Sunday, 15 December 2013

The corporate psychopath

Did anyone watch Psychopath Night last night on Channel 4? I was all over it like a tramp on chips. I love that shit. Exactly my idea of perfect Saturday night viewing.

I read Jon Ronson's book, The Psychopath Test a while back, which basically said everyone is one and no one is one. Kind of. So that wasn't helpful. I wanted to find out whether certain people in my life (were in my life, I should say) are, as I strongly suspect, absolute howling psychos or whether it's my hatred of their shitty actions that makes me think that.

Of course, I was only filtering this through my broken brain so it was always going to be rather biased.

It was a tad disappointing to have the programme laid out as a Top 10 'best psycho films' complete with talking heads. Admittedly, the talking heads were, we're told, 'experts' in psychos. And some woman from the FBI or something gave her verdict on the portrayals of psychopaths in films ranging from Psycho to We Need To Talk About Kevin.

The film analysis was poor. I mean, poor as fuck. They seemed to have not seen We Need To Talk About Kevin and missed the entirely relevant subtext that the mother herself is the sociopath/psychopath but you know, whatever.

But I still liked seeing some of my favourite psychos on screen for a bit.

There was much talk of nature/nurture and what quantifies someone as an actual psychopath. And, of course, the difference between psychopaths who kill, torture and maim and those that just like to be cunts because they can.

There were tales of charismatic psychos fooling lots of doctors and shrinks and lots of sheepish looks from those who were hoodwinked. Of course, they shouldn't be sheepish at all. That's kind of the point of a proper bona fide psychopath. The traits used to define a psycho include empathy (lack of), a grandiose idea of themselves, the ability and drive to step all over people to get what they want and basically being cruel fuckheads with nary a thought for anyone else.

There are others and, the experts seemed to say, it's having these mixed with just the right amount of childhood trauma and a soupcon of bad genetic weirdness that makes for your Dahmer style psycho. But, as for the other kind, the ones that don't kill, they are all around us.

The top profession in terms of number of actual psychos in it is, naturally, banking. What a shock. Then lawyers. Amazing. And third came the one that interested me the most - media.


And then they went on to talk about the prevalence of corporate psychopaths. I think we've all met these in our time, no? The inexplicably successful asshole vaguely masquerading as a normal person? The one who reels you into a position within their company with promises and smiles and seemingly bucket loads of charm, only to drop the pretense pretty much the second you're through your probationary period, to replace it with head games, cruelty and bullying. Just, it seems, because they can.

They delight in the kind of in house bullying that frequently occurs within small companies and, in bigger ones, within teams. They actually cultivate these kinds of destructive behaviour, knowingly and willingly. Their rule is 'divide and conquer' and they care not one whit about you and your life. It doesn't matter if you are ill, having mental health issues, have children who are ill, it just. Doesn't. Matter.

All that matters is the money they can make and also the power they have over you. I used to think it was solely money driven but I no longer think this. After certain experiences, I conclude that these corporate psychopaths enjoy what they do to people. As much as they enjoy anything.

It's tempting to analyse these shitbots and assume that they must have had some kind of traumatic event that turned them into inhuman fucktards. But, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, I don't give a shit. They're assholes. Deep and dark and nasty to the core. And the best thing, should you be unfortunate enough to come into direct contact with one of them is to cut the shit and get out of there.

No good will come of attempting to work with these kinds of people. If you, yourself are not a sociopath or a psychopath, suffice to say that you do not need that kind of poisonous wankfestery in your life. No matter the salary. No matter the job. No matter the career.

These people are destructive and damaging and petty fucking losers. Get out, stay out and breathe freely. There's a whole world of none psychos out there.

After watching these psycho fest I did the psychopath test, which you can find here. I am, apparently a mere 27% psycho. I was kind of sad about this for some reason. I just like to win things.


  1. Very interesting. After doing the psychopath test (and scoring "only" 18%, which I'm quite pleased with!), I've been doing some more personality tests. Very revealing! The most interesting one was the Myers-Briggs (which I'd previously never heard of) - four different ones, different questions, same result (I'm an ISFJ, and the descriptions of one are "me", precisely). Well worth trying.

  2. I did the test and got 27% too! I honestly thought I was nicer than that. I saw most of the show but missed a little section in the middle. Was Misery in there? I would have thought Kathy Bates showed a bit of psychopathic behaviour, especially with the ankle thing.

    If I did lose it at some point and become a full 100%-er, I think I would still spend a lot of time apologising.