, “Be lenient;”

And toughness is code

For self-righteous, judgmental,

Searching for moments

To enforce my wrath,

When I should be compassionate,

When I should be gentle.

I do not like what I have become

When I should distribute,

I manage to hoard

The possessions that I can afford

And before doing the deed

I negotiate the reward;

Absorbed by obsessions

Around material goods,

When I should recognize

My blessings and give

Thanks to the Lord.

I do not like what I have become

Passive when others view charity

As a weak concession,

Rather than extolling generosity,

My heart is thick and pompous

And the viscosity of my spirit

Moves from liquid to hardness,

From unsympathetic to insensitive

Regardless of the circumstances.

Sometimes I rush to complain

Before I try to understand

The other person’s pain.

I do not like what I have become,

Ungrateful and mired in entitlement,

Preferring to distance myself from

Responsibility without praise;

Negligent in being tolerant,

Slow to reconstruct and paraphrase

My agenda to include others.

I seem insensitive and numb

Through an overexposure to politics

As the plight of sisters and brothers,

Is lost in hypocrisy and scandal,

I am left listless, unmotivated

And unwilling to handle

The number of items thrust onto my plate,

Depriving me of the will to celebrate.

Copyright 2010 Orlando Ceaser

2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Corporate Climber

  1. Karen,

    I appreciate your words of encouragement. Corporate life has so many positive aspects, but the changes we go through, if we are not careful, can take away our identity, if we let it happen.


  2. Thank you so much for articulating what I’ve been feeling about why I’m a corporate refugee and why I’ve become suspicious of “Big” (business, government, religious or other institutions…) who get so wrapped up in their “greatness” that they forget their purpose, audience, and just the basic human kindness we were put on this earth to embrace!!!


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