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eeach
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09 Aug 2007, 9:59 pm

So I have a new job in a completely new carrier field. We are a rowdy bunch of military maintenance personnel and I've been working here for about 3 months. The job is pretty in depth, and on the job training is an everyday thing. Most of the time I think that everyone hates me b/c I don't know what I'm doing or b/c I need so much help; most of the time it feels like they try to ignore me. But then someone will talk to me like I'm a normal person, not necessarily like I know what I am doing... but with what seems to be a genuine interest in helping me.

There are morale building games that usually border on hazing (I'm talking highschool locker room type stuff, not A Few Good Men type stuff). This is normal almost everywhere to some degree, and I can at least understand the motivation and purpose for it. Today, however, a practical joke was played on me that was rather humiliating. Now, as with most military things, this joke has some history and I had heard of it. I was very skeptical and it took almost an hour to set me up and convince me that it wasn't a joke.

Since there is history behind this joke, I could almost look at it as a right of passage of sorts. But, I'm just not sure; I've never really understood most jokes especially ones that are rather malicious. And that is really my question: How can you tell if people are making fun of you because they like you and want to include you or because they don't like you and you are an outlet for abuse?



alexbeetle
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10 Aug 2007, 4:20 am

I think if it is an historic joke that they often have used and if it is a one-off , i.e they are not repeatedly playing cruel jokes on you, then it is a right-of-passage and may be attempt to include you in the group.
I think your reaction to the joke will determine if you become a target for random abuse in the future.
Also if it took them so long to set it up instead of you being gullible and accepting the situation straight away then it gives them the message you are not such an easy target.
I would not dwell on it or complain about it unless further jokes are done


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Postperson
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10 Aug 2007, 5:36 am

hmm i think this could turn nasty. Ive been in similar situations in jobs, it starts with just one joke, and then you end up being the only one on the receiving end. everyone else likes it cos it keeps them out of the firing line, so they do all they can to see that you are always the target. I'd start keeping a log of this stuff.



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12 Aug 2007, 9:23 am

Regardless of the level of nastiness a practical joke is, I still find all of them pointless.

I try not to care for them, but I see it as if there doing this to me, it means they hate my guts out (which in ways is true) ;)