Author Topic: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with  (Read 7909 times)

TheGibberingPotato

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Within my work social circle, the most 'popular'/successful of the bunch are some people that are very different from me.  On the surface, there are many things I like about them; they are very social, usually fun to be around, like have to do various social activities, etc...
In addition, though, they are not frugal, like to drink a lot and party late into the night.  I really don't mind these latter things, and respect that different people have different interests, etc...

The problem is that they want me to be like they are, and are passive-actively judgmental when I don't party with them to their extent.  Additionally, they are actively judgmental if I express view points that are different to theirs, such as MMM philosophy, which I absolutely do not express to anyone unless they ask me, and in which case I express in a conservative non-judgemental form if possible.  This makes me uncomfortable, and usually try to find a halfway ground like drink somewhat, stay out a little later than I would... but it's not good enough... in fact when I do more with them it makes them invite me to more things which then compounds the problem.  Adding to this is the fact that I am introverted; my tendency in these situations is to withdraw and hold my cards.  This is not the first time this has happened in my life, and my preference would be to simply cut people like this out of my life.  It gets draining eventually.  I really don't care what my friends interests/activities are, so long as they respect who I am and how I choose to live my life.

However, because they are becoming prominent figures at my workplace, this may have had some minor consequences already and may continue to in the future, wrt job advancement.  I plan to FIRE eventually, but I am still 5-10 years out.  I am curious if anyone else has been in such a situation, and regardless, if there are any suggestions on optimum path forward.

Michael792

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 06:51:19 AM »
Be entirely professional and do not mix work and social life. If they pass you for promotion at some point because you're not buddies, go to HR. At least in the military, that's how it works (roughly). That being said, we're not supposed to be friends with our superiors. I would argue it's the same in the civilian market. It breeds favoritism and division.

Adventine

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2015, 06:56:06 AM »
Become an expert in your field, so much so that it becomes impossible  for them not to value your work, despite whatever opinion they may have of your lifestyle choices.

Dr. Doom

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2015, 07:59:49 AM »
I stopped hanging out with co-workers outside of the office about 12 years ago.  I found it greatly simplified my life.  No longer did I drunkenly blurt things out that were best kept to myself.  This resulted in a reduction of post-drinking workplace awkwardness:  Sweet.

As an added bonus, I thought about work less.  If you are out with CWs on weeknights or weekends, you are still thinking about work, effectively increasing the number of hours per week you're putting in and reducing your hourly wage:  Suck.

Most importantly, I found I just didn't like them.  I don't hang around people I don't like anymore, period.  Life is too short to put up with that kind of crap.

It's healthier to develop a different circle of friends that you see outside of the office.  This allows you to compartmentalize -- a good thing for most people, as it increases your sense of control.  People like to feel in control, it strongly correlates with happiness/life satisfaction.  You'll also probably like these people a lot more than CWs, if I'm reading your original post correctly.

Some ideas to help you say no to invites:
- Shift your workout schedule to after-work, giving you a great excuse to ditch every day (Gotta get my run in!)
- Take a class.  Then even on nights without class, you can claim homework.
- You can also just go with tried and true "Sorry, not tonight, I have other plans."  You don't have to elaborate -- there's no need to mention your plans are sitting home with a book or going for a walk around the neighborhood. 
- SO is also a great excuse.  Him or her needs me around.  End of story.

As others have mentioned, try to stop worrying what these people think about you and focus on the quality of your work so that it speaks for itself -- unless you feel your individual circumstances make this not possible or extremely risky for whatever reason.

BTW, if you're going to continue to hang with these people, don't ever talk about your FIRE plans.  It won't go well.

TheGibberingPotato

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2015, 08:50:07 AM »
Thank you all for the suggestions.
One point to clarify to the Michael792, is that in my company, connections play a big part in your advancement.  Everyone that is 'fast-tracked' is socially talented.  So it's not necessarily that these people would demote me, or not promote for; it's that they wouldn't help me out, or give me the benefits that they might give others, if that makes sense.  And being connected is essential for rapid ascension in the company.  Additionally, if they ever did actively try to take me out, there is not much I could do about it, even if it is 'against the rules'.

A second point for Dr. Doom, is that I would very much like to develop a social circle outside of my work, but it is hard.  I live in a small town that only exists because of the company, and so finding people outside of work is hard.  There aren't a plethora of social scenes/groups available as there are in Denver, for example.  However, I'll keep my eyes open, perhaps try more clubs, etc...
I do have close friends in other parts of the country that I maintain separate social circles with, but I see them infrequently.  These points are factors in why I am trying to FIRE: so that I can move somewhere with more people that I match with, or/and be closer to my better friends.

The message I am seeing though is that the recommendation is just not to spend time with them anyways... that it just isn't worth it.  I agree that it would make me feel better about myself and more in control if I don't have to spend time with people that drain me.

Another point I like is the recommendation to excel at my job in order to disconnect the need for social connections.  I like this suggestion and will try to improve there... hard to guarantee success in my line of work, but I'll try!


MrsPete

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 08:57:52 AM »
You make it sound as if you're still in high school! 

I agree with Dr. Doom's ready list of "gotta dos" for right after work.  And I agree that keeping it professional and allowing your work to stand on its own is excellent advice.

TheGibberingPotato

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 09:15:46 AM »
You make it sound as if you're still in high school! 

I agree with Dr. Doom's ready list of "gotta dos" for right after work.  And I agree that keeping it professional and allowing your work to stand on its own is excellent advice.

High school is definitely how it feels... and I would wager that that type of sentiment is not uncommon in the 'professional' environment.  I think high school is sometimes a microcosm of how the world works; some people grow-up and become more mature, but certainly a substantial part of the population does not.

Exhale

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 09:23:59 AM »
It's healthier to develop a different circle of friends that you see outside of the office.

Some ideas to help you say no to invites:
- Shift your workout schedule to after-work, giving you a great excuse to ditch every day (Gotta get my run in!)
- Take a class.  Then even on nights without class, you can claim homework.
- You can also just go with tried and true "Sorry, not tonight, I have other plans."  You don't have to elaborate -- there's no need to mention your plans are sitting home with a book or going for a walk around the neighborhood. 
- SO is also a great excuse.  Him or her needs me around.  End of story.

As others have mentioned, try to stop worrying what these people think about you and focus on the quality of your work so that it speaks for itself

+1 to the above

Well, you're in very good company in that the experience that you're having is what people who aren't accepted - people of color, gays, people with disabilities, etc. - have had to negotiate all of the time. My parents were civil right s activists who homeschooled their kids and, consequently, faced a lot of criticism and contempt for that. So, I've seen the professional and personal toll it can take. If nothing else, be sure to build a solid life and support system outside of work.

Dr. Doom's list is good so which I would add the following strategies that I use.

1) Keep my personal life to myself (with a couple "safe" pieces of information to share if it was utterly necessary - usually about a niece or nephew or parents). This is easy because a) I don't go out to socialize after work and b) most people prefer to talk about themselves.

2) Being a great work colleague - professional, good humored, appreciative of others, a team player, avoiding feuds. I've noticed that even though I'm not anyone best friend, I'm the person the want on their committees, in their working group, etc. This takes time to build, but it pays off in the long run.

3) Being my own best supervisor/mentor - I set goals (both for current job and where I want to go professionally), develop skills, etc. I think of myself as a consultant or my own business - this has helped me be connected with my workplace but not emotionally entangled (of course, this doesn't always work, but that's the goal!)

Good luck!

Paul der Krake

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 09:31:16 AM »
You could strike a balance and go out every now and then and go out of your way to make it memorable for everyone there. That way you are one of the cool guys, but can use your busy schedule as an excuse the rest of the time. The vast majority of people aren't bad to hang out with if it's in small doses.

mozar

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2015, 10:31:34 AM »
I am a big proponent of moving to a larger city. Or even the suburbs of a larger city. The bigger the city the less jobs are like high school, imo. People are judgmental just about everywhere but at least in a big city you have other job options.

Zikoris

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2015, 11:55:09 AM »
I purposely avoid coworkers outside of work. I just do not want those things getting tangled up. Even at work I try to limit how much personal stuff I share, because I don't want to be more than acquaintances with these people.

For after work events, I just tell people we have dinner at 5 so I need to get home and cook. That seems to work.

pachnik

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2015, 11:59:36 AM »
My work place has 4 people in it.  We are all 50+ so people have their own lives to go home to - spouses, kids, pets.  When I was younger, I did go out after work sometimes with co-workers for a drink.  As an older person, this happens less and less. 

In the last say 10 years of work I made one friend at the office.  Most of my friends come from my after work activities.

TheGibberingPotato

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2015, 12:23:38 PM »
I am a big proponent of moving to a larger city. Or even the suburbs of a larger city. The bigger the city the less jobs are like high school, imo. People are judgmental just about everywhere but at least in a big city you have other job options.

I aim to move to a medium sized city when I FIRE, but moving to a big city now is hard.  In my profession, job locations are limited, and plus I have a SO with a similar job.

Calvawt

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2015, 01:18:16 PM »
I think Dr Doom's list of suggestions is pretty good.  I would say you can still occasionally stop by their activities, but you don't have to stay long or late.  I sometimes stop by to things on my way to another, it makes a good deadline for leaving.

It is hard to completely separate your work and social life, especially in a small town.  Good luck!

Zamboni

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2015, 01:49:42 PM »
One thing to remember is that many work friends aren't real friends.  Once you leave or they leave the company, there's a good chance you will never see or hear from coworkers again unless 1)  you are the one who leaves and you make a special effort to go back and visit during working hours or 2) someone is looking for a job via contacting previous work connections for leads.  Maybe a few people will defy this rule, but most will not. 

So, focus on being viewed as a solid performer whom anyone would want to hire. 
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 06:54:05 PM by Zamboni »

pachnik

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2015, 05:55:01 PM »
One thing to remember is that many work friends aren't real friends.  Once you leave or they leave the company, there's a good chance you will never see or hear from coworkers again unless 1)  you are the one who leaves and you make a special effort to go back and visit during working hours or 2) someone is looking for a job via contacting previous work connections for leads.  Maybe a few people will defy this rule, but most will not. 

So, focus on being viewed as a solid performer who anyone would want to hire.
+1 Definitely this.  I have worked for 25 years and only stay in touch with one person from my last job.  My job is definitely not my identity so this isn't surprising.

mm1970

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2015, 04:17:57 PM »
You make it sound as if you're still in high school! 

I agree with Dr. Doom's ready list of "gotta dos" for right after work.  And I agree that keeping it professional and allowing your work to stand on its own is excellent advice.

High school is definitely how it feels... and I would wager that that type of sentiment is not uncommon in the 'professional' environment.  I think high school is sometimes a microcosm of how the world works; some people grow-up and become more mature, but certainly a substantial part of the population does not.
How old are you?

I have to say, I remember these kinds of feelings in my line of work in my 20's - definitely some of the "cool kid" things going on.

But eventually people start growing up, pairing off, having kids, and it diminishes.

alleykat

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2015, 05:31:15 PM »
You could strike a balance and go out every now and then and go out of your way to make it memorable for everyone there. That way you are one of the cool guys, but can use your busy schedule as an excuse the rest of the time. The vast majority of people aren't bad to hang out with if it's in small doses.

This is what I would try to do too.  Unfortunately, office politics certainly come into play here as much as we might not like it.  I see it everyday. I know I will never advance because i dont play the kissing game. Just not my nature.  Hard work did not help me and wish I had done things differently, however, I stayed true to myself and I am okay with that.  It is too draining for me to put on a show.  Of course, every place is different.  I would agree about learning your job well and becoming indispensable but learn how to sell yourself as well.  I was always, and still am, bad at selling myself.  I always feel it is boasting. But, I have seen it work for people that dont do a damn thing.

TheGibberingPotato

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2015, 05:52:14 PM »
You make it sound as if you're still in high school! 

I agree with Dr. Doom's ready list of "gotta dos" for right after work.  And I agree that keeping it professional and allowing your work to stand on its own is excellent advice.

High school is definitely how it feels... and I would wager that that type of sentiment is not uncommon in the 'professional' environment.  I think high school is sometimes a microcosm of how the world works; some people grow-up and become more mature, but certainly a substantial part of the population does not.
How old are you?

I have to say, I remember these kinds of feelings in my line of work in my 20's - definitely some of the "cool kid" things going on.

But eventually people start growing up, pairing off, having kids, and it diminishes.

Late 20s, early 30s.  When people have kids they tend to mature (out of necessity probably), but more people are starting to realize the inefficiency of having children... anyways, these people are definitely of the "i don't wanna grow up" variety, meaning that they think "growing up" is something of the past.  Anyways, not sure if that helps at all.

Argyle

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2015, 07:23:08 PM »
I'm in a job where advancement also comes about by social connections, so I get where you're coming from.  "Not playing" is liable to be seen as snubbing people, and in addition it's more pleasant to have friendly connections with your co-workers.

I think maybe this is a time to hold back on expressing the mustachianism.  You don't have to explain yourself or defend your decisions to get along.  Remember the saying "Never complain, never explain."  Just develop a friendly attitude that laughs off any attempts to put you on the defensive.  "Hey, why're you still driving that old car?  You should get one like mine, the payment's only $500 a month"  "Yeah, that's a pretty sharp car.  Do you have to fend the women off with a stick?"  "No, seriously, why don't you upgrade from that old thing?"  "I tell ya, I'm a slow decider.  Maybe I should take a long vacation in the Caribbean instead.  What do you think, cocktails on the beach in Barbados?  How good would that be?"  There are lots of ways to divert people from hounding you about money.  Plus the key is to find things you do have in common -- TV shows you watch, or sports teams, or something where you can talk about stuff you're interested in and not just small talk.  Meanwhile, when you hang out with them you spend carefully without obviously doing so.  I wouldn't give up hanging out with them altogether.  The price of hanging out with them is like the price of a golf club where business is done -- it's basically the price of admission to the higher ranks.

KD

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2015, 07:40:03 PM »
Where do you fall on Myers-Briggs? 

Sounds like you are an introvert in an extrovert job.  Love your field of work???  No other jobs available where you live?

I am an introvert and I would hate having to socialize with people from work.  I once was offered a VERY lucrative job that entailed working at a huge corporation.  I did not accept.  Loved my boss and wanted to continue working for him, however, not there.  Too. MANY. P.E.O.P.L.E.!!!!  I didn't want to be a tiny fish in a big pond.  I didn't want to be a BIG fish in small pond.  I found work w/equals in a medium pond.  I did not socialize with them after work except the company Christmas party.

I have found over time that a jocular, "What?  Are you 12/18/20 years old still??????" to be a shocking put them in their place but seeming jovular response that indicated that not everyone has to operate at that level. 

Perhaps if you are introverted working for a non-profit in a cause that you can get behind could be a good fit?  If you haven't taken the Myers-Briggs I would suggest that you do so and consider carefully the careers that fit your type.  For what it's worth, imho, you are in a position/career that does not suit your personality type.  OR, perhaps you are just too mature for them?

Good luck!!!

TheGibberingPotato

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2015, 08:05:04 PM »
I don't know, I've never taken that test. I am introverted, though.  But, i'm not completely anti-social. 
In a nut shell, because of specialization, I am limited to a narrow subset set of jobs.  Non-profits are not an option.  There are not many other job options where i live, but i could make it happen if i had to.  That said, after FIRE i'd consider a non-profit or a job I truly believed in.

The thing is, though, I don't dislike hanging out with most of my co-workers.  It's just a couple bad apples that spoil the bunch, because they are extremely outgoing and dominate the group. 

For the most part, I am a good fit for my company, and I only partially agree that my personality type doesn't fit well in the company.  The main reasons that I might not fit with the company long term is my desire to FIRE.  I think most of us who want to FIRE are here because we want out of 'jobs' in general.

Where do you fall on Myers-Briggs? 

Sounds like you are an introvert in an extrovert job.  Love your field of work???  No other jobs available where you live?

I am an introvert and I would hate having to socialize with people from work.  I once was offered a VERY lucrative job that entailed working at a huge corporation.  I did not accept.  Loved my boss and wanted to continue working for him, however, not there.  Too. MANY. P.E.O.P.L.E.!!!!  I didn't want to be a tiny fish in a big pond.  I didn't want to be a BIG fish in small pond.  I found work w/equals in a medium pond.  I did not socialize with them after work except the company Christmas party.

I have found over time that a jocular, "What?  Are you 12/18/20 years old still??????" to be a shocking put them in their place but seeming jovular response that indicated that not everyone has to operate at that level. 

Perhaps if you are introverted working for a non-profit in a cause that you can get behind could be a good fit?  If you haven't taken the Myers-Briggs I would suggest that you do so and consider carefully the careers that fit your type.  For what it's worth, imho, you are in a position/career that does not suit your personality type.  OR, perhaps you are just too mature for them?

Good luck!!!

KD

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2015, 08:22:06 PM »
Relocation then?  I know you said you had a SO working in same type of work.

Is your specialty something where you could work for yourself?  Could the two of you turn your skills into a company of your own?

I totally understand wanting out of the dreaded J.O.B.

Do you read for personal growth?  If so, I'd suggest "The 48 Laws of Power" by Robert Greene and things on Neuro-Linguistic Programming. These will possibly help you reframe the situations into a positive growth experience for yourself.

I wish you much success!


libertarian4321

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Re: dealing with anti-mustachian people at work you have to be friends with
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2015, 05:06:31 AM »
You make it sound as if you're still in high school! 

I agree with Dr. Doom's ready list of "gotta dos" for right after work.  And I agree that keeping it professional and allowing your work to stand on its own is excellent advice.

High school is definitely how it feels... and I would wager that that type of sentiment is not uncommon in the 'professional' environment.  I think high school is sometimes a microcosm of how the world works; some people grow-up and become more mature, but certainly a substantial part of the population does not.

When I was working, I encountered some of the same BS.

I chose to NOT play the game.

And yeah, it probably hurt me professionally.  I made waaay less than I would have had I "played the game."  Part of that was due to my refusal to work more than 40 hours per week.

But I was able to retire at 43.  And the dip sticks who I chose not to associate with are still corporate drones, still largely BROKE ASS despite good salaries (like most Americans, as they earned more money, they spent more) still running the rat race, trying to "climb the corporate ladder" and make enough money to pay for their "stuff."

I just sit here as a semi-retired (I still work, but on my own terms) multi-millionaire wondering where I'd be if I'd played the game like most (broke) people do.

Today, those folks are still trudging to work every day.  They have mostly moved from cubicles to tiny offices- and the fight over who gets the "best" office is fierce.  Do I miss any of that BS as I sit having my morning coffee at 9 am or 10 am or whenever the Hell I choose?

No.