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Five signs you are in a toxic office

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posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 12:11 PM
Toxic doesn't even begin to explain my work situation. I'm a front desk clerk at a poorly-managed hotel, and things are run beyond a muck. There is little to no communication between manager and staff, nobody listens to the supervisor, we're always short staffed, brand new staff get paid the exact same or more than 2-yr employed staff (myself), the customers treat you like sh*t because the managment is so bad, people walk all over you expecting discounts an accommodations out the ass. Working to serve other people really wears down a person and I have really come to hate serving the public. I enjoy office work, but I do not enjoy customer service. People really have no respect and insanely high expectations these days.

posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 01:17 PM
reply to post by clairvoyantrose

Yeah, I hate the expression "the customer is always right" because it's stupidly untrue. The customer knows they can take advantage of their position and often do. The only person I have to pander to is my boss, thankfully, and he's not a bad guy.

I actually have some respect for him, because I've witnessed him making decent, ethical decisions. He could take advantage of people a lot more than he does, but he's got a human side.

Unfortunately for him, he must deal with the "customer", I don't want to give too much away about my job, I work for a company that supplies contractors (me and my colleagues) to railway stations to do various types of work, mostly line and station maintenance, but we've been asked to do more unusual things on occasion. Nothing dodgy or anything, all above board...nothing interesting, either, just the odd job that's outwith our typical duties/tasks.

Usually, if my boss has an issue with a customer it's something that we (his employees) did wrong, thankfully it doesn't happen often and we have a reasonable respect for one another and a good relationship. If I screw up, he knows I'll be honest and we can sort it out. If the customer says I screwed up and I say I didn't, he knows I'm being straight with him and he's got some backbone, he'll back his boys up.

There's been a few incidents over the years that caused some problems, a rather serious one involving an old friend of mine who lost his job - he was at fault, though...any incidents where I had some involvement were relatively minor and resolved quickly and amicably, but there's been the odd occasion where we've been dragged into situations that were nothing to do with us, quite maliciously and vindictively I might add, but I can't go into it much. The customer is in prime position to take's a negotiation more than direct bartering, but it happens.

The general public are far worse, I worked in a shop when I left school and hated it, people can be really insulting and condescending, they often think that trading their money for some goods or a service also buys them the right to talk to you like you're the muck on their shoes...I never saw it that way, and didn't pander to it, either...neither does my boss, so he's a good guy I guess.

I'm lucky in many ways with regards to my job, I spend most days in Edinburgh or Glasgow, either on the road, on the lines or in the stations. We meet regular office 9-5 types in the stations but we don't know them that well with the exception of 1 or 2, strangely it's always mostly people we've never seen sitting around, you get the odd familiar face but every time we nip into their canteen there's usually some faces we don't know who will be gone the next time we're on site. I report back to HQ and that's when we see out own office staff, some of whom I will have a gab and catch up with, but not often and usually not in hte mornings when I'm "surly" (so I've been told).

These are the guys who are mostly ok, they fake an interest in my life, ask about my weekend, my private life, they listen and pretend to care and I graciously return the favour. They're the ones who tell other people what you tell them, usually it's all innocent, regular people trying to break the monotony of a boring day by telling another person something quite inconsequential - the other person faking an interest and pretending to care.

To be honest I often find conversations with most people at work to be kind of awkward, it's me, though. There's few people I can chat to comfortably and that know me on a more personal level...3 people to be exact, and yes - one of them is my boss. The only ones I have issues with is 2 females who are actually quite lewd, they accuse me and my team of being all kinds of sordid things, no joke - they're worse than men, it's all a bit of fun but it irritates me. Their every word uttered at us is sexual in nature but they make us feel like we're perverts, we're not. People think a team of young, kinda rough working guys are walking hormones, most of the guys have partners and kids. I don't like those 2 women much, but they seem to like each other and I suppose it gets them through the day.

With the guys I work with on the lines, etc...we know each other well, I trust them, I have to. We get on well, a close knit team, not many of us, and the last man in was taken on board about 2 years ago, so quite a stable unit. We get on ok, few disagreements, nothing major.

Some people from work will probably know who I am if they read this, but it's unlikely that anyone from work will visit ATS. I've tried making conversation about more obscure topics such as those discussed here on ATS...they don't care, I can tell.

They have their interests, football, etc...and I have mine. They're not sheeple, or idiots, or brainwashed...they just have different priorities and goals in life.

posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 01:18 AM
reply to post by samerulesapply

I do completely understand all that, but I'd just rather not be dismissed by them. If they want to talk to me about an interest they have or a hobby, I'm more than happy to listen, I even enjoy it, seeing people light up over something they genuinely enjoy because you don't really see it that much any more. But if I mention something I'm interested in, I get the 'oh, she's off again' speech. I know not everyone likes their job and you have to do what you have to do to live and provide for your family, but when I'm with the same people day in, day out I find it hard to keep up a conversation because I don't watch TV and that's all they talk about mainly. I didn't mean for my comments to be harsh, but I was sat at work while I typed that and was already wound up by my manager and we don't see eye to eye anyway. He prefers that people sit back and let him bully them and he hates that I don't. It's not what I get paid for and I don't treat people like dirt like he does, so I don't expect to be treat like that at work.
It makes me sad really thinking about how many millions of people are doing a job they dislike because they have to. I wish we could all do what we really wanted to do as a career, but that train of thought is usually interrupted by reality.

posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 11:12 AM
reply to post by sarahlm

I know what you mean, sorry...wasn't having a pop at you or anything. You are right, most folks just want a simple life, watch tv and go with the status quo and all that.

I see it a lot too, it used to get to me a bit but I try and let it slide with co-workers, etc. My family and friends are a different matter and I'm more outspoken with them because I kinda hurts me to see them so numb and switched off. Some of them listen to me, and some, like you said, have this kind of "oh, there he goes again, off on another self-righteous rant"

Co-workers are welcome to it. I feel your pain,'s probably best to leave them be. If you listen to them and take genuine interest in what they say and they fail to return the favour, you've done all you can. Sometimes it's bestto let people figure things out for themselves, some might get there...the majority probably won't. At least you tried.

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