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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by anii View Post
    This thread reminds me of why we need other types (and why I became so frustrated with that *other* forum).
    A lot of folks at the other forum like a diet of cotton candy and fluffy clouds. I'm more of a meat-and-potatoes guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by anii View Post
    What is "OP"?
    The first post in the thread, the "opening post." It can also refer to the person who wrote the first post: the "opening poster."

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The danger here, which doesn't exist with men quite the same way, is that women are expected to get along. She isn't playing by their rules. It's bad either way... there are no "male" advantages and nnot "female" advantages to the approach she took. (ie: what I posted originally for the male, but also the removal from the pack in the female one is similar to "not playing the game" and opens her up for "female" isolation and retribution).

    However, that's why I'm curious what has happened. Every situation that I get to hear about helps me refine the strategy a little bit more.
    Eh. I think it's a myth that women automatically need a harmonious environment amongst themselves. I've been in charge of female staff, and the gals were pretty much the same as the guys. They formed cliques, they backstabbed each other, they ostracized each other, they worked out their differences and became buddies again, and a day later they were backstabbing each other again.

    Office politics are universal. It's nice if you can achieve a harmonious environment in the office. But in a big office there is usually some office politics going on to some degree: competition for a promotion or a prized position, griping because this or that person is slacking off and not pulling their load, etc. As a boss of an office, I try to be aware and catch it before it turns into a big morale or legal problem (i.e., try to head off any fistfights or filing of harassment charges). But if it's not a major problem, then I try to let the staff work it out themselves. They're adults, and I shouldn't have to slap their wrists like toddlers and solve all their interpersonal problems for them.

    In the case of proteanmix's friend (PF), she's the senior secretary and I would mostly just want to check what kind of paper trail she is leaving behind her (in the form of belligerent or accusatory e-mails) just in case Alpha Female gets it into her head further down the line to claim that PF is harassing her. But other than that, I don't see any problem here.

    Again, if I were the boss in that office, I would actually prefer that PF and AF not be very close. AF is a troublemaker secretary that I've demoted, and I probably wouldn't want my new senior secretary (PF) buddying up with a troublemaker secretary. As the senior secretary, PF should be playing a leadership role vis-a-vis the other secretaries and she should probably keep a little personal distance from the rest, especially from the troublemaker secretary.

    Looking at how the whole thing played out, I would congratulate PF. PF came aboard, tried to do some diplomatic schmoozing with the rest of the secretarial staff by joining them for lunch, but she got turned off by the cattiness of the troublemaker secretary who was still holding court in the lunchroom. PF knew she was going to make an enemy of AF either way when she quit eating in the lunchroom, so she decided to take the offensive by publicly upbraiding AF on her attitude in the lunchroom. Good for PF.

    Like I said, as long as the e-mail passes muster and doesn't taint the paper trail, then I think it's appropriate for a senior secretary to distance herself from a known troublemaker like AF, and even to take the initiative of butting heads with AF to try to isolate her. As the boss, I might want to monitor the situation to make sure it didn't turn into a big feud and disrupt the office. But otherwise I would let the staff work it out for themselves.

    As it turns out, AF was on the way out of the office anyway, so a public rebuke of AF was a smart move. It makes PF the new Alpha Female, having publicly dethroned the old Alpha Female. Good for her!

    All's well that ends well.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    [...]Two other people have "asked" her to write up the minutes for committees that they are the staff liaison for. I'm also a staff liaison and we're responsible for writing our committee's minutes. Yet they give it to her, tell her they need it in X amount of time and if she doesn't get it to the per their specification, the emails start getting CC'ed to the boss. I don't know if the boss is oblivious as well, doesn't care, or can't deal with it right now. I've told her to go to her boss and let him fight for her. Because part of her job description is "other duties as assigned," she's really caught between a rock and a hard place. She needs her boss to tell the other people in the department to get their assistants to to the work or give her enough time to get the work done.
    That's easy enough to resolve. I'll write up a post with some ideas for your friend a little later, when I have some more time.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I've written some updates in my blog thread. The Alpha Female actually moved to California not even two weeks ago. We think because she knew she was leaving, she felt comfortable being extra caustic to my friend.

    Every office has a departmental mule. They do the difficult work no one else wants to do because they're either stuck in a position where they have to (my friend is the departmental admin assistant as well as the executive assistant to the director) or they're a pushover who doesn't know how to tell people NO. Unfortunately, my friend is a little of both of these. She doesn't want people to think she's incompetent or that the work is too difficult for her because she fears that will affect her standing with the director. She prides herself on the fact that she can do all these things, but they come at a high price. She's very stressed out, doesn't take time off from work to recuperate because if she takes a week vacation all the work does is pile up on her, and is underpaid. There's no relief.

    It's sad to say but I've told her she shouldn't be so damn efficient. Once people see that you're reliable, work quickly, and you do good work they start to think that they can continue to give you projects. This usually is a good thing, in that people will start eyeing you for a promotion, but since there are a lot of older people with nice cushy paychecks and wonderful views of the Capital in my office, there's not much room for upward mobility unless they leave. Another person in her department has two assistants working under her and yet she gives my friend their work because she does a better job. And when my friend told her that she couldn't do a certain project you know what she did? She sent an email to my friend about the project and CC'ed my friend's boss as some kind of blackmail! Talk about intimidation!

    Two other people have "asked" her to write up the minutes for committees that they are the staff liaison for. I'm also a staff liaison and we're responsible for writing our committee's minutes. Yet they give it to her, tell her they need it in X amount of time and if she doesn't get it to the per their specification, the emails start getting CC'ed to the boss. I don't know if the boss is oblivious as well, doesn't care, or can't deal with it right now. I've told her to go to her boss and let him fight for her. Because part of her job description is "other duties as assigned," she's really caught between a rock and a hard place. She needs her boss to tell the other people in the department to get their assistants to to the work or give her enough time to get the work done.
    Hi proteanmix,

    I haven't had time to read your blog, but there's plenty of stuff to work with right in the above passage. If you want my response to incorporate something specific in the blog, perhaps you could provide a link.

    Long message ahead!

    Basically, let's start with a stripped-down (simplified) example of a dysfunctional office.

    When I was in the military, I knew of an admin office staffed by a boss and three clerks. The work involved a lot of detailed reports that were very important, so the clerks had a fair bit of rank themselves (two sergeants and a corporal).

    One day they brought in a new boss. He was a grizzled old gunnery sergeant, a Vietnam combat veteran. He had a longstanding drinking problem and had already been sent to rehab a couple times to dry out. This assignment was his last chance to try to get straightened out and get his career back on track. It was considered a low-stress assignment because the clerks knew their job and the office ran itself.

    But the boss quickly started making a mess of things. Sometimes the officers who were reading the finished reports pointed out an occasional typo to the boss (this was back in the days when everything was done on typewriters, so a few typos were inevitable), and the boss freaked out. He knew that this assignment was his last shot, and so he wanted to get everything perfect. He started hovering over the clerks' shoulders and pestering them; if the work went too slow, he would take it away from them and do it himself. (And that was a mess, in turn, because the boss didn't actually know how to do the work, so he had to keep interrupting the clerks to find out where or how to get the data. And he made even more mistakes than the clerks, which meant that he kept having to do the same work repeatedly.)

    Eventually the clerks got sick of the boss's constant interference and hovering, and they started "sandbagging." They deliberately started making petty mistakes or working slowly on some task or pretending not to know how to do some task. The boss would freak out and take the work from them and do it himself. Eventually, all the work in the office ended up on the boss's desk, and the clerks just had a little light BS paperwork in order to pretend to look busy. The clerks finished their workday early and made excuses to leave the office before quitting time, and the boss worked late into the night cranking out all the important reports.

    Pretty quickly the boss got burnt out and started drinking again. The clerks would come into the office in the morning and find the boss passed out drunk on the floor of the office. It didn't take long for the higher-ups to get wind of it, and pretty quickly the boss was replaced. (He was sent to rehab and then kicked out of the military.) A new boss appeared, he put the clerks back to work properly, and very quickly everything was back to normal and functioning properly again.

    Looking at this story, it's easy to blame the clerks for what happened because they "sandbagged" the boss by playing dumb and incapable of doing the work. But in fact they were just reacting to the situation at hand. The hovering and pestering of the boss was an annoyance and an insult. When the boss first started taking their work from them, they objected and tried to insist that they knew best how to do the work. But the boss wouldn't hear it. Other people also pointed out to the boss that he was overloading himself, but the boss was deaf to all good advice.

    So the breakdown occurred because of the boss's refusal to delegate work properly to his subordinates. IOW, the subordinates' sandbagging ruined the boss in the end, but the sandbagging occurred because of the boss's shortcomings. The sandbagging was a rational response to the boss's bad habits, and the boss deserves the blame instead of the clerks.

    In your friend's case, it sounds like the other staff assistants in the divisions or committees (or whatever units are under the department) are sandbagging a bit. That's occurring because there are alternate routes for processing the work, so the staff assistants might as well pretend to be overworked and let their work flow through the alternate channels and get done somewhere else.

    The alternate channels, of course, are created by two things: 1) The fact that your friend hold two separate titles (and thus potentially is responsible for two separate workloads) and also has a fuzzy job description: "other duties as assigned"; and 2) The fact that your friend won't say "no" when extra work flows onto her desk.

    So here's the situation: The confusing titling and description of your friend's position and her refusal to say "no" create a drainhole straight to her desk for any freefloating work. And the other secretaries see that drainhole and they sandbag a bit in order to let some of their extra work overflow into the drainhole.

    It's tempting to blame the other secretaries for sandbagging and not carrying a full load of work. But administratively, it's smarter to plug up the drainhole so that the temptation doesn't exist in the first place. Frankly, the other secretaries are just being resourceful in their own way. They're just working with what they've got.

    It sounds like your friend isn't in a position to assign the extra work right back to the other secretaries. That is, if the other secretaries were reporting directly to your friend, your friend could monitor them and get them working harder. But I'm assuming that the other secretaries report directly to their division or committee heads, and so your friend would have to deal directly with the other division or committee heads in order to get the work back to the other secretaries (hence all the fuss about e-mails from other heads of divisions and committees). In other words, the reporting structure in the office isn't set up to facilitate an easy solution that way.

    Your friend still has a couple options.

    1) As you suggested, she can go to her boss and ask that the confusion in her job titles and job description be cleaned up so that her desk doesn't become the automatic resting place for stray work. If your friend has a good rapport with her boss and her boss doesn't mind going to bat for her, then this is a perfectly reasonable approach. But it will involve a lot of headaches for the boss. It means a review of the workflow situation and job titles around the office; and it means he has to wrangle with the division and committee heads to get them to take their excess work back. And that's not going to be fun for the boss. Frankly, if your friend has been handling the extra workload okay so far and there hasn't been any obvious disruptions to office work, the boss probably won't be especially eager to help your friend on this. His philosophy will be "If it ain't broken, don't fix it."

    2) Your friend could ask for a change in the reporting structure so that all the other secretaries get their work from her as the senior secretary. That way all work would come to her first and she would delegate it to the others. The downside is the same as in item 1: Assuming that she doesn't already have that power (and is simply not bothering to use it), then it would require a big review of office procedures and would constitute a big power grab on her part. It would be hard to justify such a big change without a major office breakdown first.

    3) Your friend could ask her boss for more leeway to refuse work from the other division and committee heads. That is, she could ask for a clearer right to say "no" to extra work. But in a way, this is just an impromptu version of item 1, and it has all the same drawbacks. That is, the boss will likely be drawn into every little dispute when the division and committee heads complain that they can't get their work done, and the boss won't be happy to constantly be having to monitor secretarial work in the department.

    4) Your friend could ask the boss for an assistant secretary to help her with her excess workload. But typically that's not a fast solution either; it requires budget allocations and creates the same sorts of problems as 1, 2, and 3.

    5) Your friend could "close the loop" and sandbag the same way that the other secretaries are sandbagging. It would establish parity and close off the drainhole, and the excess floating work would most likely find its way back to the original secretary who was supposed to do it. Here is how a senior secretary sandbags:

    When a division or committee head drops a job on her desk, she goes ahead and accepts it. After the head leaves, she writes an email to her boss, the department head, saying: "Committee Head Jones gave me project X with a deadline of Wednesday, and you have already given me project Z with the same deadline of Wednesday. I'm happy to do both projects, but I can't fit them both in by Wednesday. The deadline for one of them will have to be extended to the following Monday. Could you please let me know which project takes priority?"

    If your friend wants to be particularly ironic, she can cc Committee Head Jones on the email. And project Z should be one of the department head's favorite pet projects.

    IOW, your friend should start creating scheduling conflicts between multiple projects. She should insist that she's happy to do all the work for everyone, but there are only 8 hours in a day, she can't work overtime because her mother is sick, she has leave coming up and can't postpone it due to her plane tickets, etc.

    The boss won't be happy about being pulled into these scheduling conflicts. But frankly, this is just proper use of the reporting system by your friend. When two executives overload her with work, she shouldn't have to bear the brunt of their bad administration. She should be kicking such administrative conflicts upstairs to her boss. That's what reporting structures and bosses are for. There's no way she should be putting in lots of overtime and getting burnt out just because her office has a screwy job titling system. She needs to get that addressed.

    The boss may attempt to convince her to do both jobs just on a one-time basis. But she should hold firm on her need for a deadline extension for one of them, even at the cost of looking like a bad worker. The problem needs to be addressed, and that's the boss's job (even if he doesn't want to do it).

    After a couple such emails from your friend, the department head will eventually start looking at items 1, 2, 3, or 4 for a longer-term solution. And the good thing is that he'll do it on his own initiative. The emails from your friend will signal a breakdown in office procedures, and that will be serious enough to get him working on a solution on his own initiative.

    Ideally, it would be nice if your friend could just go to the boss in the first place and just outline the problem and get the boss to start working on item 1, 2, 3, or 4 right away. But up till now it sounds like your friend has been hiding the problem from her boss by doing all the extra work in order to appear competent, and as a result the boss isn't going to see any urgency to address the problem. In a sense, much of the problem is your friend's fault because she hasn't been honest with her boss. By doing some sandbagging of her own (IOW by doing item 5), your friend will finally reveal to her boss the extent of the problem, and sooner or later he'll find it in his own interests to do something about it.

    Your friend has to figure out what's a fair workload for her position, and then she has to get in the habit of clearing any additional work coming from the division or committee heads through her boss. That's proper use of the reporting structure: It's not her job to sort out work priorities for executives. She should be sending those sorts of problems upstairs to her boss where they can get addressed without sacrificing your friend's health and sanity to the administrative gods.

    And that's pretty much how these things are addressed. By the way, proteanmix, you reflected most of what I'm saying here in your own post about the problem--your friend's inability to say no, etc. I'm just confirming what you've seen and showing how it works itself out in a typical office setting.

    Incidentally, your friend is probably feeling a little paranoid about the other secretaries. After all, the other secretaries almost certainly know where that extra work is going to end up when they sandbag it. And frankly, they probably are indeed getting a little cruel pleasure out of putting your friend to the test and seeing how she handles it. After all, your friend didn't just slam the Alpha Female for gossiping in the OP e-mail; she accused everyone in the lunchroom.

    Still, your friend shouldn't hold it against the other secretaries. Your friend created the problem in good part by herself by taking the extra work and hiding the burden from her boss. So the burden is on your friend to bite the bullet and address the problem.

    Now that the old Alpha Female is gone, and once she starts getting things on track with her boss, your friend will probably want to start interacting with the other secretaries and smooth things over with them. She shouldn't give them a hard time about sandbagging. In an administrative structure, even good friends will sandbag on you if you create a gaping alternate drainhole for their excess work. Your friend can just plug the hole at her end, and start schmoozing the other secretaries and assume her spot as new Alpha Female, if she wants it. Let bygones be bygones, and all that. The departure of the old Alpha Female creates an opportunity to start with a clean slate, and your friend should probably grab it.

    Just my opinion, of course.

  5. #55
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Office politics are universal.
    I have to disagree here. Or perhaps I could say that office politics are as universal as human behaviour... however, it is clear that different groups of traits produce different individual and group behaviours. Women do have some significantly different factors than men, on average, and they do produce significantly different group dynamics. The three that I am mostly seem to impact on group dynamics is the higher emotional reactivity, agreeableness and ability to multitask. Invariably groups of like traits such of these end up having a very different social structure than the opposites.

    The reason I say harmony is because the two of the three traits invariably cause groups of women to react far more negatively to slights as well as attempt to smooth things over. This causes deep undercurrents that are not easily seen from the surface. The danger in disrupting this status quo as a peer is significantly different than your position of letting things be until they need to be calmed down. You in your position are the balancing factor.

    In this case the interaction between the two ended before it could run its course... which would of been the most interesting part of the whole thing to me. How well it would of run is only speculation.

    (I agree with your advice for the way forward now... so long as she isn't seen as the enemy from the current staff. Otherwise it will continue along a similar path as I predicted, IMO... but her efforts should be to turn individuals to her side based upon over reactions from the others rather than targetting any single individual.)

    The funny thing is that I learned about this when I had an Admin Assitant job in title and was invited to the women's "bitch fest" where they aired their grievances. A most enlightening experience and one I will never repeat. Groups of women like that are probably the singular most unpleasant pack of beasts on the planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I have to disagree here. Or perhaps I could say that office politics are as universal as human behaviour... however, it is clear that different groups of traits produce different individual and group behaviours. Women do have some significantly different factors than men, on average, and they do produce significantly different group dynamics. The three that I am mostly seem to impact on group dynamics is the higher emotional reactivity, agreeableness and ability to multitask. Invariably groups of like traits such of these end up having a very different social structure than the opposites.

    The reason I say harmony is because the two of the three traits invariably cause groups of women to react far more negatively to slights as well as attempt to smooth things over. This causes deep undercurrents that are not easily seen from the surface. The danger in disrupting this status quo as a peer is significantly different than your position of letting things be until they need to be calmed down. You in your position are the balancing factor.

    In this case the interaction between the two ended before it could run its course... which would of been the most interesting part of the whole thing to me. How well it would of run is only speculation.

    (I agree with your advice for the way forward now... so long as she isn't seen as the enemy from the current staff. Otherwise it will continue along a similar path as I predicted, IMO... but her efforts should be to turn individuals to her side based upon over reactions from the others rather than targetting any single individual.)

    The funny thing is that I learned about this when I had an Admin Assitant job in title and was invited to the women's "bitch fest" where they aired their grievances. A most enlightening experience and one I will never repeat. Groups of women like that are probably the singular most unpleasant pack of beasts on the planet.
    I understand what you're saying about the dynamics of female interaction. But those aren't the only influences at work in an office environment. One can choose to influence the dynamics around oneself: One can court key players, form cliques, use her position to dole out favors, call in a favor from her boss, etc.

    Also, your analysis seems to be based on the assumption that PM's friend is a peer of the other women. A senior secretary in the office traditionally has the choice of rising above the petty infighting at the lower levels. In fact, I would advise PM's friend to court the other secretaries precisely from an attitude of being in a leadership position rather than being just one more peer. There's good reason that the senior secretary position is traditionally the Alpha Female position, and PM's friend should put that to use.

    I had the same kinds of fears when I was first living in the barracks in the Marines--that the usual male peer dynamics would somehow tie me up and permanently consign me to some unenviable spot low on the pecking order. But dynamics are only one part of the story. One can play around considerably with the dynamics simply by "assuming the attitude" and choosing to be a power player.

    In the case of PM's friend, she actually has a lot of things going her way (especially her elevated position and the departure of the previous Alpha Female). So I would advise her to take nothing for granted and "assume the attitude" of a power player. Seems to me that ISFJs can be pretty good at that, especially when they decide it's simply their fate to be in charge and play mother hen to the rest of the staff.

    Again, I agree with what you say about the nature of female dynamics. But also I think that there are more factors in play than just the interpersonal dynamics of female peers alone. Some people choose to stand out, cut through the usual clutter of pecking order dynamics, and be leaders in one way or another. I've seen women do it plenty of times in office settings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    On a micro level, especially in interpersonal relationships, gameplaying of some form regularly enter the scene. Once again, people deny that they do it, but it's so commonplace that someone has to be initiating the game.

    Is anyone willing to admit to starting a game? If so why do you do it? Does this arise out of insecurity, entertainment, other reasons? I won't think you're a bad person if you do.
    I disagree. There's a difference between healthy interaction, negotiation or conflict between people and... games. Game playing is manipulative behavior that seeks to arrive at a goal with indirect means. In games, there is no real communication possible and the players won't hear you. They also will never explain to you the rules. This is in contrast with normal behavior where people will be willing to communicate and discuss why they acted the way they did and what they are waiting from you. In games, no one will tell you exactly what they want...

    So to say that everything plays games is exagerated. Or you've been in seriously unhealthy environments.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The three that I am mostly seem to impact on group dynamics is the higher emotional reactivity, agreeableness and ability to multitask. Invariably groups of like traits such of these end up having a very different social structure than the opposites.
    Yep. The evils of high agreeableness and emotional reactivity, I tell you

    With overt violence you know who you're facing and it is clear who is up to what. The kind of violence that goes inside these groups goes unpunished and is much more debilitating. It messes with people's heads without there being any open sign of abuse. In a sense, schools and organizations are becoming a haven for this sort of violence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I understand what you're saying about the dynamics of female interaction. But those aren't the only influences at work in an office environment. One can choose to influence the dynamics around oneself: One can court key players, form cliques, use her position to dole out favors, call in a favor from her boss, etc.
    There are infinite factors indeed, so some assumptions need to be made. I believe that it is safe to say that the original problem indicated what I was talking about - that is the female clique dynamic, something fairly rarely tolerated among men (although I have seen that happen!).

    I did assume her job was not in a position of power... in fact, if it is from a position of power, the original email was probably even worse because there were other alternatives than the reaction. The amazing thing is, of course, is that the alpha in the OP had a significant following and thus wielded considerable power. Allies avoided the situation rather than dealt with it, leaving very few available allies (the situation would of turned into clique vs clique, which is the wolf fight that I think would of happened).

    The only solution was the removal of the alpha as a player. That happened, so she has a fighting chance.

    Also, your analysis seems to be based on the assumption that PM's friend is a peer of the other women. A senior secretary in the office traditionally has the choice of rising above the petty infighting at the lower levels. In fact, I would advise PM's friend to court the other secretaries precisely from an attitude of being in a leadership position rather than being just one more peer. There's good reason that the senior secretary position is traditionally the Alpha Female position, and PM's friend should put that to use.
    Right... I've scanned the thread and certainly before the impression was that she was a peer (and if anything, the alpha was a peer that used alpha power to dominate).

    However, in my scan, I didn't see her having any significant power even from the later messages... Did I miss something or is that in the blog?

    Again, I agree with what you say about the nature of female dynamics. But also I think that there are more factors in play than just the interpersonal dynamics of female peers alone. Some people choose to stand out, cut through the usual clutter of pecking order dynamics, and be leaders in one way or another. I've seen women do it plenty of times in office settings.
    The only reason the female dynamics were important was because she was part of them and was refusing to play. It wasn't a recommendation - how to break free was decidedly "male advice" - it was simply an analysis of the female group and how they will likely react to her approach.

    Having power solves almost all ills. In that case, she has a very good chance of coming out on top. That'd be true regardless of the female dynamics - power structures overide most group dynamics fairly easily. (ie: why being boss allows you to solve issues!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Right... I've scanned the thread and certainly before the impression was that she was a peer (and if anything, the alpha was a peer that used alpha power to dominate).

    However, in my scan, I didn't see her having any significant power even from the later messages... Did I miss something or is that in the blog?
    I picked it up from bits and pieces. At one point proteanmix said, "They're all peers." But then she went on to differentiate:

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Actually the alpha female was demoted to her current position because she had an attitude problem and didn't work well with others. The person who took her position was promoted and had no idea of the boiling pot of shit she was dropped into. The alpha female has been riding her since she was promoted into her former position.

    I'm friends with the one who as promoted
    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    (my friend is the departmental admin assistant as well as the executive assistant to the director)
    Departmental admin assistant and executive assistant to the director is usually a pretty prestigious spot.

    PM's friend isn't the boss of the other secretaries, since apparently they don't report to her. But on the other hand, that was a pretty ballsy move by PM's friend to challenge the entire lunch room crowd head-on. I'm guessing that she knows she's in a highly visible position and feels she has to take a public stand on things rather than use little white lies to get around the other admin assistants.

    In any case, in such situations I always put my money on the individuals with the big cohones (so to speak).

    Though it probably would help if I were to read proteanmix's blog and get some more background info, as long as I'm this invested in the office drama of her friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Departmental admin assistant and executive assistant to the director is usually a pretty prestigious spot.
    Hmm, I don't see it this way, but I suppose that could be the case. I didn't get the impression of power from her friend at all.

    In any case, in such situations I always put my money on the individuals with the big cohones (so to speak).
    I use to. Then I saw them get ground down. Certain strategies work better in certain cases... and sometimes the nail that sticks out does get hammered down... or pulled and thrown. It just depends on the environment. Large groups of women fighting it out normally means sticking out will be the death of a thousand pin pricks unless the pack is broken.

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