Work Politics**i Hit Edit and It This One!**

Updated on May 18, 2010
C.B. asks from Oskaloosa, KS
13 answers

hello ladies,
yes here i am again. you'd think i have enough drama at home :)

so recently at work i got a promotion. a little background. our company is going through a MAJOR overhaul. positions are being cut right and left, a new COO was brought on to bring us back into the black after several years of being in the red. personally i have been behind it from day #1. i saw a lot of money wasting going on, and i am thrilled to see it coming to an end. things are more efficient, streamlined, just more profitable in general. but of course from day #1 people have been mad at all the changes.

fast forward to a couple months ago, my manager was out with a major illness, my vp (next step up) was out sick. i kinda am one of the employees in my dept that has been around a long time, and suddenly on this day, i found myself leading our department, answering questions, taking charge, even going to the COO when needed. basically running the department in our superiors' absense. apparently this, and my attitude in general (and a lot of other things, this was about three months in the making i found out) caused them to promote me and give me a raise. down side, they demoted my manager and moved her to another area. now i am not making what she did. her duties are split between myself and my vp. but of course a lot of people got upset about this. now fast forward again to present day. i have never been anything but professional and courteous - i am actually nice to a fault. but even i have stopped saying hello to several people in the building, as i have realized that except for a forced "hello" in response to me, they have completely begun giving me the cold shoulder.

i admit to it bothering me. more and more as time goes by. i literally did NOTHING to these people, except have the dubious honor of being in the right place at the right time. yes, one way of looking at it is that i took a beloved manager's place and booted her out. of COURSE i didn't do this deliberately! the company is saving money - her mgmt position is not the only one that has gone byebye. but do people expect that i should have turned this down? we are struggling like everyone - was i supposed to say, no, sorry, i can't take this raise. don't need it. can't accept it. seriously? NO. they wouldn't have.

now it's gotten to the point where one former friend of mine (we had a falling out over other things, over a year ago, but had gotten to where we were civil and more comfortable with each other, until recently) actually made a snarky comment to me yesterday, about how she better not ask the vp anything, the vp only wants to talk to ME. what the heck? i have done nothing to you, people! so now i see that i am the **tch that is the kiss *ss now, so that's how they all see me...

what am i supposed to do with this? i really want to say something. i know i shouldn't. but maybe say something to my vp. a heads up. there is a lot of discontent murmuring going on, one reason i was chosen for this position (which is officially just a lead, not a manager) was because i am fair and i have a good relationship with my department. for the most part THEY respect and admire me. it's people (who have all been here a bit longer, like me) i guess being jealous that i was blessed with this opportunity. and i have to say here, in my own defense - the raise wasn't that much! and i am paying for it dearly. both with the negativity and with a TON of extra work. i realize life isn't fair, and nothing is free...but what can i do about these snarky witches that are just being hateful and mean for NO reason? i hope this doesn' t make me sound like a spoiled selfish child....i am not the confrontational type and i would even say i avoid it at all costs, being nice when i maybe shouldn't be....i just don't understand treating a coworker (who has gone out and had drinks, done outside of work stuff, in the past) like this. especially the ones who i was never terribly close to but always cordial. with. i did literally NOTHING to them. one of them is in a completely different department, didn't even start giving me the cold shoulder (which has gone on for a month now) until a night out drinking (i wasn't there) when someone blabbed that i got a raise. nothing else has changed, she just found out i got a raise, when the company hasn't given raises in general in like three years. not my fault! in fact i am working my a** off to FIX that problem, make the company more profitable, and get THEM their raises. it's all so annoying.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

immature, maybe...naive more likely. i just can't get over the fact that people are so self absorbed and can't see past the end of their own noses. i am of the "can't we all just get along?" variety, definitely! oh well. i feel better after venting, so thank you. and i found out today (without "tattling", just doing some very subtle question asking) that my vp already knows what's up with these ladies. so i have no worries. she actually approved for us to do more communicating over email with these people (not ones i work directly with) instead of me having to go talk to them face to face. i said that some dont' take my direction too kindly considering the circumstances...and she knew exactly what i meant, and understood. so she is on my side which is awesome! and there have been issues with these same women before too. so i feel more confidant. i just smiled all day today - knowing that they can't win. i've already won :) thanks ladies!

More Answers


answers from Chicago on

Rise above the pettiness! Develop some thicker skin. I know it's hard, but just smile and wave.

I would say good morning to everyone - regardless of how I felt about them. I always hated managers that would not. Now, if you are truly in a supervisory position, you can pull the trouble maker aside and say something like, "I understand you are unhappy with my promotion, would you like to talk about it?" And let them talk. Then say, "I really appreciate your comments and point of view. I hope you can get past this negativity and see that I'm working hard to make sure our company succeeds - you should too."

Remember, your company is like a tree full of monkeys. Some monkeys are younger and climbing to the top of the tree, some monkeys are older and making their way down. The monkeys at the top of the tree look down and see smiling faces. The monkeys on the bottom of the tree look up and all they see are a**holes.

Above all, be gracious - people are looking up to you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

It is a very common thing, most people once promoted find it very hard to maintain relationships with prior peer workers. You must remember that with every step you take forward, there will be 10 people saying you didn't get there the right way. Just remember that YOU are the one the company acknowledged to be doing a great job, and YOU deserve the credit. So hold your head up high and follow the straight and narrow path to success. CONGRATULATIONS!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I responded to the other O.--ooops--but after reading this version, my advice is the same.
Keep your nose to the grindstone, earn that raise every day and display yourself as manager material by NOT caving to the office politics and rumor-mill. Get used to biting your tongue. No need to mention ANYTHING to your VP. Most likely she/he knows exactly what's going on. It's not uncommon for morale to plunge during a shakeup like that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

A negative work environment is not good for anyone. Do not go and complain about it because it makes you look weak to your superiors. Instead develop something that will bring back "job joy" to everyone.

Take a look around your community and see where you can get involved. Gather the details and a strategy and take it back to your company as a possible PR event. For instance, our local zoo has an annual "Zoo Run." I got the registration forms, found a place to make us team T-shirts, and organized a team. People could choose to run competitively or in the 1 mile family run with or without their kids. It was lots of fun, good PR, and, a great way for employees to interact (and even meet each other's family) outside of work.

There are lots of oppurtunities out there. Focus on the positive and find somewhere else for people to focus their energy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Your company has approved your behavior in the form of a promotion and a raise. Co-workers are jealous and or envious and those emotions are not going to help them in a work place that's competitive and laying people off left and right. Sometimes the only way to improve morale is to fire all the unhappy people (and I've seen company s effectively fix the problem exactly in this way). There are plenty of people who are hungry for jobs who'd be more than happy to fill any vacancies. Be yourself. Treat everyone cordially in a business like manner. Their attitude is only hurting themselves.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I answered on the other one... my answer still stands. Don't lower yourself to their level. Keep your chin up and your eyes forward. Be nice. Say hello. Be cordial.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Don't lower yourself to their level. Continue to be the better person. Look them in the eye when you walk by and say hi. Since most of these people are not in your immediate department don't worry about them. It will wear off eventually. I always tell my husband and kids to say a prayer before going to work. Ask for protection from the negativity thrown your way and for continued blessings. Your gonna be fine. CONGRATULATIONS ON DOING A GOOD JOB!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

i wouldn't say anything to the VP. then you'll be a spoiled brat going to the boss complaining about people.
it happened and nothing you can do about it. if i were you i'd try to mend relationships, because if everyone ends up hating you, and making formal complaints about you (trust me you'll be under magnifying glass by other employees), and every screw up will be talked about if not reported.
now, i don't know, about the old boss being demoted and moved to another department, and you being promoted. considering there are others who have been long term employees. do you see their side? they're jealous, and rightfully so. you just happened to be at the right place at the right time, what if someone else was at the right place and the right time? you wouldn't have taken it easy either.
also most promotions come with a raise, that's why others think you got a raise. salary talks are forbidden and frown upon so you can't go and say i got nothing, maybe you got nothing now, but when the economy turns around you'll get your monies worth.
you do sound immature in this post. i am not saying you're immature but develop a backbone., not everyone is going to like you always. they never will, and in this case, you know the reason. do the best you can do, and do not put people on the map with the VP. that will come bite you in the back
good luck


answers from Dallas on

Congratulations. I hope vented helped.
I will just say what I tell my boys. Do your best to be yourself and do the right thing no matter what the people around you are doing. Don't let others' attitudes determine yours. It sounds like this is what your are doing.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Congratulations on your promotion, first of all! You're obviously the right one for the job. As for the drama, I know it's tough, but don't sweat it. Perseverance is the best and most effective strategy; keep saying 'hi', keep doing your job, and don't join their catty game. You can't change them, you can only control your own actions & responses; eventually they'll either come around or find a new target for their bitterness. Or perhaps get fired as the higher-ups realize how such a poisonous work environment affects their bottom lines. Either way, you'll win.

You might also up the amount of time you spend with non-work friends. Go see a great movie, go out to dinner at your favorite restaurant, go out dancing or to the zoo or whatever gives you joy. If your house of worship has a summer camp for kids, volunteer with them and help make silly messy crafts and dance like a crazy person. Basically, remind yourself that your life has many sources of pleasure and enjoyment, and when compared with such fullness of joy, other people's petty complaints seem awfully little.



answers from Dallas on

Congrats on your promotion. It sounds like there is a lot going on with your company and people are concerned about their jobs. In this day in our economy that is tough. My response is for those that have been your friends in the past and have changed, talk to them. These people also know that since you have been elevated to supervisory that you also have control over whether they stay, leave or even get a raise. Good luck tho and talk to those who have been your friends and rise about the office politics that can be tough. Some will be ok as time goes on, others well....



answers from New York on

If you are their supervisor you should definitely speak up. Even if you are not their supervisor I would probably if possible get them all in a room together and call them out for their behavior. I would probably keep it light when I did but I would definitely call them out. Something like "Guys, you have got to be kidding with the "Blah, blah, blah"."

In any event, continue to be the best worker you can be by being pleasant, polite, effective and efficient but this childishness needs to stop because it will effect performance or may even cause some sabotage to happen too. After this conversation has happened, brush the dust off and keep it moving. You have to do your job and help them where you can to be more like you in their work effort.

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