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To be so sick of office politics?

(32 Posts)
Sockstealer Mon 10-Nov-14 17:36:56

I've worked in offices my entire working life.

I've always found offices to be quite bitchy and petty environments to work in at times. I've often felt as though I was doing things that were a waste of time, because someone comes along sooner or later and changes everything.

It's always been who's sleeping with who, who's off sick all the time, who wants to windows open/closed, who takes too many fag breaks and so on.

But I've always just got in with it and always worked with people I could get on with.

But a while ago my department had a massive pointless reshuffle, I can't say too much as it would completely out me, but since then I've been utterly miserable.

The atmosphere in the office is horrible, there is so much two faced gossip, people moaning over the smell of people's food, fans, desk space. There is a lot of bullying which has resulted in people leaving.

Any complaints or suggestions about work are met with threats of being sent to a different department in another town.

I wish I'd sorted myself out with a better career while I had the chance, but now I feel stuck. I work locally and my hours fit in with school. I'm also pregnant so no hope of getting out of there anytime soon.

coldwater1 Mon 10-Nov-14 17:44:35

I would use maternity leave to find another job. I wouldn't work in a place where i was miserable, life is too short.

LumpenproletariatAndProud Mon 10-Nov-14 17:49:22

Oh yes, maternity leave = job hunting.

I couldn't think of anything worse than working in an office.

LumpenproletariatAndProud Mon 10-Nov-14 17:49:44

Working in an office like that, I mean.

Myearhurts Mon 10-Nov-14 17:52:39

I feel for you. It can make a working atmosphere really unpleasant.

Many years ago when I was temping I got sent to this, seemingly nice, place to work. On the surface it seemed nice and everyone appeared to be nice to each other. It turned out to a real vipers nest, everyone backstabbing each other. I was quite glad to see the back of that assignment.

I think the only thing you can do is be a good person yourself and not get drawn in.

amyhamster Mon 10-Nov-14 17:55:12

I find it very hard working with lots of women

There's a lot of bitching sad

Sockstealer Mon 10-Nov-14 18:00:04

Yes that's true, although I think I need a complete career change. Something more rewarding, I keep thinking something to do with working with children, but I have no qualifications in anything else.

Does anyone else find offices bitchy petty places? I wonder whether I just need to deal with it better.

MissCalamity Mon 10-Nov-14 18:04:51

I feel your pain, I've worked in offices for 18 years, some good some bad!
I was in a job for 10 weeks & had to leave because of the snidey two faced cows, I stuck it out quite a lot longer than I thought I would. I can't begin to describe the relief at never having to work there again. That was 10 years ago & I was in the area last year & went past and had the over whelming sense of doom!
I really did the right thing, life is too short as coldwater1 said.

How long is it until you go on maternity leave, any chance of taking holidays leading up to your leave? I'd definitely be spending my maternity leave looking for a new job as well as enjoying your new baby grin

Messingaboutinboats Mon 10-Nov-14 18:08:53

I have always found offices to be bitchy. I have no idea why, often it's the case that you spend as much (if not more) time with the people you work with as your own family so it seems pretty silly really! Sadly it's usually the ones who refuse to partake in bitching that get turned on sad I would second every one else's advice to look for a new job while your on maternity leave.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Cauliflowersneeze1 Mon 10-Nov-14 18:32:32

What would you really want to do ?

Sockstealer Mon 10-Nov-14 18:41:08

Honestly, I've always quite fancied primary school teaching. But in reality my confidence is very low, and I would need to completely go back to basics as I've become very sloppy over the years with grammar, mathematical skills. I'm not sure whether I could work and study at the same time.

I've thought about a TA role just to get some experience, but understand that it's difficult to get into, and I've no experience. Plus it would be a big pay cut for me.

I've thought about working in a nursery, just to get some experience, see if working with children is really for me. But again it would be a pay cut and I've a lack of experience. It's a vicious circle, how do you get the experience without having any?

I know I want to do something more hands on, where I come home each day feeling that I've served a purpose. Made a difference to someone.

Sockstealer Mon 10-Nov-14 18:45:22

The role I'm currently in is a thankless job.

I don't want to say because it's quite specific, but we do a good job, and 99.9% of the time things go well. And we're providing a good service. But people only contact us when things go wrong, to give you a hard time, it's often not our fault but because the customer didn't do their bit. Imagine working in a benefits office and somebody hasn't informed us of a change of circumstances, then when they have to pay the money back, we get it in the neck.

alovelycuppatea Mon 10-Nov-14 18:49:00

Good luck OP! I feel the same. I do feel like office work is entirely unrewarding and I've worked in quite a few companies. Is worse in financial services I think! Hope you find something you will enjoy. Don't stress about it for now....concentrate on enjoying your baby when he/she arrives smile

summersover Mon 10-Nov-14 18:53:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 10-Nov-14 18:55:35

YANBU. Without outing myself I work in an environment where I have SEVEN Managing Directors to keep happy, plus a big Board and a little Board and a load of prima donna type A salesmen. It's a fucking nightmare. I'm constantly juggling these gigantic egos who insist on being consulted about every tiny thing and then don't get back to you for weeks. I just want to get things done and seem to spend most of my time on diplomacy. <sigh>

Perhaps we should have a MN job swap. We can go to each others' offices and yell say all the things to each others' colleagues we wish we could say to our own grin

Cauliflowersneeze1 Mon 10-Nov-14 18:57:51

Have you thought of specialising for a school role
Learning makaton for example

What about a play therapist , behaviour specialist ? moving from school to school . I found the level of bitching was less when moving around

Schools can be quite nasty places to work IMHO

Comito Mon 10-Nov-14 19:11:42

Sock I feel your pain and I'm not even in the public sector. I've spent about three years working on a project which everyone in the company AND clients told me was desperately needed and which I took on because I genuinely wanted to make things better. Without meaning to blow my own trumpet, I've done a pretty fucking good job.

Last year, I got integrated with another team and since then progress has halted. They block every attempt to make changes - despite initially agreeing to them. At the same time I'm being told to 'take ownership' by management but when I do it's either not enough or too much. Management are also great at saying they support people but when other depts are obstructive, they don't have anything tangible to offer. Tried many times to get them to give me direction and all I get is bullshit like 'make things better'.

Utterly fucked off with the politics of it all.

Comito Mon 10-Nov-14 19:12:52

And yy to the thankless bit. I'm in a similar position. No-one ever tells me I've done a good job but they're fucking quick to complain if they think I've done something wrong.

>and breathe<

GoldenKelpie Mon 10-Nov-14 19:25:05

Op, I sympathise as I used to work in offices too. However, I just have to say that don't imagine that it isn't bitchy in schools either. I've worked in schools now for years (since having kids) and seen my fair share of bitchy behaviour. I keep well out of it and don't get involved at all.

I think that the type of environment you are describing could be going on in any workplace, it is how you respond to it that will make a difference, good luck.

Notbythehaironmychinnychinchin Mon 10-Nov-14 19:37:06

There's oddballs in every walk of life. DH teaches. He's timetabled for 25 hours teaching. He at least matches this in admin. Obviously he accepts the marking is essential, but management are constantly inventing new bits of paper to satisfy OFSTED and whoever else is poking their noses in that week. If you've got a burning desire to teach, then obviously do it. If you just fancy a change of direction, think long and hard about it.

I absolutely loved some of the offices I've worked in. Paid decent wedge for having a laugh and knocking out a few bits of work now and then

helenenemo Mon 10-Nov-14 19:53:06

Not much help but I'm currently off sick due to the exact same thing. Offices are a nightmare.

Sockstealer Mon 10-Nov-14 20:07:31

Thanks all for the supportive replies and empathising.

You're probably right that the grass isn't always greener.

Collective moaning is the way forward.

MillionToOneChances Mon 10-Nov-14 20:35:46

If you like working with children, would you consider childminding? I absolutely love my job. Pays extremely well, too - on a par with experienced teachers round here. The going rate in my area is £5.50 per child per hour, and you can have up to 6 under 8s including your own children, of whom no more than 3 under 5, of whom no more than 1 under 1. And as many over 8s as you can care for without the younger ones suffering. Perhaps one child similar in age to each of your children? If you mention it at school you may get clients before you've even got your registration through (I did, and they waited for me!).

Sockstealer Mon 10-Nov-14 22:48:47

Milliontoone, thanks yes I would consider childminding, but I've always thought my house is too small.

Downstairs is literally a tiny sitting room, a kitchen just big enough for a 4 seater table, and a downstairs toilet! There's be hardly any space for children to eat and play.

Although I've never really been in a childminders house, but I always imagine them to have conservatories and a playroom with hundreds of toys and equipment.

MillionToOneChances Mon 10-Nov-14 22:54:47

It helps to have space, but maybe you could just have a couple of mindees? I don't know how much income you're trying to replace, but it might be worth considering. TAs earn so little - I earned less than £500/month for 18 hours a week, though that was also payable in school holidays. You can also offset some house expenses against your childminding income before tax.

I'd say it's worth looking into for anyone who wants to work with kids. My first childminder had a tiny house, but my son was really happy there. You can always take them out to the park or let them play in the garden.

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