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Negativity in the workplace

One thing I deal with a lot at work is negativity. There are high points where there is a lot of infighting and low points where everyone is cooled down, but the negativity always there. The rumor mill never seems to stop and we always seem to hire on people who like that sort of thing.

Additionally, there seems to be a strong sense of entitlement. Competition for a new position frequently goes to the HR department or upper mgmt. because someone always feels like they were wronged and doesn't want to face the fact that someone else was a better fit for the job. I work an entry-level position, as do my co-workers, so imagine my surprise when someone who worked at Walmart 12 months ago gets his ego bruised for not being considered for sysadmin! This wouldn't be so bad if people applied themselves to advancing their knowledge, like studying for certs or a degree, but most of my colleagues would rather play Candy Crush or watch movies.

This could be due to my office being staffed by mostly new people who aren't actually interested in IT. They have a difficult time sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time and sometimes fall asleep on console. The system administrators and network maintainers seem to have much better attitudes.

My question to you is how do you deal with this kind of thing where you work? How do you encourage your co-workers to "take the high road" and be more professional? I'm afraid that I'm not great at dealing with people or tense situations, so I could use any tips or advice you might have.

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    ottoscavottoscav Member Posts: 9 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my experience, I've noticed that the level of negativity/rumors are at their highest when people are huddled together at various times of the day for a "gripe fest". I steer clear of those sessions and focus on my work. Years ago I used to struggle with comparing myself with other people and as soon as I stopped doing that, I was a much happier and productive employee. Those two nuggets have helped me tremendously over the years. Aside from that, I don't perpetuate the rumors and when somebody is complaining or spreading rumors, I really don't respond or act all that interested. People in the office generally know not to include me in that activity because I don't support it.

    In some environments, you may be ostracized for thinking or acting this way by not being "part of the group," but I feel this is a risk I'm willing to take to not be sucked into that stuff. Believe it or not, I find myself reminding people just how blessed they are to even have a job in the first place. There are a ton of good, hard-working people and families struggling out there....so the room for complaints should be zero.
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    ChitownjediChitownjedi Member Posts: 578 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I used to struggle with this, then i realize that some people thrive off of toxic environments. And you can tell pretty quickly who is about making this a career and moving up and becoming better at their job and in their profession. Those people you pay attention to, everyone else... idle chatter, meaningless. Ignore them, and don't get swept up.

    If you believe that this will cause an erosion in the workplace that may eventually cause the stability of your position to come into jeopardy, then have your back up plan ready...but if you believe you will be able to stick around and your job security won't be harmed if you stay out of the mess and concentrate on your growth, then maximize your opportunity.

    Your focus should be on performing your job to the best of your abilities; growing and advancing yourself so that you are maximizing your potential. If you work with a lot of catty folks who would rather play Candy crush, dish dirt, and fall asleep, trust me, an environment that allows that usually self-destructs sooner than later, so take all your time to prepare for your next step up, as there is always people looking for diamonds in the rough.

    Lead by example, let your character speak for you. Don't put any time or thought into things that bring nothing positive to your life or career. Easier said then done in the work place and surrounded by that, however, that is the struggle, no one said this would be easy ;)
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    neo9006neo9006 Member Posts: 195
    I agree with Otto and Chit, I remember hearing about two managers getting into it. I was not here but heard from a co worker. Too bad their egos got in way. As for your wal-mart co worker, if someone is better at suited for the job, I can be objective and understand that. I know why my co worker makes more money than me, he has been doing his job for 25 years, still griping about the pay, but who isn't. For me, it is just moving on the next event and job in my life. Just concentrate on what can help make you better and take care of business. When it is said and done, you will hopefully where you want to be career wise. Good luck my friend.
    BAAS - Web and Media Design
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Yeah steer clear for sure. If forced to engage keep it facts based and high level.
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