Author Topic: S/O Career Sins - Gossip  (Read 4769 times)

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Sirius

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2013, 04:45:47 PM »
The best way to prevent gossip is to not give anyone fodder for the gossip mill in the first place.


So basically, blame the victim?

This isn't blaming the victim.  The victims in this case gave the mill plenty of fodder. 

artk2002

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2013, 04:50:47 PM »
The best way to prevent gossip is to not give anyone fodder for the gossip mill in the first place.


So basically, blame the victim?

This isn't blaming the victim.  The victims in this case gave the mill plenty of fodder.

Gossip is wrong, no matter what the fodder. As others have pointed out, simply saying "hello" to someone of the opposite gender can trigger talk in some environments. Unless the couple were smooching in the closet or using the conference table for the wrong purpose, they don't carry the blame here. None of the behaviors in the OP should be considered "fodder" for gossip.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Veronica

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2013, 05:57:17 PM »
The best way to prevent gossip is to not give anyone fodder for the gossip mill in the first place.


So basically, blame the victim?

This isn't blaming the victim.  The victims in this case gave the mill plenty of fodder.

Really, this is "plenty of fodder"? 

"Coffee together, lunches, always hanging around each others desks etc."

I need to tell my co-worker we need to stop having lunch together.  In fact we often have closed door meetings with just the two of us, I'll let him know we need some sort of chaperone.   I guess we should also tell our spouses that the four of us can't hang out on weekends either anymore. 

Oh no, wait, we're professional adults who work well together and we just happen to be of the opposite sex.  Also, this isn't the 1800s.

Florida

MayHug

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2013, 06:20:53 PM »
I once was the victim of malicious gossip at work. I work with mostly women and our boss is a man.

Because I was taught to respect my boss and do a good job(and therefore received advancements) and dared to have meetings with him it was decided I must be sleeping with him. One person even wrote about it on her Facebook getting fired employees to chime in.

When that didn't go well, another worker decided to spread the rumor that my husband and I enjoyed threesomes. The main problem with being it was a small town and my husband was a prominent pastor.

Fortunately I am still at the same job and they are not.

dharmaexpress

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2013, 07:22:05 PM »
Quote
  Sorry, re-reading my post I realised I forgot to add that the gossip was actually true.         

I rather guessed that from his somewhat telling reaction.

And I think what you do about gossip is ignore it.  Though, I work in a field job with no coworkers on a daily basis, so maybe that's easy for me to say.  I guess I believe what other people think of me is their business (particularly work folks and acquaintances).

Dr. F.

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2013, 08:15:11 PM »
It's odd - I was also a victim of this kind of gossip also, for no actual reason. I did no more than was described in the OP, and what the gossips didn't know is that I was equally friends with the wife of the couple, but she worked elsewhere, so the coworkers only saw me interact with one half of the couple. The coworker and I would chat about this-and-that that we'd done outside of work time, without feeling the need to say that the wife was also there (unless it came up organically, I mean, it wasn't hidden - I never even thought about it, really, not thinking my life was of interest to everyone else.)

End result - gossip. I laughed it off, he laughed it off. It wasn't until his wife laughed it off at a company Christmas party she attended that the gossips were (at least mostly) silenced. There are still probably people that would say that we had an affair, even though that's not even remotely true. (Seriously - going to lunch in a busy restaurant together?)

I am still friends with the coworker and his wife, even though neither of us work there anymore. I am not in contact with the gossips anymore.

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2013, 08:38:16 PM »

...   I would recommend not doing whatever it is that produces the gossip, especially for these two twits.

Some of the worst, most disgusting, gossip I've ever heard was about two people who absolutely, positively did NOTHIING that could have suggested that there was any truth to it.  It was simply totally made up by people who were mad because someone with "less professional experience" at their job got a raise in both position and pay and they were trying to make it seem like 'there must be a reason (smirk, smirk) that that happened". 

We've all heard the expression "Where there's smoke, there's fire."  Well, sometimes there is no smoke.  The red, fiery hot passion of jealously or envy only has to rear its ugly head and the blaze begins.

oceanus

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2013, 08:53:14 PM »

...   I would recommend not doing whatever it is that produces the gossip, especially for these two twits.

Some of the worst, most disgusting, gossip I've ever heard was about two people who absolutely, positively did NOTHIING that could have suggested that there was any truth to it.  It was simply totally made up by people who were mad because someone with "less professional experience" at their job got a raise in both position and pay and they were trying to make it seem like 'there must be a reason (smirk, smirk) that that happened". 

We've all heard the expression "Where there's smoke, there's fire."  Well, sometimes there is no smoke.  The red, fiery hot passion of jealously or envy only has to rear its ugly head and the blaze begins.

So true, gramma dishes.
Sometimes it's not even a promotion/raise that triggers the malicious gossip.  Sometimes it's just sheer meanness (although jealousy often plays a part).  I believe some people are bad seeds, and their mouths can do a lot of damage.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2013, 01:10:35 AM »
The dynamic at my workplace is a little weird.

I work in a small machining and fabrication shop.  (I'm described as having "A white-collar mind and blue-collar hands".  I love the shop environment, it suits me very well.)  Our lead hand, Jamie, is not well-liked by most of the other shop floor workers; this is kind of typical of this industry.  Everyone hates the lead hand because he's in charge and has to deliver sometimes unpleasant orders to the other workers.  I always have had the attitude "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it."  While Jamie and I don't see eye-to-eye on some things, we get along well enough.  I respect his knowledge, which he's been very generous with, and I have learned a lot from him.  We aren't "friends" per se but we do have a good working relationship, and make a good team.

It certainly doesn't hurt me to be nice to Jamie but as the other shop workers started to see how Jamie and I work well together, and that he treated me far less abruptly than he did the other shop floor people, rumours abounded that we must have more than a "work" relationship, if you know what I mean.  The fact that it's common knowledge also that I'm in a relationship with Anthony (who used to work there) only added fuel to the fire, because Jamie and Anthony hate each other with a fiery passion.

The rumours got out of hand to the point where Jamie and I were both called up on the carpet by our boss, who fortunately believed us when we both firmly denied we were anything more than co-workers.  The boss had never said anything about the relationship between Anthony and I, because while we didn't actively hide anything or lie about it, we acted professionally at work and it was never an issue, but our boss felt that all the gossip flying around about Jamie and me was getting out of hand and causing problems.  He couldn't have inappropriate relationships causing disruptions in the shop, of course.

Whenever either of the two shop hands who were mostly responsible for the gossip would suggest there was anything going on between Jamie and me, I would just shrug and say, "That's news to me," or "Wow, you seem to know more about my love life than I do!"  I refused to let them get a rise out of me, and I refuse to participate in gossip of any kind because of things like this.  Even though it may start out harmlessly enough, in the long run it can be very damaging to someone's career.



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Octavia

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2013, 12:41:50 PM »
The way I have handled office gossip about me depends on what level of authority or influence the gossipers had over me. In the case where the gossips were a level above me and were going to have an adverse impact on my career, I left the group as soon as I found another job.

More recently there were two gossips in my group who were two-three levels below me. I caught them multiple times saying vicious things, and one made the mistake of accidentally sending a nasty e-mail about me to me instead of to her fellow gossip. I forwarded that one to their boss, and he had stern words with them. There was a non-apologetic apology, after which things settled down to a chilly silence. Not long afterward I received a promotion and was put in charge of a major project. The gossips approached me to join my team. I told them that they would not be a good fit as I wanted trustworthy team players. And good luck with their careers. Sometimes things work out for the best.
"I never explain anything." ~Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

Lynn2000

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2013, 03:58:55 PM »
I was thinking about my own workplace regarding this thread. I've worked in the same small office for a number of years; the industry naturally has high turnover so only about three of us (including the boss) have been there for a "long" time. Generally the people we have now are very nice.

However, I do tend to keep discussion of my personal life to a minimum. My boss and the other long-timer (Grace) are the sort who, if given an inch of personal information, will take a mile of assuming they can give me advice about my life and discuss it with others. And they tend to be rather alarmist and worry about ridiculous things.

For example, one day I had a doctor's appointment in the middle of the work day. Of course I had to let my boss know I'd be gone, and I also let Grace know because my absence meant she'd have to do something extra at work. All I said was, "I'll be away for a doctor's appointment between noon and two." When I got back in the afternoon, a totally different co-worker, Anna, came rushing up to me and asked in a concerned tone if I was okay. Apparently Grace had told her about my doctor's appointment in the most ominous way possible, with speculation about what it was for, to the point where Anna thought something was seriously wrong with me.  ::) Um, it was my routine yearly physical, if you must know, that I scheduled two months ago.

So the gossip here isn't catty and malicious, but it's definitely uncalled-for and unprofessional, not to mention annoying. And hence why I try to give them very, very little fodder for it.
~Lynn2000

nonesuch4

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2013, 09:02:26 AM »
The couple in the original post forgot the lesson learned at many a mother's knee;  He who excuses himself, accuses himself.

Plausible deniability is your friend. 

I had a co-irked who started a casual conversation with me, but was fishing for information.  "George flirts a lot, but somehow gives the impression that he's not available. I don't know whether he's seeing someone, or he's g@y."  I said if he's making it clear he's not available, the reason didn't really matter, did it?

petal

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2013, 02:52:06 AM »
I was the victim of some nasty gossip a fair few years ago  but not in an office setting  and i can tell you that now i would have no hesitation going up to the gossip mongerer and saying in a loud voice  "how dare you"  and confronting them

gossip is disgusting and needs to be stopped dead

Margo

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Re: S/O Career Sins - Gossip
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2013, 09:43:48 AM »
I think a lot depends on the situation, and on the personal and professional links between the people concerned.

A very bland, non-reaction can be quite effective on shutting down gossip at at early stage - the kind of "what an odd suggestion" or "I don't know, but I don't see that it is relevant either way" whether it is about you or about someone else. Getting no reaction makes it much less interesting to gossip, and the 'I don't see it is relevant' can (in situations like the one nonesuch4 described) be fairly effective as there is an implied rebuke there, but you don't have to specifically accuse the gossip of gossiping ("I'm sorry, why are you telling me this? What does it have to do with [work related issue]" also works pretty well!)

I think it the gossip is something potentially career damaging then I think it is appropriate to raise it more formally.

If the gossip is about *you* then I think it depends whether it is relevant to your work or not. If not, then if anyone raises it I think you're fine to simply redirect the conversation to work related issues. Depending on circumstances, saying something which explicitly identifies it as gossip can be helpful - no-one ever likes to admit that they are gossiping. An unconcerned-sounding  "Oh, I never listen to gossip"  is a great get-out - you don't have to respond at all to the allegation or gossip itself, so you don't have to deny, confirm or explain whatever it is you (or your coworker) is alleged to have done, and since the word 'gossip'  has negative associations, so it turns it around to the gossipers feeling a little embarrassed that they got caught gossiping, and the attention moves away from whatevr it is they were gossiping *about*