It was my first day of work in a new job. I was looking for any job during a downturn in the economy. So I took this job and it required working in an office. I’d never worked in an office before. I wondered what it would be like. I was placed under the oversight of a senior employee. He talked the first day about different aspects of the job. But the second day he gave me inside information necessary to survive in this office. He immediately introduced me into the world of office politics.
He said “the manager has his favorites”. So my trainer revealed the names of the favorites. Then everyone else in the office had kind of formed an alliance against the manager and the favorites. This was in an office about 15 people. I was invited to be part of the anti-manager alliance. That was apparently the” cool crowd”. So there was the manager and his 2 favorites. Then there were the other twelve people who were part of this alliance. Then I learned that within the 12, there was an inner circle of about 8 who did things apart from the support staff.
So I received training on how to do my job. And I was given training on the realities of that office culture. What would I do? Who would I join? Well, this was a 6 month contract. For the next couple of weeks, I watched to determine if this person’s perception described the reality of the office culture. It turned out to be pretty accurate. The manager was somewhat oblivious to the disunity on his team. Members of the cool crowd met regularly behind closed doors apparently to talk about work – but more likely to talk about others.
I had a choice to make.