Office Politics

career womenWhat would office be without office politics and email ambushes? Clean, fun, productive? The kind of environment we all like to show up raring to go on Monday morning. Or is that a moot question, for politics is as much of human nature as communication is. Is the urge to rise up the corporate ladder at the cost of others a primal one? When political correctness and years of civilization has forced us to be less animal, is this where we show our talons?

So when I came back to my desk after lunch, there was an email from, lets call him Saurav. It was an email about my work. A project I was leading and had worked really hard on.  Only thing is, it was not addressed to me. But to some others in the management, strategic colleagues and the powers to be. I wasnt even in the cc list. The email just reached me as one of the recipients found it unusual that an email about my work would not include me and send it on.

I had just finished what I considered a really successful presentation in front of the management team. And Saurav, though not one of the management team, was part of the meeting. Just minutes after it was over, he sent out  this classic political email which began with two perfunctory sentences recognizing our progress followed by reams of suggestions and thoughtful assertions on where the gaps were. On why and how he had identified those gaps, on how our success was at risk. It was keyword optimized – all the hot buttons of the senior managers were there.

I walked over to Saurav. Ask him why he never talked to me about it. He keeps his eyes averted, and says ‘Its all in the email, why do I need to talk’.

I want to ask him why he did not send me the email. I do and it sounds a bit high schoolish. He looks at me straight in the eye and says ‘I did not think I needed to’.

And he is right. He didnt. That would not be political. Just productive.

Last 5 posts by Amrita Bakshi


  1. Khushi

    This is one of the greatest, unsung benefits of staying at home. Freedom from cc’s and bcc’s and forwards.

  2. Oh, how my blood boils just reading this. I have been on the receiving end of such games, so can completely relate to how you must have felt. But, like you said, such politics and pettiness is part of the human DNA and one just has to learn how to deal with these elements without letting it take over our peace and sense of self-worth. I hope you find a way to rise above it all and that the powers-to-be see it for what it’s worth.

  3. Indrani

    A good post. Unfortunately politics is everywhere… not limited to offices… in schools, cultural organisations, religious institutions.. You name it and its there. I guess wherever there’s human relations which is not just out of genuine love, care and compassion, its got to be presnt.

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