Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Office Politics

First, I'm strugglin' a bit at work which makes this post even more relevant to why I dislike some of my co-workers.

I'm strugglin' because last night was Nubian Temptress's 20-something birthday celebration. It was loverly to finally meet her and a few other people ("Diva527" holla). Asian Mistress and Virgle Kent were also in attendance. Maybe it was because I didn't have dinner before drinking, but when I woke up this morning my body was saying Hell to the Naw. My stomach has been uneasy and I strolled into work about 30 min late (Nubian I hope you made it in to work!).

Besides needing a new job like whoa, here is my work issue: I have told too many personal things to some co-workers and now they think we are friends. Big mistake because for the most part I believe you should keep work and private life separate. It gets too too sticky when you are in a compromising/embarrassing situation that your co-workers will definitely find out about. It's tough because you want to be cordial and feign some kind of interest in your co-workers and sometimes you really do become friends.

In my situation I work with a lot of older people who I have nothing in common with. I am always polite and can get along with almost anyone, but it's tough to talk about your wild weekend at Camelot to 55 yr old co-workers. There are two 50-something women in this office who provide me some much needed estrogen as well. But again, they are older and not in touch.

Woman 1 is the accountant and comptroller. She only works part-time and is very devoted to her family. Woman 2 is the office manager/payroll/executive assistant diva. She got married for the first time at the age of 50-something and is very very bitchy. They have a very different opinion about things, but both usually differ from mine which is fine. I have often shared personal information with them and asked for their advice on some things I know they are knowledgeable about. However, I think their advice and judgments of my personal life have gotten to be unwarranted and downright rude.

Exhibit A: I recently reduced my contribution to the 401K plan because of a few reasons. I am still contributing a good amount especially considering my salary is a joke. When I told Woman 2 that I needed to do this (she has to enter the information in the payroll database) she basically berated me and asked why I was adjusting the amount. Her inquiry came off as suggesting that I am being irresponsible about my financial future. IT IS NONE OF YOUR GOD DAMN BUSINESS "WHY" I AM CHANGING THE AMOUNT. All you need to know is the "when." You have no idea what other kind of savings/IRA/mob consulting endeavors I participate in or my financial situation. Also, it was totally rude and unprofessional to ask me about the 401K change in the front entrance of the office where anyone can hear.

Exhibit B: I am looking to move in June to somewhere in Ballston where I currently live (if anyone needs a roommate let me know!). In a lunchtime conversation I commented - nay joked - that it would be cheaper and more economically sound to get a 1 bedroom with Malibu Ken. Never mind the facts that I have never suggested this scenario to MK, I have never even lived with a significant other, and we really haven't been dating that long. Although I love and adore him and I think we would be good cohabitators, I understand it may be too soon in our relationship. Anyway, Woman 1 and Woman 2 scoffed at me and said it would be "putting the cart before the horse." Such an old woman thing to say. Then Woman 2 asked me in a condescending tone, "Why do all young women want to live with boyfriends and get pregnant and not marry?" Bitches, I don't know what you are talking about! There are plenty of independent women who do not do this. I do not have plans to shack up and get pregnant anytime soon!! And you, Miss "old spinster-i just got married-and no one puts Woman 2 in the corner" hag have no right to come at me with that tone.

Exhibit C: I eat lunch with Woman 1 and Woman 2 because I try to act like I like these people and am a team player. Both women ask me 21 questions concerning my lunch selection and often comment that what I eat is "crap." I often eat Lean Cuisines or microwave things for lunch because of the convenience and cheapness. But I also make sure to snack on fruit and eat smaller portions throughout the day. The other day Woman 1 commented during lunch that my Lean Cuisine was small and clearly not enough to eat. Woman 2 agreed and said my meal did not look very appetizing. Woman 1 then pulled me aside later and told me she noticed that I've lost weight but I look good. Ummm, excuse me. Maybe if I got paid more than an indentured servant I could afford to feast on dungeness crab and fresh pomegranate every day. BUT I DON'T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY AND THEREFORE DO NOT SPEND A LOT ON FOOD. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ASK MY BOSS TO GIVE ME A RAISE BY ALL MEANS DO SO.

Exhibit D: Woman 2 makes fun of me for liking Katie Couric. She thinks Katie moving to CBS is a joke because Katie is not a "real news anchor." Newsflash you old fart, Walter Cronkite is no longer on the air and women also have the right to vote. She asked me today in a snotty tone if I was going to watch "that idiot" Couric on CBS. First, I don't really watch evening news programs because I am out being active and not sitting in front of the TV. Second, I get a lot of my news from online resources. Third, shut your old nasty mouth.

So as you can see, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I think I have a solid case here to institute a ban on sharing personal issues and likes/dislikes concerning pop-culture. I also will politely cut back on the number of days I eat lunch with them. It may appear that these two women are merely looking out for my best interest, but I am tired of being looked down upon for my life choices. I will just have to find other older women who are more on my wavelength and available to be sincere mentors. Have any of you had issues with a co-worker being all in your business because they think you two are friends?


Blogger Asian Mistress said...

Um, well my issue is that I AM too good of friends with some coworkers, and then somehow everyone knows my businesss.

At first they were like oh you're great, you bring everyone together socially...and recently I got in trouble for being "too friendly" and was told to back off the personal/professional.

It's a fine line, and I think it's hard when

A - you're young
B - you work with a lot of people your age

12:28 PM  
Blogger Asian Mistress said...

PS I told you you looked good!

And have I got some personal sharing with office workers horror stories for you!

Do we all need to recall the day I accidentally sent my entire company a link to my blog? Luckily it was embedded in the email, so I don't think people saw it, but still...

12:30 PM  
Anonymous MappyB said...

Yikes Asian Mistress - the sending the blog link thing! :) I am fearful I will do that as well.

And VP, that SUCKS. I don't even know where to begin, b/c if you do back off, they will think you are being bitchy to them, you know? Hm...perhaps we should discuss this further with some wine! :)

1:01 PM  
Blogger VP of Dior said...

AM - it is a fine line, but if you are blatantly being nosy and violating someone's privacy then it's a different story. i guess because i don't work in a collegial setting i don't think being young is an excuse for being all up in someone's business. this isn't directed towards you specifically, but more of a general assessment of workplace courtesy.

Mappy - yep that is my fear. but at this point i don't care. another example: i went to a doctor's appt. and someone asked me why i went. that question PISSES THE SHIT OUT OF ME. do you really want me to say out loud in front of everyone that i went to get a pap smear and physical so that i could get another birth control prescription????? like, what if i had a really really embarassing problem i was being seen for - female incontinence or something. it just blows me away.

and yes, wine does solve a lot :) i'm going to suggest sometime next week because i'm leaving town tomorrow for work.

2:12 PM  
Blogger diva527 said...

Thank you for the shout out VP.

I am in the same dilemma (except the old lady i talk to isnt a bitter old bitch and its hard for me because at my old job (with AM and Nubian) we shared a lot of personal info. I always have to have the "info filter" on.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Complacent Chase said...

I think you know what to do. Stop sharing your personal life with your co-workers...especially if they are not on your same wave-length and are judgemental.

You can still be cordial and professional without sharing all your business. I am sure they do not divuldge all of the details of their lives to you...so you don't either.

Don't feel obliged to have lunch with them all the time either. And when you do, don't ask for their advise or delve too much into sensitive areas. Talk about the weather, current events, boring stuff. And if they say something condescending to you...smile and leave.

People will only treat you the way you allow them to treat you.

Oh and that 401K thing was way out of line. You should have told her that it is your perogative and smiled. Don't explain...they are not your mother.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Asian Mistress said...

Mine isn't that I'm up in people's business, or they are really up in mine...but more of a telling people things as friends, or say, asking for advice...then somehow people joke about it or whatever - and it just can get out of hand sometimes and more people know more than I want.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Smash said...

I have this issue everyday with a woman who is only three years older than I, but, is a 75 year-old at heart. She judges, and makes unsolicited comments about everything: my clothes, my hair, my boyfriends, my life choices. To her, any success I have was because of her advice, and any failure was because I didn't listen to her. It is infuriating.

3:31 PM  
Blogger VP of Dior said...

AM - well i guess the only solution is to stop asking advice from people you know are going to take it too far. but that's hard to figure out about someone initially. also like chase suggested i guess both of us will have to stop giving out TMI at work!

smash - that is unfortunate. i mean we all judge to some degree but i never feel the need to be rude to someone and offer my opinion to their face when i have no grasp of the situation.

3:46 PM  
Blogger O-FACE said...

Shit, I go into work like i'm part of the FBI. Nothing gets told to anybody without clearance and deep background check. But yeah, those wenches sound like they need some good sex to chill the tudes down.

6:55 PM  
Blogger NubianTemptres43 said...

work is work, you're not there to make friends, but if you happen to make a friend or two at work, well you're a lucky sonofabitch like me cause i made 5 amazing friends at work . . . i'm still fucking drunk and my dumbass went to work all day today.

11:15 PM  
Blogger P R I N C E V A R K said...

check out my take on ass lickers in office ..


9:23 AM  
Blogger VP of Dior said...

o -face - i'm going to have to use that FBI approach. Name: Special Agent Mind Yo Business

nubian - indeed you are very lucky to have made friends with all of those great people

prince - i'm refraining from using the term you used below but i understand the point of your post

maybe it's me being in a pissy mood, but today something else annoyed me. 2 co-workers standing outside my office were having a very loud discussion about babe ruth. i was trying to type something and print under a deadline and i gotta hear this cackling nonsense??? take it some where else!

10:59 AM  
Blogger mysterygirl! said...

Wow. They are being out of line. It's one thing for them to be annoying about what you eat for lunch, and another thing altogether to address your finances or your sex life Is there any way to set some kind of boundary when they talk about that stuff to let them know that's not their business?

5:20 PM  

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