What I know about workplace politics

First of all I want to avoid the term office politics – after hearing it multiple times, we, autistics could assume that as long as we don’t work in an office we will be free from that. Believe me, care homes can be full of workplace politics too.

So, in a comment under my last post I, quite naively stated that people must do workplace politics because they’re bored. Only then another blogger’s comment made me think that possibly I’m wrong so I went to check it on Wikipedia and I found out the purpose of workplace politics is personal gain! I was quite shocked by that and needed time to process it, that’s why I didn’t post for a few days.

Obviously it wouldn’t be right to state that I don’t understand the purpose of workplace politics at all. I understand, and even appreciate some of it, like for example if someone wants to get promoted and they behave professionally at all times – that makes a lot of sense to me and it is certainly a behaviour that needs to be encouraged, even for people who don’t want a promotion.

At a push I could say I understand laughing at your boss jokes, even if you don’t find them funny. This is probably not something that I would do as I find pretending on demand difficult, it’s also possible I wouldn’t even get the fact my boss is trying to be funny but I am OK-ish with the fact that other people decide to react this way. I say OK-ish because I believe if everyone stopped laughing at crap jokes the boss would eventually stop making them and that would make everyone focus on work, but I kind of understand that neurotypical people may want to handle the situation differently.

What I don’t understand is more complicated than that and I really thought it’s done because of boredom, at least in situations when one doesn’t want a promotion. I always imagined it like that: the person wakes up on Monday and thinks to themselves: OK, so this week I’ll be nice to A and will be ignoring B. Next week I’ll do the opposite and see what comes out.

Because, seriously, what can be achieved by this type of behaviour? Only, possibly, a label of a person who’s difficult to work with. But here you are, Wikipedia states those behaviours are always for personal gains. What makes it even more difficult to understand is that this is never discussed openly: even if I talk to a colleague who knows what’s going on, they won’t tell me so I won’t be able to understand the situation at hand and also to use that as experience to understand similar situations in the future.

What is very disadvantageous about being autistic, in comparison with other disabilities, is the fact that no one can be requested to stop using social skills only because we don’t understand what they are doing. That is really not nice.

That looks a bit like two people not talking to each other

Regarding other things in my life, I feel like a bad daughter again because I didn’t call my mum’s care home, when the manager asked me. She asked after I transferred some pocket money for mum without agreeing with the manager first (I thought I didn’t have to, it’s a long story, you can read it here https://autisticandme.com/2021/11/03/who-would-you-call-an-excellent-communicator/ but only if you really want to as it really is long and, if you’re not Polish, you may have difficulties to understand some parts of it, although if you’re neurotypical, you may actually understand it well and it’s only me, the autistic one, who underestimates you).

So, the manager emailed me to say the money I transferred over have to be allocated towards the care home fees and asked me to call her. But she already stated what she wanted so what was the purpose of that phone call? I’ll just reduce the next payment accordingly, there’s no need to talk any more. So I didn’t call. Quite frankly I am scared of that woman. I was even seriously considering moving mum somewhere else, just to avoid the manager for the future, but this is quite silly, so I abandoned that idea and instead decided to just feel like a bad daughter.

The Boyfriend already started wondering what we will be doing for Christmas but I think, if I get a booking as a live in carer, I’d rather work. Honestly, I was off work for quite long so I don’t even enjoy the idea of celebrating Christmas, it seems like just another day, the only difference is loads of food so we agreed that if it comes to that we’ll just celebrate on a different day.

It took my three days to recover after my two warehouse shifts and I only started having normal energy level yesterday around lunch time, although I am now wondering, maybe it was the thinking about workplace politics that took all the energy away from me, who knows? Trying to understand other people behaviour is tiring at best of times.

2 responses to “What I know about workplace politics”

  1. What’s frustrated me about workplace politics in places where I’ve worked is that being good at one’s job matters far less than agreeing with people in power.

    Whenever I’ve started a new job, I’ve always found the first week or so very tiring, regardless of the characteristics of the job. I think that process of getting adjusted at first requires extra energy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, that definitely requires more energy.

      Liked by 1 person

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