Being stuck in a position where everyone is on one side of the fence while you’re sitting on the other can be rough, but when it comes to work – sometimes you have to suck it up and push through because you have rent to pay and a kid to feed. That’s the case with Cree. She loves her job but sometimes the people around her can be a bit much as their views on things like Black Lives Matter and religion may as well be on a different planet when compared to hers. Like many though, she has adjusted to this work clique and explains why so as she so poignantly puts it, “friends by circumstance rather than choice.”
Kendra: Being part of a clique is usually associated with high school, but we tend to find ourselves in them as adults as well. Would you say you’re a part of a clique in life?
Cree: Definitely. I think most adults are part of cliques whether they realize it or not. There are work cliques, family cliques, even cliques within cliques.
Kendra: You have your work friends and your real world friends. What are the biggest differences between these two groups?
Cree: My real world friends are people I CHOOSE to be around. A select few people who I make an effort to see and love to spend time with, even it’s only once in awhile. My world friends are people who I just happened to meet…Whom I see more often because like it or not I spend more time at work then socializing, but doesn’t mean that they are necessarily people i will see when I no longer work there; friends by circumstance rather than choice.
Kendra: Do you have to sort of change your demeanor depending on which crew you’re with, and can’t that get exhausting?
Cree: I think most well adjusted adults change their “personality” based on who they’re around. Not necessarily change, but slightly alter might be a better phrase. With my best friend I may talk about my husband, religion, issues at work, sex, love or anything! I’m allowed to be myself and not apologize for it. With my work friends I have to be careful not to mention too often that I’m an Atheist. Or that I’m way more liberal than most of them. I have to tone down my personality in a way that I can’t really explain. I have to be more vanilla to blend in better and not offend people, otherwise I may rish promotions or advances in my career. I don’t find it exhausting, it’s a normal thing for me.
Kendra: In the grand scheme of things, who is worse when it comes to cliques – men or women and why?
Cree: Oh jeez! I have no clue! I can only make an assumption that maybe women, being that they are sometimes more socially tuned into their surroundings, as they may alter themselves more often. Whereas men may not.
Kendra: Do you worry about your daughter having to deal with cliques when she grows up?
Cree: Nah, I think it’s a normal part of life. She will have family, work and school cliques….But I do hope that she builds a life that she doesn’t have to change her personality too much. My career I have built, I have surrounded myself with right wing conservatives, something I’m definitely not. I hope she finds a career where can be her true self most of the time. But we always wish the best for our babies.
Kendra: Lastly, in your experience – what’s the highest high and lowest low of cliques?
Cree: The highest high is being able to blue lines and mix and mingle with almost anyone, and the lowest low is hiding parts of myself because certain cliques are more judgemental than others.