And you thought you were done with cliques, didn’t you?
Walk into any high school cafeteria and it won’t be long before you spot them. It’s the same in your office lunch room or cafeteria. The setting may have changed and the faces may be a little older, but they’re still there nonetheless.
It is like that in my office, although I must assert that the groups in my office are not mean to each other. My colleagues are not Mean Girls (or boys, for that matter). But they do break up in groups arranged in an unspoken seating chart.
At one end of the room sit the ladies that make the room hum with their conversation. You can hear their laughter resonate through the hallways leading into the room.
In the middle we have the puzzle group. This is an exclusive group, with a membership peppered by just one or two people at a time. They work on whatever puzzle is spread out on the table, concentrating on it until they fit the finishing piece.
On the other side of the puzzle table is the brain trust of the company: the engineers. You can hear them debate any subject from automotive engineering to highway construction. The subject is not important to the discussion; what matters is figuring out what everyone else is doing wrong.
At the other end of the room is the group of “up and comers.” This group has the Gen-X college grads who are frustrated with the status quo and their frequent rants could make the senior staff shake their heads as if to say “I remember when I was that young.”
Of course. as in any high school cafeteria, there are also the loners. They sit by themselves with a book (or E-reader) in hand as they try to enjoy a few minutes of quiet before returning to their busy desks. Or maybe they put their head down and return to the days of kindergarten when they could take a nap in the middle of the day.
As for myself, I’m a roamer. I have inserted myself into one or more of these groups when I don’t want to be one of the loners. That’s when I’m not in the warehouse doing my 30 minutes of walking, of course.