Do your best at work! Be yourself! Bring it on! Oh really? While thinking more about those usual advises from family and friends, I couldn’t help to be sceptical.
Seven years ago, I was a fresh graduate from college. The working world isn’t really that new to me because I had been working in an office while studying. After graduation, a job was already waiting. I could still remember how overwhelmingly happy I was. I was excited.
Everything and everyone was pleasant at first until a week later. I could suddenly feel a sense of dislike from my co-workers. I did not mind because I was too eager to work. I love working. I love doing something in the computer. I love making presentations. I love talking in front of many people. Everything at work, I do with all my passion. I did not care if I was at a starting salary rate even though I badly needed a good income right then.
A week later at work…
My senior isn’t really that willing to help
I was told by the owner himself that a senior co-worker would orient me about the flow in the company and to help me get on with my first tasks. There are really no words needed to say to figure out how she was unwilling. Piles of work are placed in my table and she constantly tells me she was busy. She spends about less than 5 minutes to do the “teaching” and that’s it.
A co-worker suddenly did not want to talk to me
That co-worker has tendered her resignation already, she’s just doing the turn-over while I was still new. I will be her replacement. Somebody chatted me in the office gmail, that I should not take her tasks from her because truly she’s still undecided and maybe she would rebuke her resignation. Honestly, I cannot do that. The owners expected my output. I cannot just stop working because she still couldn’t make up her mind.
Bypassing a senior employee’s authority
I was called out in private by a senior co-employee that I am bypassing his authority because I was accepting tasks from the owners. Really? They are the owners. They are definitely my senior co-employee’s bosses too. I think, I should call the situation as the owners bypassing his authority. Did I mention that the owners are quite happy with how I was doing so far?
My emails were read
Somebody told me that my private conversation with my boyfriend that time was read by a co-worker through my email. I don’t know how she learned my password but yeah, she did. She talked about my private conversation with my then boyfriend with other co-workers just like in a conference. At this time, one of the owners keeps on soliciting my ideas and respected them. I was constantly called in the conference room to discuss important matters in the company. I was even made to check the works of my other co-workers.
I got blamed by a co-workers resignation and demotion
I was doing well at work with my bosses. Along with this, I was experiencing awful treatments from most of the people in the office. Somebody got fired. Somebody got demoted. They said it was because of me. They thought that I am feeding bad gossips to the bosses about their performances every time I speak to them. I did not. I never would. Maybe until now, those people still thought that I did. Nobody corrected it. I also did not make an effort.
What I did…
I held my ground through all those things no matter how it was heart breaking. This is what I did to get through the bullying and become respected in the end.
1. I apologized
I did, even though I felt that I did not deserve all the bad treatments I still wanted to make them feel that I did not mean offense.
2. I did not quit
I came to think more about quitting because of the toxic environment that I am in, no matter how I love my work. I felt that I am constantly in the edge of quitting. I would think then of my dreams and how I came there in the first place. I thought how I was entrusted and praised for the way I worked on my tasks. I thought of all the good reasons. It worked.
3. I focused on my work
Despite all the negative talks I focused on my work. I put all my efforts to keep doing a great job instead of entertaining office gossips.
4. I rephrased my suggestions.
When you are in the verge of excitement about trying a new idea, tendency would be, you would come bursting out your thoughts. This might be a good thing to your bosses but it won’t be to the people that surround you. I started to calm myself when suggesting for me not to appear too eager. I patiently wait for a good chance. I put efforts to construct well my words to avoid offence to anyone most especially when I was in a meeting.
5. Stick to the truth
No matter how office gossips or bullying get through me sometimes, I stick with my truths. I did not exaggerate. I tell the truth when ask. I do not talk if not necessary. I avoided sharing. Sometimes, you could feel the need to exaggerate just to put emphasis on the matter at hand but really, it does greater damage than help.
6. Never talk against anyone
I hated it when it was done to me so I did not do it. I avoided doing it. Chances are, it would reach the concerned person’s ears or it might spread like wild fire and would definitely come back to you.
7. Be kind
This might be cliché but it worked for me. I stayed kind and polite to those people who did me wrong in the office. I was angry of course, but I realized that I should try to step away from the situation. Treat them well if that is how I want to be treated.
It wasn’t perfect
My ways weren’t all done perfectly but it was a start and it helped me survive the workplace gossip and bullying. I was even able to continue doing my best despite of it all. Nothing is permanent. Bad situations always turn around and would eventually change. Do not let it stop you from doing your best and stretching to your full potentials.