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  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Default Office Politics: Play or Pay

    There is a group of women in my office that have the gravitational pull of a black hole. It's not enough to be friendly with them, they want you to be part of them. They don't even particularly like you, they just don't want you rejecting them.

    You can exclude yourself (which I do and have felt their sting many times), but they exert a very strong force. One jokingly( ) said "we'll just go talk in X's office all the time, so the Boss will think she's not working and fire her teeheehee!" They form very tight bonds with the ones in charge and slip subtle comments to them. They even sometimes look like they're doing you a favor, but all they're trying to do is prove how much power they have over you, that they can sway the Boss.

    All of the major battles go down during lunch time. It's very strategic. The alpha female sits down at the table and her top aides sit on her right and left. The rank and file fill up the rest of the seats. I've listened to three of my coworkers try to figure out ways how to avoid eating lunch with them, pretending to be at meetings, ducking around corners and into bathrooms to sneak out and get lunch. The only reason I've been able to avoid it is because I don't work in this department, but I sit next to them and get information from the ones desperate to escape.

    This is how one of them finally decided to free herself from this clique. The backlash is already forming, I hope she can withstand.

    Dear ladies,

    It is with great regret that I inform you of my desire to excuse myself from our lunch conversations. Although I do enjoy your company very much, I am not comfortable with a lot of the subject matter of our conversations. I have participated or remained in the midst of conversations because I have not wanted to be teased about excluding myself. However, I cannot continue to pretend that I am okay with it and, at the risk of being called a prude, I am removing myself from the environment. I hope that you will understand where I am coming from. I do not accept disrespectfulness from anyone else and should not make exceptions.

    I am sorry that I am not able to go into details, I do not feel it would be appropriate by this means, but I would be happy to discuss this further with anyone who wishes to do so.

    No worries, I am not upset, but I feel that work is stressful enough and lunch is supposed to be a time to relax and be comfortable.

    I know this is probably coming out of left field for a few of you, but I really respect you guys and hold you in the best of regards and I do not want that to be compromised.

    It was very difficult for me to write this, I have been thinking about it for a long time and just kept trying to convince myself that I was being sensitive and that the conversations were just a means of being silly. But, I was not being honest with myself or with you guys and I cannot continue to do that. I think it would not be fair for you to have to curb your fun on my account, so I believe removing myself would be the best thing to do.

    I hope you understand and are not upset by this email.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sahara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post


    This is how one of them finally decided to free herself from this clique. The backlash is already forming, I hope she can withstand.
    Me too, as I think her email was too apologetic, it showed a bit of weakness and bullies, which is what those ladies are, pick up on the signs of weakness and use it.

    The only way to deal with women like that is to be blunt and harsh if necessary, strength against strength. No apology is needed to these women, an apology, and so much explanation is showing fear of repurcussions, they will use it.

    I would show them they can't bully me quite quickly, and if necessary report them much higher if the lower level management is corrupted by them.
    "No one can be free of the chains that surround them"

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sahara View Post
    Me too, as I think her email was too apologetic, it showed a bit of weakness and bullies, which is what those ladies are, pick up on the signs of weakness and use it.
    Since Sahara broke the ice, I will say that I thought it was well-written.. but I wasn't even halfway through and thinking, "Why is she explaining so much? Rather than defusing things, it will be more like gasoline on the fire, if she keeps going!"

    I do not mean to diminish what she did, though. I know these sort of confrontations are a hard thing to do, and I also recall times when I was emotionally invested in a situation and probably did the exact same thing she did (i.e., explained too much, trying to defuse the situation).

    I hope she survives and thrives without any sort of backlash.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity is the "alpha female" in a position above everyone else or equal?
    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

  5. #5
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Since Sahara broke the ice, I will say that I thought it was well-written.. but I wasn't even halfway through and thinking, "Why is she explaining so much? Rather than defusing things, it will be more like gasoline on the fire, if she keeps going!"

    I do not mean to diminish what she did, though. I know these sort of confrontations are a hard thing to do, and I also recall times when I was emotionally invested in a situation and probably did the exact same thing she did (i.e., explained too much, trying to defuse the situation).

    I hope she survives and thrives without any sort of backlash.
    I think it's too apologetic. She shouldn't have to apologize for wanting to sit by herself at lunch. These chicks are crazy. They asked me why I don't sit with them and I laughed and said because I don't want to, teeheehee!

    This is High School Redux.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lookin4theBestNU View Post
    Out of curiosity is the "alpha female" in a position above everyone else or equal?
    They're all equal! 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 and we don't hang out with them, but it's very hard for my friend. She works in that department whereas I don't I can avoid them or keep conversation to confined to light banter. She can't do that as easily because she has to work with them.

    Another thing I notice in that department is gender imbalance. All of the people in the clique are women less than 35. I've worked in majority female environments for most of my life and they always seem to degrade into a level of cattiness that I don't see in more mixed-sexed offices.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  6. #6
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    To weak, not direct enough, not barbed for forwarding, no material details, too much emotion.

    She's toast, both personally and most likely at the professional level. The likelyhood of her being able to maintain her position here for more than half a year is unlikely, assuming the dynamics remain.

  7. #7
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I think it's too apologetic. She shouldn't have to apologize for wanting to sit by herself at lunch. These chicks are crazy. They asked me why I don't sit with them and I laughed and said because I don't want to, teeheehee!
    Maybe that's what I feeling uncomfortable about. She has no reason to apologize, she isn't doing anything wrong.

    In a situation where someone feels uncomfortable eating with someone else, they usually just do not keep eating with them, no explanation necessary.

    Actually the alpha female was demoted to her current position because she had an attitude problem and didn't work well with others.
    Hee, that's hilarious!

    Another thing I notice in that department is gender imbalance. All of the people in the clique are women less than 35. I've worked in majority female environments for most of my life and they always seem to degrade into a level of cattiness that I don't see in more mixed-sexed offices.
    C works in the office for a furniture store chain, and the office has an all-woman staff, most in their 20's and without much secondary education if any. They have the same type of catty environment. I am just amazed by some of the behavior she describes to me after work -- it's things that my 10-year-old children would do as part of squabbling with each other.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    To weak, not direct enough, not barbed for forwarding, no material details, too much emotion.

    She's toast, both personally and most likely at the professional level. The likelyhood of her being able to maintain her position here for more than half a year is unlikely, assuming the dynamics remain.
    Well, I think that's a little harsh. A person shouldn't lose their job based on some clique's opinion, especially when they were supposedly friends. Too much emotion? She's having to admit to herself that her friends have been bullies and she was helping them, in addition to risking a long-standing friendship.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer
    They have the same type of catty environment. I am just amazed by some of the behavior she describes to me after work -- it's things that my 10-year-old children would do as part of squabbling with each other.
    The #1 reason I have so few female friends.
    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sahara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lookin4theBestNU View Post
    The #1 reason I have so few female friends.

    Was thinking the same thing, my closest friend is as tomboyish in attitude as you can get, which is perfect.
    "No one can be free of the chains that surround them"

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