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01-26-2008, 11:25 AM #1
tell me if i'm wrong(or not) about office work
I've been doing temp work as an office administrative assistant for about a 1 and 1/2 years. right now i'm trying to figure out what I want to do with my life but first I need a permanent job so I can save up for my next move.
so right now i've worked pretty steadily and have had two long term positions which account for the majority of the time.
When i first started temping I was looking for a permanent position and my brother in law gave me advice on how to fit in and get along with people in an office work setting. He warned me that the office work place could be really petty and you can easily do your self out of getting a permanent job if you in any way shape of form don't seem to fit in.
I won't go into the whole long thing but i see what he was saying. So far i've learned to keep my mouth shut about my part time crafting because many employers don't like that you have income coming in from somewhere else or they afraid that won't be 100% committed to the job.
I also Don't talk about my travel experiences working in London and travelling Europe after college. Was warned that could make me look flakey and undependable.
I have also learned that women co workers have these really weird un spoken rules about food. It seems like it's not okay for women to be hungry in the work place :-) i.e. don't snack at your desk because then they think all you do is eat all day long. Don't eat leftovers from company parties or help your self to seconds at any food related company function. You should hear the snarky comments that generates.
And finally the men will stick together no matter what or how wrong one of their brothers is. Don't even try to suggest that a guy made a mistake and that you aren't at fault. Men will stick together no matter what.
I am at the point where i'm not really sure I want to work in an office setting, It seems even more petty then serving, and some of the other jobs i've had.
okay So my question for all of you who have worked in an office setting is this normal or am i just running into unsually crazy situations. Am I being overly sensitive and over analyzing things? Or could it be because i'm a temp and there's just a different code of standards for temps?
01-26-2008, 11:40 AM #2
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I was a temp for several months before I was hired on permanent in the office I work at now. I've noticed a lot of the same things you have noticed. I also felt like I was always on my "best behavior" while temping. I can't count how many times I smiled or listened to someone I couldn't stand blather on about something I didn't care about while I was a temp. Now that I have been hired on full time, I "avoid" the people I find most annoying at the office. There are cubes where I work and before I venture out of my cube I take a look over the cubes to see who is manuevering the mazes and where and take a different route if I don't want to "bump" into someone.
I used to eat lunch in the cafeteria/kitchen everyday while I was a temp. Now I eat lunch at my desk a couple times a week and then I go home for lunch a couple of times a week. Only 1-2x a week do I eat lunch in the cafeteria/kitchen because people ask me work related questions while I'm eating and it's annoying, since I don't get paid to "work" while I am eating my lunch.
01-26-2008, 11:49 AM #3
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I have found that regardless of where I work, drama is always present. No matter how I try to avoid it, its there. When I moved here two states away and know no one, started a new job, people STILL manage to tell me things I dont want to hear about people I dont know. I just look at them and when they are done talking I walk away. I have even had people talk about ME saying I am "weird" or "acting like an old lady" (aaack! I'm 28!!) because I don't go out and drink with them every night or blather on about nothing.
I cant stand DRAMA! So yes, unfortunatley its a normal occurance. The best thing Ive done is just ignore it and go to work and do my job. Good Luck!
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01-26-2008, 12:05 PM #4
Yep, all the comments sounds pretty right on to me I have worked the last 15 years in office settings. If you think you might want to continue in the office field you may want to get a job where you either have your own office, or you might be able to flex between office/home......I have a friend that works 3 days at home and 2 days at the office.
I can relate with the comment about drama.........yeesh, I can't stand that junk.
01-27-2008, 12:44 AM #5
It's the same here I work in an office setting with 60+ ppl and only 2 of them are men. It is absolutley rediculous what ppl will tell on each other. Once I had a team lead tell my manager I was sleeping at my desk/bc I was so enthrolled in trying to firgure out what had been paid to collections and what the pt should be refunded that I didn't notice her passing by my cubie to look up pfft. Any way my manager sent me an email and I wound up going into her office and explaining and proceeding to tell her directly if this lady spent half as much time minding her own business and she did spying on ppl to tell on them they would see a huge increase in her productivity. I as well told her I was grown and didn't need her hoovering over me and that I would stand up to her. My manager told me she was proud of me b/c not many ppl would stand up to this lady. This was the 5th time this lady had told on me about untrue and petty stuff and I finally had just had enough. Her manager pulled me into her office and I told her the same and to this day I no longer have any problems with her. On the other hand I have still been told on for the most stupid stuff now my manager knows me better and knows I'm doing my job she just shoots me and email and pretty much I say ok and shrug it off. Meaning she knows me and I do my job but b/c someone told she has to say something. She also knows I don't get caught up into office politics if someone needs to vent or whatever it stays just between me and that person I don't share the interest in office gossip and shrug off what I've been told, I make my own decisions about ppl. I have found that has been a valuable tool for me it keeps me in the postive with others. Lastly I have only befriended 3 ppl totally in the year and a half I have worked there they are the only ones I will tell all to I just don't trust the other 60 ppl. Sadly due to all the tattling one of my friends is already looking for another job, I told her to not let them get the best of her and that goes for me too. I want my job and will fight for it. Too many women are too judgemental and petty it irritates me to death. If you like the job it's self don't let them beat you show them what your made of and what you will take and what you won't eventually you will find some you will just have to put up with but it will get better with many others
01-27-2008, 03:21 AM #6
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There can be petty and small people at any job, but I find it interesting that I would have to say that each and every item you mentioned do not apply at my workplace.
I am at a family owned company which has about 200 people. If the owners find out you make something by hand, they are likely to purchase some from you. I have provided baskets of homemade chocolates for which they paid $120 a basket. Being traveled makes you seem more worldly and experienced. I eat lunch at my desk and also snack all day. There are several people who discuss eating and diet habits with me or ask what I have for lunch. I just had a conversation with a guy about the joys of leftovers this week.
The guy thing... We do have some good old boys a work, some of whom have been there over 30 years. But the HR Manager, Controller, and IT Manager (me!) are all women. I have never been treated with anything less than respect. Our company was the first in our county to have a female Controller.
I think that if you lock into the mentality you have now, it will help to perpetuate the stereotypes. Forget about it, be yourself, and be confident that people will like you anyways. Your self and your confidence will shine through and there's nothing they can do about it.
01-28-2008, 05:14 AM #7
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I've noticed that the tendency to gossip or think of people as 'weird' is diminished as you go up the corporate ladder. My second job was in a huge Admin Dept and the colleagues had very strict unwritten rules about behaviour. 5 Jobs later, I am Assistant to the Legal Senior Vice President at the headquarters of a big company and everything I have done 'out of the box' is thought of as 'interesting', or at least as something 'Siebrie does'. But not in a judgmental way. My colleagues are all very professional people and as long as you do your job, they could not care less about what you do outside the office.
01-28-2008, 09:19 AM #8
Sad but true. I worked in an office pool of about 8 women, for a female boss, and vowed I would *never* do that again. Luckily I moved up in the company to work for a male boss, in an almost all-male dept. (only one other female, but she was awesome) and it was such a world of difference I couldn't believe it. I hate to admit it, but I can't deny it.
01-28-2008, 07:44 PM #9
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Working in an office full of women sucks. I am away from the worst of them, since I work at the satellite office, which is smaller. The way I handle it is to stay above the fray. One of the doctors even commented on how great it is that I manage to stay out of all the drama. It's petty, childish bs and I'm more mature than that.
01-28-2008, 08:57 PM #10
It's to bad you are finding all of these issues at your work place. Are you sure you want this to be permanent? I have worked in both enviorments, I always felt so drained after coming home from the drama filled work place, I have been blessed with an office filled with truly good people. There is not one complaint I have with any of my co-workers. So I know that it can be hard to find a job at times, but keep looking!!! Good workplaces are sometimes hard to come by but there out there! Good Luck!
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