My current company's strength is 25. A manager in his late forties sits at the office handling everything, tech and non-tech stuff, administrative work amongst others. It is just the boss and no one else.
The following are my observations from the last two months that I have been working there.
The office staff is divided into two groups, based on their region. They are very cordial, extremely supportive to each other, within their respective groups.
It gets a little nasty when it comes to inter-group rapport. Group A dominates Group B. Group B is hardworking, technically strong and does most of the work of the office, tech or non-tech. They are meek; do not defend themselves, and do not express their tech skills openly.
Group A manipulates them a lot, gathers as much information as possible from Group B and projects it as their own work and are on the good side of the boss.
Group A is bossy towards Group B; they are always correcting them, take pleasure in deriding them, and treat them as second class citizens.
Group A is always buttering the boss and managed to be in the boss' good books. They even managed to change an important decision by the client to suit their needs. They ensured that the boss did it for them, rather fought for it, for them. Group B strongly felt this was not needed but they never raised their voice about this; they are technically adept and understood that the boss is being manipulated but do not have the courage to put it clearly to the boss.
I have never seen Group B holding any kind of small talk with the boss. It is always to the point and they never object to Group A's demands, however silly and unnecessary they might be.
The first day I joined here, one of the Group A members was quite negative towards me. Nasty comments were thrown at me, faces were made. I endured it for that day and stayed away from them the next day onwards. There were small talks once in a while. Our day to day jobs do not need interaction between us; so, I decided to stay away from them and their gang leader.
But, they look for an opportunity to peep into my monitor, at my lunch box, at my dress etc. I have ignored all that and almost stopped acknowledging their presence.
This irked them he most; they do not like me talking to the other group. They interrupt my conversations with Group B, in every possible nasty and shitty way. They make thud sounds, play songs loudly, gather around me or Group B, peep into our monitors, intrude into our conversations, give death stares among others.
I have been having neutral conversations with both the groups and I understood that I can't fit in either of them; one is too dominating and want to own me and the other is rather meek and wimpy.
So, I am being neutral but Group A is unable to digest my personality. They find a chance to intrude into my privacy; I have handled it pretty well and that irks them the most.
I do not want to change anything at this workplace. But, being neutral or excluding them, and ability to handle their bithchiness is bothering them and they are creating ruckus at the office. The boss is merely a puppet in their hands and unable to see the ongoing office politics.
How else should I handle these miscreants? They are here to stay and I see no one leaving the office in the near/far future.
P.S: Boss is not present in the office for the entire office hours. It can range anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. All the drama happens during the absence period. Also, when present, Group A is sweet talking or minding their own business in a polite and professional way.