my comment to this posting by CyranoDeMet on his blog - nosthoughts.blogspot.com/
he's a fine writer - see also - cyranosdemet.deviantart.com/
[be warned. he's ...different]
Possible reasons for changes in co-worker behavior -
There are the fortunate few who, if independently wealthy, would happily work at their vocations without pay. Then there are the rest of us who, though work is not necessarily always a drag, are there only for the money, as much as we can earn without totally selling our souls.
I spent 24 years working in a business where I at first assumed advancement into relatively high management was well within my potential. However, as the company was 'progressively' merged into two subsequent companies, each with more predatory corporate 'employee demand without equal compensation' than the previous, I found that upward mobility required compromises I could not make. In a nutshell, I had too much empathy for my fellow employees.
I was forcibly promoted twice. Both times i made them take it back, [but kept the raises in hourly pay, of course]. Meanwhile, I made sure i received the highest annual raises, and occasional merit raises too. How i did these things is another story.
'Having said all that', I spent years in a position where I could see the changes in the behaviors of fellow workers who either; finally accepted promotion into management after years of simply doing a fine job; or - was intent on advancement from the very beginning, and subsequently moved up, [a few quite far up].
Many, maybe most, employers warn new managers to 'not fraternize', always be businesslike, to let old friendships go - so as to never be subject to credible accusations of favoritism. Some new managers of course, cannot do this without appearing cold where they used to be warm. No more stops at the nearby pub for a couple of beers with friends from work. They, having accepted the company line, sadly think they have to appear to be pricks.
A very few have an innate ability to not play favorites while still maintaining fairly warm friendships. Unless pushed too far by some idiot currying favors, they will never be pricks.
Some simply are more inherently adept at using people. What appeared as friendships were just ways of getting along until their maneuvering for advancement gained fruition. They used others to get there. It becomes ingrained as a way toward further success. They're selfish, maybe a bit sociopathic. They're always going to be pricks.
In our social lives, everyone tries to play the part we, deep inside, want to play, unless we're psychically unable to for various nature/nurture reasons. We do what we become 'as meant to do' - not from the beginning, nothing fated, but as life and our inherited natures at any particular time dictate us to do. Though we try, we have little free will, unless we acquire 'the skill' of using it. That also, is another story.
Management, being made up of humans, will behave as humans do - in all varieties.
Happiness, [or 'contentment with one's life', as continued 'happiness' may be an unattainably quixotic quest]?
'Contentment' may be our attainment of a reasonable amount of self-understanding, to the point of closer observation of, and better understanding of, the behavior of others. This, not to judge ourselves or others, but to be able to accept both.
Contentment is the acceptance of life as it is unfolding, with neither confusion nor upset - to live 'now', appreciating one's consciousness and the whole of the cosmos and existence.
Contentment is to know: 'life feels personal, but it's not'.
I think I am quite content.
IMO - from what I've learned -