Monday, February 16, 2009

Blah ... Blah ... Blah ...

If there is one thing I can't tolerate, it's gossip. First of all, I find the private details of other people's lives really boring, so I don't want to hear about them. Second of all, no matter how you slice it, gossip is malicious. Gossip is rarely positive, and is almost always negative. People who gossip are usually the same people who tear other people down in order to build themselves up. So it is to their advantage to make other folks look bad --- and they do.

Every workplace has its share of gossips. They are usually the people who feel it is their duty to give office newcomers the "low down" on everyone else in the office -- especially if the newcomer happens to be a manager. The one consistency about the office gossip is they never tell the truth. Their smarmy little stories about other people are usually far removed from the truth, but how would the newcomer know that?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, especially if the first impression has been tainted by someone else's poisonous mouth.

The only thing worse than a gossip is a stupid gossip -- someone who thinks they know everything, but in reality they live on the dark side of the moon. If a story doesn't sound plausible, or if they don't have all the facts, they embellish it. The gossip's credo is "Why make someone else look good when you can make them look really bad." Usually the victim of the malicious gossip is not even aware of it until the harm has been done. A very special friend of mine uses an expression that I really like -- "You can't unring a bell."

Most organizations are beginning to take office gossip seriously. It has become part of the respectful workplace initiatives, and I'm glad of it. I have seen gossip ruin people's careers. I'm watching this happen to a couple of my co-workers, and they walk around the office with their heads down, looking completely defeated. The best way to stop a gossip is to turn away and not listen. Cut them off and don't even give them a chance.

43 comments:

Lorna said...

Jo, did something happen at work?
~Lorna

TallTchr said...

I suppose gossip is a sort of social vandalism, and vandalism is a crime people commit to protest their weakness. When I started teaching, I avoided the faculty cafeteria because all I heard there was grumbling and dish. I needed to stay idealistic, at least until I had tenure. Now I'm old and jaded, so I recall what Alice Roosevelt Longworth said: "If you can't say something nice about somebody, come sit by me."

introspection said...

It is all so true. And there are these other types who listen to others gossip and pass it on with added venom; it's a chain. Some just do it as habit perhaps without even realising how they ruin lives of other people.
I loved the expression 'you can't unring the bell'
I hate listening to gossip as I find it extremely unproductive in terms of any kind of self growth; besides being extremely boring....!

budh.aaah said...

I was almost a misfit at my workplace because all I would do was work, and the only breaks I took was the two L's - lunch and loo's :)

Just Breathe said...

I totally agree with this post!! In the Baha'i faith, we call it "back-biting" and it is a moral downfall and should be avoided at all costs. I never say something about another person if I cannot defend/explain it to that person to their face. In other words, if I can't say to them what I want to say to someone else about them, then my lips are sealed. We are our own worst enemies, aren't we? When I was younger, say 15, I told one girl that I thought this other girl was a "b**ch" b/c she did something to me. It got back to the other girl and she came and asked me why I called her that. . .so I told her. It was an interesting dynamic to say the least. Lesson learnt! Don't say it if you can't be held accountable for it. Besides if your own life is so boring that you have to talk about someone else's, then you better get a new hobby :-)

Jo said...

Lorna, no, nothing specific -- just the same old bullsh*t from someone who is making everyone else's life miserable with her yap, yap, yap... *sigh*

TallTchr, yes ... *heh* we can all fall trap to listening. I've heard that studies have shown ... that rumors and gossip are actually a necessary part of the human condition. Goodness!

Introspection, isn't it the truth that gossip is boring? Ask these people what books they have read lately, or ask them their opinion on anything, and they draw a blank. It's because they are basically stupid people.

Budh.aaah, you probably kept your head down and minded your own business, which is the right thing to do, and that makes people an outcast. Well, at least you have a clear conscience.

Just Breathe, "if your own life is so boring that you have to talk about someone else's, then you better get a new hobby :-)" Oh, yes! LOL. I like that word "backbiting." That's just what it is!

Anonymous said...

The problem is, everyone gossips. That's how society functions. Whether it's in offices or neighbourhoods or in friendships, communities etc. We are a social lot. We talk about other people. That is what we do, and that is gossip. It's not always negative, it's not always malicious but it is how people "network". Gossipping (?sp) is how people and communities have bonded for centuries. And it IS a part of the human condition. There has been no other way, technology hastens it, not impedes it either (Facebook? Texting? etc). Rise above the negative and don't be a target, perhaps...just MHO?

The Pink Cowboy said...

This subject terrifies me because I have seen people's reputations destroyed on account of malicious gossip. I've had more jobs than I care to mention but I can tell you that as soon as you start working alongs comes the co workers that wants you to know what is "really going on" in the office. They destroy people, is just tragic and senseless. Envy is their life force. The one thing I do when someone wants to reclute me for their petty gossip ring is to let them know I am very busy working and have to meet a deadline. This should be discussed in office all over the world but many times the bosses and supervisors are gossipy as well.

Jo said...

Anonymous, oh, yes I am aware that gossip is a form of social networking. It is malicious gossip that bothers me. There is a fine line between, say, People Magazine which is harmless gossip, and making stuff up in order to hurt other people. Gossipmongering is a form of social bullying. I'm watching someone at work being victimized at the moment, and she doesn't deserve it. The person who is doing it is vile.

PinkCowboy, you are so right when you say "Envy is their life force." Oh, yes! You couldn't be more right. Usually these people are painfully aware of their own shortcomings, and the only way to make themselves look good is to make others look bad.

Firefly said...

I read the other day that Women gossip and Men share information. LOL.

And as far as those people who think the know everything. They tend to irritate those of us who do.

Have you heard ...

Anonymous said...

Well, that's too bad. Perhaps gossipping and bullying should be put in their proper places. Gossip, expect. Bully, no. Look further at the source...?

momcat said...

I think if someone has self confidence it is easy to ignore the ignorant backbiting going on about yourself. Its also important to be prepared to speak out against destructive gossip if you come across it.

Veronica said...

Hi Jo, I think gossip is a form or bullyinging - just that the gossip is a sly version of the bully. Just as nasty, just as vicious. But probably even more malicious. Neither get away with it if the others in the playground/workplace stick together and deal with it. Warm wishes to you

the walking man said...

Sorry my opinion diverges here Jo. The best way to counter a workplace gossip is to take a break, go up or down one floor and start a rumor about the one doing the back biting.

It may take a month to filter back to the department but in the meantime it will build on itself and return with a vengeance making whatever is gossiped about me seem small in comparison and the initial source of the rumor near untraceable.

When simply doing a job and doing it well is not enough, I don't think it incumbent on me to suffer the indignity of lies in silence.

Russell said...

I went into the web to see if I could find some positive aspects of gossip ... I could not.

I have a co-worker - the Christian fanatic who has a close personal relationship with Jesus (at least according to him - not Him). This guy is one of the biggest gossips I have ever met.

When I hear him start talking about someone, I tell him to be quiet (but not in those words). He has learned not to gossip around me because I always tell him to knock it off.

He makes fun of me because I don't put up with his gossip - even if he is a self proclaimed metro sexual which he considers the sign of an advanced man - so it does not hurt my feelings when I tell him to f*#k off!! Of course he thinks I am a bad person because I use bad words....

PS I am as far away from being a metro sexual as you can get...! Heh!

The Truth said...

Oh so true with the gossip! I love the way that things always get twisted and turned around through the chain of "gossip" at work, so that the original story is not even the half truth anymore.

With that said, read through your blog, nice-I think I like it here-Think I will follow! Keep up the great work.

The Truth

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Pretty much what I have been facing at work last year. Things seem under control now but the gossip certainly did a lot of damage.

Cyth said...

Hi Jo, Interesting subject , as always. Can't say that I've ever been damaged by any gossip about me, thank goodness. But then I've always been a bit distant --my motto being "I'll leave you alone, if you leave me alone." It's not what is very much expected ( in fact, I had one demi-god---ooops , I mean assistant principal try cajoling me , and yes, it was meant to be threatening, by telling me that I was "not a team player". Well it didn't change my attitude a bit and gave me a new perspective on life at the farm ). Ah, I do not know how I got off on this subject. What i'm really wondering is if Russell can explain to me what a "metro sexual" is. I guess I've been living in the "sticks" too long. Have yourself a wonderful day !

Russell said...

Hi Cyth,

According to my co-worker, a metro sexual is an urban, upscale male who is not afraid to show his femine traits.

He says he is sometimes mistaken for being gay given his willingness to show his femine charateristics and to talk about such things as fashion, etc.

I think he is perverted.... but, then again, he tells me all the time he and Jesus are "buds" so what do I know...

It would never occur to me to refer to Jesus as my "bud." My co-worker thinks I am a heathen.

Arley said...

Hi Jo-
I agree, gossip is horrid. I have been in the center of it at a work place many years ago. It was awful and made it extremely difficult for me to even show up on some days. What's worse, the person who started the gossip, didn't even know me. I was only at the job for a week when it started. I didn't realize it was even going around until my boss pulled me into her office to warn me of the rumor. I was so upset.

Charles Gramlich said...

That's so true. 99 percent of the details of other folks lives are boring. Who cares.

movingonlady said...

You are so right gossip does hurt people and there should not be gossip in the work force. But what really is sad is that alot of times it is your boss pitting one employee against the other.
These people or half witt's. And you wonder how they even got the job.
I don't work anymore but this gossip has happened to me and it is defeating.
Well gotta run my grandbaby is coming and I need to kiss and hug him. This was a good topic.

http://wwwkwata.blogspot.com said...

You all certainly gossip folks, the only thing is that we are all oblivious of it.As long as you have social interactions which you do have, you are bound to gossip, the difference is in the degree of gossip.By Jo mentioning this office gossiper she is infact gossiping about her.

Butler and Bagman said...

There's a great scene in a movie last year called "Doubt" in which a priest give a sermon on gossip...too long to repeat here. But gossip just sets loose a million negative forces that can't be recalled.

Mary Ellen said...

Ok..I'm going to do my "Catholic" thing again. Here's a story about Saint Philip Neri that I used to tell my students:

Saint Philip Neri once gave a lady who gossiped the following penance:

“Go to the market, buy a chicken, and pluck it on your way back here, scattering the feathers as you walk. When you give me the plucked chicken, I’ll tell you the rest of your penance.”

The woman was baffled did as she was told. After she handed the plucked chicken to the saint, St. Neri said, “Now that you’ve spread those feathers about, go pick them up.”

“But, Father! It’s impossible to know where they’ve all gone!”

“Just like the words of your gossip,” he said.

Russell said...

Okay Ms or Mr "http://wwwkwata.blogspot.com" -- first, why don't you reveal your identity? It appears to me you have a blog located at http://wwwkwata.blogspot.com/

If you want to come on to someone's blog and make a critical remark, then be man or woman enough to stand up and tell us who you are.

If you knew Jo, you would know she does not gossip. She was making an observation about a co-worker she noticed who was gossping with another co-worker. The point of the post was that Jo does not care for people who gossip.

As for me, I have no time for people who come onto a person's blog, make some smart remark and then are such a coward as to not let others know who they are. Shame on you!

I have NO respect for you under these circumstances. I am not gossiping about you - I am telling this directly to you (hidden) face.

Jo said...

Yay, Russell...! Thank you! I read back over my post, and nowhere do I refer to anyone in particular, especially to "gossip" about anyone in particular. I was referring to the behavior of gossips. Gosh! Whoever http://wwwkwata.blogspot.com is, they need to re-read my post. And, how did they assume the person to whom I am referring is a "her"!?

Posting about the act of gossiping is much different than actually gossiping about someone.

*sigh*

The Pink Cowboy said...

Anonymous do yourself a favor and get a name. You are entitled to your opinions but there is no place here for disrespect. Why do you hide anyways? I gather you are a cynical person on account of your language, poor you, we are having such a great time here at Jo's, sharing thoughts, laughing together and being kind and supportive.

Lorna said...

You know what I get from this? That Russell is a very good, loyal, supportive friend with a strong sense of justice. It's good to see.

I went to Russell's site (coupla weeks ago) and read the article about the animals and saw all of the photos.

Jo, you and Russell are lucky to have each other as friends. Really. -Lorna
Ok now I am going to write a post about gossip after I get a bunch of work done. Although I admire Russell's defense of you, Jo, I think that that anonymous guy or gal was not meaning that much ill. I sort of understand what s/he was saying, and by now after all our emails, you know that I am not rapping you! (You'd better know that!) :-)

Anyhow, you have resuscitated a long time issue with me and I want to write about it, but I cannot do it today because of the other work.

See you later, and thanks for all the good words.

Lorna your Pesky Moderate Republican blog buddy :-) :-) :-)

jackc50 said...

ah much ado about nothing. either ignore that person or speak your mind, they won't have a leg to stand on....or an ear! jc

Jo said...

Hello, everyone, and thank you all for your comments. I had no idea I would generate so much controversy. My post was about the action of gossiping. Here is a very good link to gossip in the workplace, and how much harm it can cause. I believe people need to be judged on their own meritsNOT on words that are being said behind their backs, over which they have no control. I see that happening in my workplace, and it is usually done out of meanness, spite, envy and jealousy.

HAVE SAID THAT... I want to make it very clear that I am not referring to any one particular person. AND having said that, I am not interested in gossiping about anyone's private life, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, how many times they hve been married, how many children they have, whether or not they are kind to small animals, etc., etc., etc., ... and you will never find me talking about those things here.

My post here was about the harm those things do to other people.

Dr.John said...

That stops them from gossiping to you but not about you. The best correction to gossip is truth clearly told.
It is a word of encouragement to the one walking around looking defeated.
Gossip can not be untold but it can be corrected.

Mustafa Şenalp said...

Çok güzel site. :)

Mustafa Şenalp said...

Çok güzel site. :)

TheManOfNotts said...

As soon as someone starts gossiping to you...change the subject. Simple. If you havent got the courage to do it...swallow it....forget about it....let your digestive juices neutralise it.

Leslie: said...

Good post, Josie. I totally agree.

Donnetta Lee said...

I have never seen such gossips as I have seen in the schools. Yep, those teachers can be the worst. I'm not talking about only one school. I'm saying every school I've ever worked in. Seems to be some sort of phenomena. An ugly one. D

nomore said...

Silence is golden, i think....i agree with you....gossip no!

Jo said...

Thanks for your great comments, everyone. I think it is something to think about the next time any of us start to find ourselves either listening to gossip or --- gasp --- repeating it!

http://wwwkwata.blogsopt.com said...

i realise i caused some bruises, pardon, pardon, pardon.To Jo thanks for being balanced by further explaining the nature of the gossip and thanks for allowing different viewpoints, thats the nature of mature debate.By the way i love your posts.

Jo said...

kwatablogspot.com -- oh, yes I don't mind debate. That's wonderful, and please keep coming back!

Mean Mama said...

I enjoyed reading this discussion very much, and I have often been the brunt of gossip over the years. I have moved around to many small towns (I love small towns) due to the nature of my work and my husbands. It seems if I ride the wave of insults and never strike back (even though it is horribly painful)it goes away and the people who want to get to know me and ignore the gossip are the best friends.

disa said...

A漫,h漫,成人漫畫,免費A片,色情網站,色情遊戲,情色文學,麗的色遊戲,色情,色情影片,同志色教館,色色網,色遊戲,自拍,本土自拍,kk俱樂部,後宮電影院,後宮電影,85cc免費影城,85cc免費影片,免費影片,免費小遊戲,免費遊戲,小遊戲,遊戲,好玩遊戲,好玩遊戲區,A片,情趣用品,遊戲區,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆,遊戲基地,線上遊戲,色情遊戲,遊戲口袋,我的遊戲口袋,小遊戲區,手機遊戲,貼圖,A片下載,成人影城,愛情公寓,情色貼圖,情色,色情網站,色情遊戲,色情小說,情色文學,色情,aio交友愛情館,色情影片,臺灣情色網,寄情築園小遊戲,情色論壇,嘟嘟情人色網,情色視訊,愛情小說,言情小說,一葉情貼圖片區,情趣用品,情趣,色情漫畫,情色網,情色a片,情色遊戲,85cc成人片,嘟嘟成人網,成人網站,18成人,成人影片,成人交友網,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人光碟,微風成人區,免費成人影片