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Sorry to hear that you are being persecuted by your co-workers. You have my moral support here.
I don't know if you paint your figures or not. If you do, have one of your co-workers sit down and pick up a brush to paint a figure. I bet he will appreciate our hobby and your talent afterwards.
I also put up one or two figures in my office and recently received a nice response from a co-worker and I ended up painting a figure for him as a Christmas present. Saved me money for a "real" gift and he was quite happy.
Yes, hang in there.
erik, it doesn't sound like that job you got is that great, since you have such primitive collegues.
IMHO, to cope with them, you need to develop a strategy.
They are strong now, because they are allied in bullying you, for the purpose of having fun on your account. Don't try to fight a war you have no chance of winning. Whatever you would do now, to show that soldier-collecting ain't stupid, wouldn't help, because all they want now is more input from you, to be used as fodder for the jokes.
Instead, get informations on their hobbies. See where you can get a possibility to crack their alliance, thus shifting some of the fun they make of your hobby, to something or someone else. Get at least one of them, to make fun with you, on someone else. If nothing else, make fun - but on a single target, one person, don't try it on several - on how boring he is.
After a time, your hobby will not be used for bullying anymore - also time will make it obsolete. Only then, can you show the higher value of your hobby.
This would be Sun Tzu's advice, modulated by Mao Tze-Dun: make protracted war when weak, use guerrilla tactics, attack only when the odds are positive, otherwise retreat. When you get strong, only then assault.
I am proud of my hobby. I had a project for AP World History on the crimean war, so i made a little diorama with Stretlets figures. I got some 40 Year Old Virgin references but otherwise people were impressed with my painting skills. By the way my girlfriend thinks its amazing.
Hi, Erik, I tend not to tell people because I can't be bothered by the necessary explanations.
With the fools you work with that's too late but I guess workplace bullies would find *something* to pick on regardless.
My advice, take it if you can (like all bullies, they'll tire if you don't react) or take it to management as a case of harrassment.
best of luck & BE STRONG!
I join the others in supporting you against your co-workers. Never mind them. Be strong, stick to your job and stick to this really COOL hobby.
It's a 4 day process:
day #1 you put up a figure of xxxx and you write down your co-workers nasty comments...
day #2 put up a figure of yyyyy with his friend/bodyguard and tape your coworkers.
day #3 put up the leading figure of zzzzz and make a video of you co-workers.
day #4 you send evidence to the friends of xxxx, yyyyyy and zzzzz. Things will be taken care of.
You can think of variables for xxxx, yyyyy and zzzzzz, which I chose to leave out.
Seriously, assuming your situation is indeed serious and not just a joke...stop using your work computer for private stuff. YOur employer pays you for work and not for sitting around. If this job is your dream job, try to keep it. Try to think of your employer and your customers. They must feel betrayed if you browse the web instead of being 100% committed to their needs. I know I would feel that way if I were your employer.
Call the ACLU if you're under attack and continue to be harrassed for your personal preferences - but first stop bringing your personal life to work.
erik, i know what you're going through. i face not derision for my hobby, but utter apathy. actually, i find it amusing. but i do work with enough military history buffs and ex-g.i.s who appreciate modeling. there are a few motorcycle guys who laugh at my hobby. if i valued their opinion, it might matter. as it is, they may laugh, but they have no creativity, no imagination, and even less patience. i actually pity them. there are a lot of people in society who lead empty lives spent watching tv in futile hopes of being enlightened or entertained...and that's their life. be happy your're not one of those pitiful wraiths.
When I was younger I used to be embarrassed about my interest in the hobby, and I didn't tell anyone. Now I'm a bit older, 40's, I am quite relaxed about it. I don't tell people about it unless they show an interest, but I am happy to talk about it and if people ask what my hobbies are I tell them. My girlfriend has absolutely no interest in my hobby and thinks it is stupid, but I don't care. Most men are still kids at heart as they get older.
I have also faced that kind of teasing, (including jibes about the 40yr old virgin), but I don't get it anymore.
As others have said, I mention the value of my collection and I have also brought in some of my painted figures. People tend to change their tune when they need a piece of a microscope to view the detail. And when I mention that I wrote and self-published a book on the subject, it really shuts them down.
Also tell them that this is the hobby of kings, presidents, generals and movie stars. (many English Kings, Eisenhower, Patton, Michael J Fox, Douglas Fairbanks Jr)
You have already gotten some good advice from Jan. When at work, focus on the job they pay you to do. Same I tell my wife, do not Bookmark Sites on your company P.C. It belongs to them. Bookmarks and private e-mails can used against you as grounds for termination. Do not leave any paper-trails via e-mail etc. Enjoy your hobby at home on your P.C. Thats the hard part.
The good part, work hard to make friends and supporters in your office. Ask your co-workers what their interests and hobbies are. Show sincere interest in their lives and they will do the same back. Have a brewsky after work or go to lunch with them once in a while to build their trust. But stay out of their petty fights and quarrels. Don't take sides and everyone will trust you. Remember, be a "Professional and a Gentleman."
If you let them be them, and they let you be you, and you stay focused and interested in your job in the workplace, that's the dream job.
Now, come to us with your hobby. This is maybe the best place for it.
Let me tell you...
First, I know it can be bad for you, and we're all with you on it 100%! Hang in there, and stand like a soldier! Whatever kind of soldier you like...a Zvezda ashigaru, a WWII whatever, Strelets ACW, anything!
I must say that I agree that you shouldn't do anything personal at work, for the reasons stated above.
That said, you know why they make fun of you? Because they don't understand you. They're not educated enough to understand that we grasp history like they never could hope to. It's more about history than anything, at leat to me. It's also art.
I was amused to see it recommended to discover their hobbies. Good idea, that's what I thought of...I'll bet that they have some stupid thing that they do for fun. It might help to find one or two out and launch it back at them (but I wouldn't get into an actual battle about it). I think sports are stupid. I think most movies are stupid. Everyone like what they do. Don't persecute them unduly for things that aren't so bad, and don't let it get to you when they do it to you.
At my job I am also the brunt of some jokes from other guys. I brush it off. It never bothers me. If they are low enough to resort to it, then bravo for me, not for them!
Here's a little personal anecdote here. You wanna see a REALLY stupid hobby? I'm a Lego collector, and proud of it too. You want to see what I make? Look here:
Now that's even more "childish" than soldiers. So what if they're small and plastic? Doesn't make them toys.
Don't worry about it. They are the "lower" ones here. Show them that their criticism does not bother you (smile and say something patronizing--"You just are upset because I have the best hobby in the world" or something like that), and go on with it. Never let people like this bother you.
They're everywhere. Trust me.
Oh, sorry, I forgot to ask, can you give any documentation for the Patton/Ike issue?
This is truly exciting, if it's a fact.