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Playing With / Drunk with Power

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Basic Trope: A newly-promoted person begins throwing their weight around and acting arrogant to their colleagues, with bad results.

  • Straight: Alice gets a promotion and immediately begins treating Bob and Carol like dirt.
  • Exaggerated: Alice gets a promotion and immediately begins treating Bob and Carol like slaves, expecting them to carry her around on a throne and whipping them when they step out of line.
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  • Downplayed: Alice gets a promotion and Takes a Level in Jerkass, but otherwise still the same.
  • Justified: Working aside Bob and Carol for a long time has lead Alice to work up a lot of small frustrations and grudges against the two of them. But social convention and the fact that her job requires her to work along with Bob and Carol has lead Alice to always resolve to shallow these little moments of anger and pent it up instead in the name of getting along smoothly with them. Now that she does not have to do that any more, she decides to vent by taking it out on them.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice, previously a bullying supervisor to Bob and Carol, is demoted, thus forcing her to develop humility.
    • Alternatively: Alice gets a promotion, and suddenly everyone starts treating her like dirt.
    • Alternatively: Alice, a Jerkass - but skilled - worker, is promoted and becomes a nicer person, since a supervisor would have to be polite.
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    • Alternatively: Alice, a Jerkass - but skilled - worker, is promoted and becomes a nicer person, recognizing her new responsibility to those around her.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted: Alice is promoted, and everyone expects her to start throwing her weight around; instead, she acts as nice and friendly as she always has been. Because she's secretly plotting to screw everyone over in order to get herself more power and influence.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice is given an extremely minor and insignificant promotion, causing her to throw her weight around to a ridiculous degree.
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    • Alternatively, Alice becomes literally drunk with power... In addition to being pushy and egotistical, her speech becomes slurred and she can't walk in a straight line. After she's demoted, she has a hangover.
    • Alice's promotion results in her developing a God complex.
    • It turns out that "throwing your weight around" is actually in her new job description and she apologizes for it.
    • Alice literally drinks POWER, which turns out to be a brand of alcoholic beverage, and literally throws her weight around.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice gets a promotion. Now she's unpredictable.
  • Averted: Alice gets a promotion. Things continue much as they always have.
  • Enforced: "Wouldn't it be funny to see Alice become a complete tyrant? Let's give her a promotion!"
  • Lampshaded: "Who exactly thought promoting Alice was a good idea? She always goes mad with power whenever she's promoted."
  • Invoked: "Now that I've been promoted, I can finally do whatever I want around here!"
  • Exploited: Bob gets Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Alice promoted so she'll show her true colours.
  • Defied:
    • "Come on, it's just a slightly different job; why would I let it change me that much?"
    • Alice is given a thorough psychological screening before being given a promotion, which reveals she is not fit for it.
    • Alice is told during her promotion's briefing that she will get an increase of scrutiny for the sake of operational oversight as well and that bosses are subject to zero tolerance. Alice decides she can't afford to risk getting fired and either refuses the promotion or doesn't let's it go to her head.
    • Alice's coworkers make clear that they will all accept whatever price comes from knocking her down a few pegs if she uses her new rank to treat them like slaves.
  • Discussed: "I don't care how sweet Alice usually is; this whole 'promotion' business is only going to end in tears for all of us."
  • Conversed: "Geez, is anyone in these stories capable of getting a promotion without turning into a complete asshat?"
  • Deconstructed: Alice's behaviour gradually isolates everyone she cared about and who cared about her, leaving her with nothing but her career success to validate her life. She soon discovers that it's Lonely at the Top and that she is miserable and alone, a failure despite her success.
  • Reconstructed: Her success brings her a lot of money and power, and that's all she really cares about, so she's happy enough.

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