In my short lifetime I have worked at a number of jobs. From my very first job as a teenager, cooking those delicious french fries at the Golden Arches, to working as a service representative for a housing agency, and to my current career, as an educator. In these three positions and many others that I have held, I have always encountered, one or a few of the following people, “The Gossiping Coworker”.
We all know that coworker, the one who seems to know every other person’s business. They know how the coworker ranks as an employee; how much they contribute to the company; even the most intimate details of another person’s life. They know if the employee is married, divorced, single, and how many children they have. They also have a very strong opinion about every employee’s work ethics and also that employee’s personal life. All of this information they freely share with others, whether they are asked or not.
I have encountered a few of these people in my various jobs. Sometimes they are hard to detect, as they speak to you with kindness and freely talk to you about your coworkers. They tell you about the different personalities on the job and they give you details on who to trust and who not to trust, while they make sure to tell you how trustworthy they are. This is said, all while making inquiries into your life, to store and share with other coworkers at a later date and time.
I will admit, I have sat under this type of employee. I have naïvely given an ear to such behavior. In the past, my thoughts were that the “gossiper” was giving me valuable information about my supervisors or coworkers, that would aid me in navigating through my workplace. It would help me to stay away from certain personalities and to make the right work relationships. Yet, what I have learned, through the years is that this is wrong.
Gossiping coworkers are destructive to the workplace. They stir up trouble, they pit employees against one another, they cause dissensions, and turmoil, and create a toxic work environment. Nothing good comes out of a person that gossips. Nothing!
So, I have decided to stay far away from “The Gossiping Coworker.” I don’t want to be around negative people and their energy. I don’t want to know a person’s opinion of my coworkers. I don’t want to hear about my coworkers personal life, because surely, if “The Gossiping Coworker” is talking about others to me, they are definitely talking about ME to others.
Instead, I would rather, come to my conclusions about people after my own personal interactions. I also don’t want to be an unhappy employee, who has allowed poison from, “The Gossiping Coworker” to seep into my life, just because they are discontent in their job.
So, if know who “The Gossiping Coworker,” is at your job, please stay way. Stay far away! Refuse to be involved in such behavior. Or, if you are reading this, and you so happen to be that gossiping coworker, the one described above, PLEASE STOP, because you are making the workplace, an unhealthy environment.