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Office Politics, Prioritizing and Dating


erina

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I have been seeing this guy I will call "Jay" for a few weeks. Things seemed to be going well. He really seemed into me. He would want to see me, tell me he missed me, would send me funny texts during the day, etc. I was really feeling a connection and it seemed to be headed towards a relationship. I was feeling really good and happy with how things were going.

 

Then things started getting a really strained all of a sudden last week. He had a very busy week at work so I did not think much of it. He still was calling and texting me so I thought there was nothing to worry about. He kept telling me that he was very tired. We did not see each other all weekend after that and I hardly heard from him for days.

 

On Tuesday he was telling me that work has been crazy and that he was feeling sick and had a migraine. I tried giving him some suggestions since my mom also has migraines.

 

On Wednesday I did not hear from him until the evening on Facebook chat at 11:00pm. He was again telling me how overwhelmed and tired he has been. I can be understand that but he told me that he just got home from hanging at a bar with his boss and co-workers.

 

 

 

I got upset since he was always telling me lately that he was not able to see or talk to me since he was feeling sick but he still managed to go out with his boss after work? At that point, I have not had a decent conversation with him in a week. It seemed like a double standard.

 

He said it is just office politics. He was stressing that when the boss invites you to things, you go. Jay has only been there for 2 months and he said that if people don't go to these events, people in the office get mad and you are an out cast. He said that it is important to be liked. I think that is pretty screwed up. The boss has these after hours hangouts once a week and they go out to lunch almost every day.

 

I can see going out with the boss here and there when you are feeling up to it. Or there was a project that needed to be finished and you were pulling over-time. But if you are so tired and overwhelmed, I would think that you can gracefully decline a social invite to the bar. Jay had no problems saying no to me but he cannot decline a social invitation with the boss? It is not like they were taking a client out and trying to "close a deal" and Jay had to be there. It was just the boss and the co-workers going to a bar.

 

Then Jay was accusing me of wanting to be more important than his job. This is not true. I have never asked him to take off from work. I never cared about him going out with the boss when he had more energy, things were going well between us and he was more attentive and interested in me.

 

He spent the whole time telling me why he needed to go hang out with the boss. But made no mention of wanting to see me again. That is what upset me the most. He never said "I know I have been very busy lately but let's make sure to spend time together this next weekend" I was really upset over this and now Jay and I are not talking.

 

I like ambitious, career-minded men. But I think people should have a life outside of the office and as long as you are a hard worker, produce the work as needed, and show up for work everyday, you should be able to have your evenings to yourself. I have never had a boss that would make everyone hang out with him on a regular basis.

 

Was I over-reacting?

 

If your boss invites you to social stuff outside of work on a regular basis, do you have to go every time?

 

If you are too tired or whatever to see or talk to someone you are romantically involved with, are you going to magically muster up the energy to hang with your boss?

 

I then asked him if he was even interested in me since I know "too busy" can be code for "not interested". He then was telling me that he liked me a lot and was very interested in me. He told his family and friends about me. But his job is coming first. I told him that another girl would probably not put up with that and he agreed.

 

He said he does not have the time for a relationship right now. But, I saw that he was logged on to the dating site the past few days, so apparently he is now looking for some sort of relationship. [-(

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you know, this really depends on the office culture. many places, including my workplace, if the boss invites you out, you are expected to go unless there is something very pressing that means you cannot go. like you will be out of town that day. i do think you are overreacting a bit. i do know of a guy on here who was let go from his job because he didn't go to these events.

 

if he is expected to be at the bar with his boss and coworkers and this is what they do together, and that is their culture, then i think he has to go if he wants to be in good standing at his job.

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Was the guy let go because he did not go to the events or were there other reasons? I find it hard to believe that a good worker in all other respects would be fired for not going out for drinks with the boss after work.

 

I have never worked for a place where the boss demands that you hang out socially. Any boss I worked for maybe would do social things during the day (like having lunch together) but not an evening thing every week.

 

I feel really crappy about this. I could not help getting upset over this.

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Was the guy let go because he did not go to the events or were there other reasons? I find it hard to believe that a good worker in all other respects would be fired for not going out for drinks with the boss after work.

 

I have never worked for a place where the boss demands that you hang out socially. Any boss I worked for maybe would do social things during the day (like having lunch together) but not an evening thing every week.

 

I feel really crappy about this. I could not help getting upset over this.

 

That's one of the differences between a job and a career. If you want a career in the corporate or business world, then you very often have to network when you're not at the office, create connections for now and for the future, certainly avoid burning bridges so if that's the culture where he works and there is any chance that he might need a good reference from this boss, or want the boss to invite him to networking opportunities or events, then he has to go.

 

Having said that I don't think this guy is that interested in dating you. Almost all of the men I dated had a far busier schedule than he does from what you described but if they were sincerely interested in dating me they made the time to see me at least once a week with rare exception.

 

I also would avoid telling this guy your opinions about his boss and his corporate culture, unless he asks (and really wants your input) because you don't want to sound like his mother or therapist (and of course he knows you're biased since you want to see him).

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I have a career too and I understand that networking is essential if you want to succeed in business. I am not working flipping burgers. It would not bother me at all if a guy I am involved with wants to go network or whatever. The thing that got me upset was that he was saying that he is so tired and overwhelmed, too tired to call me for even 5 minutes but was able to go out with the boss for drinks.

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People often get fired because they are the hard working ones in the office. I know this definitely happened to me. I was the one who was always coming in early, staying late, and working harder than any of my co workers. But I was fired suddenly without explanation. I believe that it is because I worked so hard in an office environment that encourages slacking off and being relaxed.

 

Yes, people do get fired for working too hard and not participating in enough relaxing activities.

 

Was the guy let go because he did not go to the events or were there other reasons? I find it hard to believe that a good worker in all other respects would be fired for not going out for drinks with the boss after work.

 

I have never worked for a place where the boss demands that you hang out socially. Any boss I worked for maybe would do social things during the day (like having lunch together) but not an evening thing every week.

 

I feel really crappy about this. I could not help getting upset over this.

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well, since you've only been dating a few weeks, i don't see why he would prioritize you above his job. i really don't know his corporate culture (obviously, i don't know your boyfriend or where he works). but for sure, people can get fired or let go for not fitting in. i went to a conference recently where they had sessions hosted by a business consultant who used to work in HR who said that she had to fire PhDs who were producing good work, but were too difficult to work with.

 

so, i don't know. if it is what is 'expected' that he gets drinks with the boss and the others, then that is what he needs to do. if you don't like it, you can date someone else.

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For me, I feel I got fired because I refused to drink alcohol. It was kinda expected for everyone to drink and get drunk, but I refused to drink alcohol because I don't drink alcohol.

 

It's a sad thing, at many work places, you get fired for being a good worker.

 

i don't want to say at many. but for sure, there are different 'cultures.' some places you are expected to take part of drinking together, and doing office pools together and such. other places are more like come in, do your work, leave.

 

i am expected to socialize when we have drinking or dinners together. i'm also "unofficially" expected to participate in departmental events. pretty much you have to unless you are out of town. even though it's not stated. but i am expected to "volunteer" for certain events and "volunteer" to clean up after some events. not much of a volunteer.

 

but after a few weeks of dating, i don't think you really get to 'complain' that he spends too much time at work. it's not serious of a relationship yet, and he probably doesn't want someone who complains about it either.

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I think that he could have made more of an effort to go out with you but at this point in your "relationship" with Jay, I dont think that you have priority over his job. Different bosses expect different things from their employees obviously Jay is still trying to make a good impression at work. I think that you were being over demanding. It seems to me that you want Jay to be more focused on you but that isnt the case, his job is important to him (and it should be).

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You'd only been seeing each other for a few weeks but you were already trying to corner him with talk about why he can't see you more often, why he's going out to the bar when he can't make time for you...

 

The thing is, his life was probably just like that before you walked into it. He goes out a lot, he networks, he drinks. It's probably a big part of why he's so tired all the time as well. He's most likely looking for a girlfriend who will understand that and be more laidback about it. Since you were finding strife between you two after just a few weeks because of it, no wonder it didn't work out. Your outlooks are not suited.

 

I do think you were overreacting - when you first start dating you're finding out about someone else's life and where you fit into it, you're definitely not at the stage where you are trying to mould your lives around each other. However, people learn from every failure - you want a man who has more time for you, fair enough. Now you have a clearer idea of what you want and why.

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As others have said, this depends on the office culture, but I know in my office that when we're invited to after-work dinners, hangouts, etc. we're told "it's not required," but they always make a note of who shows up and who doesn't. I make every effort to go to those sort of things, both because it looks good to the boss and because I do like my coworkers and like spending time with them outside of work.

 

That said, whether or not it's an excuse is really irrelevant, because you've only been dating the guy a few weeks and you shouldn't have tabs on his every move yet. If he felt as though he had to be there (which it seems like he did), he was certainly within his rights to go without some woman he's just casually dating yelling at him that he chose work over a bar.

 

I'll also add that there are a LOT of jobs that do not give you your evenings and weekends off - I generally work at least one day two weekends a month, and often work late hours. This isn't because I want to work late, but because I have to work events, etc. If you can't deal with a schedule or an office culture like his, that's perfectly fine. There are other options out there.

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