An understatement. 'A not so wonderful week,' that is. It started with Yammer and ended with Yammer, so I'll first lay out what went wrong in terms of this stupid social media site my coworkers and I were encouraged to join, by my boss, of all people. I received an email from my boss regarding this last week during my absence from work, and was so excited to see what it was all about, even going so far as to conjure up images of posts stating the truth about thoughts had by colleagues through the work day. Truth, none of this fake political BS, is what I thought would be contained within the site. I thought it would be a way to lighten up the work day, that it would be like passing notes in class, but for all to see and comment on in carefree fashion. I thought it would be a source of excitement to liven up the work day. How wrong was I. In reality, the site contains very little substance and is highly political. To demonstrate how little is actually going on, since I joined this week, there have only been a total of five to six new posts, all of which have read as follows (in no particular order and slightly modified for security purposes):
Post 1: Welcome Beth, let's all give Beth a warm welcome for joining Yammer. Do you have anything you would like to say to Beth?
Post 2: Welcome Jamie, let's all give Jamie a warm welcome for joining Yammer. Do you have anything you would like to say to Jamie?
Post 3: Welcome Anthony, let's all give Anthony a warm welcome for joining Yammer. Do you have anything you would like to say to Anthony?
Post 4: Welcome Ian, let's all give Ian a warm welcome for joining Yammer. Do you have anything you would like to say to Anthony?
Posted response: Hey Ian, wassup?
Post 5: Do your best in all your endeavors.
Posted response: You too. You always do!
Post 6: It's a lovely Friday.
Posted response: 'Tis.
The first day it was novel and I of course, in all of my idealist glory, anticipated something cool, something laugh worthy, something to ease the pain of being holed up in this cube surrounded on two sides by people who refuse to acknowledge me. I felt a bit disappointed however by the lack of activity as the day progressed. I expected more. Maybe a simple 'welcome!' in response to the 'Care to welcome new member Beth, anyone?' post at the top of the newsfeed. A new message would inevitably surface at some point and catapult us all into uncontrollable laughter. It would be so great. I could feel it coming. It would be an escape from the drudgery that is work. Then I started scrolling through the newsfeed. The posts were bland, trite. There were a few eager beaver type comments in response to the initial 'Welcome' notices, in which one coworker responded to each 'Welcome...' so it read like, 'Welcome Sandy,' 'Welcome Trudy,' 'Welcome Amy.' I felt bad because all of those welcomes were posted by one coworker. She eventually stopped, as clearly her anticipation had died, as mine would. A few other comments shown on the newsfeed read as follows: 'Hey bud, how are you doing this morning?!' 'Yo Chuckie.' 'Howdy, have a wonderful Turkey day.' Wow. Okay. This was not what I envisioned. There was no 'Omg, this xxxx is annoying as xxxx' 'God save me from this misery,' or 'this blows, I'm out,' to comfort the masses of employees who need that ray of sunshine. That peace of mind. That spark of normalcy and realness. The cold hard f'n truth, in other words. To further diminish the appeal of the site, only about three coworkers were logged onto the site throughout the day. Such a flurry of activity and excitement it was.
In a previous post, I mentioned how I had received an invite to the site from two coworkers. It made me feel good that one of my coworkers had thought to invite me. It was a cordial, 'Hey, you're invited, don't worry, we want you to join us.' The other coworker who sent the invite did so in obligatory fashion I realized upon thanking her, as she told me she sent one to everyone. 'Oh...thanks.' I laughed uncomfortably and felt myself blush with embarrassment.
On Tuesday, I received an email stating that I had a new follower. There's followers? Who knew? I have a follower! Yay. I logged on to see that those coworkers who had sent the invites were both listed as followers and it was showing that I was following them as well. This piqued my interest, this 'follower' aspect. I then then perused the site to see how many followers other coworkers had. It is then that I realized that it's more of an ego-boosting mechanism than anything else. The schmoozers, of courses, had the largest follower count. I noticed some had not returned the favor of following their followers. Definitely some machoism going on there.
It was not my intention to add any followers to my account. I had two followers and this suited me fine. I was largely outnumbered by nearly all of my coworkers, save the freshest members of the site, but who cared? I'm me, I don't follow. I do my own thing. I am the anti-hype, anti-follower non comformist. I refuse to follow and don't care if anyone follows me. A tiny part of me wished that I had some additional followers, but no biggie. I wasn't fretting it.
Of course, being the over analyzer that I am, my main concern was what my boss might think of my not following him, especially given that many in my department were. Not one to follow the crowd (I'm a marcher to the beat of my own drum in general), I wavered in terms of whether or not to follow him. I didn't want to just grant him the ego boost that he was possibly seeking, yet I didn't want the hassle of him thinking I wasn't being a team player or whatever by being the only one in our department to not follow him, so after some consideration, yet with reluctance, I pressed the follow button this morning. There is another manager I consider an acquaintance, and thought it would be nice to follow him also, so I clicked the follow button on his profile too. I decided if they didn't follow me back, I'd be okay with it. Sorta, kinda, maybe not, but I would at least try to be okay if there were a lack of reciprocation.
A few minutes after pressing the follow buttons on their profiles, I refreshed my email, expecting a reciprocal follow notification email. None to be seen. An hour passed. Still none. I logged onto the site, thinking maybe the site failed to generate a notification email. Yes, that had to be it. Checked my followers. Still had two. I felt a little disheartened. There was a very short lapse in time between pressing follow and my boss approaching me to discuss something, non work related. He had to be getting ready to follow soon. Yes, the email notification was coming, sooner or later. What about the other manager? I'm not sure as to his email turnaround time but I knew my boss had seen the notice shortly after it would have arrived.
Fast forward to this afternoon, I'm feeling a bit resentful at this lack of reciprocation from both of these managers. It's actually quite bothersome. I check the site once again and see that not only has my boss changed his profile picture, but whereas he had only followed about half of his followers when I last checked, at this time his follower count outnumbers his following count by one, the excluded one being me only.