My Office’s Politics

So, earlier this week the afternoon tech geek (ATG) was supposed to come in and work during the day with me because the female tech geek (FTG) was off. He is always, at the very latest, on time for work. So when it was the hour on the dot, I slowly started wondering if he’d forgotten or didn’t realize he had to work early that day. As it got towards half an hour past his scheduled work start time, I started wondering if maybe he’d taken off and I hadn’t heard about it. That’s incredibly possible with the [lack of] communication at my job.

At this point, I’m at work by myself. Luckily, we weren’t really getting any calls.

I started checking IM to see if, by chance, he would come online because he’s one of the few people who works there who uses that IM program when he’s at home, as well. Eventually, he did sign on.

I IMed him and asked him if he was supposed to be working. He said no. I told him he was scheduled. He was like, “Are you sure?” I checked the schedule one more time–I’d checked it many times–and, apparently, he started checking also. He realized he was supposed to be at work.

THEN he said he’d made plans and, thus, wasn’t going to come in.

He started trying to call our supervisor, and she didn’t answer the phone.

The woman who works in accounting at my job is sort of the supervisor when our supervisor is not there. She arrives at work before our supervisor does, so I decided to tell her what happened when she got in.

She was just kinda like…it was a big issue. He did end up coming in eventually, because our supervisor called him and told him he had to.

Then we started talking about some of the people who work there, and, I’m telling you–golden material. Basically validated a lot of my thoughts, theories, observations.

Here’s basically what the accounting lady (AL) said:

About FTG–She’s never going any further at this place because of her [lack of] communication skills, despite being good at what she does. Once again, I was told that the way FTG is with me is how she is with everyone there. AL told me a story about how FTG emailed her one time because she had a problem with how AL had handled something. Apparently, this pissed AL off and AL confronted FTG (like, in a confrontational manner), telling FTG that if she has a problem with her she needs to speak to her. AL said that FTG has an issue making eye contact with people, so AL yelled at FTG to look at her. When FTG did, she basically looked scared.

I’m thinking–You can’t convince me that FTG is shy. I’m leaning more towards something is just wrong with her. From what everyone at work has said, she has no issue firing off an email or an IM to someone about some issue she has with them. From what I’ve seen, it can be about something stupid. She will get into it with someone, as long as it’s in writing. She has no issues talking to clients or even talking to other people at work when it suits her, i.e. as long as she initiates the conversation with the person at work. She does not seem nervous or shy with anyone, other than maybe the eye contact thing.

I told my mother about how the guys at work joke about which one of us is going to come in one day and kill everyone, which really isn’t a good joke, as my mother pointed out. I’m starting to think that if anyone there did that, it’d be FTG. It’s interesting, because, like I said one time at work, it’s always men who do that–but the two people at work who weird me out are women. The guys are so not a big deal; they are just very guy-ish, i.e. they just like to talk about dumb shit. My mother told me that if one day FTG actually gets bold enough to speak to me about some problem she has with me, I need to get up and leave because something bad is about to happen, hahahaha. Maybe that shouldn’t be funny, but…

About ATG–AL said that he comes to work on time and is always there, except for this slip-up, but he doesn’t do anything while he’s there.

I’m thinking–I knew that these people recognize that he doesn’t do anything. I’ve seen/heard several people there explicitly ask him to handle something, including AL and our supervisor, and I believe that’s because they know he doesn’t do his fair share.

About one of the field techs–He has had it in for ATG since ATG started. But AL has been complaining about him to the owners because he never comes to work on time and just leaves when he feels like it without clocking out, then comes back. The owners have told him to come on time, but it doesn’t matter. They won’t really do much more about it and have all but told AL that. This tech is 30 minutes late daily, and he also decided to take off last week when he didn’t officially have any days that he could take off allotted to him.

I’m thinking–A couple of weeks ago, this tech was basically pushing to get ATG fired. He complains about ATG quite a bit. But AL is right about him. He has never been on time as long as I’ve worked there, which has now been over three months. This week he’s gotten closer and closer to it, and I suspect that someone said something to him again about how he’s always late.

My conversation with AL confirmed a lot of other things, too, but two more off the top of my head:

1) ATG had told me once that you basically have to be trying to get fired in order for these people to fire someone. I can tell that they are willing to put up with a lot of nonsense, which I can’t stand about employers nowadays because it negatively affects the good workers. The owners just don’t seem to be in touch enough with the workers to really know or care what’s going on, and they don’t seem to care when people like AL tell them what’s going on. AL can’t fire anyone, but I’m sure she would if she could. And our supervisor–I don’t know how much power she has to fire anyone, but I sense that she’s the type of person who just wants to avoid having to do things like that.

2) I’m sure people there talk shit about me if they’re talking shit about everyone else. My last job was so gossip-y because it was big. It was like school. This place is the typical office type of thing. I’m not really sure which is worse, although right now I feel like this is worse. In big places, I can get lost in the crowd and have enough anonymity that most people aren’t going to talk about me because they don’t know me, and if they’re talking about me they’re probably doing it with someone who doesn’t know me. I also don’t like that I feel it’s hard for me to avoid being a part of this, i.e. doing the same things other people do and some of the things I’d complain about. You can’t always say “I’m not getting involved,” “I’m not discussing this” or “I don’t want to hear about this.” And honestly, I do like hearing about how some people describe other people at work, because it helps me. I’m not talking about helping me move up the corporate ladder. Learning about how other people see FTG, for example, lets me know I’m not really the problem. You also just have to learn how to navigate or deal with certain people at work, and this is especially true in smaller work environments in which you can’t really avoid those people.

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