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Why Is This Happening?

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  • Why Is This Happening?

    It's Monday, January 28, 2013. At barely 0630, I've been at work for 1.5 hours. Most of my key co-workers have arrived. The rest will trickle in by 0730. (We all have different starting hours).

    Those of us whom are here, are either at our work stations or offices. Others are in the lunch room which, as usual, is as quiet as a library. Those in the lunchroom normally arrive prior to the start of their workday just so they can have a little coffee and breakfast, read the newspaper and/or go online through their iphones.

    Despite it being Monday, nothing is said or shared about the weekend, families, activities, sports, etc. Everyone, it seems, is off doing their own thing, indulging in their own private little world.

    It wasn't like this 10 or 15 years ago. People arrived at work, got a cup of coffee and Talked. Be it gossip or sports, people just Talked! Sometimes I ask myself, "is it just at my place of work where people seem to have stopped talking to each other, or is it happening elsewhere?" What is the root cause of this? Is it age, or are the iphone gadgets detracting us from engaging in everyday simple conversation?

  • #2
    Race and other stuff matters

    [FONT="Arial"][I am one of those that does not go out of my way to talk to anyone at work, unless there is a need;; most of my coworkers tend to be the same way. We all tend to keep things professional which is probably what most want and not much more. I do not socialize with coworkers, partly because of my age[Im old enough to be a parent to a few but certainly a half generation or more than most of the office] but mainly because I dont have that much in common with them. Why does this happen; stress- lack of contentment with a job, "natural" racial segregation, clique behavior, professional or personal resentments, bad LABOR RELATIONS, hostile or poor work environments, generational distance, rejection of old values, RACISM, SEXISM and a whole host of other reasons. I also get to work at home about once a week, which adds to the further distancing. Do I want to be close and chummy with my coworkers, [in a perfect world. yes], in the real world , not really. I mean how many of our coworkers do we genuinely like and consider actual friends. Too bad it is not different, but I am sure many many will identify with this situation. This is probably the state of affairs for most workers today. Just keeping it real amigos./FONT]

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    • #3
      Control your electronics and live a healthier and productive life.

      Since my retirement from teaching, the thing I miss the most is the intellectual bantering and discussions about the issues of the day. This might sound elitist but now I'm surrounded by idiots and people who are not interested in anything but their damn electronics. At home, we still function like a regular family and still sit at the table with my grandsons with no electronics present and they seem to enjoy the discussions as much as I do. We might be witnessing the disappearance of books and the spoken language from human interaction.

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      • #4
        the idea of "professionalism" mentioned earlier i think has a lot to do with it. it was considered adult and professional to be able to socialize and interact, including at work at one time, and people got to know their co-workers that way. now everyone is trying not to make that misstep or to do something that could be perceived the wrong way by management, and so we keep it private. now what you say to a coworker could be used by another for the purposes of "getting ahead" whereas once coworkers were also your friends, not just potential cannibals waiting to chew on your corpse! lol. so reputation and what it means at work today has changed dramatically. i don't think that is necessarily the information, although i do think people have retreated into their various communication devices as a way to get that missing connection. maybe it's a little of both.

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        • #5
          Man - and I sincerely mean this - you guys have each hit it out of the park with your experience-based comments.

          In hindsight, the factors you each mentioned do play a role in what seems to be "the normal work environment" now a days.

          - Technology
          - Age Differences
          - Clique Culture
          - Intellectual vs Non-Intellectual Interests
          - Professionalism (or Lack Thereof)

          All the aforementioned seem to contribute to the creation of a less-than cohesive work place.

          To these I will add:
          - Political Party Affiliation
          - Team Player vs Individualist Mentality
          - Political Correctness

          I've been in my line of work for 28 years. It use to be that, no matter how many divisive factors existed between individuals, co-workers were more inclined to sustain some form of conversation, and less inclined to being withdrawn.

          After thinking about it a bit, Political Correctness does play a HUGE role in today's work environment. For example, it wasn't long ago that guys would have Centerfold Pinup Posters of scantly dressed women in their lockers. Not any more! It's no longer allowed in our place of work! It use to be OK to refer to a female co-worker as Hun or Sweetie. Not any more! Just like having a Centerfold in your locker, calling a female Hun or Sweetie could be grounds for sexual harassment.

          Imagine this: 75% of the guys in my workplace are ex-Navy. That's where most of us learned our trade. Using foul language IN THE ABSENCE OF WOMEN has been as common as breathing amongst our likes. Sadly, it was just a few weeks ago that a seasoned non ex-Navy male co-worker complained about the use of foul language in his presence. What was already a mildly conversant workplace is now a much less conversant workplace.

          Political Correctness has definitely turned colorful, vibrant and spicy places of work into dull gray places where one has to constantly watch what one says.
          Last edited by TipoConSuerte; 2nd February 2013, 14:08.

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          • #6
            Tipo

            Tipo, you also brought out a major point about political correctness, something that is huge in my agency. I think this is a huge source of tension in my organization because it sometimes seems that what is right to do is often secondary to the political correctness of an issue. Another issue is that organizations that lack formal protocols or rules tend to be organizations that rely heavily on favoritism and cronyism thus causing the alienation of those employees that are not in particular favor. What happens to an employee that may be making contributions but they are never recgonized or rewarded because they are not in favor by the administration. Answer: alienation, embitterment, resentment, and a bunch of other things. I believe this happens a lot today, sometimes with tragic consequences. I believe this happened to a friend who got high up in the organization, fell out of favor, and then committed suicide after being re-assigned and then she fell into depression before making that fatal decision.

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