I’m sorry I don’t have a picture or a roadmap to draw for you, but here’s the situation: I’ve talked about the company I work for before, about the politics that run deeply throughout the institution. I’m an outsider of the group because I was hired by another outsider and I don’t really have a lot of patience for the “cool kids”. He hired a few of us, and with a couple exceptions, we are all outsiders. This person is going to be leaving us soon for medical reasons, and I don’t expect to see him back. I’ll probably be gone before he could even come back anyways.
Well, one of the big-wigs who has never liked him has been trying to steal loyalty from his people. I have no problem with that part of it; I would try to win influence if I were her too. It seems to be working with a couple of my friends there. One of them has been making the shift in loyalty for a little while. Here’s where the problem comes in. The boss that is trying to gain loyalty has screwed over all of us outsiders several times, and hides behind her position when questioned. The boss that is leaving has many, many flaws, but he does reward those who are loyal to him when he can.
The big-wig has instructed one of my friends to send her a copy of any emails between her and the other boss. She has also stated that, even though my friend answers directly to the other boss, she needn’t do everything he says, and to clear things through her first. The bosses also frequently disagree about how business should run. To further screw things up, she has blamed the other boss for things that may or may not have been his fault, and has intimated that he is the cause of my friend not advancing to where she believes she should be.
I’ve told my friend that she needs to get out of this situation as soon as possible if she wants to keep her job, and more importantly, her reputation, intact. She is in a bad spot. Unfortunately for my friend, the big-wig and her flunky has also made a point to suggest that associations with me are not good things either. Now she doesn’t know where to turn, or even who it is safe to talk to.
The kicker is when the big-wig asked for my friend to BCC her on any emails between my friend and her boss. In and of itself, this doesn’t sound that bad, but she already gets a copy of EVERYONE’S email due to her position in the company. This is just a way to put the thumbscrews to the other boss unnecessarily.
The point here is office politics kills careers. There are always people that are just going to beat you, whether because of their position, yours, or just because they are better at the game. The only thing you can do is to get out of the situation, stay away from the games, and if you somehow start getting stuck in a situation, RUN AWAY. Once you get stuck, it is harder to get out.