In the world of Little Napoleons a little power can be a dangerous thing. Yet, it is something so common with petty officials who quite often seem to follow their whims and fancies operating in their own miniscule fifedoms behind office desks or service counters. Depending on their moods, they seem to find satisfaction in making simple things difficult for total strangers who merely want to get on with daily life. Seeing disappointment and frustration on the faces of those they deal with appears to bring joy to them, as they imply to all and sundry that earning a living for themselves is doing the public a huge favour. So, wielding their teaspoon of power, these gatekeepers decide on how far they will open their service gates to the prospective client or keep it closed at their convenience. The attitude is too common among the pettiest of petty officialdom and gets bigger and heavier with each larger allotment of power.
At a more supervisory level, the heads grow bigger and noses longer, as the fifedoms of the little chiefs cover a larger territory. Looking down longer noses at subordinates and the completely clueless joe public, they can sit back in swivel chairs and “…scream[ing] at the servants day and night”, as portrayed in the song “If I were a Rich Man” from the musical, “The Fiddler on the Roof”. These are the slave drivers who wield the whip to please the higher ups to get their bonus ‘pats on the head’. Their survival depends much on their pay masters who may throw them an extra bone if they are pleased at their prowess.
Then there are those in lower management who reign in their very own departments like the smaller baronets in a conquered kingdom.They strut their stuff to some extent to ensure those under them understand and keep in mind who’s Boss . They wield a piece of decision-making power, although not a very big one, but are always mindful of being seen to be in control of their territory and those within their boundaries.They are answerable to the Bigger Heads. But, they are the ones on the launch pad to bigger things, upstairs in those haloed echelons of power. Imaginations run wild at this level. The capacity for arrogance is always lurking in the background and the need to ensure obedience by those on a lower level is always at hand. These wield the whip and a sword to strike at any creature deemed as low-life who dares to raise their heads or pose a possible challenge to their authority.
These Little Napoleons are indeed the ones who can and will make life as hard as possible for any who dare step out of line, wherever they decide to draw it.They may not have full power but still have enough to influence the decisions of their Superiors; or so they think. In their own estimation, they are the major gatekeepers who can turn stiles one way or another. These are the most dangerous of petty officialdom, whose nature is to be always in dictatorial and autocratic control and will do anything necessary to maintain it.
Be careful of those who misuse the little power placed in their hands, for more power given breeds greater abuse of it.
So, beware of the Little Chiefs with Big Heads, for they will succeed the Bigger Chiefs above them to become big time Hitlers.