Yoshihiro Nishimura Shows Product Managers How To Deal With Bad Apples In The Office
Last time: We recapped the unapologetically bizarre Japanese horror film “Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl”…
Today: We’re using that recap as a springboard into this week’s topic: Dealing with bad apples, bullies, and crazy people at work.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear
Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl is weird, offensive, and insanely hyper-violent. It’s the kind of film you’d expect to not even exist except in some kind of fever dream.
Gallons of spurting blood… multiple graphic depictions of limbs being severed… exploding heads… a school-sponsored Wrist Cutters Club… blackface for no reason except to offend…
Director Yoshihiro Nishimura packs VGvFG with so many WTF moments that by the time the insane school principal (in full Kabuki gear, mind you) starts singing while playing guitar made from a spinal column, you’re either numb from shock or howling from laughter.
And that’s kind of the point.
VGvFG lampoons pretty much everything it touches, taking everything over the top.
Nishimura lives in a world where a severed artery can spray like a firehose and every human body contains approximately 100 gallons of blood. That’s his vision, and he’s sticking to it.
Some people at work are like that, too.
Just over the top. Everything is *so* dramatic, and they want to drag you into their personal soap opera.
Or maybe they’re a bully, using dirty tricks to distract you and achieve their own goals.
Or maybe you’re dealing with someone who has a screw loose, running hot and cold, so you never know where you stand with them.
What do you do as a Product Manager dealing with those types of personalities? How do you get work done with them or through them?
You embrace it.
Now, I don’t mean you respond in kind: If they’re acting like a jerk, you shouldn’t act like a jerk back. You’re a PM; you need to be better than that.
Much like Yoshihiro Nishimura, stay true to your vision of who you are and what you bring to the table. If you let your emotions take over, or you let yourself get pulled into the drama, you’re going to get distracted and make mistakes.
Stay calm. Keep focused. Expose the underhanded stuff to people who can do something about it. Stand up for yourself. And remember:
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.”
– Proverbs 15:1
Except in the most extreme cases, personal experience has taught me that if you meet craziness with calmness (instead of fear or equal craziness), you’ll be able to find the win-win scenario that works for the two of you and the business, as well.
And yes, for those keeping score at home…
I just combined J-horror, business psychology, and a little scripture into a single blog post. That’s me being true to my vision of me 😉