How to deal with assholes at work? 13 replies

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random_soldier1337

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#11 1 month ago

Thanks. It really means a lot that you would take out the time to address me so personally. And I couldn't agree with you more.

One of the big troubles that has been is it seems like one's network influences their opportunities in the field a lot. That is where the aping behaviour and trying to fit in comes from. I don't want to seem aloof by being quiet but I have no better idea of what they would prefer to talk about, if I do so. Frankly, apart from that and given interaction till now, I don't really care to interact. That isn't to say I wouldn't interact with them if they initiate conversation or needed help with something but apart from that, I think I would work more efficiently not caring to go out of my way to speak to them. Not to mention I don't really care for gossip, which constitutes most of the conversations.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#12 3 weeks ago

Ah, networking. I did wonder whether to do anything on and around that. Networks are immensely useful in any line of work, but as conventionally practised there are some questionable aspects of it, even professionally. Insofar as you do network, it's probably going to make more sense to look for groups that share your interests than it is to heavily invest in the people you're talking about:


There's a bunch of stuff on and around networking that's can be developed as a skill to get effective behaviour. If one were new to it and practising networking, (and university isn't a bad place to get that practise,) it would probably be useful to listen to what people need - try and work out what they feel and what need of theirs that's based on. Do that with a wide range of people, that's one of the advantages of university. Listen to what people are talking about and try to work out why. That's extremely useful once you're actually in a workplace.

Hope you're doing better :) 




Last edited by Nemmerle 3 weeks ago

Adrian Tepes Forum Mod

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#13 3 weeks ago

*sigh*  Behavior is...very tricky.  People come from all walks of life learning innumerable habits that affect they way they treat others.  On the issue of friendship, I think maybe you expect too much from other people; specifically your fellow grad students.  I say this not because I think you're at fault; you seem like a very empathetic person.  I just think you may be projecting this feeling onto others who do not share that level of empathy.  And, unfortunately, this is a detriment to your experience.  Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle formed schools whereby their students were strongly encouraged to be not just colleagues, but mutually supportive comrades.  It was considered correct to be not just a fellow student, but also a "friend" in the sense that you challenged each other to become better; nay, the best you could be.

But you likely understand that in a world where grad students are facing FIERCE competition just to remain in their programs, the incentive to cooperate is somewhat diminished.  I can also speak from experience that people I thought were my friends were simply using me for their own gain.  But that is what happens because friendship is not something that happens just by virtue of you knowing someone at work or school.  It's something that takes time to develop based on shared interests and experience.  Most of our work colleagues are simply acquaintances who will interact with you so long as it is convenient.  When you are no longer convenient, there is no longer an incentive to work with you or be nice to you.

I've even found myself wondering why people call me their friend when all I do is work for a living in close proximity.  Sure, we may have interesting conversations, but that is largely a byproduct.  It's a similar experience to soldiers who form strong bonds while deployed overseas or in training.  You're all in the same boat, so you cling to what is important.  But, when that condition is removed, there really isn't any perfectly-solid reason to sustain such a relationship.  That said, if you and others have gone through a tough time and you both mutually supported each other and found a positive relationship, that is wonderful.  But if someone who went through it with you and primarily used you and despises talking to you after the fact...it's not such a leap to consider that person is at best manipulative and at worst a sociopath.  The point is: you need neither feel personally responsible nor lose any sleep over anyone who chooses to act negatively to your positivity.   I spent far too much time worrying about other people's malice before I realized it's not worth your own happiness.


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



Last edited by Adrian Tepes 3 weeks ago

random_soldier1337

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#14 2 weeks ago
Posted by Nemmerle

Ah, networking. I did wonder whether to do anything on and around that. Networks are immensely useful in any line of work, but as conventionally practised there are some questionable aspects of it, even professionally. Insofar as you do network, it's probably going to make more sense to look for groups that share your interests than it is to heavily invest in the people you're talking about:


There's a bunch of stuff on and around networking that's can be developed as a skill to get effective behaviour. If one were new to it and practising networking, (and university isn't a bad place to get that practise,) it would probably be useful to listen to what people need - try and work out what they feel and what need of theirs that's based on. Do that with a wide range of people, that's one of the advantages of university. Listen to what people are talking about and try to work out why. That's extremely useful once you're actually in a workplace.

Hope you're doing better :) 

Thanks. Yeah I'm doing better. I just happen to have a bad spell every so often.




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