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NSKYLINE115 SparkPoints: (50,453)
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6/25/14 6:28 A

Thanks for the advice everyone. I ended up talking to her at the end of the day away from everyone else. I just told her I felt uncomfortable when everyone starts talking behind peoples backs. I didnt tell her it was directly her (even though she instigates alot of it), but I said I dont know who said it, but I dont feel comfortable hearing gossip about people behind their backs, it makes me wonder whats being said about me when I walk out of the room. She said she understands (she would say that, but I dont buy it) but when we all sit in an enclosed room everyone gets comfortable and opens up, so I told her thats true but even if everyone gets MORE comfortable, there is one person like me who is getting more and more UNcomfortable.
We just left it at that, and there hasnt been any smack talking in front of me about other people since then. However I am keeping my distance, I dont want her or anyone else at work really to know my personal buisness, even my weekend plans. I dont need the judgement or gossip behind my back, its immature and annoying.

ROXYCARIN SparkPoints: (95,965)
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6/19/14 12:51 A

Sounds toxic, learn avoid negative situations like gossip

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (554,827)
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6/19/14 12:19 A

I would just ignore it and continue with my work. If I continued to be uncomfortable, I would leave and find another job. Life is too too short.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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6/18/14 10:50 P

You need to be very careful. You are in a very toxic environment and can get poisoned very quickly and easily.

I would strongly suggest that you:
1. Do not tell ANYONE any personal information. Assume that anything you say will be used against you.
2. Don't participate in the gossip. Walk away. If you can't walk away say something like can we get back on track and quit gossiping? Now about this project....
3. Start job hunting. Look for a transfer to a new department or find a new place to work. Picking a fight with your manager, even with your directors support is a sure way to either get fired or be made so miserable that you will quit.
4. Protect yourself. Document every conversation with your manager and director or any conversation that you think might come back at you. Because you already know they are talking about you.

Sorry if I sound paranoid but I have seen this scenario play out. The end result is the person who complains is the one fired.

ZZYYGGY3 Posts: 2,373
6/18/14 6:56 P

If your boss is envolved with the gossip I would go to HR or her immediate supervisor. This isn't doing company moral any good, and nor is it doing you any good. Good luck on this

FLORADITA SparkPoints: (63,888)
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6/18/14 6:12 P

I always speak up, if people don't speak up the poison continues. One time I simply said, " I hate this stuff, makes me wonder what you say about me when I'm not in the room." I basically dared them to say nasty stuff about me. The strange thing is, because I am not afraid to call out nasty behaviour, most people don't pull this stuff with me. You might think this makes me unpopular but it seems to have the opposite effect, I am trusted and valued for being fair and honest.

6/18/14 4:53 P

I would excuse myself form the conversation every time. When it starts to turn, just say excuse me, I have to get back to my project/restroom/I think that's my phone, grab something etc, etc. Don't be a silent participator. Just politely leave.

NSKYLINE115 SparkPoints: (50,453)
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6/18/14 3:45 P

I agree ARCHIMEDESII, thats what I'm worried about...

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (195,865)
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6/18/14 3:37 P

You might not want to talk to your direct manager just yet. If your boss is the instigator of most of the company gossip, then it is safe to assume that if you start complaining to them, they might take it as a personal attack. You may end up being the target of more gossip if you complain to your boss.

That's why you need to tread very carefully.

Since the director is already aware of the situation, you need to talk that person and stress that the gossip continues. Let them know that you want to do the right thing, but are concerned that implicating your boss could cause friction between you two. That's why you need to "express your concerns". further up the corporate food chain. Talk to HR and this director.

If you talk to your boss, you're asking for trouble. because it sounds like your supervisor may not take criticism very well. So, if someone is going to point a finger at them, it should be someone higher up.

ANDILH Posts: 1,543
6/18/14 2:24 P

If it's affecting your work performance it's past time to go over your supervisor's head to their boss, or even directly to the HR department. There are confidentially rules in place up the chain of command in most places. Stress to whoever you talk to that you are concerned that if word gets back to your direct supervisor that there may be repercussions for you and that you expect your name to stay out of it. Or if possible request a transfer to different department or location. There may be gossip again though.
Until there is a change, do your best to not be drawn into the conversations. If there is a work meeting going on, stress you're there to conduct business and would prefer personal conversations take place after the meeting as you have further work duties to attend to in your day. You don't have to confront them directly about their gossip unless you feel comfortable doing so. It sounds like the director who sent the email thought they were being helpful, but with no follow-up it was just an empty effort.
I wish you luck with this. I worked in a large corporate atmosphere for a while and know that the climate can be hard to change, especially if it's people who are comfortable in their jobs and feel reasonably secure in them. I was the target because I was the only part time person in the department and was attending a university at the time.

NSKYLINE115 SparkPoints: (50,453)
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6/18/14 1:11 P

I think I'm gonna have a talk with my manager about this after work today...
We have a Reward and Recognition program here, and I was nominated and awarded some points which she has to approve... I walked in on her talking about it to my other co-workers about it... it was super uncomfortable for me because the other 2 people were like oh wow thats alot of points, blah blah blah. One of them even said she should award me alot of points so we can split it... my reward and recognitions are nobodys buisness... ofcourse the conversation changed after I walked in.
Its all slowly but surely starting to get to me emoticon

UMBILICAL Posts: 12,786
6/18/14 12:56 P

It goes on

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
6/18/14 12:13 P

Just don't participate and don't talk about it. You are not obligated to engage any further.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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6/18/14 12:10 P

It's sometimes super uncomfortable to do this, but you should really go to HR and/or to your boss' supervisor. Your boss' behavior has to be lowering morale around the office and is also *ridiculously* unprofessional. If your company is large enough to have a separate HR department, they should keep your complaint/conversation anonymous so no one knows where it came from.

NSKYLINE115 SparkPoints: (50,453)
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6/18/14 11:49 A

Unfortunetely its my boss that is one of the culprits... she's the worst of them all. Thats why I feel weird saying anything because i'm sure it will affect me in some way

IVYLASS SparkPoints: (218,467)
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6/18/14 11:39 A

Talk to your boss and talk to HR. Gossip is toxic to a work environment and the gossipers need to be held accountable.

NSKYLINE115 SparkPoints: (50,453)
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6/18/14 11:13 A

Thanks ARCHIMEDESII, I try not to be part of the gossip. Its hard for me to walk away when we are in the middle of something, but I just sit there and probably look wicked uncomfortable. I must admit that I dont say anything to stop it either, I dont want it to affect my work reputation nor relationships, and I dont know if its worth saying something =/

Your recommendation on HR sending out a memo is a great idea! I dont want to get anyone in trouble, but if its a blanket statement to everything I think thats a great idea.

I try not to engage, and i'm at the point where I dont want anyone here knowing anything about me, it will just get twisted and spread. There are only a few people who I really trust with my personal life at work. ARCHIMEDESSI you probably know more about me than most of my co-workers because of my posts haha!!! I can just see certian people taking my posts and twisting it and making it pessimistic. Example: There is a gym here at work and my manager and I heard someone grunting (probably doing weights), and she mocks them, I said to her, 'atleast they are doing something good for themselves...' and she says, 'your always so positive, stop it!' jokingly, in my head i'm like yea i'd rather be positive than a negative nancy and put other people down for trying to be healthy sheesh.

Edited by: NSKYLINE115 at: 6/18/2014 (11:15)
ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (195,865)
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6/18/14 10:56 A

If the gossip in your department is so bad that a director has to say something, that's pretty bad. I would say that in order to stop a culture of gossip, you have to stop being a part of it.

So, if your co-workers start gossiping about other co-workers who are your friends, then you have to put your foot down. Tell them that you don't spread ridiculous rumors or speak ill of someone behind their backs.

Your supervisor is right. If these people won't say these things to a person's face, they are nothing more than petty cowards. a little ribbing is one thing, but saying something malicious is wrong. So, if you think it's wrong to, you have to either say something or walk away from the conversation. If people ask you why you're leaving, you reply it's because you don't talk about people behind their backs.

Since the director already knows about this behavior, they should have HR send out a corporate memo indicating that this behavior is NOT professional. Some types of gossip could be considered either harassment or sexual harassment. And that can of behavior will get a person terminated.

My advice would be to stand up for your friends if you think they are being wrongly maligned. And two, don't allow these types of conversations to keep continuing. Change the subject the minute someone starts talking. If that person continues to talk, send their name to HR to be written up for harassment.

That kind of gossip creates and fosters a toxic environment.

NSKYLINE115 SparkPoints: (50,453)
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Posts: 808
6/18/14 10:46 A

I feel like everyone gossips at work, its just part of working in an office environment. But I am surrounded by constant gossip and its driving me crazy. I feel bad for the people who are being spoken about (I am close to some of them), and I feel weird speaking up because the people who are talking the most smack are people in my department that I report directly to. A director actually told one of these people last week, 'if you cant say it to someones face dont talk behind their back', I sent him an email later saying thank you for standing up to the person, he replied saying , yea its not cool
Its really driving me crazy, but I dont know if its worth saying anything... I dont want or need to hear all this stuff being said about my coworkers, but I dont want to be affected by speaking up... how do I handle this?

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