Tuesday, 12 January 2010

On Divide & Rule Tactics in the Workplace

I love my job. It has never really paid well, but it's in publishing, and I get to speak to people all over the world every day - which is something I really enjoy.

But I think that no matter how perfect your job seems, there's always something (or someone) at work that winds you up. When a colleague left last year, they weren't replaced and their workload was shared out. This was fine. Then it happened again. Then other people decided they couldn't make it into the office anymore and would have to work from home. So you get to a point where everyone's struggling under an Atlas-like burden - and this is when a group of us bonded over HOW UNFAIR LIFE IS and began to share our world-of-work woes over drinks on a fairly regular basis. The Fellowship of the Moan was born.

Now, I think the Big Cheeses noticed this dissention in the ranks. Perhaps we moaned to loud, or huffed and puffed too much, I don't know. At the beginning of the week they called some of us into (separate) meetings for 'a chat'. This chat was about them deciding to give us more money. What now? Yes. More. I didn't see it coming and was gushingly grateful - but alas, not all of the Fellowship of the Moan had a meeting. Three of us did, one of us didn't. Truth be told, she's probably on more than us anyway, but I feel really bad now. She asked what my meeting was about, and I made up this half-arsed, totally transparent lie about how they just wanted to say thanks...and I feel awful. I keep telling myself I shouldn't worry - I've been told not to say anything, but I feel like such a hypocrite. A week ago we'd all moan about how they didn't know how much we had to do and now the we has been broken up and we're all looking after number one.

I'm not being ungrateful - God knows I need the money - it's just awkward. The Fellowship has disbanded. I'm working later and moaning less and the atmosphere is a little less strained. It's a sad indictment on my personality that all you have to do to shut me up is throw money at me.

What. A. Whore.

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