Dante’s Nine Circles of hell for the sinful managers: Sinning inside the Office
In his times, Dante had tried to challenge the immorality prevalent in the society by showing the kind of punishment wrongdoers deserved. The role of managers in the 21st century is important. However, not all managers have the right attitude and several of them are a menace. Some of them like to play Tigress Moms for their employees. There are good managers, but the bad ones are a bigger part of the reality. Inside several companies, not just in US but outside where the labor laws are not still as strong and where the employees have a lesser say in management, managers can feel free to play God. In the Asian countries, poor labor conditions are a reality and media has highlighted it again and again. The question of ethics is seldom tackled inside such offices and the question of self-esteem before the workers is bigger there.
The first circle in Dante’s Inferno is Limbo where those are assigned who have not sinned but could not prove virtuous enough to reach the heavens. The noble managers who always do what is sufficient must be assigned to this circle. These are the managers that believe they do not need to take that extra step until they are asked to. They would act as per the law and not do any harm but will do hardly any good than essential. Such managers will remain careful about their image, will maintain discipline in their behavior but will show little concern for staff welfare. They will only do things they are directly concerned with.
Now comes the second circle – lust. In US, the laws related to sexual harassment might have been made stringent, still that is not true about all the countries. Several countries still have little concern for such issues. There are managers who use their authority for creating an environment of fear among their subordinates. Even if they are not lustful in behavior, they will try to create an environment where their female subordinates feel sexually dominated. Such instances are not unknown to us where managers have tried to use their authority to harass the female subordinates sexually.
Now comes the third circle – gluttony. This is for the gluttonous managers who eat much and share less. These managers would use their authority to influence how much their workers are paid. They would like to get a better share of the benefits and leave less for their subordinates. Such managers like to see their workers underpaid. Many employees who are working in firms where they are paid and treated well might not even believe that such managers or such companies exist. Such managers have their own welfare as their first priority and they are a bigger pain for their subordinates. However, the third and the fourth circles can be seen as one in this context. Since the greedy managers eat into precious trust they serve time in both the circles. They are also harmful for the companies’ image.
The fifth circle is for the angry managers. By angry managers, we understand the managers who have all the reason to feel angry. They are the managers you call wretched, miserable, Hitler and many other things. These are the managers who love every instance to prove that their workers are stupid and worthless. These are the bigger criminals who harass their subordinates’ souls. They are always the bigger enemy than the company itself. Such managers confuse their workers with their expectations, love to leave them in the dark about what they want of them and will not recognize any efforts made by their employees. Most of you would not find it difficult to believe that such managers are the biggest reason they left their last job.
The heretic managers will be assigned to the sixth circle. These are the managers who think they are the company. They always find suggestions from the subordinates difficult to accept. They are a significant deviation from their employees’ expectations. None of them invites participation and even if they do not exhibit their attitude, subordinates’ progress under them is difficult. These managers see policies only as a tool to govern and therefore sit on their wrong side. So, the heretics instead of following the right norms give birth to the wrong ones and inspire the other managers too.
Seventh circle is for the managers who are interested in violence. Now, there are several kinds of violence and harassment. These managers would love to see controversies happening inside their office and are interested in leaving their subordinates feeling violated. These managers give birth to more dissatisfaction because they can inspire helplessness. Now, physical violence in most offices can be controlled, still many managers are adept at violating their employees’ peace of mind. This category of managers might be difficult to recognize but you very well know it is not impossible to.
Eighth circle is for the fraudsters who fraud against their companies and their employees. They are sometimes caught, many times not. That does not matter. They fundamentally cheat the company of the trust that is very hard to build. The distrust they give rise to when they are caught can sometimes be a bigger pressure for the others. Ninth circle is for the treacherous managers for they commit the deeper sin. Treacherous managers might be even difficult to find out. Such managers are skilled at laying the blame on others, but the kind of pain they give lasts longer. These were just the nine circles. There can also be a tenth circle for the CEOs who employ these managers as a means to control their workers or who let such managers willfully reside in their offices. Such CEOs have little concern for their employees’ welfare. So, decide which category your manger falls in and assign him to the right circle/s. Managers may find it easier to recognize the authority assigned to their subordinates but they must think upon their sins before they commit more.