advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

Work/Life: The Perils of Gossip in the Jerkplace

Ceo Dad’s Tuesday Tirade….

Ceo Dad’s Tuesday Tirade….

advertisement

According to a report in USA Today, workplace gossip is increasingly becoming a problem, with employers exploring options as to how to discipline dirt-dishers. With the proliferation of electronic communications, unsubstantiated rumors go flying into in-boxes with very little forethought. Somebody gets the may-or-may-not-be-true skinny on a co-worker, and before you can say “hit send,” it’s all over the office, potentially damaging someone’s career.

For the past year or so, I have been working out of my home, so I have been out of the inter-office gossip loop. In many ways, it’s a relief, but sometimes I do wonder what my fellow employees might be saying about me. I, for one, want to be told when I’m doing something unfair or counterproductive, and sometimes a little rumor mill is the only way to find out. Given that I am the only employee at my company, my only option is to send myself e-mails to keep me on my toes. Here, then, is a sampling of a few from last week:

TO: TOM
FROM: TOM

Did you hear about the way you’ve been showing up later and later for work just because you don’t have a job site to report to? Really, it’s disgraceful. You take a little longer in the shower, you linger over breakfast, take your time with the sports section, putter around the house, and before you know it you haven’t made your first recruitment call until 10:05. The competition has an hour up on you before you even start. People are starting to talk.

TO: TOM
FROM: TOM

I heard this from me, who told it to me, who then told it to me, who found me by the water cooler and told me that people are saying I’ve been seen taking breaks with this cute brunette who I’ve been calling my “wife.” I’ve also seen me in bed with her, and have referred to her as the mother of my children. Now it’s suddenly all blown out of proportion. I thought since you worked at home, Tom, that getting a little office romance going with the woman you married would contribute to good work/life balance, but things are getting out of hand.

advertisement

TO: TOM
FROM: TOM
Hey, have we heard the rumors about Tom taking over Tom’s company? Tom’s been thinking about it for a long time. He figures getting rid of the old Tom and bringing in a new, more efficient Tom who actually gets his act together and does a full day’s work could really be good for business. So it seems like downsizing is in the offing here. Goodbye Tom, hello Tom. But don’t tell anyone.

There, that feels much better. Inter-office gossip is no fun, but the way I look at it, every vociferous, small-minded, hastily posted e-mail that makes the rounds is an opportunity for personal growth.