Cliques At Work

Today has been a very unusual Saturday because I spent the day at work. I don’t normally work on weekends but volunteered to attend a professional development workshop as I couldn’t pass up the extra money they paid us to attend. Having to attend totally sucked up some valuable weekend rest time but I’m sure I will be happy that I did it once I receive that extra check.
As I was sitting in the workshop, I looked around and noticed all of the little groups of my co-workers that were sitting together. It reminded me of the cliques that we used to have in high school. We all know what that was like…Everyone was part of one clique or another as there were so many to choose from. You had the jocks and cheerleaders, the metal heads, the drama kids, etc. Then there were the cliques that were created simply because their members were the same race or nationality and spoke the same language.
What is it about us that makes us so afraid to be around people who are different from us? I understand that there is a certain level of comfort and familiarity from being around people who have similar backgrounds and generally have a lot in common. However, it would enrich our lives so much more if we were more open to the idea of learning from others who are different from us and sharing ideas and experiences with them.
I can’t help but thinking that someone always gets excluded when there are cliques. I’m sure that some people have a difficult time fitting into cliques because they are unique or eccentric and really don’t “fit” in with any one group. They probably have a lot to offer by way of friendship, engaging conversation, thoughts, and ideas. It is really sad that nobody reaches out to them because they are so wrapped up in their own conformity to the status quo.
As I sat among my co-workers today, I couldn’t help but think that it is sad that we carry this “clique” mentality with us throughout our lives, whether it be during our school years or our professional careers. I am even guilty of it myself as I tend to surround myself with friends that I have a lot in common with. Maybe it is just easier to surround ourselves with people that remind us of ourselves in many ways. We definitely need to start making more of an effort to broaden our horizons, be more tolerant and open-minded, and make more of an attempt to get to know people who might be outside our normal “comfort” zone. I think we might actually be surprised and have more in common than we ever would have thought.

© 2009, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.

Speak Your Mind

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.