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Brackets, Rules & Politics

Interesting time of year this is in the workplace with March Madness descending on our work cubicles. And, everyone’s talking about loss of productivity because the office is “a buzz” with chatter about the NCAA, the odds of winning and whoa, what about all those companies offering buckets of money if you register with them and have the winning bracket? Between getting millions of dollars, or paying off your mortgage – who wouldn’t be distracted? We could all throw this work thing out of the window if we could just figure out the winning formula.

Obama_BracketWell far be it for me to be an outlier and not participate. I actually took a break from filling in my bracket to write this, but don’t worry, I’ll be getting right back to it once my 9:30am conference call begins. You know you all do that too so don’t judge me.

The thing is, I really don’t know much about basketball. In fact, I find it rather exhausting to watch grown men run back and forth across the floor, jumping, throwing and running into each other. I keep thinking, wow, the referees are sure getting a workout. So, yeah, I’m that girl that will probably win the whole thing and have everyone cursing because I don’t even know the rules, the players or the coaches. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hype, cheering on your school’s team and love the Cinderella stories!

The thing is, if I knew anything about the game, I might be a little dangerous.

This train of thought got me thinking about the rules of the workplace and how many of us really know all of them. In any given company there are so many written and unwritten rules about how to get the work done, who the “go to people” are and who to avoid. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve got the company employee handbook, and then you’ve got Jill who will give you the real scoop on how things operate.

Learning the rules of the workplace is obviously something each of us has to do. I mean, we know you can’t wear shorts, but understanding the “back chatter”, the way decisions are made and who ultimately makes them are just few of those tidbits we don’t often have privy to until it’s either too late, or we’ve screwed up enough times and a coworker feels sorry for us and gives us some inside scoop. Is it fair? Not always.

Is there an inherent risk involved in ignoring the “back chatter?” Ask Frank Underwood, I’m sure he’s got an opinion. Office politics are alive and well.

Back to my bracket; I’m going to finish this up today and hit submit. Odds are not in my favor that I’ll progress past Thursday, but if I do it’s beginners luck. I figure without knowing the rules, players or much else, what have I got to lose?

Editor’s Note:  This blog was originally posted on the Tremendous Upside, a digital talent digest from Kinetix HR.  Thanks to the Kinetix team for allowing us to share!

About the Mouth

carol_mcdanielCarol McDaniel is the Senior Vice President at Kinetix – a Recruitment Process Outsourcing firm.  Carol’s background combines extensive Human Resource consulting, recruiting, marketing and advertising expertise.  With her strong understanding of the many challenges in today’s competitive labor market environment she is considered a subject matter expert in the employer marketing and branding process.  This expertise has proved to play a crucial role in the development of talent management and acquisition strategies for her clients.  Carol is a frequent speaker at HR and SHRM events, national programs and training seminars to focus on the areas of talent acquisition and talent communications. Carol also volunteers her time with the HR Florida State Council and serves on the Executive committee as the the President-Elect.  Read more from Carol here.

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1 Comment

  1. Update: I’m currently in 5th place in our office bracket standings. See, who needs to know the rules!

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