BUSINESS EYE: Don’t become a victim


Do you sometimes feel a victim? To avoid victimhood you would have to not blame anyone else for anything that has impacted you.

It is blame and the need to identify a perpetrator that provides the bedrock for all victimhood.

These days it is the case that every customer, supplier, and employee at least in part considers themselves to be a victim in one shape or form. We are all victims of the bankers, are we not?

Remember the financial crash, Libor fixing, PPI-miss-selling? The list goes on.

The news this week is full of the “victims” of the Chancellor’s proposed tax credit changes, the workforce plays “victim” to employers who pay below the living wage, and when a charity like The Kid’s Company goes bad they are cast as “victims” of an uncaring Government by no less than Alan Yentob, creative director of the BBC.

We were all “victims” of the MPs’ expenses scandal and the press phone-hacking affair.

We are seemingly all “victims” of a tidal wave of junk mail, of data scams like the Talk-Talk breach last week, and of the flood of immigrants “stealing our jobs”.

We face an unprecedented period of inflation in victimhood in which we all play a part. It has proven highly contagious and has a firm grip on the national psyche.

There have always been crimes, misfortune and genuine victims. People deserve our compassion, help and support. The Savile victims, the Hillsborough dead and families and those disfigured by Thalidomide come to mind as examples. To claim victimhood as an observer surely just diminishes the relative pain of the real victims.

In your business you will see this phenomenon play out every day.

An employee will consider the death of a grandfather’s brother as a reason not to come in to work. Victim.

Customers contact you and claim you are the perpetrator of their victimhood because they need someone to blame. One lady contacted us “incensed” and “disgusted”, blaming her lounge reading light for a crack in her kitchen window. Victim.

The point is that we face a societal phenomenon in which you and I are just as caught up as everyone else

Perhaps the place to start is to refuse to buy-in to the general blame game and feel for the real victims without assuming a similar mantle.