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Dealing with the office power trip.

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  • Dealing with the office power trip.

    I feel like every company I've worked at I've had to deal with at least one "power trip," i.e. someone, usually a woman, who;

    a. Has a psychotic obsession with being the center of attention.

    b. Is irritating, annoying, and constantly in everyone else's business.

    c. Gossiping, judgmental, and constantly putting others down.

    d. Forms social cliques and, in doing so, make's the workplace awkward for everyone except for her chosen favorites.

    c. Has no interest in what anyone else has to say unless the speaker can shed attention onto her.

    d. Has zero accountability. Never takes blame for any issue but diverts it onto someone else or avoids altogether even when she is blatantly responsible.

    e. Spends the majority of her workday socializing - out loud so everyone can hear how popular she is.

    f. Distracting, causes brain fog, inability to focus on tasks at hand. Makes work more difficult.

    Does anyone understand what I'm dealing with? She's usually loud and obnoxious and want's to be the center of attention. She speaks loudly although she usually has nothing to say - she just wants to be heard. When someone else has something to say or the attention shifts away from her, she tunes them out, talks over them to someone else, takes out her cell phone, or leaves the room entirely - she has no interest in anyone else unless the other person speaking is bringing attention onto her.

    I feel like I've had to deal with this woman at nearly every place I've worked and they seem to becoming more and more common with the "Mean Girls" phenomena. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
    Last edited by Protagonist; 10-27-2016, 02:26 AM.

  • #2
    Your boss?

    If not, not your problem.

    Shifting accountability only works if the person being dumped on lets themselves be dumped on. If it's a matter of you said-she said, document your backup argument. When in a conference situation be on point and speak to the leader of the conference. Do not care if someone else's feelings are hurt because you've stolen their spotlight.
    Do your job.

    As for causing brain fog? Yours? That is your problem. Stop worrying about other people's social issues. I know, easier said than done but if you can drop it instead of worrying on it like a dog gnawing a bone, you will find a way to work around it.

    Here's a question. And it's going to sound sexist, which is quite risky these days.
    How do the men in your office deal with her? Take a cue from them, if possible. Most guys, you might find, tend to go from heated argument to best friends in the space of an hour. Two hours later, any words said are likely forgotten. I've found that women will hold a grudge for days, weeks, years, decades even. Still, there might be something to be learned there.

    Gotta say though, I have no long term personal experience with such. They wouldn't last long here. Any one of the bosses sees right through that crap real fast. You can mess stuff up and own up to it real quick so it can be fixed, but if you hide it or blame it on others, buh bye.

    One of my friends works in such a situation as you describe though and talks of it occasionally, but she's the type that doesn't take crap from anyone, and the office b!tches know it. LOL. She's also my age (ie really old, but don't tell her I said so!) Maybe that makes a difference too.


    • #3
      Adding my own slant to a few of PD's points...

      Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
      Do your job.
      Adversity comes in many forms. The behavior of another person should be the least of them.

      Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
      As for causing brain fog? Yours? That is your problem. Stop worrying about other people's social issues.
      Yes, she's annoying, distracting, insufferable. But while the cause of all those effects is external, the effects themselves are happening within you. You don't have to allow it. An old friend of mine with whom I had many philosophical discussions would advise you to "move your assemblage point." Take control of external influences and how they are routed in your psyche. For example, if you consciously choose to be entertained rather than annoyed by her antics, her impact on your state of mind and productivity will be less negative.

      Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
      Any one of the bosses sees right through that crap real fast.
      It really is a poor reflection on the management when someone like her continues to get away with that kind of behavior. It is her supervisor's job to recognize and eradicate such toxic elements in the office environment. As her peers, you and your fellow workers can help this along by gradually but openly treating her presence as a non-factor. You never have to say it outright, but if it becomes obvious to the management there is a common attitude predicated upon the notion that she is of no use to you or anyone else, it could help shift their perceptions.
      I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


      • #4
        Luckily she's not in a supervisory role but I have to work with her as she passes out assignments and serves as the liaison between other employees & departments.

        The other men in the office bust her chops and make fun of her when she's annoying to them. But she's not annoying to everyone all the time - more like to some people sometime.

        The CD will sort of half-jokingly tell her to be quiet. They've known her for much longer so maybe they're "allowed" to do this. They laugh and seem to find her funny in the way fake accents are funny - they're not really funny but people laugh anyway out of politeness for the person making the accent or to break the awkwardness she creates by being so unfunny or self centered.

        I realize the brain fog is internal and, in theory, I should be able to tune her out but even when I put on my headphones on she finds other ways to pester and alienate me.

        She's incredibly self-centered and immature. She's not an only child but her closest sibling is 10 years older than her so she might as well be as having a much older sibling is like having a another parent. Clearly she was raised as the center of attention, as she doesn't like to share the spotlight with anyone and she will behave erratically if anyone challenges her for it even if just temporary.


        • #5
          Sounds like you are holding a lot of negativity towards this individual.

          I know you work along side this woman, but for your mental, physical and spiritual well-being you need to release this negativity from yourself. We've all had people we don't like working with but it hurts us more than it hurts them to have hateful or angry feelings about them.

          Make a conscious effort to not let the actions or words of your co-worker bother you. Focus on your blessings and the positives in your life and laugh about how small this problem really is compared to all those blessings.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Protagonist View Post
            I feel like every company I've worked at I've had to deal with at least one "power trip," i.e. someone, usually a woman...
            In most situations there are people who are unpleasant to be around for whatever reason. As for the ratio between men and women who meet that description, I'd say it's about even for both sexes. Why you're letting is bother you might be the more manageable problem. You can't change other people's personalities. All you do is change how you let them affect you.


            • #7
              calebninja Thanks for the advice. She makes the office very political. For example, I walked into a room one time while she was gossiping about me or someone I knew as immediately stopped talking as soon as I walked in. If I wasn't able to see through her bs I might have been angry with her and the room. But she gossips constantly, more than anyone else I know and sometimes even in ear shot of other people. She even gossips about the nice, pretty, receptionist who everyone loves - probably because she is jealous of her.

              @B Don't get me wrong, I've worked with some phenomenal women and some horrible men. But men and women bully in completely different ways. This is really about the "Mean Girls" phenomena that so many women and feminine men are doing because they think it's cool or attractive or something. In my opinion they just look immature and pathetic but they're doing it nonetheless because they're so desperate they have to idolize Tina Fey because they're incapable to thinking for themselves.


              • #8
                Yes the take over obnoxious person. Dealt with it many times and sad to say there is nothing you can do and she will probably never change. And there will be another one waiting at your next job. The only thing you can do is work your way into management. But I found even after I did that there was still someone under me that had to be the obnoxious person. It's just part of life. A really annoying part of life.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Protagonist View Post
                  This is really about the "Mean Girls" phenomena that so many women and feminine men are doing because they think it's cool or attractive or something.
                  Maybe I'm just oblivious to what goes on around me, but as a male, I've honestly never run into that or, at least, noticed it. There's definitely a different social dynamic in female-female vs. male-male office politics, but I've never tried to analyze it, which probably speaks to my abysmally low social IQ.


                  • #10
                    In my experience, more people are annoying to each other than not in unique ways. It has to do with how they use their unique powers. While one might be annoying because of their power to manipulate the social environment through gossip, others might be annoying in their power to manipulate the workflow, their power to stand in the way of progress. And one person's progress is another person's regress. The gossiper is the one who is more open about what they find annoying in other people. But there are many people who are secretly annoyed by different things other than gossip. Some people are annoyed by people who are too quiet and withdrawn. Some people are annoyed by people who have different work ethic for better or worse. Some people are annoyed by people who seem to be easily annoyed.

                    When you step back in look at the big picture of office politics, it's all about conflicts of interests and how they are managed or ignored. You might find that the people who you trusted the most were more in conflict with you than the ones you were most annoyed by and suspicious of. You could drive yourself crazy just trying to figure out who you should trust. The best thing you can do is what you were hired to do to the best of your abilities and hope that it's good enough for you to keep your job or advance. And then you might still annoy someone, because you can't please everyone.
                    Last edited by designzombie; 10-29-2016, 04:00 PM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by designzombie View Post
                      And one person's progress is another person's regress.
                      This maybe true in war but in industry someone's progress is usually for the betterment of everyone i.e. Henry Ford's achievements in automotive were great for great for everyone, even his competitors who can use what they learn from his innovations to better themselves.

                      I agree that all isn't fine and dandy without her around. People wont start cheering for me and worshipping the ground I walk on if she leaves. But I have worked in places where the power trip didn't exist and it was much better.

                      For example, at one of my favorite studios, the recruiters and HR were smart enough to weed out the "Mean Girls" power-trips or avoid hiring them altogether. As a result of this I never really felt alienated. I enjoyed coming to work and I felt comfortable talking to everyone. I can honestly say I never really heard gossip about anyone except for a few rare occasions.

                      The company I'm with now there are two "Mean Girls." They gossip constantly. I always feel like I'm being judged and I'm never really comfortable talking to my own colleagues. At the end of the day I'm just happy I have a job and I'm able to pay my bills but my concern is that the Tina Feys of the world are normalizing and making cool a really annoying and toxic behavior.


                      • #12
                        There is always someone like this, people usually see through them pretty quickly, you can bet that if you've recognized this, others will have too. The trick is to zone them out and not let them get to you. You can't control other people gossiping about you but you can control if they get to you.
                        It helps that I'm slightly older than the other people where I work, so I don't take any nonsense and don't really care if this kind of person likes me or not. I've known enough of these people to know that she behaves like that because of her own issues.


                        • #13
                          Joey90 I've worked at some places where I didn't really encounter many people like this. She's not the only one like this at the place I work. I have heard that employees are indicative of whatever management is, I'm not sure if that's true. I kind of like to keep to myself, do my work, go home. She likes to be the center of everything, treats work like a family... Maybe we're just polar opposites. I don't like to think of work as anything other than work - it's not a family or social outing to me. I feel a strong pressure at this place to "join the family" it's kind of annoying to me. I just like to do my own thing.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Protagonist View Post
                            - it's not a family or social outing to me. I feel a strong pressure at this place to "join the family" it's kind of annoying to me.
                            Hah. This brings to mind something I find myself saying to my wife more and more often about others we observe or encounter: "They aren't like us; they need people."

                            It's true of some, like a form of social paranoia. To watch them, you could only conclude that spending an hour devoid of human interaction must leave them terrified that everyone hates them, and drives them to drop everything else and strike out in an obnoxious quest for validation.
                            Last edited by HotButton; 11-15-2016, 07:48 AM.
                            I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


                            • #15
                              Classic profile of a Psychopath
                              "After all is said and done, more is said than done."






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