I've never been one to play at politics in the work arena, but often here stories of its existence. It is hardly uncommon to hear conversations about a colleague getting some favor or equipment from higher ups because they knew how to play The Game. I often knowingly nod my head when told of these incidents without having any sweet clue what transpired. But everyone knows The Game, right?
Perhaps my obliviousness to these maneuvers has, however, led me into the position of being right in the middle of such circumstances. I recently remarked to a Person With Power that we could really use This Thing and they agreed that it would be useful to many and should be acquired. "Cool." I thought, "This might happen."
And something odd did happen. Person With Power told me they were going to put out an RFP for people to request Things. PWP then indicated that the proposals would be open for anyone to view and comment on to provide feedback. At the time I presumed that whichever Thing got the most positive response would be the Thing that was acquired. Seemed fair, I can hardly claim to want This Thing for reasons that would be broadly appreciated.
The RFP went out and many people spent time writing up proposals for Their Things. Meetings were had, discussions were had, opinions were supplied. There was no vote or formal measure of opinion, but feedback was requested and provided.
I recently had a meeting with PWP, who told me that they planned to buy This Thing and that I should get a write up together. It became apparent that PWP had every intention to buy This Thing from the start of the process, but wanted others to feel their Things had been considered prior to buying This Thing.
So simply by having my priorities aligned with PWP's and suggesting the right Thing, it looks like we will soon be acquiring This Thing. Bully for me. However, it leaves me uneasy that it comes at the expense of many people's time spent chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. While today I am the beneficiary, this is the kind of stuff that makes people jaded and I have certainly been burned before.
I wonder whether others will think I know how to play The Game.