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Toxicity at work

#1

Hi, I’m a bit curious about this.

So recently I started a new job, and it is just reallyy toxic.

It’s all the small nasty comments, the negative energy between coworkers.

Q1: How would you go about stopping toxicity at work, or in general?
Q2: How do you find a new workplace that isn’t toxic? Any signs to look out for, during the interview?
Q3: Is there any good way to deal with this, until I get the option to find a new job?

Some more background on what I mean by Toxic.

If I ask for help, to my Coach, he will in many cases say “No.” without me even starting talking, and do other stuff instead. Like, listening to music and do irrelevant stuff that is not work related.
If I assign a task that I am unable to complete to a Coworker, that I asked if it is OK if they could ever help me, or teach me. They will then assign 2 tasks to me “to make up for it”.
I often get messaged off work, saying “wtf, why didn’t you do X or Y?!” when I was working on other stuff, that was more critical at the moment.
There’s also the more verbal part, people can stand up, point to someone and start yelling “NAME! You’re an idiot! Do not do that!” instead of being calm and friendly about it, trying to educate, instead of namecalling infront of everyone…

Right now I avoid it, by taking the shifts where I’m alone, but that doesn’t stop them from messaging me all over the place anyway.
It seems like everyone is using everyone as a punchingbag, and it really makes me sad.
I don’t want it to be like this.
Sadly I am locked here financially, for atleast 3 more months. As in, they paid my flights etc to move here, and if I quit before a certain date, I will have to pay it all back.

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Thank you in advance,
Much love,
Cutie

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#2

I think “be the change you want to see in the world” applies here. First thing, make sure you’re not contributing to it. Then when you see it happening, say something to the person being toxic. “hey, that’s not very nice.” or “I don’t really appreciate that”

Nothing too aggressive, but enough to make it clear that you don’t think it’s a good way to act.

Typically, toxic places have a lot of turnover. They also have miserable employees. So if you get a tour and you see a lot of unhappy people, that’s a huge red flag. I’m not super good at sniffing out toxic companies in the interview though.

I would just try to be the most positive person possible, while not burning out on it, if you have an office, listen to happy music, if you don’t, wear headphones?

Also, get some sun daily. That’s critically important to happiness. I always spend at least an hour outside on weekdays and it really helps my mood (and my farmers tan)


What industry is this?

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#3

Get a work phone. One that is off when you are not in work. That should just be the way it is. Work stops when you leave work.

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#4

That helps, but only during the off hours.

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#5

I am also very curious about this, as it will lend some perspective on dealing with specific attitude sources I think.

I have found that toxic environments tend to arise from a common feeling of ineffectuality and lack of appreciation. But I’m a machinist, and this is from a blue collar perspective.

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#6

I worked IT (helpdesk) for a screen printing company that did in-house art. They had a huge deal with marvel while I was there. The problem with the company is that the owner literally treated anyone below upper management like shit. And the artists couldn’t go anywhere because they’re artists, and jobs like that are few and far between. I lasted 3 months there before I lost it and quit on the spot when my boss pulled an office space and asked me to come in on Saturday to run cable for a satellite office that was 150 miles away and he wanted me to use my car and not expense mileage. That was just the final straw, frankly.

Anyways, I guess my point is that I know a thing or two about toxicity.

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#7

I would collect everyone from this kindergarten, and say these things you have written here

Worst case, nobody gets you :man_shrugging:t2:

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#8

I agree it’s definitely a problem that seeps down from the top. But that source can create negative feedback loops and toxic behavior in different ways IMO.

Also that sucks.

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#9

well u.u it’s a support desk job, first line. Lots of turnover. I’d say that in 3 months, roughly half the staff has quit. (From my knowledge, because they didn’t pass the background checks, or just didn’t come to work from week 1 or such…)

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#10

Eh, I’m much happier now, so it worked out for the best.

That makes sense.

Call center?
I would absolutely recommend taking the shifts you can, not responding when you’re off the clock and trying to make the best of it for a few months while keeping your resume up to date, so when that 3 month period is up, you can get hired somewhere else quickly.

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#11

My current tactic is to take the nightshift.
25% extra pay, and only 1 other person to bug me during the shift. c:
Doesn’t prevent people from contacting me during my time off sadly, as they already have my details… And I’m too much of a coward to block them all

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#12

I don’t think it would be professional to block them, but have you considered bringing the problem with them harassing you (because that’s really what it seems like to me) while you’re off the clock to HR?

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#13

You NEED to do something about this point. Everyone I have ever talked to has it set up so that this is either understood that you will not get through outside of work hours or plain has a separate number and social media for work.

It has been brought up as a potential legal.point here that outside of work hours contacting employees should be either billable as company time or banned outright.

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#14

The fish definitely rots from the head back!

Welcome to the real world. In my experience, toxic is the rule, rather than the exception and it generally starts with upper management. Some times this can be an intentional management strategy.

At all times be professional; stand up for yourself; be firm, but not confrontational. Accept the fact that you can set an example, but you can not change people.

I traveled extensively, calling on different companies and fully 90% of them were toxic and dysfunctional. You are going to have to develop some thick skin and not take any of it personally. If you make the mistake of letting them see that it bothers you, you will make yourself a target for abuse and manipulation.

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#15

Do be careful with night shift.

It can really mess with your mood and personal life.

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#16

I’d like to disagree with this, but anecdotes don’t really get us too far, do they.

I think there are always some toxic people in every company, but it’s all what you make of it, if you can get it past a certain point.

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#17

This guy knows.

I was wondering when you were going to pop into this thread lol

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#18

@Cutie does your place of work have a policy / procedure for handling workplace environment feedback or work life balance?

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#19

:shushing_face:

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#20

Not sure where you live, but start recording the out of hours communication time, as you can demand payment for that in the US IIRC.

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