Saturday, April 26, 2014

30 Things Life Taught Me # 13 - Office Politics

I promised myself to write one entry for this blogging series every month. Turns out, too much unexpected work came last March. The freelance works and my last minute adopted classes rattled me. I never had the chance to write some “serious” posts. I’m trying to revive and hopefully finish the series before (I still dread) turn 31 on December. 

I’m half hearted writing anything about work. It’s one unwritten rule I learned among other bloggers. Never write about your colleagues, boss or the entire workplace. I adhere to this especially when the intention is to rant and leave some negative impressions. On my end, I’m afraid to unintentionally insinuate blame to someone. One thing I’m sure, my own working environment is not perfect.  I had my own share of superiors who challenged my self-esteem, colleagues who tested my patience and culture and systems I wish to improve.

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Office Politics is one of those aspects of working that college never taught me. I have an undergraduate degree in Economics. Most of the time we deal with scarcity, minimizing costs, maximizing benefits and striking that much needed equilibrium. When I enrolled for my masteral studies, it was dwelled in a few subjects. My classmates were sharing their own experiences at the workplace. But the 22-year-old graduate student in me can never relate. I was just starting to learn the  complicated and tangled ropes of working.

To begin with, what is Office Politics anyway? As I understood it from experience, it starts from the practice of “doing something to acquire something.” At first, there seems to be nothing wrong with it. The trouble arises when the parameters of “what was done” and “what was acquired” are perceived and defined by the members of the workplace. When what was done and what was acquired benefit a few and harms the rest, Office Politics will surely emerge. When what was done bypassed some rules and procedures, all the more when what was acquired gives questionable privilege and advantages to a few, I don’t need to mention what happens next.

I have been a witness and victim to instances of Office Politics. I know how it felt to be a mere observant and a member of the disadvantaged party. In my almost a decade of working, I can proudly claim that I never joined or started the politics. I admit of becoming provoked especially when I felt cheated.  I held on to my silent and untainted reputation. Yes, I’m claiming that untainted reputation. I am not the most hardworking, intelligent and obedient employee. I have my own share of shortcomings and hardheadedness. Other than my tardiness records (There's a deep reason behind this which I hope to blog in another post), no one can ever accuse me of engaging in some malicious or anomalous activity. I worked hard for every promotion, salary increase and incentive I received. I feed my family with nothing but my clean and honest handwork.

At the end of the day, what did Office Politics teach me? It will forever be part of the system. There will always be people who want nothing but power, position and money. The challenge for me is whether I go with them to gain the prize of questionable advantage or I hold on to my selfish conviction of remaining as the silent and untainted employee.

I CHOOSE THE LATTER. 

3 comments :

  1. Politics anywhere is disgusting Diane... I understand that some people can be more ambitious than others but to rise up in expense of others, especially when it's dishonest is plain... disgusting... can't find a more appropriate term. And sucking up? I hate that...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post, very inspiring. I think things with we are not comfortable are the only things which teaches us the most important lessons of life.
    How to Deal with Office Politics

    ReplyDelete

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