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Tolerance of other people part 2
In this section I want to talk about work colleagues.
Having mania has resulted in around 90 jobs with 15 professions. I'm now retired. From that 40 years of employment I can tell you that I've now got 2 close friends from those workplaces still in my life. Not many. This to me highlights that seeking compatibility from a work colleague isnt very likely. We meet through working for the same employer not from joining a group sharing the same interests like a hobby or sport. That workplace is the main source of conversation and so when we move on to other jobs we hardly maintain enthusiasm to talk about our old work colleagues and the politics surrounding it.
For this reason to maintain a good level of mental health for your workplace I promote that you keep your distance from other employees. In particular group gatherings like lunch rooms. I've not experienced many lunchrooms where there is lack of toxicity. So what is the alternatives? I'd suggest if you live nearby a good habit is to go home for lunch. I had one colleague that had his favourite spot in a factory corner where he had 2 chairs, one for him and one for his lunch and newspaper. I'd join him at times but he purposely didnt add more chairs as that would defeat the purpose of his preferred isolation.
Another important way to tolerate workmate is not to join them in after hours entertainment. This could be difficult if you are asked as a team to meet for a xmas party for example. My methos (eventually) was to attend for a short time, say 30 minutes and have one drink then slip away. I'd leave many to their choice of buttering up the bosses, getting to know the bosses wife/husband with aspirations that the boss would promote them the next year. It never happened. In fact often the behaviour of some drunken workers at such events or their slip of poor choice of words resulted in them NOT being promoted. The fact is that your private life and the entertainment you like is better served limiting social activities outside working life. Workplace squabbles can be difficult to tolerate.
You want to avoid a workplace that mentally, you end up distressed.
I have a different perspective on this one, and I suspect it has to do with the workplace and the people within it. When I started at a new workplace, my new work colleagues had a rule that they would all stop for lunch at 12:30pm and eat together. As a relatively solo individual, I hated this new rule and resisted it for months. I would make excuses to eat at my desk or go to the shops as that was “my time” and i didn’t want to spend it with my colleagues. But gradually over time I started joining them and I had so many interesting conversations about different topics I never would have come across otherwise. Over time I actually found myself looking forward to our 12:30pm chats. When I was going through a particularly difficult breakup, it was one of the few things I looked forward to in the day, just being able to laugh and talk about other things and joke with people who didn’t know what was going on in my life was a welcome relief. It obviously depends on the people you work with, but I think seeing people every day can really establish a bond and it’s often with people who you never would have considered otherwise. For sure I agree that you should limit your interactions with toxic people (at work and everywhere else), but I don’t think you should necessarily close yourself off to everyone as you may miss out on some really good people.
Unfortunately it isn't my experience and the cliques really got to me. But most of my colleague were male in the security industry and not the comforting type lol
. Regardless I hope others join in to give us their workplace experience.
I’m glad you didn’t take my alternate perspective as a disagreement, but rather in the spirit of lively debate that it was intended 🙂 I can certainly understand the desire to shelter yourself from toxic individuals in the workplace, it certainly is it’s own special kind of hell having to be subjected to it day in and day out with little chance of escape. I’ve worked at some places that were very reminiscent of high school. Which makes working at a place with lovely people all the more appealing when you find them, I tend to stay at those companies for years, until any incoming bad apples spoil the bunch. I now work from home (for an overseas team) who only contact me when there’s a problem, so I may also be romanticizing the human interaction side of things! I’d love to hear other people’s experiences though
When I use to work. That was in a hospital, you are interacting and with people all the time
At lunch time I found I needed to be by myself. Sort of to recharge. Plus lunchtime with other work colleagues was a social thing. And I am uncomfortable in social situations.
I avoid lunch-gatherings and I also dread work social events. Other than the annual Christmas party and end-of-financial-year party, recently they've been doing bigger things for staff farewells like go-karting and laser-tag (which I did not attend). Since we've all been working from home due to covid, I decided not to be anti-social for once and attended the most recent Christmas party. Very surprised that I actually enjoyed seeing everyone and felt a sense that I've missed the people I work with.
Finding the courage to say no to social events can be challenging. I have to stop myself from worrying about what others may think. I just keep reminding myself - I'm doing my job well and making money for the company, full stop!
What has always amused me as an employee is the expectations of management that you should attend an after hours event for free. It was my free time!
That's a bit off topic though.
I do think that having lunch alone out of sight usually means you aren't the topic of gossipers.