Political tension in the workplace

In a city where all things are political, it can be hard to avoid spillover into the workplace. Of course we all have our good friends who also happen to be coworkers, with whom we banter about the latest developments on either side, but in a nonpartisan environment (such as where I happen to work) it seems these topics are best avoided.

My coworkers are all very engaged in the issues of the day and I’m sure have strong opinions one way or another about what would be the ideal outcome of Tuesday (as an aside, wow, I can’t believe it’s almost here). However, there has been no open discussion of the election that has arisen to the level of creating office buzz. That was, until this morning. One person sent an article about an anti-Obama story that has been floating about in the news. His tone and tenor were anything but objective. Not a minute later, another coworker come nearly running down the hall very agitated about it. Discussion in our hallway ensued, forwards of the email with commentary were quickly shot around the building, and finally someone else sent a staff-wide rebuttal email calling out the obvious bias and chastising the inappropriate nature of such a political piece being distributed via the staff group list.

Luckily, the mass email traffic stopped there. The buzz it has created, however, continues to reverberate in side conversations in the kitchen and hallways.

In such a politically involved city amidst an election like this with passions running high on both sides, I wonder how watercooler chit chat has evolved within other offices. Do you try to avoid politics as a topic of discussion altogether? Has a coworker articulated their views in such a way that you found yourself thinking less of them? Have you bonded with someone you didn’t know too much about before over your shared love for one of the candidates? Is it irrelevant because, in stereotypical DC fashion, they are all Democrats? Wondering how this plays out elsewhere…

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2 responses to “Political tension in the workplace

  1. Although my office tends to lean Obama, there are a number of McCain supporters here. We all decided to have a happy hour Tuesday so that those of us celebrating can get drunk with victory, and those commiserating can drown their sorrow. The moral of this story is that whoever wins on Tuesday, BEER IS AWESOME.

  2. Hahaha, probably not a bad approach!

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