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      08-12-2010, 10:35 PM   #1
blueshark
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Dilemma at the office... suggestions?

Ok, I'm in a situation at work where I've become a bit isolated within my department, and I'm not sure what to do. I can't afford to simply quit.

I'm the new guy in the group (1.5 years tenure vs. 5, 11 and 12 years for my peers, and our manager has 25+ years of service). We've been going through various systems and process changes, and as a former consultant, I was asked to be the systems liaison for the group. I attend all the corporate systems meetings and bring back action items and requirements. Problem is, all they do is complain, stonewall, and throw smokescreens. They've been doing the same job for years, and anyone involved with moving their cheese becomes hated.

What makes things more complex is that I don't agree with any of them on much of anything else. How did I end up in a situation where all of my peers are so hard to like?
- The first guy could be Archie Bunker's twin, he frequently makes racist comments (esp. towards Mexicans and Muslims, but also towards African Americans and anyone else who doesn't fit his definition of the "right type of American." He's in his late 60's and has spoken of retirement, so he could be gone soon, although that could be years away.
- The second guy is a hard-core Tea Party supporter who never smiles, is not constructive in team settings, and is unbelievably condescending (unbelievable because he's not too bright). He is also passive aggressive towards me, and subtly gives me a hard time when he can.
- The last guy has made negative comments towards blacks that really bother me.

You would think that I work at a horrible company, but it's actually a run-of-the-mill middle market manufacturing company that has worldwide distribution. Is it common to be surrounded by such bullies?

Now that I've written this, the answer seems to be clear on paper. I can't afford to quit, so how do I make life more bearable while I'm in this position, until I do find a more hospitable place to land?

Last edited by blueshark; 08-12-2010 at 10:57 PM.
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      08-12-2010, 10:52 PM   #2
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You could begin searching actively for a new job, and just try to bear it for the couple of weeks it'll take to land a better job.
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      08-12-2010, 11:02 PM   #3
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You could begin searching actively for a new job, and just try to bear it for the couple of weeks it'll take to land a better job.
+1 im black and i work with people that love to make racists jokes. but being that they all fear the big black (for some reason i dont understand) they hardly say them around me and when they do they apologize really quick. its crazy that im the one black guy working with a bunch of "rednecks" atleast thats what they call themselves. i cant do much brcause they out rank me but once i get up and walk to that side of the room its a diffrent story.
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      08-12-2010, 11:35 PM   #4
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Start a business
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      08-13-2010, 12:08 AM   #5
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Start a business









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      08-13-2010, 12:21 AM   #6
blueshark
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Thanks for all the responses so far. Would love to start my own business! Not quite ready for that though...
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      08-13-2010, 07:21 AM   #7
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You could begin searching actively for a new job, and just try to bear it for the couple of weeks it'll take to land a better job.
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      08-13-2010, 08:54 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses so far. Would love to start my own business! Not quite ready for that though...
I just did, a truck repair shop.
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      08-13-2010, 09:14 AM   #9
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welcome to working in the office. More than half of your job, you will see, is negotiating through the bullshit, politics, red tape, and status reporting. You'll probably have less than 1/4 of your time spent actually working on solutions.

If you're only 1.5 years into your career, you're just not accustomed to it yet.
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      08-13-2010, 09:58 AM   #10
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That kinda stuff is pretty intolerable.

You have a few options:
1. Whistle blower hotline - I usually don't agree with this but racists deserve punishment.
2. New job (as you know).
3. Noise isolating earphones.

When they make the jokes you don't like what is your response? I'd just give them a blank stare if I didn't want to say anything.
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      08-13-2010, 10:10 AM   #11
blueshark
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I've been working for 15+ years, but just started here 1.5 years ago.
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      08-13-2010, 10:14 AM   #12
blueshark
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... And I've tolerated a lot of negative work environments, but I've reached a limit here. I give a lot of blank stares but more and more I call them out, which is polarizing of course.
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      08-13-2010, 10:15 AM   #13
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Don't you have an HR department? If something is bothering you they should be the first ones you talk to.

I like to talk with my buddies about really dirty jokes but I'm smart enough not to do it in mixed company. I do it oustide of work (like at lunch or on IM) and I definitely don't make dirty jokes when somebody i don't know can hear me.
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