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  1. #31
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anii View Post
    If that is common knowledge, then why are other staff continuing to give her power?
    I highly suggest that idealism be left behind... accept that is how things work and work back from there. Situations like this defy our normal social conditioning... it's all around us but we choose to ignore it for the comfort of our own mind.

    How do you know this? Is there a book or something? I've always felt blindsided when confronted with workplace bullies. For once I want to be armed in advance.
    For general stuff, I'd read "The 48 Laws of Power". The reality is that every situation is different... it's the ability to change approaches and the knowledge base/experience that will help, not a ruleset.

    The other side is that in many cases, bullying should not be the word on uses. There are very few work bullies - most are simply confrontational and unpleasant (ie: very T, goal orientated, self serving) which is an entirely different beast than actual bullies (like in the OP). It's normal to project the situation and situations are better resolved (either directly or indirectly) when seen for what they are.

    So, that's what I would suggest. Flex the emotionless muscle, distance yourself, tame the emotional reaction... Then work on thinking strategically - where do you want the situation to end up and how to do resolve it. Once you reach that point you will need to get beyond hesitation and aim for carrying through. Those are more or less the three core steps - remove emotion, learn to strategize, learn to implement.

    (FWIW, INFPs hurt for these three steps - it's very much against your nature... so it wont' be easy. However, the way you do it can differ for your own style, INFPs would normally prefer undermining and passive aggressive tendencies... but those are riskier which is why they aren't normally used. It depends on what you want - for pure defense you should be fine, but if you want to climb the corporate ladder, you'll need a very different approach... one that might not sit well.)

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    There are very few work bullies - most are simply confrontational and unpleasant (ie: very T, goal orientated, self serving) which is an entirely different beast than actual bullies (like in the OP). It's normal to project the situation and situations are better resolved (either directly or indirectly) when seen for what they are.
    I'm part of those unpleasant, confrontational, very T, goal oriented and self serving people. But I never put anyone in the shit or play stupid mind games. Those in the OP seem pleasant, non confrontational, very F, non-goal oriented and other serving. And THEY deliberately put people in the shit.

    Work has taught me that the meanest looking people may be the ones who, in fact, do you the less harm. While the nicest ones are to be monitored with caution. Dumb idealism would tell us that disagreeable people are not to be trusted and nice/warm people are. Bullshit, I can only trust someone who has enough backbone to tell other people what he thinks. If you haven't got any enemies, that probably means you've never been honest to anyone.

    I have to cope with such idiots as the women in the OP all day long. And, unfortunately, this tends to be much more typical of female than male behavior. The thing is, managers (if they're smart) see right through this and they look stupid. These people are not respected for their competence. They think they have power... but they only have power over those who want to be their friends. Work is not meant to find friends and you shouldn't trust anyone in the first place. You never know if an asshole or bitch will use some info to backstab you later.

    So, protean, you need to start seeing it as a GAME and don't let it get to you. See it as just play. Make fun of them and be sarcastic when you notice elements of the GAME if it can alleviate the pressure. Be as disagreeable as you can while remaining polite and not making mistakes. That is the key. And, never, never, ever, get openly angry or blow up. Keep your cool at all times or they will play the victims. Remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger so all this is a great learning experience for you and once you get the skills to cope with people like this... you'll be much harder to deal with.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I'm curious to know how this has progressed... any updates?
    I thought of replying to this thread when it was active before, but I couldn't figure out the reporting structure among the women.

    That is, the Alpha Female (AF) got demoted and proteanmix's friend (PF) was hired or promoted into AF's old spot. That makes PF senior to AF, but it's unclear whether AF is reporting to PF (and PF can directly order around and discipline AF) or whether PF is senior to AF but both report to a boss directly above them (so PF can't discipline AF directly but can complain to the boss about AF).

    That makes a certain amount of difference in what strategy to take.

    As for the e-mail in the OP, it's hard to say what effect it might have. I've noticed that catty women have their own ways of addressing and resolving disputes. So who knows? Maybe in Catty Woman World that was actually an effective tactic. PF was part of AF's lunch circle for a while; maybe she calculated that an in-your-face accusation of cattiness would be a needed shot across their bow, while the apologies would shield her from accusations of being personally insulting.

    An e-mail like that would be worse than useless against alpha males. But I don't know the rules of Catty Woman World, so who knows.

    As for the basic situation of a new senior person dealing with alpha staff: There were lots of instances when I was in the military where I came into a new platoon as a sergeant and I got challenged by a group of alpha male senior corporals determined to show that they weren't impressed by me. After a while it was no big deal. Rank and reporting structure are everything, so you let that work for you. Like ptgatsby said earlier, if you're going to fight any conflicts, then you only fight them over professional and workplace issues so that you can use the advantages of rank and reporting structure. Meantime you keep personal issues and emotions out of it.

    The e-mail is problematic because it seems to broach personal issues (gossiping during lunchtime and a refusal to be in someone's company). But again, it's hard to factor in the e-mail and say where to go from there without knowing the reporting structure and without knowing how the e-mail was received in AF's Catty Woman World.
    Last edited by RDF; 10-07-2007 at 06:09 AM.

  4. #34
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    This thread reminds me of why we need other types (and why I became so frustrated with that *other* forum).

    I've learned more in one day from this thread about navigating office politics than I have in months of research elsewhere.

    I feel like we are getting insider secrets from experts... please don't stop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    I have to cope with such idiots as the women in the OP all day long.
    What is "OP"?

  5. #35
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anii View Post
    What is "OP"?
    In order of likelihood:

    1. Original Post

    2. Operator

  6. #36
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    In order of likelihood:

    1. Original Post

    2. Operator
    Well, s/he was referring to the real-life workplace... so I doubt it's either.

  7. #37
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    That's why I truly really want to be self-employed.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by anii View Post
    Well, s/he was referring to the real-life workplace... so I doubt it's either.
    it's to the "original post" I was referring to

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    That's why I truly really want to be self-employed.
    Definitely, and one of the main motivations for starting a business is escaping office politics.

  9. #39
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    Definitely, and one of the main motivations for starting a business is escaping office politics.
    Or rather, getting to control it, right? After all, if the business takes off, there will still be office politics.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    Or rather, getting to control it, right? After all, if the business takes off, there will still be office politics.
    I'd get rid of any player as soon as I find out I want people who want to gain power through competence, not their relationships with others.

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