Aggressively Passive…

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 | Personal Flaws, Work

…in which I talk about subversive office politics

I want to preface this by admitting whole heartedly that I am a very passive aggressive person because I hate to confront people with the probable intent of making them feel bad. I know, from experience and observation, that in fact being told something directly actually hurts less than to find out about something second or third hand, or anonymously. I know all of these things to be true, and yet, I’m probably going to rant off about things that have been bothering me lately that I’ve not confronted people about, and that’s that.

I am also aware that venting about my professional life in a public forum can, sometimes, come around and bite me in the ass. Again, I know this from both personal experience and observation, but I am willing to take the risk and be an open individual (if only in text, since only moments ago, I admitted that I fail at direct confrontation).

The office dynamic at work, lately, has become intolerable. The people in my office used to be very chummy and we not only worked together, we shared leisure activities as well. We used to chat about games and movies and go to lunch. We used to be friends and actually get work done, but also screw off on occasion. Lately, however, it seems like we all have different directions and distractions, and those variations are like fractures in a window, and they are making the office very tense. Today, due to a climactic blatant disregard for work ethic of any kind on the part of one of my co-workers, I literally stormed out of the office, kicking things as I went. Not to say that I didn’t actually get up a little gumption and attempt an amicable confrontation prior to my “tantrum,” but still. I marched out of the office with a temperature rising, vision dimming, reason clouding, torrent raging on my shoulders.

I used to be really bad. I used to come to work everyday and do as little as possible. I was as American as media makes out the middle class to seem. I could blame it on laziness, indifference, or the media; but the blame game is pointless and worthless. In the past couple of years, however, I’ve attempted to turn my work ethic around. I try to focus at work and get as much done as I can. I’m conscious of my reputation at work amongst the faculty and administration. I want them to know they can count on me to solve their problems. I know that, in the past, problems have gone unreported simply because our patrons knew it wouldn’t really make a difference. I’m working as hard as I can to change that. I try to keep track of everything I’m working on. I try to jump up and take care of things as quickly as possible. I am trying to be a pleaser. The problem is, stagnation is a very powerful force and our office is filled with it. There is so much history of it residing within these walls, and pockets of it still extant in the occupants, that I often feel like a fly trying to pull away from earth’s gravity to keep my work ethic and energy up. Most of the time I can ignore the lackluster efforts made by my peers, but today was not the day.

After blowing up, tromping out, venting to my wonderful wife, driving around, venting more to a dear friend, and then going to the autobody shop and reading a book, I’m better. I’m still not happy with our situation in here, but I can ignore it for a while before it really starts breaking me down again.

  • pcclose

    Sorry your day is sucking! It’s hard to be the person trying to be positive/productive when everyone else is not. That’s what almost everyday at the day care was like for me.

  • pcclose

    Sorry your day is sucking! It’s hard to be the person trying to be positive/productive when everyone else is not. That’s what almost everyday at the day care was like for me.

  • capntavis

    Thats why I like having my own office..er cube, but I totally understand. It pisses me off when I’m busting my ass trying to make a difference in our workflow and I look up to see somebody lounging in somebody elses cube. Then I look up again 10 or 15 mins later and they are still there. Oh but what makes it worse is when a manager comes to me for help to bail that person out. It makes me want to grab the manager by the ears and yell, “If they didnt fuck off and did their job they wouldnt need help!”

  • capntavis

    Thats why I like having my own office..er cube, but I totally understand. It pisses me off when I’m busting my ass trying to make a difference in our workflow and I look up to see somebody lounging in somebody elses cube. Then I look up again 10 or 15 mins later and they are still there. Oh but what makes it worse is when a manager comes to me for help to bail that person out. It makes me want to grab the manager by the ears and yell, “If they didnt fuck off and did their job they wouldnt need help!”

  • PCClose: Like I said, most days I can ignore it, but yesterday it was just a little bit too blatant and “in my face.” I probably shouldn’t have snapped, but I just couldn’t put up with it any longer.

    CapnTavis: Yeah, I’ve idly suggested that I should get a solo office of some kind, but since the Art Building is completely overcrowded and we have people working in what should honestly be broom closets, my requests have pretty much fallen on deaf ears… deaf from riotous laughter at my plight.

  • PCClose: Like I said, most days I can ignore it, but yesterday it was just a little bit too blatant and “in my face.” I probably shouldn’t have snapped, but I just couldn’t put up with it any longer.

    CapnTavis: Yeah, I’ve idly suggested that I should get a solo office of some kind, but since the Art Building is completely overcrowded and we have people working in what should honestly be broom closets, my requests have pretty much fallen on deaf ears… deaf from riotous laughter at my plight.

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