Getting up and going to work can be fulfilling and grueling. Starting my career after graduating was probably the most educating experience, I learned how to apply my education, but I also learned the enigma that is office politics. Getting my work done was the easy part, navigating the waters of fragile egos and gray hair, and dealing with kingdom protectors definitely kept things interesting. If I only had to deal with engineering problems, I might have gotten bored, but thankfully there was so much more to deal with.
When I started my career, I kept my mouth shut and my head low, and just did what I was told, no matter how stupid the people directed me were. As I started learning more, and my hair got grayer, I started saying what I was thinking, and breaking the unspoken rules of the office. The only difference between what I was doing and what other people were doing, was I said it with a smile and a humor. It is amazing to basically call someone a moron, and not have to deal with HR. I remember starting my third job, and I was warned about a co-worker who was going to report me to HR if I wasn’t quiet. Right after I was told that, I said “Let them, I have work to get done, and I don’t give a rat’s ass if I get reported, what the worst they can do……Fire me. I’ll pack my shit now if they want me to go.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but that co-worker was in their office and heard everything I said. Funny thing is, I was as loud as usual, and they never reported me to HR or ever said anything to me, but they reported other people around me.
I never really understood, what was going on. But the only thing I could figure, is that since I wasn’t afraid of losing my job, there was no leverage or point of reporting me. I had similar experiences when I started doing work that was outside of my kingdom, because it wasn’t that difficult and it was taking way too long by people who were hoarding the work to protect their job. They would threaten me, and I would tell them to report me, they never would, and after it was done once, that same person never did it again.
I had the head of drafting pull me aside to tell me his drafters had a problem with me. I told him I wanted to get the job done, and if he wanted, we could go to the director of our group and I would gladly hand my project over to someone else. He did not take me up on that offer. I had similar run ins with many people through out my career, many of them I consider friends today.
I did get tired of the office politics and go with one my good friends and co-workers and we started our own company. Even there, I cannot get away from office politics, but it is a little easier to control. The engineering is the easy part, managing people is the real challenge