I was also upset when people saw me walking in the corridor and turned away or flip newspapers. They also like to go together in lunch groups, so when I had no lunch khakis (referring to lunch mates, a local slang used in my country), I felt left out.
However, I soon saw the reality, and began not to mind. It started after I poured out my grievances to my HR colleague via sms. I told her I will change my attitude and not be bothered with what people's reaction towards me. I felt that it is their issue. If I hadn't even talked to them much and they dislike me, it is something not due to me but their own mentality. I cannot change their mentality but I can control how I feel towards these reactions.
And interestingly, right after I was confirmed, it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I felt I can continue my path of figuring a way to move department and that was my main motivation everyday. At the same time, like peeling onions layer by layer, I began to see some of the not-so-nice realities of the beautiful bubbles that I was first affected by:
1) People ignoring you
These people happen to be ones that love gossip. To get entangled with them means more trouble. If not handle with care, you will either end up being the topic of the gossip or they will try to ask you for help at work. In other words, be in my "in" group and in exchange, help me with my work. Crazy. Of course not worth it. Interestingly, there is one senior guy who pretend he was busy and flipped newspapers when he saw me was actually boasting that he got offers from other companies to hire him. Well, then resign. If other companies are scouting for you and offer you better packages, why not leave? The only thing I can foresee is these companies do not place much value or are often unwilling to invest in his field. So he will have a tougher time trying to convince them to raise their standards. Tougher work for higher pay - that is natural. But of course we just listen and smile.
2) Not being in lunch groups
This week most of the days I am lunching with my executive and others and we went cheaper places to eat. If I always go with the team and their gang for lunch, each meal can costs $15 and sometimes up to $30 a meal. They celebrate every single person's birthday. Sorry, please excuse me. I rather you not celebrate my birthday and I don't celebrate yours as well. I came to earn a living and save money. NOT to spend it on lavish lunches which are meaningless.
3) People who are on surface very nice with everyone
Another source of gossip. PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. GET AWAY FROM ME TEN YARDS OR MORE. I do not want to attract attention to myself. Be low profile, do my job and be safe. The higher your profile is, the more jealousy you attract. This company has miserable bonus and I have no increment. FOR WHAT? If no money, sorry I am not motivated to get involved in all these non-productive stuff. The office lady told me all these people who come to you are actually waiting for an opportunity to ask you for help. There was one lady that I wanted to get into her books. But very quickly I realised each time she talked to me, it was due to work. I decided to divert her to my colleague as far as possible. THE BEST. So I siam (another local lingo, meaning avoid) her if possible. I will still ask her if she is not feeling well, but one sentence is enough. No more no less. I felt she is very self-centric and it is always about her, her, her.
4) They spend a lot of time OUTSIDE of working hours to bond
Another unbelievable thing about this company is they dedicate a day for employees to have fun offsite on a weekend. YES, WEEKEND. Why weekend? Please, I rather spend my weekends doing my own thing. I like to compartmentalise my personal and work life. At work, I strive to complete all my projects satisfactorily as far as possible. But I do not want to talk about my personal life. FOR WHAT? They will spend dinners or friday evenings having karaoke. Erm, sorry. Time and money better invested elsewhere.
Hence, after three months, I learnt that once again, the golden rule of not believing in everything you see as what it is holds true. Often, make sure you peel layer by layer of a situation and you may be surprised at what lies beneath it.