Looking to Play Politics

Politics are a dirty business
With scratching backs and greasing palms
Ending up with muddy hands
Or worse bloody fingers
Ask Lady MacBeth
How that worked out
In the end
For her
Man

It must be the mess the government has gotten itself into spilling into everyday lives, or the culture. However you want to spin it, I find that the political climate is impacting my life in ways unimagined previously. Politics in the work place have always been present. However they were subtle, running as a faint subtext to decisions. Often they were undetectable. But now they are blatant. Every word is imbued with the flavor of politics and presented as a garnish for someone’s pet project. It is rampant that all the people who are somebody have taken their once hidden agendas out of the closet and from under the table and plopped them down for everyone to see. It reminds me of the middle school lunchroom. There was no mistaking who was popular. There was no question about the direction cliques were headed. And there was no stopping the bullying and coercion to get what the powerful wanted.

I personally have avoided the political games for 26 years. I refused to play. It resulted in walking around with a target on my back. I did my job and I did it well. So well that I was immune to the political machinations of others. Times change and I find that my failure to play the game has put me at a tactical disadvantage. Nonetheless, I can sleep well knowing I have not compromised my ethics, my beliefs, or betrayed my core values.

18 thoughts on “Looking to Play Politics

  1. Politics…a dirty business indeed! Now that Tom is gone, I don’t listen to the news anymore, and of course I don’t have to deal with it at work, since I’m here at home alone so I’m the boss. Just one of the perks of being old, I guess.

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    1. I try to avoid the TV and FB – too many angry people. But work I still have to be there. I just wish the sense of civility would return. We’ve always had sneaky and underhanded people in the world but at least they had a veneer of politeness and a touch of decency. Not so much anymore.

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  2. I blame social media for today’s political climate.Social media has given me some wonderful friendships, given a voice to the oppressed, helped raise social awareness, and keeps us informed and connected. That’s the good. It has also helped unleash a pestilence of hostility, incivility, intolerance, racism… not to mention left us vulnerable to manipulation that affects our elections. I wish we could keep the good and wipe out the pestilence, or just do away with social media altogether, but realistically, I know there’s no going back.

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    1. True. As for the pestilence side of things – it is much easier to attack a faceless nameless stranger than to have a nasty go at people you know and have to live with. Social media also lets you flock with like minded folks – for better or worse.

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  3. All one has to do is look at the news, one doesn’t have to have social media. Not just the news, talk shows. Our society needs to go back to church.

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  4. I had so hoped that the political environment at your work would settle down after last year’s reorganization — so sorry to hear that it has not, and that it is now affect ing you! Hold the course, do your good work, and hopefully you’ll survive it all!

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    1. The politics hasn’t really gotten worse – it is just more visible. The culture may change (for the better) in our dept now that 2 people are leaving and we have 2 people coming in. We are still looking for a 3rd hire but it is hard to find someone with the right qualifications who is willing to start at the bottom. We interviewed 4 new graduates who wanted to start the job at the high end of the pay scale! I’m not sure what they were expecting but it won’t happen that they will start at above the pay of someone that has been doing the job for 5 years!

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  5. You’ve reminded me of how fortunate I am to have the job I have in a church where, even though members come from both sides of the political fence, they still remember Christ’s teachings and strive to be good representatives. Each week, I edit the pastor’s sermons to post on our web site, and they serve to provide encouragement when the news gets me down.
    Maybe when you retire from your high-powered job, you can take a job like mine where they appreciate ethics and core values and even respect the fact that you don’t join in office politics.

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    1. Sounds like a dream job! You did make me laugh – the comment about a “high-powered job” I’m in compliance but I’m a little cog. A yapping toothless Chihuahua. I sound very fierce but I have no real power to enforce anything. But I’m OK with that most of the time – as long as my superiors have my back. And that’s where it gets dicey….

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  6. I fear that those coaching the new graduates are doing an extreme disservice to them, by not stressing how things work for new hires. The smart ones will be those who start at the bottom and work up.

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    1. Indeed. The school advisors/job coaches seem to have trended to advocating trying to start at the top. Some places may want to take that chance on a newbie but we aren’t the NFL and my employer doesn’t play that game. As soon as they start asking for the same pay as Team Leads the answer is no and the resume goes into the round file. Most of the applicants were qualified but they will soon find out that accepting a job for that kind of money in San Francisco will leave them in dire straights due to the cost of living. And the Big Cities is the only place they will find starting salaries in those ranges!!

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  7. Yes, sadly, being mean and nasty are now almost seen as virtues. The chronically self-righteously angry crowd is quite convinced that they are doing nothing wrong in expressing their views in increasingly obnoxious ways. They seem to believe that their targets “deserve it.”

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    1. There is definitely an aura of self importance that fills the space in many workplaces. I used to be there was one or two giant egos that you had to deal with – and avoid. Now there are so many that they are bumping into each other and the posturing goes to another level…

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    1. It takes a special kind of mindset to play politics. I lack a “killer instinct” being too compassionate. Also the political game involves way too much deception!

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