Author Topic: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)  (Read 9466 times)

Bearded Man

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When I don't get invited to a project I should have been invited to because the person wants to keep me away so I don't outshine them like last time, instead pulling other resources in for the project - I just don't care. I just view it as one less project at work. One less project that could go sideways to be exact..risk. More free time to learn new skills and make myself more valuable rather than be in meeting after meeting after meeting with one clueless person after another.

When people are jockeying for position. I just don't care. I'm usually the one to get promoted internally anyway, but even if not, people who change jobs every 2 years (I do) make 50% more than those that don't anyway, and with the advent of the 401K and day one benefits with most tech companies, there is little draw back. With the free time from avoiding the above project/s, I use to gain new skills, certs and degrees that help me land the next job with a  huge pay increase vs the paltry raises most companies give.

Is it just me or does anyone else care less and less about what goes on at the office  because they found a way to make it work for them rather than against them. I mean, don't get me wrong, there is a twinge of dread when I don't get invited, but that is quickly replaced with feelings of freedom after I realize I just avoided a risky project and have all this free time to manage my finances! lol

The key thing I've noticed is focusing on skills and credentials along with changing jobs every 2 years, not to mention constantly interviewing and getting really good at interviewing, pays more dividends than politics. Don't get me wrong, I politic a bit still just because it is required to SOME extent. But once I have what I want (promotion), I can kick back and not let the above bother me while I focus on the next deal.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 08:26:51 AM by Bearded Man »

Ricky

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2015, 08:56:50 AM »
I'm pretty sure this is because you don't need to work or be there at all.

Bearded Man

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 09:14:06 AM »
Meh, I don't think so. I still have a strange fear of termination. It's not so much the concept of rejection, so much as it is the concept of unjust rejection (I've seen people let go for things that weren't their fault, they were setup and ganged up on) that causes me to fear it, even though I don't logically have to. Not only can I retire, I have   creds to get another similar paying position.

The point of my above post is that I used to get upset (and some of my colleagues still do) when I don't get invited to a project or something. All I can think of now when it happens is that I just dodged a bullet! lol. A bullet that could have caused me to lose my job if it went sideways, a bullet that would stress me out and wear me down. Instead, I do financial planning and skill building.

mozar

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2015, 09:15:01 AM »
I agree, but I still need to play the game to a certain extent. I just went through performance reviews and I had to remind my self that it has no bearing on my life whatsover. But I do get better at being a good little employee by following their suggestions, which I can take elsewhere. This particular job they want me to pretend to ask for work, then they pretend to give it to me, and I pretend to care. We pretend that we are proactive workers.

Bearded Man

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2015, 09:17:42 AM »
I agree, but I still need to play the game to a certain extent. I just went through performance reviews and I had to remind my self that it has no bearing on my life whatsover. But I do get better at being a good little employee by following their suggestions, which I can take elsewhere. This particular job they want me to pretend to ask for work, then they pretend to give it to me, and I pretend to care. We pretend that we are proactive workers.

Do you find yourself checked out at all? I do. I actually have little interest in IT anymore. I'm more interested in real estate and investing, simple living and FIRE.

Killerbrandt

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2015, 09:54:01 AM »
I am just like this! I literally became debt free, house and all at 27 years old. I know it's a little young to be mentally checking out at work now, but I do complete high quality work and want to learn more to improve, but overall I just do not give a crap! I make enough to not worry and if something happens were we get laid off, then I still wont sweat because a simple part time retail job could suit me until I find another decent job hahaha, the benefits of being debt free and being on a good frugal lifestyle. :)

Kaspian

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2015, 10:36:37 AM »
Yeah, I don't care at all.  I'm no sycophant.   I do my job well but if anyone expects ass-kissing, platitudes, or a "quiet, good, little soldier", well...  They can kiss mine.

surfhb

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2015, 10:49:22 AM »
Yeah....we have a group of "leads" at my job who put in extra time, write up SOPs sheets for the rest of us and meet frequently with our manager.   All this with no extra compensation for the work.   

I don't get it?    Maybe they're hoping they will still be around after layoffs?   Is it an alpha male power thing?

mozar

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2015, 01:47:57 PM »
I actually feel increasingly checked in. Since I know I don't have to work until 65, I feel like I might as well participate while I'm here. Depends what you mean though. I have never felt the desire to work or do a good job. The idea of a work ethic is foreign to me. But I am curious about those strange creatures who say they enjoy their jobs.

FreeAsADragon

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2015, 01:55:14 PM »
I understand too, OP. I haven't played the changing-jobs game, but that might be your alternative to office politics.

Folks who feel a bit checked out or have never felt a strong desire to work all the time are probably ideal candidates for being mustachian once they figure out the other side of the equation, consumerism, is not something they're interested in either.

Runrooster

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2015, 02:45:58 PM »
Great thread! I was bad at the corporate world, because I liked the back room work but hated any shmoozing.  I interviewed with them after I left, to see if they appreciated me more once I was gone, and the big topic that came up was bowling.  Like, there was a weekly bowling team and I would be expected to join it, and my reaction was um, no.  It doesn't matter if it's paid or not, because I'm salaried and I have a full plate of actual work for actual customers.  I think management had some idea that "having fun" together would make us all like each other better and be more efficient at working with each other.  Since our job involves numbers and excel and 4th decimal places, it's assumed we hate doing it and fun had to be imported.  I thought I might like working with people who don't think of number crunching as inherently tedious.

mozar

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2015, 05:21:16 PM »
Yeah I don't find the numbers tedious, but it's the people.

Quote
Yeah....we have a group of "leads" at my job who put in extra time, write up SOPs sheets for the rest of us and meet frequently with our manager.   All this with no extra compensation for the work.   

wtf!?

Krnten

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2015, 06:46:30 PM »
I feel this too at work.  I used to want to get picked for things and to be a supervisor or leader, and then I decided I didn't anymore.  I even backed out of the application process for a promotion because I realized I love my job as-is.

Interestingly, that's around the time when I started getting treated as a leader.  Now I have plenty of mentoring and supervisory experience, but it's informal and on my own terms.  People come to me *because* I'm not technically a supervisor, because it feels lower-risk if they think they have a "dumb" question.  Now I'm included in all the supervisor discussions, except for the actual long boring meetings, which I was trying to avoid anyways!  It's the best of both worlds, and I think it came from studiously avoiding workplace drama and politics. 

I highly recommend staying out of workplace politics, but speaking your mind freely (and respectfully).  FU money gives you the freedom to do this, and it can only help your career.

SnackDog

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2015, 07:14:30 PM »
Making people like you and want you on their team is part of the game.  We all must put on a mask at work and make everyone around us happy.  I'm always surprised when people fail to realize this.  We can not be ourselves at work, unfortunately.  We have to be the person we are paid to be. It is hard work, not a hobby.  And it is a competitive game where the better you are at acting the part, the farther you will go.  I have recently explained this in some detail to some very competitive technical types who couldn't work out why they were not well liked at work, despite their great technical skills. Once they understood the game, they have gotten quite good at it!  Now they compete to see who can be more popular.  They know perfectly well it is all nonsense of a sort, but they have really turned their careers around and are having a lot more fun.  All the cynicism and bitterness are gone.

Zikoris

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2015, 07:26:48 PM »
I have no interest in having any sort of relationship beyond pleasantries and brief discussion of trivial non-work things like what we did on the weekend. No going out for lunches together, no activities outside of work, and I sure as hell don't want to know about your relationship problems. I refuse to get involved in any sort of politics bs. It just has no appeal to me. I have no goals to advance my "career", and mostly work alone, so no consequences.

jeromedawg

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2015, 07:27:05 PM »
Fortunately, I'm on a team (at least for now) where this is the last thing people want and generally enjoy working with one another. It's somewhat reflective of the other groups and organization as a whole, so I'm pretty happy. It can get boring at times but when there's work people do their best to get stuff done without trying to jockey for something. It does happen but it's rare. I think most of the time people just want to solve problems and just want some level of recognition for it, but if they don't get that recognition it's OK. And it doesn't seem like people complain that recognition must come in the form of a promotion or huge bonus.

This is actually the first place I worked before venturing off to other positions. And I've worked at places where kissing @$$ is the name of the game. I got fed up with it so decided to come back (the company was bought out by a larger company after I left). Fortunately, the larger company doesn't seem to encourage for people to play games like this, and if anyone gets promoted it's usually because of legitimate motivation where they weren't just doing it because they wanted to one-up somebody else.

The company my wife works for, on the other hand, sounds exactly the opposite. Places like that are such toxic environments to work in.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2015, 01:04:50 PM »
Making people like you and want you on their team is part of the game.  We all must put on a mask at work and make everyone around us happy.  I'm always surprised when people fail to realize this.  We can not be ourselves at work, unfortunately.  We have to be the person we are paid to be. It is hard work, not a hobby.  And it is a competitive game where the better you are at acting the part, the farther you will go.  I have recently explained this in some detail to some very competitive technical types who couldn't work out why they were not well liked at work, despite their great technical skills. Once they understood the game, they have gotten quite good at it!  Now they compete to see who can be more popular.  They know perfectly well it is all nonsense of a sort, but they have really turned their careers around and are having a lot more fun.  All the cynicism and bitterness are gone.
This is why I like golf (and sports in general) more than work.  You can be a complete asshole, but if you have the better score at the end of the day then you win.  Wish business was more like that.  Then people could actually be themselves.  Not that everyone is an asshole, but at least people could be more authentic and interesting.

mustachianteacher

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2015, 01:41:25 PM »
YES! This is so me, and I've gotta say, it's incredibly liberating. I work hard, and I make sure I do a good job, but when people start fussing over status-related things at work, and when they get their emotions and their egos involved where they shouldn't be, I don't. Sometimes I get passed over for things that are handed to the suck-ups -- usually things that take a lot of work but don't pay well, if at all -- and then people ask me if I'm upset. They know I'm a hard worker should occasionally get some more attention for that, but nope, I truly don't care. I'm here for the joy I derive from my work, and for the paycheck. I'm definitely NOT here to play the promotion game and suck up to the higher-ups, and having made my mind up about that is amazing.

Runrooster

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2015, 04:19:51 PM »
Yeah....we have a group of "leads" at my job who put in extra time, write up SOPs sheets for the rest of us and meet frequently with our manager.   All this with no extra compensation for the work.   

I don't get it?    Maybe they're hoping they will still be around after layoffs?   Is it an alpha male power thing?

The infighting is so bad because the stakes are so low. Being friends with the right person can definitely land you a sinecure, as they move up and take you with them.  I think part of my attitude problem came from the fact that I wanted a more technical role, rather than moving into managing entry level workers.  Most of the people were "lifers", they were happy to be overpaid for their skill set and didn't bother learning enough to get the same job somewhere else much less a promotion. Management was really their only shot at better income.  I had an internal 3 year limit on advancement or leaving, so I never saw the division I was in as home base.

 At the same time, while I didn't have time to go to happy hour or bowling, I'd be learning everything I could about the industry from senior levels and consultants. A major bill was passed while I was there and I was able to talk with the guy who designed the simulations that congress ignored.  I'm sure my colleagues thought I was sucking up too, but I wasn't fake, I was excited to witness how much power we do/ don't have, and I don't regret any of those conversations even though there was no money or visible promotion attached.

scottish

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2015, 08:32:35 PM »
In my last job I had to work with a team in the US.   Their director was terrible for playing politics.    Perception and precedence took priority over everything.   His team was constantly committing code that didn't even compile.  I mean really?   It takes 30 seconds to compile your code.    After I left, he got whacked when they did a release that was completely borked.   He was bonus hunting by trying to meet the date even though he couldn't meet the date.    That bothered me.

Now, not so much.   I don't have any management responsibilities at all, and we're pretty divorced from the product guys.   If *I'm* happy with my work, I'm good.   If the company doesn't like it, well, that's life.   I"ll try and set it up better next time, but it doesn't really bother me.



Insanity

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2015, 08:56:49 PM »
The CTO at my current client had two dev teams at work till 3 AM two nights in a row.  Were they putting out an emergency fire?  Nope.  They were rewriting user stories for the next development cycle. 

This is not a small dev shop.  There are like 150 developers.  Of course most were contractors.

RichMoose

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2015, 11:06:38 AM »
Yeah....we have a group of "leads" at my job who put in extra time, write up SOPs sheets for the rest of us and meet frequently with our manager.   All this with no extra compensation for the work. 

Haha!! I just love watching these people. We have a few at my workplace as well. At half of these meetings with these "go-getters" the manager comes out and looks like he could really use a stiff Canadian whiskey and Coke!

I don't take any part of the ass-kissing, political correctness and other BS that goes on at work. I make a point of speaking freely and bluntly about things, being truly myself at work.

The only way I'm ever getting promoted is if it falls on my lap because I will not be the boss's lackey to get it that's for sure. Come to think of it, none of these people that pester the boss all the time get promoted...

sisto

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2015, 11:15:39 AM »
This is a great topic! I absolutely love it. I have tons of things things happening at Mega Corp where I work. The only game I play is social networking, it's the key to surviving layoffs around here. I only network with people that I like and respect so I don't really consider it game playing so much. I've been really unhappy with my work lately, it's a constant struggle for me.

Just yesterday I was talking informally with a manager that has an open position on his team. I wanted for find out more about it before formally applying. At some point he started asking me interview type questions, most of which went very well, but there was one area I'm not sure about. He had asked about my passions etc., but then also about long term goals. I think he liked my answer about the passions and short term goals, but for long term he was saying most people want to do x and y to get to z. I was like yeah, I'm a bit too old for that. I'm perfectly happy not advancing too much further than I am now and that I would be retired in less than 10 years. I followed it up with I hope that doesn't take me out of the running, but that I wanted to be honest and straightforward rather than telling him what he wanted to hear. He still encouraged me to apply after so I think I'm good, but I just wasn't expecting that in an informal 1/2 discussion.

I'm glad to see there are several others that are happy sitting back and doing the real work without playing all the games. I wonder how much confidence and stability play into this though. I think when you don't feel secure for a variety of reasons you may feel the need to scramble and play the game more. IMHO anyway.

CestMoi

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2015, 01:07:34 PM »
It's not just you. I couldn't care less about office politics. Never could.

Rollin

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2015, 01:56:33 PM »
Meh, I don't think so. I still have a strange fear of termination. It's not so much the concept of rejection, so much as it is the concept of unjust rejection (I've seen people let go for things that weren't their fault, they were setup and ganged up on) that causes me to fear it, even though I don't logically have to. Not only can I retire, I have   creds to get another similar paying position.

The point of my above post is that I used to get upset (and some of my colleagues still do) when I don't get invited to a project or something. All I can think of now when it happens is that I just dodged a bullet! lol. A bullet that could have caused me to lose my job if it went sideways, a bullet that would stress me out and wear me down. Instead, I do financial planning and skill building.

Sounds as though you could use the same skill-set or mind-set that got you to not care about the project on the fear of termination.  It is freeing man!

CanuckExpat

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2015, 02:58:37 PM »
I either don't notice, don't care, or am oblivious to most things. It's great, I figure since they keep paying my salary, they must want me more than I need to be there, so I can just work on the things that I think are interesting or important as much as possible

The key thing I've noticed is focusing on skills and credentials along with changing jobs every 2 years, not to mention constantly interviewing and getting really good at interviewing, pays more dividends than politics. Don't get me wrong, I politic a bit still just because it is required to SOME extent. But once I have what I want (promotion), I can kick back and not let the above bother me while I focus on the next deal.

I'm kind of curious, how do you manage to constantly interview while also having a full time job?
Especially with some places having the all day like marathon interviews with multiple people and technical sessions. Do you take vacation days to interview, call in sick, or manage to schedule them at off times?

mozar

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2015, 09:17:47 AM »
I save up some of my pto for interviewing. It tends to happen in the fall. Sometimes I can do it after work.

Bearded Man

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Re: Is it just me, or does anyone else not care? (office politics)
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2015, 10:20:43 AM »
I either don't notice, don't care, or am oblivious to most things. It's great, I figure since they keep paying my salary, they must want me more than I need to be there, so I can just work on the things that I think are interesting or important as much as possible

The key thing I've noticed is focusing on skills and credentials along with changing jobs every 2 years, not to mention constantly interviewing and getting really good at interviewing, pays more dividends than politics. Don't get me wrong, I politic a bit still just because it is required to SOME extent. But once I have what I want (promotion), I can kick back and not let the above bother me while I focus on the next deal.

I'm kind of curious, how do you manage to constantly interview while also having a full time job?
Especially with some places having the all day like marathon interviews with multiple people and technical sessions. Do you take vacation days to interview, call in sick, or manage to schedule them at off times?

First interview is usually a phone interview, done in my car while at work. In person interviews, I usually arrange on a day off, when I have a 4 day work week. Either that or I schedule it for end of day so I only have to take a few hours off. Now I work from home and I just leave whenever I feel like it. GF thinks I should stop interviewing while in school, and stay at this job until I finish my MBA (1 more year at least, 1.25 at best).

Days like today make it hard though. I am the lead. But as with most places, the leads advice as a SME is ignored. It's not clear who is in charge, as we have 8 managers it seems and no one is actually in charge. Projects move from one person to another, with no thought. Of course when it all falls apart as I predicted in my emails advising x, y and z, no one acknowledges it. I'm just usually the one who has to fix it.

It's demoralizing, that the person with the most skill is treated with palpable disrespect. Managemnet manages on emotions, not critical thinking or facts. It is really depressing, but it reminds me of just about every other place I've worked at. Normally I would have quit for another job by now. But the bump in pay from about 110K to 150K while working from home has me locked down. I'm almost tempted to ride out the dyscunction and do the bare minimum. If I get layed off, I get unemployment. I can use that time as a paid vacation while I find another job, letting the wounds heal in the mean time. There is an opportunity cost as I won't be able to save money then, but still. I haven't had more than 5 consecutive days off in probably 7 years.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 11:48:32 AM by Bearded Man »