Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Office Politics


Who is a more annoying co-worker: The tattletale or the gossip?

In a work environment, unfortunately there are always some co-workers who are the tattletale and some who are the gossip.

A gossip is like a person spraying verbal graffiti. He or she tags personal information about other co-workers. But generally everyone will know the gossip, and if he is sensible, he will take the gossip with a pitch of salt. To safeguard against the tactics of the gossip, you have choices, you need to discern what to tell your gossiper, and you will be okay. When we were young, we chant, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Of course, some of these words can hurt, but we can learn to handle them. If we remember that words are just words. They mean nothing unless we allow them to.

However, the tattletale is a different kettle of fish. He takes it upon himself or herself to be the office spy for the boss. He does it with such secrecy that the others don't know what he is reporting. This causes suspicion in the office and creates a very unpleasant environment to work in. Often, he reports untruths and this causes a lot of trouble. If the boss isn’t a good boss to ascertain what is right and what is wrong, this will ultimately lead to a high turnover in the staff.

Imagine, you have something really urgent to do, and you need to take fifteen minutes off, and the boss is not in the office. You tell another co-worker you are leaving. The next day, you called to the boss's office for sneaking off the day before. The co-worker is called into the office as well. When you walk out of the office, you see the tattletale grinning to himself. He thinks the two of you are in big trouble.

You shoot dangers with your eyes at her, and then grin. You tell everybody that the boss didn't mind that you took time off. And to the tattletale's chagrin, you tell your co-workers that the boss would let the workers have time off if it was urgent.

Nobody likes a tattletale. He/she thinks if he reports everything to the boss, the boss will promote him. Sometimes he inflates himself and insists other people do his work because he could not cope because he had been busy playing the office spy. Being a team player and help him is one thing, but having to help him who is not towing the line is another. It simply isn't fair to everyone to have to have team spirit and help out when that one person is not.

I have worked in many office situations, luckily I didn't have to work with either type. But I would say certainly the tattletale is more annoying and is more detrimental to the workplace.

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