Dealing with Office Politics
It’s great when you finish high school. You get to leave behind the immature bitchiness, embedded cliquey-ness and horrendous bullying.
Lol, just kidding.
This behaviour continues into the workplace and, according to my Mum, it never stops. Interns can be rather badly affected by it. We are all at the bottom of the employee pile, which makes us easy victims.
There are three main villains of the office world. The cliquey one, the bitchy one, and the overly ambitious one. From my experience these people can be male or female, co-workers or bosses, clever or stupid. Here’s how to deal with them all, and not let office politics drag you down.
The Cliquey One
The person that feels it’s their duty to decide who is good enough to go for coffee with them, sit at their cafeteria table and get invited to post-work drinks. If you are not one of these people, you might feel left out, and before you know it, you’re eating your lunch in the toilet.
This is a difficult one to deal with because you can’t exactly go to your boss and cry about being ignored. Just hold your head up high and don’t let it bother you. Undoubtedly there will be other people that don’t fit into the clique that you can befriend.
The Bitchy One
This person takes it to the next level. From glares across the office floor to snide remarks made behind your back to outright nastiness, they are out to make your working life as difficult as possible.
This is bullying and it’s not okay. It is important, however, not to react back. ‘Don’t sink to their level’ is a cliché for a reason. If you don’t want to complain to your boss, you could approach the person in question and ask to talk. Explain that you’re upset by their behaviour, and that it’s affecting your enjoyment of the internship. They might be reasonable and stop.
The chances are that you are going to have to take this to someone more senior. Don’t feel bad – they don’t want someone like that working for them, just as you don’t want to work with them.
The Overly Ambitious One
Ambition is a great thing in the right dose. But too much can be toxic.
This person will screw you over in order to further their own career. They might do this by taking credit for your ideas or blaming you for their mistakes.
It’s likely this monster is insecure about their own abilities and/or jealous of yours, so in a weird way you can kind of take this treatment as a compliment. The best way to handle them is to pretend you barely notice their antics. Keep working to a high standard, and be careful who you discuss your ideas with. The worst thing you can do is over-react. It might be frustrating, but you will look childish.
It sucks that we still have to deal with office politics. Try not to let it ruin your internship experience. Vent to family and friends; talking about it will make it easier to deal with. And most importantly, never become any of the above people.