Friday, August 20, 2010

Buttering Up To The Boss...

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...



Blimey, what a tale !

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Thank you and have a lovely weekend

Sam Liu said...

I agree Jo, people nosing their way into other people's business and then telling on their apparent friends is just wrong and uncalled for. Your tale was a perfect example of how these things should be dealt with, I'm sure Bob is forever indebted to you.

However, I do think that serious acts of crime, or indeed bullying, should be reported. If one witnesses a severely unlawful act or is the victim of consistent bullying, then one should not hesitate to seek justice.

Katy said...

I'm with you Jo. I don't belive in being a tatle tale. I tend to take the tact that we all screw up. At somepoint we all have a slip in judgement. I hate to quote Dog the Bounty Hunter, but he right... "Where mercy is shown, mercy is given" and I do believe that we all need some mercy now and again.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Tattle-tell, tattle-tell,
Hang your britches on a nail....
I remember that from my younger days. People today seem way to eager to share their own dirty laundry and then think it is okay to share things about others that may heve been told in confidence.

DJan said...

Pornography has an irresistible pull for some people, mostly guys I think. Whatever was he doing putting that on a work computer?? Anyway, I think you are definitely a good friend and co-worker to have around. And you probably saved his job.

myletterstoemily said...

i am SO with you on this! you must be
the most beloved person in your office.

when my kids were in high school, the
principal was always pulling my kids in
to get info on other kids. then he would
call me to complain that they never told
him anything.

"good. i'm proud of them. i would be
ashamed if they ratted out their class

@ly said...

I am with you. I work with a girl who is constantly ratting on other employees. I, myself, have been in the position several times where I could of done the same thing by telling my boss things about others but would never think or even care to do that. I never want it to be on my shoulders that something I said or did was the cause of reason that someone got in trouble or fired. I have always believed that people should be given second chances....of course, stealing, or doing something that could harm others is a whole nother story. You did the right thing.

Owen said...

I have mixed feelings about this subject Jo ... on the one hand, I agree that suggesting directly to a co-worker that they should stop doing something that is against company policy and regulations is a good idea, and I had a similar case to yours where I discovered that someone in the office was sending e-mails with pornographic attachments as jokes to co-workers, I suggested he should stop, and he did, with no hard feelings. But on the other hand, if someone is doing something in flagrant breach of safety rules, or which has a negative impact on customer service, such incidents fall into the realm of disciplinary procedures, and if not reported appropriately, the non-reporter is just as guilty as the responsible party, no ? I wouldn't want to have to live with my conscience if I hadn't reported something that could lead to accidents or injuries... but I don't see that as ratting. Is a police officer a rat when he or she arrests someone for drunken driving, instead of simply letting them off with a warning ? That's an extreme example granted, but it does raise the question, is there a line that should be drawn somewhere between "ratting" and responsible citizenship, within an organisation at work, or in the larger public arena ? Does it depend on the degree of seriousness of the offence and the risk of consequences to others ? Interesting subject.

mrsnesbitt said...

The cartoon you used is from the artist who I feel understands the world of business. I have several of his books and hubby really enjoys the irony! Excellent Jo - as ever! Your paintings too - awesome.

the walking man said...

I am pretty sure you can figure out my opinion on this one.

June said...

I think you did the boss a favor too.
Who wants to deal with that kind of thing...?

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't know if I've ever gone into the boss's office, but I've managed to have my say at times outside the office.

Paula Slade said...

You did the appropriate thing Jo and that's always a tough call.

Jo said...

Cheryl, it's nice to see you again. I have linked to your new website. Cheers!

Sam, I have seen more bullying go on in an office setting than I have in a playground, and the only thing I have learned is that management will never -- ever -- deal with it. Usually, they shoot the messenger instead. *sigh*

Katy, oh, yes...! We have one particular "tattle-tale" in our office who is not very bright, and she always gets it wrong. Always!

Kathy, omigoodness, isn't that the truth? Nothing is sacred anymore. Everyone thinks it's okay to blab about everyone else's personal business. *sigh*

DJan, there were literally hundreds of pictures, and the memory of our H:\ drive was slowing down. He could easily have been caught by anyone else. Goodness...!

Lea, omigod, I can't believe a principal would put kids into a position like that -- asking them to rat on their friends. That's awful...! Good for your kids...!

@ly, yes, sometimes people will do something that might cause harm to everyone, and that has to be reported. I work with a woman who is completely (!!!) incompetent, but thankfully she is leaving soon.

Owen, oh, yes, where an incident falls into the category of having a negative impact on the whole organization, then something has to be done. I work in a health care organization, so it especially applies here. I think everyone knows where that line is drawn.

Denise, Dilbert is the best representation of offices that I have ever seen. My boss even looks a little bit like Pointy Haired Boss, except my boss has a comb-over. :-)

Mark, yes, I believe I can. *heh*

June, my experience is that my boss doesn't want to deal with anything. *sigh*

Charles, yes, sometimes the best way is to approach the person directly, rather than to go to the boss.

Paula, yes. I saved his job, and he has actually since then been promoted. Phew!

pilgrimchick said...

WOW!! Good for you for being so considerate of your co-worker, regardless of what you found. I think it is hard sometimes for people to resist the urge to appear better than someone else, especially someone else they work with.

TomCat said...

Actually, there are three kinds. The two you mentioned and the kind who will deall with it themselves when a matter actually requires action. You demonstrated type three with Bob.

Of topic: the ownership papers are ready for you to sign. ;-)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Most people do not keep their own counsel because they are hungry for excitement and because of schadenfreude, taking pleasure from the misfortunes of others. Even if those misfortunes occur by priming the pump, as it were.

There must be some way to put Porno Bob and Ms. Pyramid Scheme together for some wild sex and money stealing.

A human kind of human said...

What to do though when you performing your duties depend on someone higher up the ladder performing theirs and they don't. Should you then just keep quiet and take the blame for a job not done? I often experience this. For instance, a report must be handed in at a certain date, but the section heads who must submit the information for the report, do not do it and in the end the report is late and the boss is very unhappy. No way! When it is something personal, of course then it is a completely different story, simply called GOSSIP.

Russell said...

All work places have the same kinds of people. That's why The Office has been such a big hit and why Dilbert is such a great comic strip.

Regarding your office police, a good kick works wonders at times! Or maybe some Vaseline on the toilet seat .... heh!

And I prefer "hell" to "h*ll" - but you are much nicer than I am!

Take care and I enjoyed your post.

Mia said...

Anybody who gives $400 to an office temp to get rich quick can't be all that bright to begin with. If Warren Buffett tells you how to get rich, listen. If somebody doing the same job you're doing, only temporarily and probably for less money tells you how to get rich, not so much.

A.M. said...

o no, I think I know who. You would have thought this would have stopped when the black widow left - humm...sorry I hope this doesn't involve you in anyway and somebody should seriously fire that temp. and people who "rat" on other people will one day grow up and realize it hurts other people - well you hope :o)