Office Politics

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starbug
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Office Politics

Post by starbug » Dec 7th 2004, 7:23 pm

OK, this is the thread to vent about whatever stupid petty work-based nonsense is getting you down. I have been driven to writing this, following the recent office relocation.

Quick background: I work for a University. the University has a number of spin-off companies, one of which commercialises medical research and deals with licensing various IP. This spin-off has been effectively operating from two sites, half the people sharing an office with the business unit of the University, which I work for, and the other half across London in a hospital, because there has been much expansion and not enough room for everyone in the same building. My unit has always had to share an office with
a) members of the university finance team
b) half the members of the spin-off.
So, now my unit, and the whole of the spin-off, are in this one glorious new office. office has undergone massive refurb and everything is new. Basically it's fabulous. Except....

The basic problem appears to revolve around the kitchen. The kitchen is in the 'area' of the spin-off. The spin-off has decreed that there will be no toaster, and no microwave, in case it causes an unnecessary 'smell' in their 'area'. We have always had these two things before. Anyway, everyone arrives to unpack yesterday, to find that in the kitchen, half the cupboards have had the spin-off's headed paper attached to them. the fridge has also been desecrated in similar fashion. In the cupboards is all the tea/coffee etc. A colleague of mine had a headache and went to take a pill, and had to use a 'spin-off' mug, because none of ours were unpacked yet. She had no sooner picked up the mug than someone she had never met zoomed round the corner and said 'I don't mean to get off on the wrong foot but that's a [spin-off] mug and we did buy those especially and please put it back as soon as you're done.' :?: :!:

[spin-off] has locked access to the free-flowing corridor, so that to get to the kitchen, my unit has to get through 3 keycoded doors, each with a different code. This also causes us to have to pass out into the stairwell. As I'm sure you'll appreciate, getting through 3 coded doors trying to balance a tray full of mugs of hot drink is no mean feat. tea consumption has halved in the office and everyone's in a bad mood.

Why do people need to be so petty? it's so pathetic. Basically I think it's because the other half of the spin-off aren't used to having to share space, whereas we have always had to. There's also the 'budget' issue of the costs of tea/coffee (sort of but it's a red herring). But the thing that really gets me is that we are all part of the same organisation - the only thing separating us is a legal construct for tax purposes. Half of us used to work in the same office, same teabags, same cupboard etc. friendliness has never killed anyone. it's a teabag, for goodness' sake!
It's just created this incredible hostility and it's kind of unbelievable that grown adults will behave like this. it's like a Dilbert cartoon or something.

Aaaaaaaaaaargh. :evil:

Phew. that's better.

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http://www.urban-hills.blogspot.com
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pgh kenny
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Post by pgh kenny » Dec 8th 2004, 5:25 pm

Your story reminds me of the movie "office space". It sounds to me like an anonymous practical joke might be in order to encourage people to lighten up and free the tea from so many locks.
Last edited by pgh kenny on Dec 10th 2005, 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lance
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Post by lance » Dec 12th 2004, 12:18 am

One of the few redeeming aspects of being a temp, especially in really short term assignments, is you don't have to deal with it very much.

On some of my longer assignments I have dealt with the gamut of drama queens, passive-aggressive types and supervisors who don't supervise.

-LanceMan

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SanDeE*
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Post by SanDeE* » Dec 12th 2004, 1:35 pm

I've never worked as a temp, but I've had one really bad job and one really great one. My bad job was at a golf course, where I worked in guest services. The first summer wasn't so bad, but the second summer I worked there it was horrible. There were new managers the 2nd summer, and none of them liked me. My uncle also works there, but he's the manager of a different department, so it wasn't like I was getting any sort of special treatment. I think my co-workers and the managers thought I was getting special treatment, so that might be why they resented me. My head manager hardly scheduled me at all that 2nd summer. I would have one shift a week, and they'd usually let me go early, which didn't even cover the gas it took to get out there (25 min drive there from my house). I told him I am very available for more shifts, but... in one ear and out the other. The golfers could get really bad sometimes too. One guy said to me, "hey why doncha send blondie down here?" and they never gave me a good tip for cleaning up their golf clubs and carts.

The good job I had was (and I still work there in the summers now) as a cashier at an organic foods grocery co-op. I love the people and the atmosphere. It's like I went from one end of the spectrum (right-wing, rich a-holes) to the complete opposite (leftist, hippie-types). There is more gossip at the co-op, because some of my co-workers get romantically involved (which is ALWAYS a mistake, in my opinion). But overall it's a lot better. I have had a problem with one customer, an older man - maybe 60 or so - who would always go through my register or look for me if I wasn't there. He started saying really inappropriate things to me this past summer, like "I'll do anything for a red head" and stuff like that. I reported him to my manager, and I learned that the customer was not quite right in the head, but I don't think that's any excuse. My managers will make sure that I'm not on the registers when he comes into the store.
Um, in my room, one seam is a little off and I stare at it constantly. It's, like, destroying me.

~~Kristin~~

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Nostradamus
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Post by Nostradamus » Dec 18th 2004, 6:54 pm

A friend of mine once glued some thumbtacks point-out onto the adjustment lever on his chair to prevent co-workers from screwing with the seat height. Sometimes I wonder how he stays employed...

:)
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
-- Clarence Darrow

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
-- Mark Twain

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emmie
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Post by emmie » Dec 19th 2004, 2:41 am

Nostradamus wrote:A friend of mine once glued some thumbtacks point-out onto the adjustment lever on his chair to prevent co-workers from screwing with the seat height. Sometimes I wonder how he stays employed...

:)
what a great idea! ha ha

I don't work in an office, but I still want to vent about a co-worker situation. I came back to my hometown for the holidays and went back to a restaurant that I worked at for 2 years. the owner loved me and welcomed me back quickly. the only problem is the new employees. for the first week the two women thought that I was some ditzy 18-year old and kept talking down to me. and one of them keeps correcting everything I do. and not because I'm doing it wrong, but because I'm not doing it her way. I just want to put on my high airs and tell them just how long I worked at that restaurant, and how I don't need tips on how to make coffee. and not to turn this into a gender issue, but I never had this problem when I was the only girl. the guys never tried to correct me or condescend.

ah, but it's temporary. I just keep telling myself that. ha ha

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lance
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Post by lance » Dec 20th 2004, 10:30 pm

emmie wrote:
Nostradamus wrote:A friend of mine once glued some thumbtacks point-out onto the adjustment lever on his chair to prevent co-workers from screwing with the seat height. Sometimes I wonder how he stays employed...

:)
what a great idea! ha ha

I don't work in an office, but I still want to vent about a co-worker situation. I came back to my hometown for the holidays and went back to a restaurant that I worked at for 2 years. the owner loved me and welcomed me back quickly. the only problem is the new employees. for the first week the two women thought that I was some ditzy 18-year old and kept talking down to me. and one of them keeps correcting everything I do. and not because I'm doing it wrong, but because I'm not doing it her way. I just want to put on my high airs and tell them just how long I worked at that restaurant, and how I don't need tips on how to make coffee. and not to turn this into a gender issue, but I never had this problem when I was the only girl. the guys never tried to correct me or condescend.

ah, but it's temporary. I just keep telling myself that. ha ha
That's what I do ever day. Interesting thing that. I worked as a temp at a bank for 8 weeks where I was the only guy. I noticed some interesting female to female behavior. One was the group decision or the "bluff". When it came to lunch none of the women would either voluntary to go first or when lunch was being sent out none would venture a preference on what to order. And the back biting....oh my gawd. Nothing was taboo in the attacks launched: reported sexual habits, financial decisions, choice in dress habits, family members and political affliations.

Don't get me wrong, guys play office politics too and talk smack about each other but just differently.

-LanceMan

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SanDeE*
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Post by SanDeE* » Dec 22nd 2004, 10:20 pm

emmie wrote:...one of them keeps correcting everything I do.
There's a girl at the grocery store I work at who does that. I've been there four summers, and we have a lot of organic produce. So when I ask a customer, "Is all your produce organic?" (so I don't have to ask for each veggie that goes by), the customer will either say yes or no. But once I asked a customer that as I had a veggie in my hand and the girl turned around from about twenty feet away to tell me the code number for that veggie. I was so pissed, because I knew the number, I just didn't want to ask my customer a million times, "is this organic?" I was really happy last summer when that girl was on an extended vacation and I didn't have to deal with her.
Um, in my room, one seam is a little off and I stare at it constantly. It's, like, destroying me.

~~Kristin~~

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