where are they now: update #5 – the office selection challenge

Remember the person wondering if she should choose the office nearer to her boss or nearer to all her colleagues?

Here’s her update:

I’m the one who wrote about choosing an office by my friends or in the nicer area closer to my boss. In the end, I indicated the office I wanted was at the end of the “boss’s” row, and that was agreed upon.

Then I went on vacation.

A co-worker who has significantly less seniority than I, but who is one grade higher, although we both report to the same boss, decided she wanted my office instead of the one she had originally agreed to, next to mine. I think it ended up being minutely smaller than mine, and she is so hung up on status that it made a difference to her. Because I was monitoring my emails on vacation I spotted this right away, and mentioned it to the boss. She said she’d take care of it.

To make a long story short, she strung me along for two months, and when I confronted her about her reneging on the agreement, and the fact that I was there longer, she said the other worker had been really upset so she had to let her keep the office, and would I mind taking the other one. I asked her if I was being punished for something, or if I had done something wrong, and stated that this was a clear indication that the other person was worthy of more consideration than myself, and that thanks, no, I don’t take sloppy seconds and that I would take the other office I had originally been considering. I also told her that I resented that she strung me along, but that I had already wasted enough time being upset, and from that point onwards I would not discuss the situation again and continue to work in a professional manner.

I feel disrespected by my boss, and by my co-worker who knew that office was supposed to be mine but who threw her temper tantrum until she got it.

But, in my job I have great freedom to come and go, with a very flexible work schedule which is far more important to me than office placement. So I have chosen to stay. And I’m closer to the lunch room.

{ 6 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous*

    Seriously? That was your reaction? Get a life. Really.

    Which office you have doesn't matter unless those types of political games carry water in your office. In which case, the entire environment is poisoned. Playing into that game, then, is just as bad… and if a slightly-smaller office is going to make YOU so upset that you're going to pout and "not discuss it any further" – then you should just be happy you have a job. Because if you worked for me, you would have been shown the door.

  2. The Seasick Mermaid*

    The surface issue is about who gets the nicer stuff (and what it signifies). I think an issue to pay attention to is that a coworker "threw a tantrum and got her way," and the boss reacted passively. Is this the usual dynamic at the workplace, or an exception?

  3. Anonymous*

    The issue sounds petty but I think the original poster is referring to some kind of government workplace. Note the mention of the words "seniority" and "grade". Based upon my experience, sometimes the dynamics of government work environments are peculiar. A co-worker openly throwing tantrums and then getting their way as the OP described isn't unusual.

  4. Anonymous*

    I am taking that by seniority you mean longer years of experience / longer time in the company.

    And by grade I am taking that the person earns more than you / has more responsibility.

    Given that you people think office size matters, no wonder the person of higher grade wanted the coveted office. May be she did not realize that the office was up for grabs.

    You, dear person, are also very 'hung up for status' and being a whiny little snot at that. And it was priceless the way you reacted to the boss.

    I wonder if the boss can order a new spine along with the office supplies? I am surprised that that the boss havent written to AAM on advice to handle tantrum throwing whiny employees (x2).

  5. Anonymous*

    Hey, Anonymous above, can you keep the tone a little more civil and respectful? Feel free to disagree and present your opinion, just do it a little more thoughtfully please.

  6. Anonymous*

    I don't think the OP's reaction was whiny at all. As Seasick Mermaid said, it seems that she was less upset about not getting the office (in her OP she seemed pretty equally torn between the two), and more upset that her coworker was able to get her way by being difficult. I would not like to work in an environment where tantrums and being difficult are rewarded and those who react calmly and reasonably are given less compensation.

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