Internal Politics

I’m struggling today, and it’s uncomfortable.  I don’t like being uncomfortable and tend to immediately try to alleviate or eliminate the feeling.  But I’m stuck on how to accomplish that – without quitting my job.

The trip took a lot out of me.  It wasn’t just the length of the days or the fight to stay on East coast time. The behavior of my colleague on Friday morning is weighing heavily on mind and spirit, and I’m finding it difficult to smile my way through it.  I’m beyond the incident itself, feeling acutely stifled instead by the culture of a company that will look the other way on that kind of behavior for a myriad of reasons – but only for certain members of the staff.

I’m so tired of the internal politics of the corporate world!   More than that, I’m tired of frequently feeling like human interaction in general requires some sort of politics, as in “the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing” behavior, policy, or opinion.  Clearly, I’ve been hanging around the movers, shakers and manipulators for far too many years.  Each day I spend away from the office not working makes it harder to come back to the bullshit.  (I just can’t parse words on that one.)

Speaking of days away, it felt so good to be home yesterday.  And by home, I mean in an exercise space big enough to accommodate me swinging a staff around like a whip just as much as I mean my house.  Ironically, even at the gym I had to deal with internal politics.

A trainer who often uses the yoga room to warm up her clients was annoyed because I was already in the space. She came into the room accompanied, exited and came back in alone to tell me that I needed to understand that I had to share the space with others.  I hadn’t said anything to her or her client but, “Hi.”  I have no problem with sharing… but management does.

“I was actually told I can only train in a room or space when I’m alone,” I answered pleasantly, completely empathizing with her frustration, having felt it myself when wanting to practice on a crowded gym day.  She was brought up short and stared at me for a second.  “Because what I’m doing involves a weapon,” I added.

The ah-ha light bulb went off in her head, and I went on to explain that if she has no other place to be with a client, I will leave the yoga room, just as I leave the squash courts when folks actually come to play squash.  That did it.  It was the first time in half a dozen times of making eye contact with the woman that she smiled at me.

Political battle averted.  If only they all could be that easy.


About T. D. Davis

Baker and former journalist. View all posts by T. D. Davis

4 responses to “Internal Politics

  • Ann Koplow

    I empathize and identify with your discomfort and struggle, although our situations are somewhat different. It helped me to read your thoughts, today; I just wanted to let you know.

  • Jase

    I really hated my job last year, it was a waste of 8 hours a day of my life. Then I tackled some of the work issues, mainly management related, and some of the problems were alleviated. I also started taking a really good anti-depressant, and lots of the little things that shouldn’t make me mad, but did, became scaled back to their trivial annoyances again. Don’t get me wrong, I am not drawing a parallel between the dreadful behaviour of your colleague and the trivial things that wound me when depressed. That’s really a sympathetic aside for some context. I think if you have been with your company long enough, which you have, and are strong enough to face some conflict, which you are, its definitely worth addressing with the correct layer of management, as its quite likely to keep burning you up until you can put it to rest. I know the event has passed, and you aren’t vindictive, but if you don’t kick up about it, chances are it will happen again and the misery will be more widespread. If it helps, sell it to yourself that you are doing others a favour by escalating it. Unsolicited advice – gotta love it!

    • T. D. Davis

      Thanks, Jase. I took it to management right after I posted, actually. Just in case this guy went sideways on someone else, I wanted someone higher than me in the company to know about him.
      As for depression, if I have it clinically, kung fu, meditation and unloading to trusted friends seems to be enough to put me back on track.
      Thanks much for your concern – and advice. Hope all is well with you. xo

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