political talk at work is negatively impacting you, how to spend less time in meetings, and more

Over at the Fast Track by QuickBase today, I take a look at several big work-related stories in the news right now: how political talk at work is negatively impacting you, how to spend less time in meetings, and more. You can read it here.

{ 79 comments… read them below }

  1. Charlie

    Funny you should write about pointless meetings on the same day we have our weekly round-robin teleconference where 15 people at a dozen locations tell each other about the projects they’re working on, regardless of the total lack of connectivity between anybody’s work. o_o

      1. Charlie

        Someone asked me yesterday, “is it raining where you’re at, Charlie?” And I said, “No, that’s me typing.”

    1. Dirk Gently

      We had a team meeting recently where the same finance report got mentioned four separate times. There wasn’t anything at all unusual about this report – it’s one of many that we submit quarterly, all in the same format – but somehow it got mentioned in the “any reports submitted?” section of the meeting AND the “any finance news?” section, and then both the PM and the finance coordinator mentioned it in their round-robin updates. I just sat there thinking about the AAM commenter who recently wrote something like “we all sit there inching gradually closer to our deaths as the updates drag on”.

    2. paul

      …..do you have state contracts too? Goodgoddang, these…hell I can’t remember what they’re called. I’m on one right now, on mute.

      Sure we’ll talk about our value added projects and blah blah blah but the state’s already said they’re going to be slow to approve new projects so…

    3. Windchime

      We had a meeting that was over 5 hours this week. I figure that the company paid at least $2500 in salaries to pay us all to sit and listen to the manager chew us out and talk endlessly about vague concepts such as process and failure being a good thing and …zzzzzzzzz. I think we probably could have covered everything in an hour or less.

      1. Charlie

        $2500 is a small price to pay for adaptively leveraging the sum total of our core competencies to think outside the box about how to shorten the tall pole and realize value-added solutions.

    1. TL -

      The group that lunches next to mine always has the most interesting political conversations (we do not; we were talking about different alphabets and languages/pronunciations today.) But whenever there’s a lull in the conversation, we hear something like, “So that’s the value of human life,” and it’s so amusing!

  2. regalbeagle

    I just returned from a 10-day vacation and purposely took the Monday off, even though we got back in on a Sunday. It was very nice not having to do a full week, and I also got to use that Monday to wade through my 1,000 emails at home before I had to do “real work” on Tuesday.

    1. Pwyll

      I always try to do this, as I’m almost certainly exhausted from the travel on Monday and need to “reset”. It’s a great idea.

      1. Temperance

        I had a similar experience, except my flight was cancelled in Phoenix and I had to take a red-eye back to Philly … and go to work on 3 hours of sleep. Not great.

    2. Phoebe

      Yeah, I do this to. In fact, if I can, I also try take at least the afternoon off the day before I leave to pack and clean house before I go.

    3. BRR

      Oh I highly encourage taking a buffer day. Traveling is tiring and there’s usually stuff I have to do that wasn’t done because I was traveling like laundry and grocery shopping. And as Elizabeth pointed out you can be delayed.

      1. miki

        Just got back last Thursday, went to work on Friday (luckily no jet lag coming East to West). Weekend helped a lot.

        1. regalbeagle

          I came back East to West as well and was so jet-lagged! I woke up at 4:30 a.m. a couple mornings in a row and by 4 p.m., I was ready to go to bed.

    4. sometimeswhy

      I have been doing this wrong all these years.

      I give myself a buffer day, but it’s of the “come back early” early not “stay out one more day.” So I’ll return on a Friday and have the weekend to unpack and recenter before going back to work. I’d never considered doing it any other way.

      Mind. blown.

      1. Anon13

        Perhaps regalbeagle has unlimited vacation days? I do and I always give myself a “work from home” day (often where I don’t divulge to anyone that I’ll even be working) when I return from vacation.

  3. Kyrielle

    I’m getting rather fond of the once-a-week hour-long meeting that only requires me to listen, and conveys about 5 minutes of information I need interspersed throughout, mixed with things I am interested in but don’t need, things I’m not interested in and don’t need, and things that hopefully fall into one of the don’t-need categories but that are so far from my job that I don’t really follow what’s being said.

    Why am I fond of it? Because it’s conducted via conference bridge. I take it on my cell phone and have a lovely walk during the meeting.

    But there are probably more productive uses of my work time, from a work perspective.

  4. HR Pro

    I have long heard the recommendation that people should email information around instead of holding meetings to disseminate information. In the places I’ve worked & the jobs I’ve had, email/website/written memo just isn’t always the best way to disseminate information. The benefit of an in-person meeting for me is that it forces me to take the time to hear the information. I am pretty confident that other people are in the same boat – they won’t read an email more than x lines long, but they can make time in their schedules (or they can be “forced” to make time…) to hear the information at a meeting.

    Otherwise, good tips about meetings.

    1. Kyrielle

      Sadly, this is largely true. If I am sent a document that might be relevant, I _read_ it. I’d like to have more documents and less meetings.

      But…we used to have meetings to discuss designs. Design documents were sent out in advance, the meeting was supposed to be a chance to raise and discuss any concerns people had about the documents.

      Inevitably, more than half the people (including the ones whose opinion was most needed, most of the time) had *not read the document*.

      Which eventually led to the VP stating that the document had to be read, in its entirety, during the meeting to discuss it. Given that they’d also mandated very *detailed* documents, well….

      …the worst one was a major subsystem, 120-page document. 17 hour meeting (spread across two days)….

      …all because some people hadn’t been reading or even skimming the documents (most of which were 10-20 pages) before the meetings, to be prepared.

      Can’t even argue it was not necessary. Wanted to scream but didn’t have the voice for it by the end since I was the author and thus the lucky voice reading most of the document. (Coworkers very kindly spelled me when I started to go hoarse.)

        1. Kyrielle

          Everyone in the room shared the same frustrations and sympathized, they were all nice people I enjoyed working with, and it only happened once…I can’t say it was a good thing but I can say I’ve seen way way worse work stories on this site. Still, I thank you for your sympathy, because it surely wasn’t fun for any of us.

        2. Kyrielle

          I should add, it’s made more hilarious by the fact that the required attendance by role guaranteed a minimum of 5 people, and up to 7 or maybe 8, would be in these meetings.

          The sheer amount of personnel cost around this policy – I have no idea what it was, but I know it can’t have been small.

    2. nofelix

      If this is the problem then a better system for issuing documents is needed, making it clear which ones are important vs only supporting info. Also I find it helps to tell people what they’ll be required to present in the meeting. If you say “to hear your comments on the attached strategy report” then they know they have to read it and make some notes.

  5. Callietwo

    An agency I used to be contracted to once had a 5 hour meeting about…………. meetings. We were all a bit stabby at the end of that day, I can tell you. And no, it did nothing to help cut down on pointless meetings, ramblers, or anything else it was intended to do.

    1. Windchime

      Ha, I just posted above about a 5 hour meeting that we just had at my workplace. Fortunately, it wasn’t meeting about meetings (!!), but it was excruciating to sit there for that long and try to remain interested.

    1. Allison

      It’s like the new smartphones; the new iPhone doesn’t have a headphone jack, and the Galaxy literally explodes. I’d rather stick with the one I have for a little longer . . .

    2. Wendy Darling

      I feel like political talk ANYWHERE is negatively impacting me! I have half of my facebook friend list on mute right now because the political vitriol just raises my blood pressure. I’ll tentatively unmute everyone in December when things are settled and they’ve had a couple weeks to get it out of their systems, but anybody whose Facebook output remains primarily partisan vitriol is going straight back in the box.

      I love most of the people I’m currently facebook-ignoring but AngryPolitics is not how I like to spend my free time.

  6. an anon is an anon

    You’d think that by now people would know better than to talk politics at work. I don’t want to hear about politics regardless of whether I agree or disagree with my coworker.

    There’s a few people in my office who assume that because of where we live, everyone votes the way they do. I’m grudgingly voting for the candidate they like (all my preferred choices for the nomination apparently decided it “wasn’t their year” to run), but they’ve made comments criticizing people’s integrity, intelligence, and views if they even mention wanting a different nominee for the party they support. And that’s just for people on the “same side”. Don’t even get me started on how they feel about people on the other side or people who aren’t enrolled in either major party.

    It’s exhausting and puts me in a bad mood. As soon as they start up, I move to an empty conference room and not gonna lie, it has made me less inclined to share anything personal with them. I don’t care if they’re in a private conference room or out to lunch together and want to talk about politics. Just don’t talk about it where I can overhear.

    1. Gazebo Slayer (formerly I'm a Little Teapot)

      The thing is, though, that political views aren’t an abstract thing that exists in a vacuum. National (and subnational) policies have real effects on real people, especially marginalized and vulnerable ones. I absolutely question the intelligence and basic human decency of anyone who supports some of the viler candidates out there, because they are doing real harm to real human beings. And I’m honestly tired of hearing about “fairness” and politeness. In this election, where the country is in serious danger, it feels like telling someone who’s being assaulted to stop yelling. Refusing to call lies and evil what they are is complicity.

      I don’t know of a single person I work with who supports, uh, the opposite candidate, and I am 100% okay with that. Anyone who does is someone I don’t want to know.

      1. MegaMoose, Esq.

        Although I agree with many of your points, I think the workplace needs to be treated a bit more pragmatically. Outing a coworker as a racist is probably not going to make them think better of their life choices, and it’s probably not going to make them quit either, so it’s just going to make the work atmosphere toxic. We don’t have a lot of control over who our coworkers are, so as a matter of survival, I think it’s fair to establish something of a no-politics zone (not that it’s possible or necessarily desirable to do this 100%).

        1. Rana

          Yeah, this is the attitude I have to adopt with some of my relatives. I want to keep thinking well enough of them to not make family events dreadful, and so I silo them on Facebook so I don’t see their political rants and they don’t see mine.

        2. Jillociraptor

          Actually, I think that’s the only way to make people think better of their choices. When your perspective is limited, it needs to be challenged. So many unabashedly racist people walk around every day believing that everyone else thinks the same racist things they do, they’re just too PC to say it. And that’s because when someone makes a racist remark, people look around awkwardly and shuffle their shoes rather than bring the issue out into the open.

          1. MegaMoose, Esq

            In terms of the workplace, I think there’s a line between calling out racist behavior as it happens and bringing up your opinion of whatever Political Candidate X said recently.

        3. C Average

          It’s interesting about this election cycle. I feel like the dialogue around the uh, other candidate and the supporters thereof has freed me to finally call a racist a racist. I know a few. I’m related to a few. I’ve heard them make racist comments and laugh at racist jokes and I’ve stood to the side, silent and uncomfortable and not knowing what to say. When I did say something, I was often accused of being politically correct or hypersensitive, or of trying to censor open discourse. The dialogue around this election has given me the nerve and the vocabulary to say, “Dad, that’s offensive, and you’re a smart guy and you know it’s offensive. Why do you think it’s okay to say things like that?” or “[Friend], when you align yourself with a candidate who espouses racist attitudes, you’re in essence endorsing those views. Why haven’t you chosen to distance yourself from those kinds of views?”

          I wouldn’t have those conversations at work, but among friends and family, I’m absolutely having those conversations, and I think they’re important conversations. Being silent is a sort of endorsement, too. This whole fiasco has really brought home to me that silence isn’t an option.

      2. Jean

        I can see both sides of this discussion. If one is talking in a public setting among other people, why conceal one’s clear disapproval of one particular candidate? (I think the election of this person would be a national disaster. Make that an international disaster.) Hopefully my being literally outspoken will encourage others to join me in voting against this person. This doesn’t mandate shouting throughout a political discussion, but there’s also no need to confine oneself to speaking in a whisper.

        On the other hand…a small bit of diplomacy really does make the wheels of the workplace (or the family gathering) run more smoothly. Good people can and do end up supporting opposite sides of the ballot for all kinds of reasons. Despite the more extreme behaviors and opinions currently on display, it may be more complicated than the other side being ignorant, hateful, and/or xenophobic. Example: In this comment I’ve been crystal-clear that I have strong opinions while not specifically naming the candidate who elicits them.

        Sigh. Under most circumstances I also wish we hadn’t gotten so polarized. It doesn’t help us to coexist and it doesn’t allow our elected officials to govern effectively.

      3. an anon is an anon

        But they’re questioning the intelligence and basic decency of people who support the same issues they do, but different politicians from the same party who have better track records on those issues. So it comes down to really petty issues because Coworker A said, “Oh, I wished Politician X had run for Y party” and Coworkers B & C have talked about how they think Coworker A is an idiot because they personally support Politician Z for Y party”. Both Politicians X and Z have similar platforms.

        Political views don’t exist in a vacuum, but you still should try to be diplomatic in a workplace where politics isn’t a main part of my job. Some candidates out there have policies that would serious hurt me as part of a marginalized group, but I’m not going to bring it up at work because I don’t think politics belongs in the workplace, and I’m going to think less of a person for refusing to stop talking about in my hearing after I’ve asked them not to.

      4. an anon is an anon

        The internet ate my last comment (unless it’s in moderation, who knows), but the TL;DR version: my coworkers are insulting people who supported politicians in the same party they support. Basically, they’re insulting the intelligence and basic human decency of anyone who doesn’t support their party’s candidate 100% which is a whole lot of people. Like I said above, I’m grudgingly voting for their preferred candidate, but I don’t need to be questioned on my feminism, intelligence, or who I am as a human because I have some issues and reservations about this candidate and would have preferred several other party politicians.

        1. MashaKasha

          Egads. Literally no one I know has been excited about either of the candidates this year, even though they’ve all already made up their minds to vote one or the other. You have all of my sympathy. Insulting someone who’s voting for the same person you are, because they’re not doing it happily and with a huge smile on their face, is just silly in my opinion. As if the country is not polarized enough as it is!

          1. an anon is an anon

            Yeah. It’s smug and belittling and one of the reasons why some people find that particular party off-putting. I just want them to stop insulting other coworkers for not agreeing with them 100% and being super happy about who they’re voting for (and to be honest, of all the different candidates I’ve voted for over the course of my life, I’ve only been genuinely excited about one presidential candidate, so I think it’s a pretty far stretch for my coworkers, or anyone, to expect everyone to be really excited about who they vote for when it’s usually a battle of the lesser of two evils).

        2. Anon13

          I’m in a similar, but opposite position. I support my party’s candidate wholeheartedly and my feminism, intelligence, integrity, and human decency have also been questioned. And these people are voting for the candidate I support! They are just upset that I enthusiastically support this candidate, while they do it grudgingly. Luckily for me, these people are members of a (non-political) group I have extensively volunteered with for years and are not coworkers, but, still, I find it frustrating that even people who mostly agree with one another are having difficulty being civil this year. So, even though we’re on different sides of this situation, I understand your frustration. My coworkers are another story. I only have a few and most of us are pretty politically active in our personal lives, but leave it out of work. However, my boss and a few 1099s we work with extensively support the candidate I unequivocally do not support and are very vocal about it. It’s frustrating, the say the least.

      5. Nobby Nobbs

        On the other hand, when you belong to one of those marginalized identities whose lives and rights are at stake in the election discussions of politics can get pretty exhausting, as they tend to amount to a debate about your right to exist. Sucks to be us either way, I guess.

        1. Prismatic Professional

          Username +1….though the thought of Nobby and Colin discussing this election made me guffaw!

      6. Jillociraptor

        I completely agree. It isn’t a reality show or a debate club, it’s our real lives, livelihoods, and futures. I find the idea really odd that, living in a government system that is decided in large part by a majority, it’s a faux pas to talk or argue about your beliefs? We should have discussions about the direction we want our country to go. We should call out prejudice when we see it. We should share our own stories of what laws and policies mean for our lives. Because political systems don’t stop acting on us once we sit down at our desks, right? It’s not a neutral zone.

        I get that political discourse in the U.S. is pretty dismal right now, that we spend a lot of time talking past each other and don’t get a lot of practice in asking questions for understanding. We need to get better. But I’m really not on board with the no-political-talk-at-work. We have other rules and norms that solve the real problems: no yelling, no bullying, no exclusion from opportunities. The talk isn’t the issue; the bigger deficits in our ability to interact are.

        1. MashaKasha

          See, this: “It isn’t a reality show or a debate club, it’s our real lives, livelihoods, and futures”, is exactly the reason why I’m very much against political talk at work. Nobody’s going to convince anybody else to change their point of view (and if one of them reports to the other, then the subordinate isn’t going to even try, because those bills aren’t going to pay themselves and they need this job); what will happen instead is that whole groups, races, classes etc of people, that some of the coworkers belong to, will feel insulted and threatened in the course of this discussion. And then we’ll have to work together like nothing happened.

        2. Gazebo Slayer (formerly I'm a Little Teapot)

          Story time. A few years ago, during interminable debate about healthcare, I had a cancer scare. I was employed part-time, still looking for a compatible second part-time job, and on state-subsidized health insurance. My boss, a full-timer with benefits who made a lot more than me, was a libertarian who was yammering in the usual “oh, this is a fun intellectual debate” way about how subsidized healthcare shouldn’t exist people need to be responsible and save their money free markets are perfect blah blah MURICA FREEDOM. I couldn’t take it. Foolishly and without really thinking, in a blind rage, I said “I am on state-subsidized health insurance. I just found out I might have cancer. You are telling me that I and people like me should just lie down and die.”

          He shut up. And his expression told me I’d probably managed to penetrate his privileged-twit bubble and make him actually realize that real people are hurt by his words and the policies he espouses. What I said was rude, blunt, way outside the usual polite “rules of engagement” for political discussions – and I think its personal nature, raw emotion, and shock value did some good.

          I then thought “Oh my God, why did I say that, I’m going to be fired.” Fortunately, I wasn’t. He stopped talking about healthcare. He did continue to spout antifeminist crap, but I never had a moment of the same reckless unstoppable rage about that, just seethed. Of course, I was the only woman in the department and I was fired three months later because I didn’t get along with another male coworker who told me that as a woman I was too weak and emotional to do my job (“I have daughters, I know about women”). So maybe in hindsight I should have just spoken my mind about that too, but the health care incident was the only time my fury managed to overcome my sensible fear of losing my job.

          (I got another job soon after, and turned out not to have cancer. I am fine.)

          So I’m a fan of bluntly explaining to clueless jackwagons how their views hurt real people. I agree with Prismatic Professional, Nobby Nobbs, and Countess Boochie Flagrante about how political talk can hurt, but also with Jillociraptor that people need to be called on their bullshit to move past their limited perspectives. Maybe the best way is to respond to hurtful political blather not with “we shouldn’t discuss politics at work” or similar sentiments but by clearly, vividly pointing out how the views are hurtful, if it’s safe to do so. (Which it probably really wasn’t for me, but I was scared, hurt, and furious and it just slipped past my filter. I don’t regret it.)

          But then, I’m unusually willing to make a scene; I’ll scream obscenities on a crowded subway platform at the person who tries to steal my purse. It can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

          1. Bluesboy

            I think you’re so right. Some people just don’t get that the policies they talk about might have a real effect on people in a different situation. They need someone to make it relate to them in some way, they need to see it effect people that they actually know.

            I had a co-worker railing against people of a certain religion, calling them all terrorists (I live in a country that hasn’t had any terrorist attacks since the 1970s). He wanted to stop all people of that religion from being able to immigrate and assumed that I agreed.

            I told him that my very first memory is of my mother watching the news crying because terrorists of HIS religion had bombed the station that my Dad commuted from, and she had no way to know if he was alive or dead until he finally got home at 5am. And I asked him whether he wanted himself and his religion to be associated with, and judged by the acts of, those terrorists.

            I think, in the same way as with your outburst, the shock did him some good. Some people are fully fixed in their beliefs. Other people just need things made real for them.

            Well done you (and I’m glad that things worked out for you!)

            1. Anon13

              I have found that often, those who have views I find abhorrent just automatically assume I agree for some odd reason. I think it’s a combination of a lot of factors, depending on how the person knows me. For example, someone who knows me through my parents might assume I agree with them. Someone who knows the specific town I grew up in might assume I agree with the majority of people in that town. Someone who doesn’t know much about me might assume I hold certain views based on the way I look (both things I can’t change, like my skin color, and things I can, like the way I dress). It’s always interesting what people say to you when they assume you agree with them.

  7. Sarianna

    Thanks for addressing the politics issue, Alison! I work in a state whose elections have been in the national news since the primaries (and will definitely feature again in November) and have been pretty unhappy with the incessant political discussion. I was taught not to discuss politics, religion, or what happens in the bedroom in polite company.

    I understand that people are enthusiatically for their candidate, or against the opposing candidate, as the case may be, but it can get uncomfortable quickly for folks like me! I certainly plan to do my civic duty and vote, but I’m not registered with any party and the persistent political poking in the breakroom feels akin to a missionary harassing an atheist.

    1. Jean

      “the persistent political poking in the breakroom feels akin to a missionary harassing an atheist”

      Useful image. I’ll have to remember this, since I find having an interest in politics to be as compelling as the act of breathing. Memo to self: Stop evangelizing!
      1. Everybody does. not. share. my. passion.
      2. It’s okay to wait until I get home (or into the company of other kindred spirits aka raving politicos).

    2. Navy Vet

      This election is also very polarizing. My cousin and I were doing the museum thing in DC last weekend and we were looking at the first ladies dress display. And we were discussing the inauguration dress of one candidate. We were literally just discussing the dress, nothing political, just two women talking about a dress. A man we did not know interjected, “Yeah, well it’s still just as evil”. (I said “Who the hell are you?” in response)

      But, people seem to think the opinion they hold is universal…and feel free to say whatever they want about certain candidates to anyone who says their names…even if it’s not even a tiny bit political. (seriously…we were talking about a dress for crying out loud)

  8. beachlover

    Yes. please leave the politcal rants, views, discussions to Facebook! That way I can ignore them or block them as needed.

    1. MegaMoose, Esq.

      Or even better, keep it to private Facebook groups. People can complain about echo chambers all they want – the number of actually productive public conversations that happen online are a rounding error. Present company excluded.

  9. Loopy

    My biggest pet peeve is that whenever I stay quiet during political conversations I get chided/teased for being a liberal. My office is largely pretty anti liberal and they assume if I’m not contributing, it MUST be because I believe differently from them.

    Which, regardless of what I believe I do NOT engage in sharing that at all. Period. And when I explain this, I’m pretty sure they don’t believe me and just make their own assumptions based on my personality. It’s infuriating!!!!!

  10. Valegro

    Thank you for the political study! My longest standing coworker in a very small business keeps listening to extreme political radio in the office where everyone can hear and discussing the election with various people, including my boss. I’m extremely uncomfortable with it and trying to teach my very inexperienced assistant why you don’t do such things in the workplace since she thinks you’re untouchable after a certain period of time employed at one place.

  11. Countess Boochie Flagrante

    Ugh, AGREED on the political discussion! Even if I agree with the politics being discussed, it’s exhausting for me because so much of what’s being talked about has a direct impact on my life. Like, can we please not rehash all the things that make me afraid for my future as water-cooler talk?

  12. overcaffeinatedandqueer

    I just can’t with the political discussion. I mean, the party I oppose literally wants to treat me like a second-class citizen and make my marriage illegal again! Politics hurt, in very real ways.

  13. Cath in Canada

    We have an informal lunchroom rule that we can discuss/argue about big-picture political issues (e.g. climate change, immigration), and we can discuss/argue about non-Canadian politicians and political parties (mostly US and UK), but we can’t really discuss/argue about Canadian politicians and political parties. It works pretty well most of the time. So clearly all of you south of the border just need to start talking about Canadian politics instead ;)

    1. BSD

      I work in Ontario and our workplace has a similar unspoken rule! Brexit and the American general election are both fair game (and in the latter case it definitely helps that Canadians, generally speaking, have a relatively uniform opinion of at least one of the candidates), but we basically steer completely clear of federal or provincial politics.

      1. Cath in Canada

        It’s a good rule! It broke down a bit during the last Canadian federal election, but since we’re all scientists we were at least united in our dislike of Harper, even though between us we were voting for at least three other parties.

    2. neverjaunty

      “Big picture” political issues affect small-picture people. You may see immigration as a vaguely defined subject for intellectual debate; your co-worker who’s trying to get his mother in law in a war zone refugee status probably doesn’t.

      The ‘no local politics’ rule is a good one, though.

      1. Cath in Canada

        Well, the majority of our lunchroom regulars are immigrants ourselves*, from all over the world. So when I say that we discuss immigration, a lot of that is sharing personal stories, comparing the experiences of people who immigrated at different ages, via different programs, from different countries, speaking different languages, etc. And a LOT of bitching about the bureaucracy, time, and money involved in immigrating, talking about how the process could be improved, etc. It’s not a “should we let more people in or not” discussion. We’re all pro-immigration :)

        *someone once asked a question about an obscure rule in hockey, and we realized that we had to go and find a “real Canadian” to ask because all 20 of us around the table were born elsewhere. That was an unusual day though as there are several lunchroom regulars who were born in Canada.

  14. Elizabeth

    Besides my Real Job, I’m the volunteer campaign manager for a statehouse campaign this year. If I am asked, I’ll talk about the mechanics of the campaign (fundraising, meet-and-greet, Get Out the Vote events, etc), but I categorically refuse to discuss actual issues at work. I’m a hardcore political junkie, but I am very careful to not have the worlds cross & collide.

  15. New Bee

    This came at just the right time–I’ve been planning for my mat leave (looks like I’ll be going out earlier than expected), and I’m definitely coming back midweek. One of my colleagues also shared a pre-leave email she sent to her team that said, among other things, “Please excuse me from email chains that will no longer be relevant when I return.”

    Also timely because I had a dream last night I emailed Alison a question asking about the validity of having a 10-hour meeting (happening tomorrow; with travel, it’ll be a 13-hour day for most folks). I’m only attending in the morning, but man it feels like a major waste of time.

  16. 0491

    I’d just taken a new post at my company when politics stupid started. There’s a decent view point mix in my office, and the debates by my coworkers make me want to jump out a window. (Regardless of opinion they all make very poor arguments too.)

    The only good thing I’ve learned is just how nasty one of my supervisors is (unstable too, but I suspected that pretty early). Politics is the current horrible drama they subject me to, but from other comments it’s pretty clear they’ll find something else when the season is over. I stated teleworking partly to escape this manager as much as I can (both talking to me and overhearing the rants). I won’t be able to work with them, and I’m considering filing an official complaint against them for creating a hostile environment.

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