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office work sucks


withing

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So, I have a part time job as a grad assistant working in an office. It pays my tuition and a monthly stipend and all I have to do is work in an office for 20 hours a week. Not too bad. I can handle it. Right?

Most of the time. MOST of the time. I just ignore the office politics and petty power struggles that naturally occur within the office environment. But today - today just took the cake. I have never seen such inconsiderate bitchiness in my life.

Backstory - there are three new grad assistants in this office me, and two others, and our departments are slightly different. The other two got two (count them -- two) days of training before the person training them left for good then it was sink or swim. Actually they started with three, and one was training in my department, but one quit the second day so the one in our department (she was "on loan") was moved to that department. This means she didn't even get her full training.

So, it's been a month, and these women (both in their earlier 20's) work part time like I do, but unlike me they have no (zero, none) office experience. So, two days of training and no office experience and all the full-timers can do is come down on them about how they're doing everything wrong. WTF??? Then tell them how to do it right instead of bitching about how their doing it wrong. One girl is loud, and so passive aggressive -- "I would have just fixed it myself, but I think that they learn better if I tell them what's wrong." I just wanna smack her.

But today, the full-timers in that department had a little meeting about the grad assistants and after the meeting they had another - right in the back of the office. Right where everyone could hear them. They didn't seem to care that everyone could hear them complaining about the bad job, the lost files, or how things could and should be improved they just kept right on talking and talking - for over an hour. And the office manager was right there with them!!!! :wall:

I say, if you want to drive your assistants out the door, have a bitch-session in the back of the office for an hour at the top of your lungs about how bad they are. See how long they stick around. One's already quit (the first day), so they're already short-handed. If they keep this up, they're going to be processing their own paperwork. I know we (in my department) can't do it - we're already backed up as it is.

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I don't think it's so much because it's Academia, I mean this is an office not full of professors but full of workers who process paperwork. I've seen this kind of behavior (though not as bitchy as today) before. I honestly think the office environment brings out the worse in people, esp when it's like our offices where there's no windows and it's all cubicles and bricks.

Sylvan is right though, when you get an office full of women the claws come out. It's horrible, and I try to stay away from it as much as possible. I just come in, do my work, listen to the crazy cat lady babble on and on (yep, we have one) and leave. I don't gossip, don't pass judgment on anyone, and I don't try to climb the political ladder. I'm not there to play power games. I'm there to make a little money until I graduate. Until then, I just hope they leave me the fuck alone.

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I don't have much comment other than to say I hated office work, and office politics in general. Very happy to be in a job situation where I'm in now, which is out in the field much of the time.

although even in the office, I have to admit I like most of my coworkers....except one.... there is always one...

Anna

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I don't think the issue is women. I think the issue is clerical work. Men can be just as bad. I think the problem is that most are smarter than the work they are doing but stuck doing scut so they invent drama and self-importance because they are otherwise bored out of their minds and have no meaningful say in the real matters of the organization. I've worked in that environment. It's worse when there are student interns. I was one of the student interns. It sucked. It is part of the reason I went to grad school. I've since worked in professional offices dominated by or exclusively comprised of women and this "female phenomenon" just did not exist. Some of the pettiest people I've met were men, too.

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I think men are just as "bad" as women when it comes to that kind of shark tank setting ..they provoke as much gossip and fighting as any woman can ..there is no line for me I have worked in a cubicle setting even as a nurse when I filled in at a call center for extra money ...both with men and with woman and the claws come out on both just maybe a tad differently?

I feel like men sometimes get that little extra consideration we do not give our fellow females ..

a troll is a troll at work in my opinion ...I adore honestly working with a bunch of women but that could just be me

work and getting along in general is not always easy ...

right now just having a job is the bottom line ..I am so grateful to be working right now as even nurses are struggling especially when you have some time in and "cost more" to hire

take care and good luck ...congrats on the job! The end will justify any aggravation you put up with now you can look at it as a "learning" time while you head towards your goal ....I can say this now because I just got out of a hell hole myself and in retrospect it taught me a ton about folks working together ...a ton ..a lesson that I am very glad I learned...I realized for the first itme in a very long career ..that yes people can suck and it is not about me ..but how I react is entirely about me!

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withing that really sucks :angry2:

what a bunch of assholes.

i hate saying this with every fibre of feminism i have, but... the all-female work environment thing is 100% true in my experience. i've done the cubicle thing, retail, food service, sales, health care, academia... and it was true every time.

almost all my experience has been in female-dominated industries, so i don't know if that makes a difference. but i can say that at every job i've ever had, my female co-workers were/are far more pleasant on the days when there are male staff present. there is a distinct reduction in gossip and suddenly everyone becomes far less "sensitive". even if the male staff is incompetent, the female staff seem to have a "better day" or at least act happier.

i HATE that this is true. i won't pretend to know WHY it's true. i have a suspicion that for some reason, we're all reacting to some odd pressure to feel secure in the presence of men, or feel "liked" rather than necessarily respected, or something...

when it's just us women i don't know what happens. maybe we're secure enough to be ourselves with each other TOO much, and forget about professional boundaries.

personally i'm never "myself" at work with anybody, male or female. i'm always pretending to be way nicer and cheery and more tolerant than i actually am. so i guess i'm always insecure at work either way, heh. i gotta say, it does get you liked, but it doesn't get you respected that's for sure.

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To be honest, this goes beyond unprofessional. They essentially discussed private personnel matters in public, and allowed each intern to here the other interns faults.

It is illegal to share personnel evaluations with unauthorized people. And none of you is authorized to hear about each other's standing.

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Just to add more drama to the fire. I came back from lunch today and the office was a-buzz. Seems a woman (who doesn't work there) had fallen and knocked herself unconscious outside of the office and a man came running in to inform someone. The receptionist grabbed her phone and ran outside to give assistance and call the EMTs. She was called to task for leaving the office. She told the receptionist "next time, you call from the desk. Don't go outside." What the holy hell??? What the fuck is she going to do from the desk? she can't give the EMTs any information from the fucking desk. She couldn't assist the woman from the desk. But she was called to task, and hopping mad.

I swear, these women have no clue.

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I'm sorry. I hope the environment changes. Is there a safe way you can talk with someone about it? By safe I mean not incur wrath...it kind of sounds like that type of environment. There are soooo many toxic work environments out there. I'm certain it's not just Academia. I've worked in video production and non-profit. Non-profit was actually worse for drama!!! I have had worse experiences with women, however I've had some bad experiences with men too. So, it's not only one sex which is a problem IMO. Some people, such as myself, are more sensitive to office drama, probably b/c it often times involves mean-spiritedness. Of course, all of your observations about crude behavior are correct. Is there anyway you can transfer to a dept. with less drama? I hope you don't have too much longer to go as a grad asst.

You've just reminded me why I want to work independently later. I've been a SAHM for 4 years and my anxiety about working only stopped recently - after I made the decision to work independently later.

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I totally agree with you. Not only does the work suck, but the people are impossibly stupid. I never knew how I wound up being around such a moronic bunch of peeps. Even if I tried to keep to myself, it never worked out.

It's just awful and stupid way to make a living. (I don't work now because of BP and med side effects).

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  • 2 weeks later...

withing that really sucks :angry2:

what a bunch of assholes.

i hate saying this with every fibre of feminism i have, but... the all-female work environment thing is 100% true in my experience. i've done the cubicle thing, retail, food service, sales, health care, academia... and it was true every time.

almost all my experience has been in female-dominated industries, so i don't know if that makes a difference. but i can say that at every job i've ever had, my female co-workers were/are far more pleasant on the days when there are male staff present. there is a distinct reduction in gossip and suddenly everyone becomes far less "sensitive". even if the male staff is incompetent, the female staff seem to have a "better day" or at least act happier.

i HATE that this is true. i won't pretend to know WHY it's true. i have a suspicion that for some reason, we're all reacting to some odd pressure to feel secure in the presence of men, or feel "liked" rather than necessarily respected, or something...

It's true, but all-male or very predominantly male work environments are horrible in a different way - and interestingly, while all-female work environments only need a couple of guys to unbitchify them, all-male work environments actually get *worse* after the introduction of a couple of women, and only really calm down when women make up at least a quarter of the environment. In my experience.

So while I hate that it's true about bitchy all female environments, and dick-swingy all male environments, I actually like as a feminist the fact that we work a lot better in mixed-gender environments. I also find that in my experience all-female environments are a lot more mellowed if there are different generations working together. Not sure why that is.

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So while I hate that it's true about bitchy all female environments, and dick-swingy all male environments, I actually like as a feminist the fact that we work a lot better in mixed-gender environments. I also find that in my experience all-female environments are a lot more mellowed if there are different generations working together. Not sure why that is.

this is also true to my experience now that i think about it... interesting! i wonder why this happens. and also interesting what it's been like for you working in male-dominated environments, thanks for sharing that.

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Oh, they're still bitchy... and now the "younger" crowd (all the GA's except me) kind of sticks together while the "older" crowd -- the full timers -- stick together. It's an "us against them" environment. But, this being a southern town, they're all syrupy about it. Makes my skin crawl to tell you the truth. As I said, I just do my work and leave.

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I have worked in a very female dominated profession for now going on 25 years. Yeah there are some bitchy woman, but for the most part my experience of the feminine culture is very positive. I have also worked, in my youth, in all male environments and I would say they tend to be more problematic. I think as a male I have simply learned that woman are easier to deal with than men on average. There just seems to be something more basically rational and humanistic about women in general than men. I say that very cautiously because there are asswholes in both genders-just more of them in the male gender as far as my experience goes.

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I have worked in a very female dominated profession for now going on 25 years. Yeah there are some bitchy woman, but for the most part my experience of the feminine culture is very positive. I have also worked, in my youth, in all male environments and I would say they tend to be more problematic. I think as a male I have simply learned that woman are easier to deal with than men on average. There just seems to be something more basically rational and humanistic about women in general than men. I say that very cautiously because there are asswholes in both genders-just more of them in the male gender as far as my experience goes.

The problem (as mentioned above) is that women tend to sheath their claws when there is a man around - for example, you. Therefore you do not get the taste of an "all woman" environment. It's simply impossible for you to see and experience because you're male.

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