Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Good Will

He showed me his new desk, pointing happily to the beautiful view out the window. "This is so much better than working in the basement. I hated spending 8 hours without once seeing natural light," he said.

"I hear things are good for you too? The new boss gave you some big responsibilities? I think it's awesome. I know people can be catty around here sometimes but I think it's great."

Wait, what? Who was being catty? I'm surrounded by really nice people. Did he hear someone say something?
Or hear.
I have spent my entire life avoiding office politics. In my view, everyone is a giant unique snowflake. I am a counselor at heart, really, thrilled for every individual's self-actualization and that counts even at work.
Good things happening to people at their jobs is just part of that; seeing people given opportunities to shine makes me happy. I once passed up a high-profile assignment because I refused to steal it from the original person it was given to (the meeting ended in hugs) and quietly declined a move to a kick-ass location so the coworker next-in-line (who was much more in need of a better desk) could have it. I treat my colleagues like friends.
Our awesome group rapport
It never occurred to me that not everyone would likewise be happy for me.

I get it that not everyone is BFFs on the job but even less positive connections usually fall into one of two categories: not terribly liking the person but respecting their work anyway, or not terribly liking the way someone works but still wanting good things for them as a person.

I didn't ask what he heard or who said it, I don't want to know. Unsavory behavior usually stems from fear, maybe from wondering what effect will emerge on the dynamic long-term or whether or not one's efforts will be recognized and appreciated. These usually shake out with time anyway, when it's clear that the changes are positive. (Hopefully they are positive -- if not, they can't sustain themselves, right?)

So I will continue to be inclusive and root for all and hopefully good will shall be returned.


  1. Good for you!
    I don't play office politics either. I give credit to the person that had the idea when I pass it on, and I don't badmouth anyone.
    Just leave me alone and let me do my ob.

  2. Well-done, ElGuap -- that's my philosophy too. ::fistbump::

    I'll never forget the thing that most made an impression when I went to a talk at the Air & Space Museum a number of years ago -- I noticed the speakers, when thirsty, didn't just grab their water and guzzle it. They checked their companion's glass to see if it needed refilling first. It really moved me.

  3. Oops, I don't think I spelled "well done" correctly. Can't edit a comment. Ugh!

  4. Also glad to see your inter-office philosophy, and insight. Can only hope it carries forward (i.e. others see reason and emulate)