Author Topic: Personal Stuff  (Read 18074 times)

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Offline kimmy

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #330 on: October 21, 2018, 01:51:32 am »
I've never been accused of being cool before but I kind of like it. ;D

I've never had an office job so I can't relate. Before I flew em I fixed em and in a predominately male world so good natured ribbing and practical jokes were an enjoyable part of the job. With larger companies I spent my life working with different people every day but we still had to work as a team doing things exactly the same way, basically as interchangeable parts of a bigger machine. Any relationships with fellow workers were pretty superficial unless they were pursued outside of the job.

I would find it a strange way for for a fellow worker to act unless it was part of a relationship we had developed over time. Throwing insults back and forth can be a lot of fun but that is something you do with people you know and respect. It isn't mean spirited. My maintenance and smaller company days were a lot like that. Maybe you should fire the odd broadside back in a good humoured manner and see how he reacts.
30 is a lot. If he didn't have kids, maybe he was trying to figure a way to relate to you? When I was working, I was in an office with a lot of girls, most of whom were twenty years younger than I was. There's an old philosophy of male/female interaction which says men can treat women in one of three ways; potential dating material, maternal types (older women, aunts, mothers) or sisters. I chose the last for obvious reasons. And several of the women I met back then, going on eighteen years ago, are still kind of like my sisters. But in most cases it was me who interacted with them initially. In at least two cases, they thought I was weird at first (they have since confessed). They weren't really used to interacting with people my age either, except as parental figures, teachers or bosses.  And they sort of expected me to act very stern, and official and businesslike, rather than joking around or teasing them.

I hope I haven't given the impression that I'm a no-fun co-worker.  I like my co-workers and we make each other laugh every day.  My issues with Old Economy Steve aren't that he's trying to have fun and tell jokes (except that he's so bad at it...)    My concern is that he seems to see me as a peon. Which I sort of am, but I'm not his peon and I won't let him treat me that way. I might be the one who buys office supplies and makes coffee and restarts the wifi when it's not working and all that stuff, but I do that stuff to help my co-workers, not because I'm a doormat.

Friday, Steve shows up in my cubicle and starts complaining about some templates that he didn't like the layout of. I told him I'd mention it to Greg, and didn't think any further of it.  Later that morning Steve shows up again and says  "Are you going to update those templates?"  and I said "Not unless Greg asks me to." And he wandered off without another word... but I have a hunch he wasn't happy.

I have a vague sense that he envisions himself as a boss around the office, but I know who I report to and he's not it.  I understand that he has been in the industry for a very long time and feels that his ideas should therefore be listened to, but my role isn't to listen to him.  If he wants the templates changed he can talk to Greg and Greg can come tell me what he wants done.   I have a sense that Steve envisions himself being a manager and being able to order me around. But I report to Greg and Pete, and those are Greg's documents, and I'm not altering them without Greg telling me to. 

I have a hunch that Steve's delusions of grandeur are going to cause conflict between me and him, and I don't like conflict.


My co-workers:

Technical Sales Tom-- he is in the cubicle next to me, and we talk over the wall constantly, except for when he's on a call. I really enjoy working with him.  Tom and his wife were the ones who took me to see the singer last week. Tom is tremendously good at relating to people.  Listening to him interact with customers on the phone or watching him with people around the office has taught me a lot. I sometimes struggle at dealing with people and try to mimic what works for other people who are good at it, and Tom is probably the best at it that I have ever been around.

Good Boss Greg--  Greg is pleasant, quiet, and mostly focused on work. He's the brains of the operation, and designs our wonderful products along with Boring Stories Bob, Engineer Ed, and Ted Technician.  He's an introvert and workaholic, and he doesn't often join in the fun, but when he does have something to add it's always funny. He has a great dry sense of humor. When he needs something from me, he's always clear about what, when, and how. He's very easy to work for.

Boring Stories Bob-- Bob is a good guy, but he likes to talk a lot, and if you want to talk with him you need an exit strategy. He often joins in when Tom and I have come up with some idea we think is hilarious.  Bob will typically join in, revolve the idea around until he's found the least funny, most obvious interpretation of it, and beat the joke to death until it's not funny anymore.  Bob likes to give a play by play of his thought process from the moment he heard something to how he arrived at the conclusion he arrived at, even if there's nothing remotely interesting about the entire journey. "When I heard you say... my initial thought was ...  and then I thought, ah-ha! ...but then I heard...  ...and so then I knew for sure that yes, you were ordering parts and not a pizza. So I was right all along!"   Bob is good natured and fun loving, but I think he is just painfully unaware of how uninteresting his stories are.

Production Chief Pete-- along with Greg, Pete is the person I work most directly for. He is gruff and no-nonsense. Pete is deeply religious, and I'm sure that in secret he wishes I'd find Jesus, find a husband, and have babies-- but he would want all of that for me because he would believe in his heart that it's what would make me happy.  I feel loved and respected by Pete.  He is not demonstrative, but I know that deep down he has a soft spot for me and really appreciates me. In a sense I was hired to be an apprentice Pete, to take on his more menial duties as the business grows. 

the Minions-- one of the things I have taken over from Pete is managing the minions.  These little yellow one-eyed stress-factors would have Pete tearing his hair out, if he had any left. I act as a buffer between Pete and the minions. It's hard to describe the minions without using phrases like "offbeat shenanigans", "wacky hijinks", and "zany antics". They always keep me on my toes.  One thing I can say about the minions is that I have not yet killed any of them.

Masked for your safety.