Those who have worked long enough will understand what I mean by the title. Constant gossiping, spreading of rumours and backstabbing, some people just make office life a battlefield. As if stress from the work itself isn’t bad enough.
That’s why I don’t actively take part in office gossip and I don’t spread news when I get them. A colleague commented that I really kept a piece of news ‘tight’ when I was the 2nd person to know it. I told her that it’s because it wasn’t my place to spread the news and it was up to the person himself who he wanted who to know.
However, not everyone is like me. The more common behaviour is to begin passing messages through the grapevine. Relish in the fact that he/she is the main source of office information. Then there are the shit-stirrers who have nothing else better to do than to discuss and theorise why certain colleagues are _____ instead of getting the truth from the horse’s mouth.
Why am I writing a post on office gossip and politics? That is because I have been or am still a ‘victim’ of it. I have experienced other kinds of politicking…with someone spreading rumours and gossip about me all the way in Hong Kong. It’s amazing how people believed those gossip when that ex-colleague didn’t even work in the same country as me. Honestly, I don’t give a flying rat’s arse about people talking about me but it really hurts when people aren’t sympathetic and instead, think the worst of me. I’ve been very open and honest but I do want my privacy to a certain extent. I go on medical leave and hospitalisation leave because I am/was sick or am/was hospitalised! Just because other people take medical leave simply because they just don’t feel like going to work does not mean that I am guilty of it.
Through all these experiences, I’m glad that I was brought up a Catholic and that I have learnt not to be a gossip monger. Now I know why in Sunday School, the teachers kept emphasising that we shouldn’t gossip. The power of words is incredible and you’ll never know the full effects of your words until something similar hits you. As they say, karma is a bitch so be a good boy/girl and don’t gossip. Meaning, do not spread malicious or say mean things about others. If you’re on the other end (ie. listening to the gossip), tell yourself NOT to spread it further (if you’ve ever played the game ‘telephone line’, you’d know how ‘information’ gets screwed up) or stop it altogether by stating facts that you do know. It’s definitely not easy. It’s easier to be part of the whole gang and share ‘information’ at the water-cooler or cubicle.
Every time I hear gossip that doesn’t seem totally true, I tell myself, “Is this going to affect me or the person in subject?” and then I try to get the full story. If anyone asks me about it, I’ll then be able to substantiate my ‘claims’ by backing it up with sources of information. Nonetheless, I often save myself the trouble and go, “I only heard this but I’m not sure that it’s true.” or I don’t care about the piece of news unless told to me by the actual person.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” so I’m starting with this topic – Office Politics. Be with me and just stop it. It’s destructive and unnecessary. If you don’t get along with a colleague, so be it. It’s a personality clash, not a reason for you to talk bad about him/her to others. Yes, there is a fine line between ranting to a colleague and talking bad so watch yourself. Make your office life a more friendly one as we’re all in the same pond of poo called work and work is stressful enough.