Office politics

Well, I’m much better. That funk lasted about three days, then passed as I knew it would. Thanks to all who left comments and support.

This is my second week in my new contract. I’ve been pretty happy with it. I work alongside one other contractor hired with me, and we keep each other company. So I don’t have this pressure to fit into a pre-existing group, which just killed me at my last job.

The other person hired as a writer actually has no writing background or particular writing skills, but he does have business experience and a self-confident way about him. Also, English is his second language…It’s just odd to me that he would be hired specifically as a writer. He’s looking for a way into the bank, and took this job as a stop-gap.

Well, live and let live. He’s friendly enough. He does want to stand out as the best though, and today it’s bugging me. I help him a lot, with the software and writing etc, which is fine. We are working our first project together, with one computer and both of us editing a policy document together.

So we have a long three-hour meeting with our manager, as she is very hands on, and we go over all our edits and changes with her. Finally, we have a tea break. So I go off to the bathroom, and he goes off to the kitchen, where the manager is getting her tea.

Later, I find out that he’s used the opportunity to pitch this idea he had to her while I was out of the room. Later after the meeting, while the manager is still sitting there, I bring up the co-worker’s idea, crediting him with it. Oh yes, she says. Turns out they’ve had a discussion about it while they were making tea, and never mentioned it to me.

The idea isn’t the end of printed policy as we know it or anything. I’d thought of it myself a few days ago, but hadn’t yet mentioned it, as it seemed premature. But whatever, he spoke first, so it’s his idea and that’s fine.

But sneaking around and having these discussions behind my back…please. How childish. When we are working so closely together that I barely take a breath without mentioning it to him….

Well, he’s a young man with a baby and his way to make in the bank. I guess I trust too fast – if someone seems friendly, I take it at face value.

I’m not going to play these kinds of games myself. But I’m not letting anyone walk all over me either. Been there, done that. I’m going to pull back from the help I’ve been giving this guy. If he has his name to make, let him do it on his own steam.

I’ll enjoy the friendliness for what it is, but pull back and try to do more of my own work if at all possible. If he’s god’s gift to banking, he won’t need my help.

End of rant. Sigh. Impossible to avoid these distressing situations. I’m trying to fill myself with confidence and self esteem, but it’s hard going sometimes. All learning situations I suppose.

In general, this is a good contract. The commute is short, and just a subway ride instead of a long car commute. The manager is quite nice, and is very involved in what we are doing. And I have a good mix of skills for what’s being asked of me. So it should be a successful contract. Can’t let the small stuff get me bent out of shape.

I’m very thankful this job appeared – it really just fell in my lap while I was spending important time sunning myself. I think overall it will be a good one.

  1. Paula said:

    Glad that you like the contract and the co-worker. Congrats on the insight that he has his way to make himself, as you have to do yours. Love to you

  2. Nechtan said:

    Hi Ellen,It reads like a much healthier environment to be in than the last place so that in itself is a step forward. And it sounds like you are also enjoying the work so I hope that is making the day pass by quicker too and giving you some mental stimulation.I do hope things carry on this way. Work takes up such a big part of the week that its important that it is not detremental to your well being- like the last place. It could be a very good contract.All the bestNechtan

  3. Ellen said:

    @Paula – thanks Paula! Hugs across the pond…@Nechtan – It's definitely better than the last one. And I always have work, so the days are going past pretty well. Thanks!

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