Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Surf from the Turf by Nannette Croce

I've never been one for turf wars––those competitions that inevitably break out in any workplace. Sometimes it is physical turf, like the bigger office or an additional district to administer. Sometimes the turf comes in the number of bodies someone supervises. Sometimes it's the turf of taking on more high-profile responsibilities and playing Hot Potato with responsibilities that bring more work and less notice from on high. The breadth of the job or the pay have little to do with it. I once worked at a single digit per hour job with a YMCA where we fought over who got the most visible bulletin board!

Naive as I am, I always thought the focus of any job was getting it done, and that the best way to do that was through cooperation. Take that bulletin board. I tried to suggest taking turns each month, and if someone had something they needed to advertise on an off month, we could trade, or in a bind, draw straws. Forget it. Every month every single department claimed they needed it more than anyone else, and the only one constantly stuck with the back board was me, who had developed the system.

These days I'm grateful to no longer need to work for pay. I do give my time to various volunteer positions. But when those turf wars develop, as they inevitably do, now I just laugh. What are these people fighting for? A larger piece of a non-existent pie? Usually the purpose of these volunteer positions is helping others. If some people won't do the job without the turf, I say, let them have it. The main thing is getting the job done, and I'm just grateful to have the time to give.


Just Jen said...

I envy the no need to work for pay part...lol
I know what you mean but I find this usually happens more often with woman work places than man, isn't that weird? I have worked with men and not had that problem...I think woman have to be more competitive because we are smarter ;)

Kathryn Magendie said...

lawd! I'm so happy not to have to work in an office any longer! :)!

Angie Ledbetter said...

I've been in several different work environments where the office politics made a really good job terribly unenjoyable. Here's to stepping out of the fray, Nannette!

Barbara Quinn said...

Ugh..those politcal squabblings can totally demoralize a place.
Thank goodness we've avoided them here! And thank goodness for all that you and all the rest of the gang do around here too. :-)

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