IT TOOK five months to crystallise my hatred for office politics. When I started work, it was something of a novelty, something to get used to along with the rest of the new job. Now, it's something that slows down work, makes it less efficient, and throws up occasional nasty surprises to be dealt with.
Playing the game is sometimes fun, of course. You can have a laugh about the antics people get up to. It helps if a colleague is sympathetic and sees things the way you do.
I wouldn't say the experience is worthless. It's forcing me to discover what kind of job environment I'd like to work in. When I'm faced with a job task or problem, I don't just like to solve it--I like to solve the general class of problems in that category, and discover and handle the root cause(s). I like to tackle a problem from the ground up, and if necessary, design a new workflow to handle it.
Unfortunately, I can only do that for the relatively trivial tasks which are given to me to do in whatever way I want. For more well-established tasks and duties, things which have been set in their ways for many years, all I can do is follow along doing exactly as I've been instructed--and maybe supplement it with a little more to make things easier in the long run. But in the short run, that always adds up to more work. It's almost not worth it.
I was never into Dilbert much before, but I did know what PHB stood for (Pointy-Haired Boss). After having experienced it for myself, I actually have it like a morning dose of coffee, and I have some consolation that, I'm not the only guy in the world who has to put up with a PHB.