There is a group of people at work I call the Pack. Every few months or so the Pack targets a victim and starts a whisper campaign. Sometimes the victim is forced out of the company sometimes they weather the storm. I have been the target a few times but I have been able to ignore them as I used to be bullet proof. I don't know how long I can stay bullet proof though. My stocks in the company have fallen.
Recently a key member of the Pack has been giving me the purest look of loathing I have ever seen every time I walk past their desk. It is fairly blatant, not subtle at all.
Should I confront them? Should I ask them if I have offended them in some way? How likely are they to answer truthfully? Past confrontations by previous victims of the Pack have not gone well.
Over the years I have tried to talk to management about the over abundance of drama in the workplace, but I have been shot down before I can get started. I try to point out the effect on staff turn over. They say that turn over is average for the industry (its not) and they can't do anything about it (they can).
The problem is the Pack's behavior is a direct consequence of management attitudes. Management encourages competition, rivalry and conflict between their underlings in order to encourage more effort by the combatants. I would call it an unstated rule or unspoken policy except the managers talk about it all the time. They are quite open about it.
Any time there is any tension between co-workers the Pack picks a side praising one person and bad mouthing the other, fanning the flames and treating it as a spectator sport. I jump in trying to mediate offering a sensible compromise earning gratitude of some and the hostility of others. The grateful parties promptly leave the company which does not say much about my abilities as a mediator. However I have been able to put a stop to some distasteful behavior and I have a string of ex-co-workers who can not sing my praises loud enough, they give me glowing references and two even offered me a job although one of those was at a game startup so I am not sure if I should count that one. The Pack isn't a great fan of my meddling however I have not meddled lately so I am not sure about the cause of the sudden flare up.
So is a dirty look enough of an issue to risk poking the bear? Or if I ignore it is it only going to fester?