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Work story as usual, since this is my only real world-interaction.  There's some new girls working here, and they've cliqued up and sort of reformatted the cliques throughout this place.  The ringleader is a major suck up to my new boss - and he has proven that he loves people who suck up to him.  Naturally I'm not in that group - it's always strictly business with me, and I communicate very measuredly,  unlike my previous two bosses over the years that I thought I disliked. This guy I actually liked, and sort of still do, but I'm learning more and more about what a front he has.  This whole place has become so damn fake, it makes me sick. Well, this ringleader girl started talking to me alot, all full of compliments and friendliness - which I immediately didn't trust.  I talked to my wife about it, she agreed and said this girl was trying to get her into her "girl group" - go out for gno's, playdates -  my wife has a young child, they all have young children.   So, naturally they're friendly with me.  I talked very indifferent, uninterested in maintaining conversation, etc.  There were a few playdates but my wife wasn't comfortable, felt they all were just being nosy, and intrusive. My answer is to dismiss everyone, but she isn't that way. Fast forward a few months, and a woman in her late 60's who just started  working here, had an annoying personality. I disliked her and ignored her.....until I found out that she was being bullied by this new girl group clique.  I couldn't believe all the tattling to the boss over her being late a few minutes, making simple mistakes I've seen others make, a bunch of bullshit tattling.  I decided to begin being friendly with her. Told her to not let those bitches bully her around and stand up to the boss.  I've had several confrontations with him and of late, we don't speak much.  Since that happened, the gno clique dropped talking to my wife immediately.  No more small talk, or invitations.  I told her, I warned you before you started dating me that you might lose friends at work.  I'm better at making enemiew than friends. So, back to the story, this 60ish woman backed away from me today as I started up a conversation, and said she was called into the office and scolded for doing something she shouldn't have been reprimanded for.  Petty something that others do around here, but she was also told that she talks too much to me.   All this supervision happened yesterday, I was out - and I told her, didn't you stand up for yourself? She backs away and says, "sorry, I can't afford to get yelled at again. I need this job."  I shrugged it off, and will just ignore her now.  In my younger years, I would have stormed into my bosses office and did some confronting.  I've learned however, doing that sometimes isn't appreciated by the people you're sticking up for. I get the impression from her behavior, that would be the case.  Just like giving advice, most of the time people don't want it, even though you've made similar mistakes, been down the same path ahead of them and can see the big picture....people like to learn the hard way.

I texted my son who also started working for the state, in a similar position as myself, and said, "dad, that sounds like my office. Thats how things are now."  Since when?  Ive never seen so much sucking up and backstabbing in my almost 30 years here.
Interesting read, it is sad to hear of anyone going through this kind of thing.  I hope you don't mind but your story kind of triggered some memories from me that I would like to share.

Coming from a large family, I am the youngest of seven children, I remember growing up and listening to some older brothers discuss the factory they worked at and how it must be the worst place on earth to work.  Later, another brother took a job for a University and I would hear his descriptions of the office politics and how horrible it was.  There was even a time when I listened to a debate between he and a couple of my other brothers about who had it worse!

Now here comes my part.  Due to some issues with my mental health, I've had roughly 25 jobs in my adult life.  Never fired, often promoted, then a mad dash to escape during panic attacks or actually worse delusional episodes.  So, one thing you do, or at least in my case I did, when life is tossing curve balls and you don't know why...is you start emulating people you know who might seem to have it better.  So as it is, I am the only person in my family who managed to test occupation at both this University, and at the factory that I am speaking of...   Club  ...me constantly beating myself up for over three decades.   Big Grin

Job one.  Accounts Payable at University.  Same department as an older brother.  

I transferred in from another department, a decision made based on those panic attack episodes.  Wow did I ever jump from the frying pan into the fire.  Looking back, that frying pan I left was actually the best job I was suited for as I was alone almost all day and what it took to decide they were all out to get me must have been a monumental effort at paranoia.  But, here I was in Accounts Payable.

A department of about 35 people when I started there.  Forgive my momentary sexism but it comes from this experience and I am NOT claiming it happens everywhere, I am simply describing what happened where I was at that time.  The department included 30 women, and five men.  This is not including Purchasing which had recently been absorbed into Accounts Payable and that is an entirely different story.  These accounts I relate I was a direct witness to, and actually caught up in quite often.

The incidents in order as they happened:

1)  Thirty days in I was instructed to organize the going away party for a woman who was transferring out.  "Why me?",  wondered.  The answer became obvious as this woman was a single mother, attractive, sexually active with no particular partner.  Essentially she did not fit into the rather "Victorian Era" attitude in this little universe that was promoted by the Big boss...female, the second in charge...female, and the "in" group in the department including all supervisors and special pets...female.  She was, their enemy.  So of course it made sense to them to force this new person, a male with no chance of becoming a valued member of the club, to organize the going away party.  What happened to me, out of this, was I because associated with departing enemy number one and absorbed her low status onto myself.  Fun!

2 & 3)  In an effort to escape the clear dislike from my supervisor, I managed to get moved from Data Entry to Invoice Processing.  Same damn job with different names but the point was to get away from the supervisor who associated me the most with the now departed and still infamous single mother sexually active scum!  (What the other women thought of her.)  So, Invoice Processing.  Eight people typing away all day paying bills, in a room it was later discovered to be so small that by the end of the day we were running out of oxygen.  So to fix the problem they brought in rotating fans.  I'm still not sure what they were supposed to do, move the lack of oxygen due to constant breathing around the room?  Anyway, I digress.

Invoice Processing had seven women and myself, the first male in the room in over two years.  It was going through a "leaderless" faze as no supervisor wanted to handle the constant bickering and warfare, so the head boss decided we processors didn't deserve supervision until we learned to behave ourselves.

While there.  I tried to stay quiet in my little half a cubicle.  Even on the day the complains about husbands and boyfriends rose to the level of a shouted, "Men are pigs!" from across the room.  And suddenly they were all saying it!  I glanced at my cubicle partner who I had always gotten along with, she just looked at me and loudly said, "MEN ARE PIGS!"  This started the chant up again.

This room also included temps and student workers.  All females.  Teracita was an ex-student now temp just trying to make money.  She came, unfortunately for her, with two problems.  She was drop dead gorgeous, and she didn't understand the difference between dress up for a party clothes and dress up for work clothes.  Or maybe, these were the clothes she had that came closest to qualifying as office attire?  People on budgets can't run out and buy clothes every time they need.  Now, Teracita was one hell of a worker.  No one could deny that...but I'm wrong.  Those seven women hated her guts the moment she showed up and within two weeks had her gone by repeatedly complaining to the big boss, who remember the big boss was an advocate of our Victorian Era high society where we would never dress like that or dare to look that good!

Teracita would have had one hell of a case of discrimination if she had known how to do it.  But she didn't.  She was here and gone.  Two weeks.

4)  Eventually one of the women, as it turns out my cubicle buddy, was promoted to supervisor as the existing supervisors still didn't want anything to do with Invoice Processing.  Immediately, this person I got along with decided I should be her snitch.  So much for getting along with her.  I wanted nothing to do with this crap which it turns out had been the problem all along as factions in the room were constantly changing and every single person had reason to wish all the others dead!  It was a seven woman battle to the death and how I had gotten the last seat in the room I can only surmise is that woman #8 was already cannibalized.  

5)  I learned while at Accounts Payable that one of the "in group" was allowed to book and pay for her Honeymoon with a University Procurement Card.  (Credit Card).  Oh, she paid the money back! The point is, readers, can you imagine any business handing over a credit card to an employee like that?!?!?  By this point, I had had enough of similar instances like the Party, Pot Luck, Pass the Hat, Vacation Day Donation encouraged by the big boss, for an "in group" lady who was adopting a child.  Great cause.  My wife and I were also adopting at the same time and what I got was warned to not let it interfere with my volunteering to work overtime on a volunteer but you better do it basis.  So you see why I was getting fed up?  So I actually went to the boss of the big boss and ratted about the credit card business.  Turns out SHE choose not to believe it or even look into it but by the end of that month I was back in Data Entry where I could be more easily destroyed by a more willing hit person supervisor.  One that, because my quality of work was never an issue came to get along with me somewhat and found herself moved so the second in charge boss could become my supervisor.

On that day...the day that the hit woman came in and coldly stated she was now my boss?  I calmly followed her back to her office and gave my two weeks notice.  That's right, immediately upon learning she would be my boss.  Oh heck, I transferred BACK to my old job within those two weeks and I knew I could so I didn't really risk losing everything!  But the point was a big f u to the Accounts Payable Cult.  Anyway, back to where I started at the University...within a month I had a major delusional episode and left the job anyway.

Now, by comparison.  The Factory.

We made those big yellow construction vehicles which I can't name (pre-butterfly)

1)  I went to work there during a massive hiring year and was picked because 25 years earlier I had worked in a machine shop for one year so they decided I was an experienced Machine Operator, Class 4.  That puts me on big, really big, computer operated machines that cut and sculpt steel into massive parts for tractors.

My OJT, on the job trainer, was too busy to teach me much.  He'd been hired about four months before me.  He had a lot of experience.  But he was always busy.  One day about two weeks into my six weeks training I finally said, "You've got to show me something!".  He replied he was too busy trying to save Ca..... Inc....from it's own stupidity.  Then about a week later he got fed up and quit.

I was informed, "It's all on you now."  I tried to explain that I didn't have a clue, but was told that was my problem.

2)  I was second shift.  All I did was take parts out of the machine when they were done, and put new parts in....and do my level best to make decent parts by doing what little I knew how to do.  And by measurements...my parts were acceptable.  Within tolerance.  Oh, if one thing went wrong I was in a shitload of trouble...and I was often asking for help from other guys...but I was getting it done.

Unfortunately too good as it turns out because I was making more parts than the first and third shift guys.  And they started warning me to slow down, or else.  These parts RAN in the machine for like an hour!  How much does one have to slow down while you are sitting there waiting?!?!?  So I thought, "Screw it.", and just kept taking parts out and putting parts in.

Suddenly inspectors were finding bad parts in my stack.  Not when I was there, but on third shift and first shift.  Hmmmmmmm...wonder where those came from.  But the final straw came the day that the FIRST part I tried to run, the computerized machine crashed!  Cutting tools on a massive turret smacking into the part too hard, into the machine itself!  Wow...what had I done wrong?  LOL....I hadn't touched a thing.  But I was too machine ignorant to spot the settings in the program had been screwed with.  Sabotage.  Common practice there....could have gotten someone killed as parts are known to fly out of machines like giant bits of a hand grenade.  

I was supposed to have been taught a lesson.  Oh, I handled it...I marched into the General Foreman's Office and demanded to be job failed!   Big Grin

It cost me about three bucks an hour but I was failed to a new job as a "Grinding Specialist" in a new building on easier machines and with almost a new start minus the stigma of a job failure on my record.

3)  My new boss was a longtime Foreman who saw through the bull crap of the Job Failure.  He also realized I knew jack crap about machines.  So he had me fill in with guys on about six different machines, all grinders, to learn the basics.  And I turned into a "floater".  I didn't have my own machine, but would fill in when guys were gone.  In fact it got to the point where I was so happy I was coming in early, checking out who had the day off...figuring out which parts needed grinding the soonest...and assigning myself the task for the night!  I told my boss how funny I thought that was, and I asked what happens the first time I picked the wrong job to do?  He just said, "You haven't yet!", and walked away.  For a year life was fantastic.  Then, he retired.

4)  I was getting a rep for working too hard again.  And with my protector Dave the Foreman gone I was in trouble...in fact I caught a couple of attempts to sabotage a machine.  There was this one machine, that was so easy to run that we were supposed to actually do a little MORE on a second machine in our spare time.  Of three shifts I was the only one that did.  You have to remember, reader, we are talking about a lot of easy time doing nothing anyway!  I was doing this more to prevent boredom than anything else.  But, nobody likes a guy that works too hard.

So I sought out a General Foreman one night...and I asked him to come by and catch me running only one machine and chew my ass out.  He did.  He did really well!  Made me look about two seconds from getting "Walked out", which means sent home suspended or maybe fired if the Union doesn't save you.  So I had THAT incident to explain why I HAD to run both machines.  And I would do it...as well as I could.  If it got to hard do to certain kinds of parts, I would't.

Just my luck the General Foreman was now gone and the new FOREMAN was a college educated idiot who only knew that one moment I was running two machines, one moment I wasn't...and that this "floater" idea was done with...I shouldn't be assigning myself jobs.  So now my job sucked again.

5)  In returns the General Foreman who is now on the day shift and he needs ME to put in for a transfer to days to run this special machine because he is so impressed with me and this way someday I will get promoted!  Of course, everybody wants day shift and there is no way I would win the bid to get day shift with my lack of seniority.  But mysteriously, I won! 

Because everyone but me knew this machine to be a "man killer".  So difficult and dangerous that people either get hurt or get away from it before they get hurt!  And everyone knew it..no exceptions...but me.  The second shift guys were glad to see me go.  The second shift Foreman was tired of trying to supervise me when I was used to supervising myself.  And the General Foreman, he needed a willing, ignorant, victim.

6)  With a couple weeks I was in the GF's little office shed in the middle of the factory floor.  I took my name badge off and threw it at him, and told him to have me walked out.

Reason, I could tell right away my hands couldn't take the punishment the machine was handing out.  But the GF assured me he would have engineering have a look and changes would be made.  Besides...just hang on and I would get promoted soon.

So I stayed.  Outside engineers agreed that fixes needed to be made.  Took them eight months.  My hands were worn out in six.  The company doctor kept assuring me it was just a little tendinitis.  (Ever wonder why these big factories have their own Doctors right there on site?)

Eventually I saw my own guy and it turned out I needed bones removed from both hands...that were worn OUT.  Long story short, now I'm on disability.

7)  I was off work during negotiations about how much Cat would pay me to go away...I was driving and the General Foreman in his Camaro passed me.  I looked over and he was flipping me the bird, with a big "gotcha" smile on his face!  Shoot, I wish I could still do that...my hands don't work so good.


My completely sexist opinion based only on my experiences?  The University sucked worse!  Oh sure, worse things happened to me at PreButterfly Inc. , but that was because I was an idiot and didn't fall into line.  I willingly worked hard even to the point of wearing my hands out.  And the workers?  They would come straight at you, even risk killing you, to get their point across.  It was always right there in the open.  Warn the guy, screw the guy, maybe kill the guy.  Nothing personal!  That's the point. 

At the University of Not OHIO OR IDAHO the other one, it was backstabbing and blindsiding and as personal as it gets.  Maybe far less physically dangerous....but it put a major hurting on my view of women...one that my liberal sensibilities battle with inside me all the time.  I mean, I believe in equality and everything!!!  But, was that REAL...are they that INVICTIVE!?!?  God help us all.  I just hope it was anomaly.   

Still awake?  My hands are swollen up pretty bad from all this typing.  

Last thing.  Remember that part about how in Invoice Processing we would actually breath all the air in that little room until there wasn't enough oxygen by the end of the day?   Smile   The Big Boss liked forcing us all to dress up for Halloween and yes, you had better or you were in the doghouse.  So that year I took a raincoat, and found a dust mask, and I painted two two liter bottles on put aquarium tubes in them and rigged them up like a backpack of oxygen.  And I went as a HAZMAT INVOICE PROCESSOR!!!  LOL...that was a fun day despite making the bosses mad.


It is a difficult situation when the need to rip a new one boiles inside of you and seeing unfair treatment is a big trigger. I’ve felt that but I’ve also felt the 60 year old lady’s side of it. It’s not a good feeling when a situation is being forced onto you because of someone elses need to point it out. Forced change can be a good thing but not always.
(03-10-2019, 04:34 AM)DanL53 Wrote: [ -> ]Interesting read, it is sad to hear of anyone going through this kind of thing.  I hope you don't mind but your story kind of triggered some memories from me that I would like to share.

Sounds similar, in a different context.  Don't call yourself sexist either, I prefer the term "old-fashioned."  Most of the women around nowdays, especially progressives will disagree, but women can be nasty to work with.  Like you, it's mostly women, and has been my entire time here.  The head of everything is a new person, 3 years now, a woman. In my time here, she's the first female top boss here and I've nicknamed her "Prada" (for those of you familiar with the film "The Devil Wears Prada")- there have been 4 top bosses during my time here, 3 were male.  Come to think of it, I'm betting in the history of this place, shes the first female.  To the point, with the exception of my boss, she is getting rid of male supervisors, one has been here the same amount of time as myself, 28 years. He's being replaced, I'm guessing with her "pet" - a director (female) in that dept. who is running things and going right around that supervisor. I call her little-prada. This guy is being removed, replaced, because they are changing the description of the job....(way to get around civil service/unions) so when that happens, people have to bid on their own jobs.  It's been made public that he isn't allowed to bid on the job.  He retires in 2 years so it's going to mess up his retirement.   I am in the same boat - and have far less social polish than the guy they're getting rid of, but he's a hell of alot higher than me, thus a much larger target.  I stayed here in this position on purpose because I knew I would fail higher up. I'm way to blunt and socially dysfunctional to be in a position with greater politics.