Of all the years that I have worked -- since the dinosaurs still walked the earth -- I have never gone in to the boss's office and complained about a co-worker, even though the opportunity to do so has presented itself many times. I think I would rather be struck by lightning than to "rat" on a fellow colleague. People are people, and that makes them human, unfortunately. But most people are mature and responsible, and I believe adults should be treated like adults. When I was a little girl, I had an older brother who was always “telling” on me, and ever since then I have developed an aversion to folks who “rat” people out. It is the lowest form of humanity, in my estimation; and I’m never sure if people do it to make other people look bad, or to make themselves look good. It’s a combination of both, I suppose. And the unfortunate thing is, they never get the story straight. They always embellish -- but a good fib is better than the truth, right? However, there will always be people who think it is their duty to mind everyone else’s business.
I have learned more than I care to know about my co-workers’ personal lives, just by overhearing their constant lengthy telephone calls. *sigh* And one afternoon I overheard one of the “temps” in our office as she recruited folks to her pyramid scheme. From 1:00 until 4:00 she convinced everyone that if they just gave her $400, their lives would be fuller, richer and better… The only thing fuller, richer and better was her bank account. All this was being done on the employer’s time – and dime.
One day I was looking through one of the directories on our H:\ drive, and I stumbled upon a cache, a veritable stockpile – a motherload, as it were -- of pornographic photographs. I telephoned the owner of the *cough* artwork (“Bob”) and advised him that he had better remove the pictures from the public drive before they were discovered by someone else who would report him. As it turned out, someone else had found the photographs at the same time that I did, and was all set to report Bob, but I headed them off at the pass before any harm could be done. Bob removed the pictures, and his secret was safe. The next day Bob sent me a little bouquet of flowers, with a note saying, “Thank you. You know what this is for…”
Well, Bob, let that be a lesson to you. You just dodged a bullet for something you should not have done.
My point is, there are two types of people in this world – people who see all and say nothing, and people who feel it is their “duty” to “inform” on their co-workers. The tiniest infraction is reported, usually with some fictional embellishments, just to make the story more interesting. And usually the “office police” are the folks who are guilty of goldbricking and slacking off more than anyone else. This week I observed someone tell a lie about a co-worker, and it has caused that person no end of grief.
“A lie does not consist in the indirect position of words, but in the desire and intention, by false speaking, to deceive and injure your neighbour.” ~~~ Jonathan Swift
There is a special place in h*ll for people who do this sort of thing, and hopefully in that place they will end up with the Pointy-Haired Boss from Dilbert. One can only hope...