March 3, 2014

Cordially Anti-Social

Yeah, that title is a bit of an oxymoron, isn't it?

I originally came up with this post based on that phrase from an e-mail response to a good friend that had asked me the innocuous question, "How's tricks?"

Normally those two words really don't go together.

For example, the 1995 edition of Longman's Dictionary of Contemporary English gives a 2nd definition of the word cordial as thus: An adjective, friendly but quite formal and polite.

The same edition gives the definition of anti-social as thus: 1} unwilling to meet people and to talk to them, especially in a way that seems  unfriendly or rude; 2} an activity that is anti-social does not give you the chance to meet other people; 3} anti-social behavior shows a lack of concern for other people.

Thus when you put both words together, what you ultimately wind up with is what I'm currently practicing at work. And that my friends, is not short term, but long term, or as long as it takes me to get another job at another agency.

For those of you who are curious as to the reasoning behind my apparent attitude change from a relative well-adjusted, if not slightly abnormal, worker bee to one who has turned very bitter and cordially anti-social to everyone within earshot, it's very simple.

I was passed over from a promotion that I sincerely believe that I deserve. Twice. And I'm none too thrilled about the ultimate reason that was given to me for being passed over. For me, not only was it a major slap in the face, but a serious lack of disrespect as well. I busted my butt and gone above and beyond to what my job requires of me, but apparently, having a fantastic work ethic ultimately gets you diddly/squat in the long run.

Having basically read the writing on the wall, I have decided in addition to become cordially anti-social towards my co-workers, that giving maximum effort is counter productive to my well being. Therefore, giving my absolute minimum, which is head and shoulders above everyone else's maximum, is the working phrase of the day.

Believe it or not, there is a silver lining in all of this, which is that basically I'm left alone to my own devices so that I can do my job with zero interference from those who would want to "supervise" me. With subtlety and tact, I managed to let people know just how upset I am over this, without showing overt displeasure (i.e. ranting and raving) towards those who could make my work environment extremely uncomfortable.

While I may like my actual job, where I currently work is not conducive to performing the duties of my job to the best of my ability. I will still continue to get everything that needs to be done, done, as being a slacker goes against my natural grain.

I leave you with this song by Randy Crawford entitled "Windsong" in which to start off your Monday.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I don't know how old you are, but you are getting the royal "We want to squeeze you out and replace you with someone at half your salary" treatment. At least that's what it sounds like to me.

  2. I've been there. At my old job not only was I the best at my position, but I was the only one with a proper college degree. Still, I always got passed over, and eventually I got sick of it and just stopped trying to be social.

    Office politics - one thing I certainly don't miss about working.

  3. Good luck with the job hunt! I hope you find something better where you'll be happier.

  4. G.A.: I'm 48 1/2 and if this was the private sector, you would be correct. However, in the public sector, sometimes you are at the mercy of those who don't/can't see the overall picture. Bribery was tried with me, but the position offered would have resulted in a roughly $250 biweekly cut in pay.

    ABFtS: It's tough surviving office politics. The only time that my work ethic really helped me was at my very first stop on the public sector career trajectory. I had a lot of people go to bat for me in order to get me promoted, or at the very least, made permanent.

    Here, it's just a matter of being truly indispensable as a payroll clerk, and nothing more. I can do it all, but nobody really wants to give me the opportunity to show what I can do.

    Debra: Thanks. It will take some time as there's a slight job freeze on, and when there's an opening, it basically becomes a buyer's market.

    I really do love what I do, but I'm getting tired of doing it w/o any reward.

  5. G, that just plain sucks. From what I have seen of managers at state agencies, they could use some people like you to 1. get some fucking work done and 2. shake some things up.

  6. Hmm that sucks, sounds like you should look for a new job. Feeling bitter and pissed off isn't good for your health. I know all about this!

  7. M: It does suck indeed. And yes, while fresh blood like myself would definitely "shake" things up, in the public sector, that really is a bad thing. They thrive on the status quo, so change of any kind is often met with resistance.

    Joe: I have been actively searching for a new job, but like I've mentioned earlier, its a buyer's market out there.

    And I agree, it isn't good for one's health, which is why I'm slowly retreating into what the post title says. I need to find that proper balance with my health and becoming a loner is about the only way I can accomplish that.

  8. That sucks when performance doesn't matter. Sorry you didn't get the promotion.
    There are days I feel cordially anti-social. That's when the headphones go on and I ignore the world.

  9. Alex: Sadly, that is the way of the public sector. You can proverbially be the man, but unless someone likes you/respects you, you won't ever actually get to be the man.

    Headphones are an excellent solution.

  10. If you want depression, being unappreciated at work is a great way to be there. I hate some folks because they throw extra poop at me all night long, which I'll have to wipe up in order to leave. I prefer not to make a mess to begin with. Young folks punch out before it's done, n I have to do their stuff! You are not alone in being royally screwed over at work- folks are hired for more than I get now, n complain about the amount! I should be the angry one!
    Woops- you go me started!

  11. Snaggle: To be honest with you, I thought I really had it made. In my previous stops, my work ethic and tenacity was what got me promoted (usually you have to take an exam and interview for a promotion), so I thought it would be pretty much the same way.

    Silly me.

  12. I tend to be cordially anti-social if I'm expected to be social.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  13. Arlee: Same here, especially in small get-togethers or family gatherings.

  14. Tough. I sympathise, G. I was recently passed over for a job (not even short-listed!) for a job by an organisation that I have done YEARS of voluntary work and was more than suitably qualified for. People in cosy top jobs don't want people who challenge the status quo, I'm afraid. Keep your head down and put your efforts into your writing:)

  15. Jane: Sadly, this is very true in the public sector as well.


These days, the written word is to die for, so please leave a comment that shows me and everyone else the real you. All kinds of verbiage will be cheerfully accepted in the spirit it was written.