March 26, 2007

Of office favoritism and special treatment

I had lunch with an officemate last Friday. Ever went to a lunch with a colleague who was a master at conversation domination? That's how our lunch was. All I did was enjoy my grilled salmon, nod or shake my head, say things like, "really? that's interesting".

Her topic of conversation was, of course, how she's getting special treatment from our boss. I couldn't argue with her about the veracity of her statements because honestly, how am I supposed to know? It's just that our lunch left a bad taste in the mouth (and it wasn't even the salmon's fault).

Listening to her talk, it seems as if she's getting away with a lot of special treatment. Some of them did not seem like special treatment to me, but I didn't tell her that. After all, I have been at the receiving end of what can be construed as "special treatment" when my dad was hospitalized, but I never viewed it that way. Of course, it wasn't something I spread around all over the office, but it wasn't something I kept a secret either. After all, the boss said if anybody had the same issues, he would've treated them the same way. Which leads me to what my colleague was saying. I wonder if there's a chance that she's misunderstanding things. Perhaps the "special treatment" she refers to is actually something commonplace, only she doesn't know it IS commonplace.

What's more, I get the feeling she's vying to be our boss's favorite. I don't mind it because heck, as much as possible, I prefer to do my work quietly in my office. I prefer working under the radar so no one bothers me, which can be a problem sometimes because I'm too quiet about my contributions in the workplace.

In any case, it's a good thing I've decided a long time ago never to vie to be a boss's favorite. I've also decided quite some time ago that I will be neutral when I go out with my officemates. I can offer them my listening ear, but that's the extent of it. Whatever work-related gripes I have, I can always tell my husband and the rest of the family without fear of it reaching the wrong people.