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Gossip in the Workplace

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Dear Delores

How do I best handle snakes in the workplace? Recently a former employee was rehired, she's a terrible gossip and relishes in the fact that she "keeps it real". Which to me is just rude behavior, being loud and getting into everyone's business. I am cordial and luckily I really don't have to be around her more than 10 mins a day (which is all that I can handle before she becomes aggravating). My problem is not her it's since she's been here she's befriended another employee who also likes to gossip. I do not like the other lady point blank. She's a sneaky sort, one that will be nice to your face then talk about you while you're away. I personally graduated high school, I'm at least a decade younger than these women. I didn't care for that kind of school back when I was young kid, let alone a grown woman. But they try to involve me in things. Most of the time they are content to ignore me and gossip among themselves, but when there is drama involving other employees they come over and try to tell me everyone's business. They tell me things that they say about one another and it feels like they tell me these things, so that I will go and repeat the gossip. This isn't a good work environment, I know. But my job is good, I've been here for many years, longer than both of these ladies combined. How do I tell these ladies to shut up and leave me alone without coming off as a rude bitch?

 


 

My advise to you would be to ignore them as long as they are gossiping among themselves. However,

 

if they come to you directly and talk to you about the personal business of others that is a different matter. Gossip that can damage is always unwelcome in the workplace, but is an unavoidable presence none the less. Gossip can spread harmful information most of which is usually false. Remember the game we used to play in school where everyone would line up and the first student would whisper something to the next student and down the line it would go until it reached the last person and they would say out loud what they were told. It never matched the original message. Never! That's how gossip works as well. Negative gossip can deplete or harm morale. Since gossip carries both truth and untruths, take everything you hear with a grain of salt. The best way to deal with the two people you speak of is to be honest and direct. You don't have to be ugly, just be matter of fact. Tell them you don't appreciate their gossip and do not wish to share in it. If that does not do the trick you should file a complaint with your boss. It's very sad to me that some people thrive on negative gossip about others when in fact, it may be a reflection of what's going on their own lives. Ask them how they would feel if the shoe were on the other foot. Maybe they'll think about it, maybe they won't. At any rate maybe they'll leave you out of it.

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