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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.

My scenario.

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.

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    What country is this? – ypercubeᵀᴹ Feb 17 at 14:10
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    Yes, what country is this. It honestly sounds like you should just leave. – Fattie Feb 17 at 14:15
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    Sounds like you are the one who doesn't fit in, not the rest. No offence. – Kilisi Feb 17 at 14:34
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    @ypercubeᵀᴹ no, it's not just the groups. the OP in just two months has been analysing colleagues, extropolated to a 'gang', knows everyones technical competence and the office politics..... can't get on with ANYONE.... thinks the boss is blind or stupid....have they been doing any work in between? – Kilisi Feb 17 at 15:02
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    Note that (unfortunately, life is tough) if you are "shy" or something and unable to - in the workplace - simply state loudly and clearly when there some problem has happened: unfortunately you simply won't make it in the workplace. – Fattie Feb 17 at 17:43
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"It's not high school":

Simply, all you can do is these two things:

  1. Openly, directly and loudly complain to the owner, every time, about every specific incident.

  2. Openly, directly and loudly complain to the miscreant in question, every time, about every specific incident.

So, "Do not look at my monitor", "do not interrupt this conversation" and so on.

Speak only specifically. Never mention generalities.

Do so as clearly and briefly as possible. Never use rhetorical questions or complex speech.

So, say things like "Do not look at my dress", "I did the work you are presenting" etc.

It is essential in this formula to only state specifics. Never mention or think about generalizations.

To be absolutely clear: the formula here is that you state openly, loudly and immediately specific things.

(So, "Jane stole my pencil," "Jane looked at my panties," "Jane is peering at my monitor.")

Never, ever, state any generalizations.

(Such as "Jane is a trouble-maker" "Jane wastes time" "Jane often interrupts" "Jane is a cow" "Jane causes a ruckus.")

The above is the literal answer to your question - "What to do in the described workplace."

Dumpster fire situation :(

Honestly, the situation you describe is completely bizarre.

Taken at face value, you should just

  • politely and clearly explain to the boss that the company is a dumpster fire

  • politely thank them for having given you a job

  • politely walk out the door and wave goodbye

Note - when you "think you can never get another job", that is always an illusion. You'll easily get another job; that is more so true if you take a stand about not taking part in bizarre whackiness.

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    See "you" as not only Sara but the whole group B. – puck Feb 18 at 15:32
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    You may also consider secretly recording the shenanigans if this is legal where you live. Bear in mind, the last bullet point above IS your only recourse. You will likely not get Group A fired, reprimanded, or actually facilitate any change, accept that. Turning over evidence of their behavior will just give you some peace and maybe, just maybe the dumpster fire will spread and the whole place will burn to the ground (especially if group B decided your efforts were the tipping point towards getting them to leave). – Bill Leeper Feb 18 at 15:47

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