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    harvs's Avatar
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    Default Who really has the power in your workplace?

    I was just thinking about how every school I've worked in, it's the front office people that actually have the power. They hear everything, talk to everyone, and seem to relish it.

    At the moment, our front office SSO is the only one with all of the keys to every building, likes to be cc'ed in to all emails in case parents ask her questions, etc... She seems to love if we have to ring and ask her questions about something if she's not in that day. She also knows many of the parents socially and loves being able to remind us how much they all confide in her about all of us.

    We also have a librarian who is often away and is the only one that has the borrowing software tied to her log in. I have been asking for years for all staff to be able to access it, because it's not rocket science to use it, and when she's not around the kids all have to write their books down by hand then she looks them up and borrows them out. Seems like double handling to me...

    Anyway, I digress...is this sort of thing just common to schools or are there similar power pockets in other jobs? Just wondering...

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    In my company it's finance, particularly the financial controller. He takes great pleasure in knowing most of what's going on but not sharing the information with people who need it to do their jobs, e.g. HR or the manager of the branch that the info relates to.

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    Maybe it's just her personality? Sounds like she relishes her position. Our office ladies (we have 3) would see and hear everything, have access to all keys but they are all down to earth. I guess the only one who is a bit snooty is the one in charge of stock. But I really think it's just her personality, she's quite moody (or comes across that way) but she doesn't let the "power" go to her head.

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    Please tell that she is not reading parents. That would absolutely horrify me. I would hate the front office people.to know the personal stuff about my kids/family that I send to teachers/principal.

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    Doesn't sound like my school. Sounds like you've just got some power hungry ppl there lol

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    The Director- she IS the admin, manager, everything.

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    Default Who really has the power in your workplace?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedV View Post
    Maybe it's just her personality? Sounds like she relishes her position. Our office ladies (we have 3) would see and hear everything, have access to all keys but they are all down to earth. I guess the only one who is a bit snooty is the one in charge of stock. But I really think it's just her personality, she's quite moody (or comes across that way) but she doesn't let the "power" go to her head.
    It probably is personality. But I guess my point is that it's been like that at every school I've been to. Although they have all been smallish and rural so maybe that's the connection?

    She's amazing at her job, too, I'm not having a go, I was just interested in how it transferred to other sectors of the community.

    Quote Originally Posted by LoveLivesHere View Post
    Please tell that she is not reading parents. That would absolutely horrify me. I would hate the front office people.to know the personal stuff about my kids/family that I send to teachers/principal.
    No! Definitely not! Although our parents don't generally email. That would never happen - we are very big on confidentiality. I just mean general things, like I am the school/interschool sport coordinator and she wants in on those emails in case parents ask her a question.

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    The men have all the power in my workplace. The many, many, many men.

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    My office manager, she not only knows all the actual business stuff ( accounts/money/wages ect) but knows all the office politics ( DH and I obviously knows all the business /account stuff as well but she knows way more about the staff than we do !)

    My admin staff definitely hold the power over the sales staff , we are lucky they all get along!! ( the girls totally have power over the boys)

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    Quote Originally Posted by harvs View Post
    I was just thinking about how every school I've worked in, it's the front office people that actually have the power. They hear everything, talk to everyone, and seem to relish it.

    At the moment, our front office SSO is the only one with all of the keys to every building, likes to be cc'ed in to all emails in case parents ask her questions, etc... She seems to love if we have to ring and ask her questions about something if she's not in that day. She also knows many of the parents socially and loves being able to remind us how much they all confide in her about all of us.

    We also have a librarian who is often away and is the only one that has the borrowing software tied to her log in. I have been asking for years for all staff to be able to access it, because it's not rocket science to use it, and when she's not around the kids all have to write their books down by hand then she looks them up and borrows them out. Seems like double handling to me...

    Anyway, I digress...is this sort of thing just common to schools or are there similar power pockets in other jobs? Just wondering...
    OMG YES! I am a teacher, & in my school, the office manager is really the person 'in charge'. I mean, technically it is the principal, but everyone knows it is really the office manager. And the office ladies in general. When I was at uni, I remember a lecturer saying to us training teachers "when you start at a new school, make friends with the office ladies. Get on their good sides straight away & you will be fine." lol. So it must be a school thing. One EG is that when we got a colour photocopier, only the office manager had the codes to colour photocopy. If we wanted something done in colour, we would have to ask her permission & she would decide if it was worthy of doing in precious colour, & then would copy it for us if she felt so. lol.

    Our library is EXACTLY the same, in fact, the librarian is the only one who can access the catalogue at all. If I want to borrow a book to use for teaching, I have no way of searching for it on the catalogue, I just have to browse the books until I find what I want.. SOooooooo annoying, and a massive waste of time! So that's it. The office lady and librarian. They run the school.

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