Office Gossip

A reader writes…

I am so sick and tired of the office gossip that goes on at my company!  It’s unbearable, and people are becoming plain MEAN!  What do you suggest?

Dear “Gossip Girl,”

I know what you mean… listening to a bunch of co-workers talk trash about others is about as low as it gets. You’re at work to do a job.  Now, unless you work at TMZ or some place where “gossip” is welcomed, there’s no need to gab about everyone and everything that passes by.

Excessive gossip is so annoying; I don’t even want to spend much time on the subject.  So here you have a few simple solutions to try:

  1. File a complaint to your supervisor or to HR. 
  2. Wear headphones (if, for example, you sit in a nearby cubicle or office)
  3. Don’t feed into it.  If brought into a “gossipy” conversation… ignore or change the subject.
  4. Arm yourself with facts – don’t fall victim to hearsay.
  5. Get back to work.

OK readers, let’s hear it….  Do you tend to tell tall tales at work, just to stir up the pot?  (Don’t be shy… we know you’re out there!)


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. G. Eric Gaither
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 07:43:20

    File a Complaint: such actions have backfired too.
    IGNORE the twits: BEST ADVICE!
    Get back to your duties/responsibilities: because ANY distractions not permeated in your duties/requirements may well have negative effects including elimination of your position.

    *Side note*
    adding extraneous or exaggerated bits to stories can be amusing when such stories make the circle, however beware (which means Be Aware) that such inclusion(s) have been known to, can possibly and may well possess dire consequences.

    BEST ADVICE: Ignore the twits.


  2. pierre
    Aug 22, 2011 @ 19:39:55

    what is the number i can call (florida)


  3. Mr. Mike
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 10:21:14

    Its usually the ones that hate their job and need to talk trash to release frustration. People just need to grow up and find a better way to deal with their issues that doesn’t involve messy drama.


  4. Bryan
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 23:41:24

    I believe number five should be number one Get Back To Work you cant go wrong with that one to me thats how you avoid gossip doing what you get paid to do WORK!


  5. Phyllis A. Vinciguerra
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 21:34:13

    I would definitely warn that work gossip leads to trouble whether others are talking about you or coworkers or even the managers. I here too much of it just by remarks that are intimidating. While the gossip is going on, you have to watch your personal behavior.


  6. Nancy Jo Perdue
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 19:17:19

    I just let their energy be their energy and remain in my own. I believe in treating everyone with respect and not passing judgement. People into the gossip scene usually are insecure in their own energy. I’d rather put out good energy so I can attract it back. Every day before I walk into an office, I tell myself that I’m the world to spread love and light. Office energy and corporate systems can stir up negativity because it’s based on greed and competition. If I compete only with myself and focus on why I’m in the world, the actual job assignment handles itself. Be happy and you’ll attract happiness. If someone tries to drag me into their warped energy, I just try to change the subject and move on. I don’t view it as losing friends or making enemies because these people and I probably wouldn’t be great friends any way. They’re much too needy. Besides, I’m there because someone is paying me to work.


  7. @gettinitdone_q
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 17:18:18

    But really to tell you the truth ya’ll should just be happy to have a job could some people are still out here looking for a job or they’re getting fired from their jobs that they been on for awhile. An then ya’ll talking about office gossip it’s in every workplace not just in the office building, so come on an find something to really write about then this.


  8. kyle
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 15:00:56

    everywhere you go theres gonna be gossip. just rember dont mind people that talk behind your back .you are already two steps ahead of them. I think thats how it goes.


  9. Mari
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 10:26:21

    People should just work and keep their head up to their responsabilities, if you can make no difrents in what they are talking just ..chavett.. is not you concern i said if you can help them or make a difrent is not your business…..I respect every one and every person have their on drama in their life . usualy pople the talk about others have their own .. and the make others sound like their ufff.. Beside you are theare to work not to chip chap….about others…by the way i am looking for job.. Kiss kiss pace


  10. Jodine
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 09:07:27

    That is why at my last employer I stayed away from the breakroom at break. I witnessed people talking behind other people’s backs. I did not want to be part of it.

    My employer may have frowned upon that and felt I was being unsocial, I was only trying to prevent myself from falling into a trap.

    This same employees were tight on FB and too personal on FB. I did not feel comfortable with this. I felt this would have backfired on me. These employees see no harm in how they are behaving on FB. I could see how easy it could backfire.


  11. a new direction
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 08:37:24

    I worked in an office recently that thrives on gossip. In time, I just distanced myself from them but still made an occasional appearance in the break room to not seem as I was alienating myself. However, we all know that as soon as you leave the break room, they are talking about you. The people that do the gossiping are very sad & low self esteemed individuals & this is how they lift themselves up. Very sad…Every office has the gossipy sand box & it really can bust the morale of a company. My former employer is now on it’s 4th lay off. I know the economy is bad but I really think the lack of morale has affected the company on how it should thrive & other individuals have left the sinking ship to go to a thriving company in the same industry. It’s really sad that the President didn’t exude positive behavior. She was one of the gossips herself. What goes around comes around. It’s all how you treat people


  12. Artina L. Graves (@Blackqueen4evr1)
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 08:26:52

    I have to say. I was fired from a job because the gossip was focused on me. You have to be very careful how you handle office gossip. Its unfair and because of it I have difficulty finding a position. It got down to harassment complaint I filed because I was wrote up when the same people started gossiping about me to my manager. So be very careful with what you do with office Gossip.


    • Michele Vics
      Aug 17, 2011 @ 07:28:16

      That’s why I stress the importance of keeping a low profile. No matter how much you try to keep to yourself, there’s always someone out there to tear you up. It’s sad to know how our culture doesn’t realize how we’re destroying ourselves with all this fault finding. As for your initial point, I’ve been here and done that. I’ve walked out on a job with the most toxic employees I ever met. The worst part was trying to interview honestly when prospective employers too often dwell on why I did what I did. I find it more appealing to have root canal than trying to prove it was not my incompetence but who’s your momma as the real bottom line. I see where you’re coming from. Just don’t lose heart.


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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