Bully at Work Moody Boss Karma Office Gossip No Picnic Back stabber Plug your Ears Moody Boss

Not in the in-crowd

Dear Office-Politics,

I’m in a office that deals with entertainment news reporting. There’s lots of frivolity in the office, but I am not being included in the festivities. Entire conversations will take place near my desk, but I am not invited to participate. I have no reason to believe that I’ve done anything to offend anyone, and my position as a writer does not put me in direct competition with them as they have the same or higher titles. I wouldn’t care, but I realize that there is a lot of behind-the-scenes information exchanged in these conversations, and I’m afraid I could be missing out on getting promoted since I’m not in the in-crowd, or worst yet, being let go because I don’t fit in.

Any suggestions on how to connect?


Not in the in-crowd

dina beach lynch

Dear Not in the in-crowd,

You’re right to recognize that informal gatherings at work can be an important source of information and a way for co-workers to promote familiarity and trust with each other.

Based on your note, I wonder what attempts you’ve made to join in the fun. Sometimes it’s not about being invited in the conversation but rather adding a comment or observation when an opening arises. You might try using an open ended question directed towards one person to prompt a response. Something like “Jane, which did you think were the two funniest stories we reported this week?’ The hope is to get the conversation ball rolling in your direction.

If that not your style, why not try to build a friendship with one or two members of the group instead. It might be easier and you’re likely to hear some of the office chatter that way. You might invite them to lunch or whatever social thing your office mates tend to do together.

Lastly, it’s ok to be a bit disappointed about this situation. We all want to be acknowledged and accepted at work and at home. It’s very likely that this is less about you and more about a general lack of sensitivity towards being inclusive.

Thanks for writing to Office-Politics.



Dina Beach Lynch, Mediator

Dina Beach Lynch, is an Ombudsman, Author and former attorney. An award-winning mediator, Dina served as the Corporate Ombudsman for the 7th largest bank in the US helping over 48,000 employees to resolve workplace issues.

What's your advice?

(You can also tweet it to @dearOP)