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I don't play office politics and need help in dealing with my boss and coworkers!

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Question - (20 May 2014) 5 Answers - (Newest, 20 May 2014)
A female United States age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Dear Cupid

This is work problem, i would like all your opinions. I was in this organization for past 8 years and work life was ok until 2-3 months back. I was transferred to a different department year back and i proved myself and i was given bigger responsibility and promotion. For past 1 month, 2 guys are playing politics against me and trying to make me a scrape goat where the fault is not even on my side. My boss is siding with them and gave my responsibilities to my arch rival who has lesser experience than me.

Its like i work for this less experienced guy now, i tried talking to my boss, he says i need to play politics in order to survive and i need to prove myself again in order to get my old job back. I want to get out of this department as this politics is affecting my personal as well as my professional life but i don't want them to have the satisfaction of kicking me out

How do i tackle these people, please help me

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A male reader, Mark1978 United Kingdom +, writes (20 May 2014):

Mark1978 agony auntHi there,

I am sorry you are experiencing this, and I know how it feels having been in the same situation before. I sympathise as I know how hard it can be to deal with and how it can effect your personal life too. I agree with the other responses that you have to start playing them at there own game.

Op i'm sorry but these are tough economic times, jobs are hard to get and even harder to keep. Many people now will be trying to ensure THEY rather than YOU get promotion, or get to keep their job. Sometimes the way they go about it is hurtful, selfish, inappropriate and spiteful. Is not fair and its not right but its the world we live in. There has always been mind games and politics, but the game has changed with the dreadful job market and recession. Now it really is survival of the fittest.

The further up the ladder you go the more thick skinned you need to be. These days its not enough just to be good at your job or be a likable team player, you also need to prove you can handle yourself, stand up for yourself and deal with the politics and bitchiness.

Think of it like professional sport: having the talent, skill and ability isn't enough to be a world champion. You need to cope with pressure, mind games, negative publicity and every mistake being pounced upon and amplified.

You don't give us much to go on about the actual ins and outs of this situation so I cant really comment on how to

deal with it as such. What I will say is that it may be beneficial to look back at the situation(s) and work out what you could have done differently. My previous problem was I was too shy to big up my acheivements. Too willing to quietly do my job and hope my boss would sing my praise. Instead others took credit for my work and blamed me for their mistakes. Now I am always making my manager clear as to what I am doing and what I am not. I keep my MANAGER and nobody else informed.

Also bear in mind there's a difference between discussing an issue, making your manager aware of it and trying to help find a solution, and been seen as a whinger. I'm not saying you are in that situation as I don't know, just offering food for thought.

I think you need to tackle this head on. Make it clear to these "rivals" that you are not taking any shit from now on. Are you a member of a Union or is there a HR department you could speak to?


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A female reader, horeesheeto United States +, writes (20 May 2014):

I have seen this before and I had to read a few books on "dirty tricks in the office". There are only about ten tactics people can really use on you, so don't stress it too much. People are also not that bright when they get bogged down in these behaviors. Lies are tricky things to remember and work around, much like a crime scene. There is always something to trip a jerk up.

You do need to document, document, document because if you end up fired or talking to human resources you will need evidence of an unusual situation, and proof that YOU acted reasonably and responsibly and professionally. (You could have a narcissist running a-muck in there, pitting people against each other to orchestrate some other agenda of their own, and this isn't even about you.) I would worry about my own behavior and document my contributions, if your numbers are up, if you made something more efficient, met deadlines earlier, gained more customers, etc. and let the other louts hang themselves with their own rope. If you take a class, or training to improve something, if you volunteer for this or that, ANYTHING that shows you were committed to your job. Of course, all this sudden nonsense could be about the fact that you DID prove yourself in your new job. :) Ironic, isn't it?

It sounds like you are a very competent, stable worker. Take comfort in that fact and document your mad skillz...just watch these clowns make a mess and be ready to cover your six. If you have a HR department, you could talk to someone there if violations of company policies are occurring. Sometimes this kind of thing crops up suddenly when fraud or embezzlement is going on and a set up is occurring or a fall guy/gal is needed. Pay attention if you can. Good luck.

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A female reader, Atsweet1 United States +, writes (20 May 2014):

Atsweet1 agony aunt I dont have this as a current problem at work everybody is tactful professional and a team player. I have enjoy and still do working with all my coworker seeing them grow and promote thereselves up with the organization. This time around I intend to stay long term with this organization and continue to be a team player also..

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A female reader, sugarplum786 South Africa +, writes (20 May 2014):

sugarplum786 agony auntThis happens in all business environment, the strongest survive.

You need to learn to make sure that when there is a problem with any ones work or they are not doing something it is put down on an email. But remember emails must also be written tactfully.

I would not let anyone work me out. Fight back, why must you throw away 8 years because someone talks the office political language.

Having said that I would also keep my options open and look at other opportunities. This way you have both basis covered. Goodluck

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (20 May 2014):

Honeypie agony auntWell you have two choices, play office politics or find a better work place/transfer.

I do find it ridiculous that after 8 years of satisfactory work they start to expect you to play into the "office politics". But it can be this department is VERY different from the one you came from.

When you say office politics what exactly do you mean, because it's a pretty broad term.

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