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Day Two (& back at work)

January 3rd, 2017 at 11:41 pm

First, thank you all for the warm welcome. I hope my entries are entertaining enough that I will have regular readers. I know I look forward to your postings.

Happy Tuesday and another day at work survived. It was hard to return to work after being off for 10 days. I was so tired this morning that I forgot half my lunch and ended going for fast food. I did remember breakfast so there's at least that.

A few of you have asked about work and suggested that you all could offer advice. So I am going to take you up on it.

I have been with the same company for 29 years with most of those years in a position that required frequent travel. At age 51, and the kids getting older, I decided to get off the road. I applied for a new position and while I wanted a promotion, I was offered a lateral transfer because I "would be receiving other benefits in form of bonus pay." Well that didn't happen. I am now working on a 6 person team and I am the only female. I am also the longest tenured but most junior in the team. Over the last several years, I have worked with 3 of the 5 men and always enjoyed the time. Now, I am odd person out. I am not included in lunch outings and not asked if I want to go "grab some coffee." When they have to show me around the new systems, it is as if it is a big imposition. I sit in my cubical with little interaction while they all talk about their weekends and home improvement projects. I have interjected into the conversation but silence is returned or they turn back to their computers. Others on other teams have noticed the cold treatment and and I have followed their advice but there has been no change.

I am at a loss. I have a countdown going to my earliest retirement point. I remind myself that I am home for dinner with the family every night. I remind myself that I shouldn't care that they don't like me, that I like me and I will continue to do my job to the best of my ability. But it's sad and lonely. I am slowly making friends with others in the office. That will help eventually.

So going full circle, when I forgot my lunch, I walked over to the food court to pick up a chicken sandwich. I ended up walking by the guys eating their lunch. I just smiled, waved and went on.

While I had an unplanned expenditure, I kept the cost down by only getting the sandwich and having water to drink. It was healthier than doing a meal with fries and a soda. 😄

Any suggestions on improving workplace stress would be greatly appreciated.

5 Responses to “Day Two (& back at work)”

  1. Dido Says:

    I'm sorry about the painful group situation. It can be hard to break in sometimes. Is it more when you approach the group as a whole or individually? Because if you've had positive interactions with some of the individuals, I would start there, as well as building relationships outside the immediate work group. I hope it becomes easier soon and that this blog gives you a helpful outlet to vent.

  2. alice4now Says:

    That is a tough work situation. I took on a different position this year and it changed the way others worked with me as well, it does sting a bit. What helped my situation was to keep a good attitude and keep my focus on my job. After my colleagues started to see the results of my contributions, it felt like they started to come around. So hopefully with time your colleagues will be a bit more welcoming, or at the least they will be more positive about your presence in the group.

  3. s nafu Says:

    I sort of thought the issue might be not warmly welcomed into their clique. Is there a 'back story?' Was someone let go to bring you in - without any linkage to you personally? Did the group have a preferred candidate that wasn't selected by HR? Are these 'good ole boys,' not yet accepting 'women in the workforce,' type? Are these guys concerned about your successes, level of experience and tenure?

    If it helps...You are not alone. The behaviour exhibited by the group does not reflect on you in any way. There have been endless studies on this issue because it is extremely difficult for an individual to become accepted into a long standing, well established group. Any group... It is important to be cordial but professional. Do your job as well as you can, interacting when necessary. I hope you can organize your activities to be eligible for the next bonus available. Focus on the work itself. What is the criteria for bonuses? Is there any information in your job description? Can your supervisor or others, not affiliated with the group of five offer details? You handled the lunch walk-by beautifully. If weather allows, go for a walk at lunch, good for health and digestion. Take you job satisfaction points where you can find them like work done well, small bits of praise, no arduous travel, stress of being 'on the road,' spending more time with family and friends etc. Hopefully you can express your frustration here, where it's safe to vent.

  4. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Hi there, welcome to SA! I'm sorry to hear that you don't have the kind of rapport with your co-workers that you would like. I guess it depends on how important it is to you? It would be great if we could have the kind of rapport that we see people on tv have with their coworkers but unfortunately it doesn't always happen and if you have done the best you can do to get along with people then it is out of your control. If you're trying to build rapport and it doesn't work then you can either accept that sometimes a job is just a job and focus more on life outside of work, or possibly move on to a different job (can you be transferred somewhere else?). i hope you find something that helps you out in this situation.

  5. CB in the City Says:

    I have been in the same kind of work environment. A clique is very hard to deal with and it's very unprofessional on their part. I got some good advice once from a man who had been in the same situation. He said he just acted like he didn't notice their snub and behaved as if he was already a treasured member of the group. He was friendly, upbeat, interested, but not needy. (He said it was really hard, too!) Eventually, they thawed and forgot they were ever cold to him. I tried to remember that when I was cold-shouldered. (My situation was eventually solved by retirement, but you can't wait that long!) If you can switch to another position, do it, because life is short!

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