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Sunday, October 2, 2022


Seeking advice regarding toxic workplace and dealing with people’s impressions of me.


I started working (this is my first job) late last year in the public sector. I was placed into my position based on their requirements, meaning the position I’m currently in was not what I initially requested/applied for. I was told that my position had been empty for years, so there wasn’t even a proper job scope. When I first joined, I barely had anything to do and was more like the PA for the department, assisting them with ad hoc tasks. Fast forward 1 year, and little has changed. I have a few peak periods where I have work to rush, but I’m otherwise free. On top of that, I’m excluded (idk unintentionally or otherwise) from many things. I’m never informed about meetings, projects etc until the last minute. Sometimes I’m not even informed. They just decide among themselves and leave me with question marks. But I’ll come back to that later.

There are different employment schemes in the company- I’ll just call them category 1 and category 2. The structure of my department is my supervisor (category 2) and two colleagues (category 1). I’m under category 2 and I’m the most junior in terms of age and experience. There is a thick and invisible line between the different categories. The category 1 people are typically very clique-y and stick among themselves. My two category 1 colleagues have been working together for a few years and are very close, but they keep arm’s length from me. They used to be friendly but are actually two-faced which I only recently finally realised. They’re civil but they wouldn’t bother standing up for me, which explains why they don’t keep me in the loop about alot of things. Then there’s my supervisor- a category 2 worker but much more senior. My supervisor is a repulsive micro-managing tyrant who is biased against me the moment I started work. I can’t be bothered to go into detail, but I’ve been reprimanded in front of the whole office on several occasions. My supervisor has no respect for my dignity and knows who he can abuse. I’m a very easy target simply because I’m young and a category 2 worker. He would never dare to use the tone he uses on me to the category 1 workers even though they are also his subordinates. It is so blatant the difference in the way he talks to my colleagues and me. I have never been so disgusted by anybody. So naturally, I avoid him as much as possible.

So back to workload, my colleagues have very full portfolios, but my supervisor hasn’t assigned many major projects to me. At the start, I tried to ask my colleagues if there’s anything I can help them with, but their attitude was like “we’re technically your colleagues not your boss, we shouldn’t be assigning you work”. But I’m obviously not gonna go directly to my supervisor asking for more work, especially when I don’t even want to be anywhere near him. So from some point this year I’ve been slacking unapologetically. I’m mostly just using my phone at work, waiting to go home (sadly no wfh). I can tell my colleagues are feeling animosity towards me because I don’t have much work, but am I really to blame for this? When I offered to assist them before, they declined.

Recently I was made aware that there’s some talk in another department that I have “no initiative and am not doing any work”. I got a little defensive, because they don’t know the full picture and how I’ve been treated. If I don’t feel like I’m part of this department, have such toxic supervisor/colleagues, and am treated like an outsider, is it any wonder that I wouldn’t go above and beyond the bare minimum? I don’t know and don’t want to know who talked to the other department about my work, but it’s pretty obvious. Recently there’s this buzzword called quiet quitting and I’m doing exactly that. I literally just wait for my paycheck. I don’t know how I should react to those remarks about me and what i want to do about it. Half of me feels like idgaf because except for the boredom, I enjoy that I get away with not doing much. I’ve lost my motivation anyway. I don’t have any peers around my age in my job category in the office, so I don’t have anyone who really understands, I’ve just bottled up all the frustrations. It’s been very lonely. But the other half of me wonders how badly these gossiping and bad impressions spreading around will affect my career in the long run

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