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Cats are amazing. Neither of my guys go outside right now (I've moved at least once a year, and often more, for the past 10 years now; it's stupid to let a cat out in an environment that isn't going to be their home in another few months). Of all my childhood cat-pets none of them never came home, but some of them came home in pretty bad shape.
I'm following a woman on facebook right now whose service dog has been lost for months. I really just want to hear that the dog's been found and has come home. It's a sad story. I recognize why others might call, just to find out if the cat in this story had made its way home.
Poor boyo. I'm glad that eventually, he did.
Here's one specific example:
PC was discussing other coworker, X. PC dished to the group that X got a divorce a few years back. Then within six months or almost immediately, X changed her name, moved to NY, and "completely changed" her identity. "You never hear about it because she never talks about it to anybody," PC tells us proudly. PC set off on a series of comments about how this must mean X was either crazy, or shady.
I look at my other coworkers. This news is surprise to all of us. My other coworkers have background in fraud investigations and police work. When they hear "name change," "relocation," and "refusal to discuss life before or why," those behaviors raise different flags for them. Certainly not flags of "shadiness" or "hiding from crime" or "being crazy."
Me, I have an aunt who did exactly what coworker X did. She's from my mom's side of the family and they're pretty nuts. Sometimes, I figure runaway aunt might be the sanest one of the lot. There's 8 of them.
So I'm sitting there thinking, I don't think people do that sort of thing for fun and if she doesn't want to talk about it she probably has a really good reason, and trading uncomfortable eye contact with my coworkers.
PC won't stop going on about it. It's clear she thinks this is very juicy, very engrossing gossip we must all want to speculate on. We don't.
And since PC's here with my other coworkers because she's tagging along with me, yeah I realize this is my responsibility to shut down. I see my coworkers are uncomfortable and I am too.
So I say ynno, probably what happened is none of our business. And, I've thought about doing exactly that too. PC pushes the scandalizing, surely-this-person-is-a-black-sheep narrative more. I say ynno, if i went through the bother of doing all that - changing my name, relocating to a totally different big anonymous city out of nowhere, clearly changing my life...if I did all that after a divorce...I probably didn't do that for fun, ynno?
Like maybe she had a reason for doing what she did? Like maybe that was a really bad divorce she went through. Maybe she had a really bad husband.
Or maybe, this is when I bring up my own angle, maybe her family sucks. Maybe she got fed up with their bullshit.
Or she just had been tired and tied down and wasn't anymore and she finally got to do what she wanted to do.
Maybe she always wanted her name to be X and just never had enough gumption to do it until then.
Probably, whyever reason she did it, it probably's not very salacious.
She works for a bank, we do bankground checks, I don't think she's hiding something.
I'm not saying this to silence, of course. PC is chiming in, my coworkers are chiming in, PC is toning down, my coworkers are agreeing with me. I'm not an idiot or overly confident about what I did there - I didn't solve the problem. I didn't stand up and say "How dare you," and since X wasn't there, it feels incorrect to claim I "stuck up" for her. She wasn't being directly victimized.
Then again, at this point, none of us know PC well enough to know if she's malicious, socially oblivious, or something else, either. We just know we're all coworkers, we're at a business dinner, PC is crossing lines for all the rest of us with her discussion, and we want that to stop and we want her to not repeat this behavior but with stories from other coworkers.
If a woman I work with divorced her husband and win 6 months reinvented herself, relocated, renamed herself, and all that - I don't care why she did it. I don't care if she had a mental breakdown - because unless you know for certain that's what happened, until that instant where she looks you in the eye and confirms she did all that frivolously and foolishly and not because, idk, her husband was abusive or became a stalker or she was in a real bad life situation at that time and she needed to restart, to get a fresh start -- I'm more inclined she did what she did because she had to, to protect herself, than because she overreacted to a little ol' breakup.
Sorry, is that just like the benefit of the doubt, or what? I don't want to speculate about something when it looks to me like a person probably did it to protect themselves.
And of course, this is a story. This is a retelling. It's not accurate in breath and quote, but it's accurate to what I remember. This is also the event (it was an uncomfortable dinner) where both my other coworkers thanked me/said they appreciated me stepping into the conversation the way I did, that they felt uncomfortable too, and in other words 2 independent witnesses corroborated my take on the evening. After that dinner, one of my coworkers expressed to management that the whole evening, what with PC's gossiping/PC's conversational tracks, had made them uncomfortable and that they felt PC was over the line. I don't know who, as the manager kept it anonymous in talking to me and honestly I don't care, both of them are awesome, but I know the only person who didn't feel uncomfortable that night was PC.
I know someone else complained because when my manager sought me out to ask if I had any experiences with PC, and I mentioned this event from this night -- my manager already knew about it.
That's what makes this a good example.
So, your call on how you feel about that, then.
lol ok dad
Feedback includes any information you get about yourself...Feedback is not just what gets ranked; it's what gets thanked, commented on, and invited back or dropped. Feedback can be formal or informal, direct or implicit... - Thanks for the Feedback, by Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen
It's almost like I believe gossip is a form of feedback because these two random Harvard Law Professors, whose speciality is conflict resolution and negotiation, who run a lab out of Harvard dedicated to studying these specific behaviors, and who literally wrote the book on how to respond to feedback well(did I mention this is an excerpt from that book? oh. that's what it is) told me that it was.
I admit, the book's from 2014. I'm sure it's possible in the past 4 years you've read something more researched and up-to-date than this my primary source. I'm sure whatever convincing article you must've read was probably written by people in an even better position to know what they are talking about than Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen (did I mention they're both at Harvard?) (running a research lab?) (dedicated to studying this sort of stuff?). (well, at least they were)
I'd love to learn more, if you've got any non-paywall links to the peer-reviewed and scientifically-based research articles which surely must help account for your certainty here! Please. Share around.
edited to add the npr book excerpt/article, because i already mentioned this book in this thread and still think others here might like to read it
You don't know what the best way was. Your comment is a begrudging retreat to half-believing me. I didn't succeed; I must've recovered. Because if I had to recover, you were still right somehow.
Do you call a 10% raise and a 12% bonus a "recovery" reward?
My interpretation of gossip is that it is both vital to human life, valuable, and indispensible; while also retaining the very real potential to create a cesspool of negative emotions in a group of people when certain conditions occur. Which basically agrees with what you said. Except plus nuance.
Gorsh, that nuance must've just been so offensive.
"I agree on major aspects of what klein has to say"
"For the most part, I agree we're social creatures and talking about each other is a major component of interacting, of caring, and of life. I agree gossip is not inherently bad; we should embrace that we do it, and maybe not sweat over it so much (on the day-to-day)."
No, I am in the right; the incident I'm talking about occurred over a year ago, so I can report back on how I've done at work since then, whether I have a reputation that's damaged my perception at work or not.
And the fact is I got glowing feedback from my peers and an above average rating and so on and so forth.
I know what I did was the right thing because it didn't happen yesterday. I know what I did was the right thing for a lot of other reasons, too. I know I wasn't the only one who felt uncomfortable and I know that other people conveyed similar concerns as I did separately of me. Is that enough for you? How about the past year where I've been in a management capacity over this employee and I have worked to develop that relationship past that rebuke, successfully? Yes, there are boundaries between me and the employee now that weren't there the first few times we interacted. I consider that a good thing; she offered me a muscle relaxer the first time I met her in person, at a work conference. Boundaries needed to be established. The employee repeatedly was over the line and inappropriate. I was thanked by other coworkers for speaking up.
In the past six months three people have told me that they want to work with me as their manager. Unprompted, not that it matters, because if you don't want to, you're not going to believe that anyway.
Was that enough context for you to believe me?
I'm fucking good at my job; I'm good enough with people; I certainly know when someone's behavior is over the line and I don't escalate an issue, business or personal, unless it's categorically warranted. You don't have to believe me - but I'd like it if you'd stop declaring me the utter opposite just because it makes you feel subversive to answer questions by stating the question isn't a problem, the asker is.
Yeah, I don’t ageee. The person starting shit is the person saying shit about Jill. If jack says something about Jill that he can know or reasonably assume she wouldn’t want said/would consider a private topic (of jill’s), jack is the one in the wrong - not Jane for giving Jill a heads’-up that jack is someone she probably doesn’t want to put her confidences in any more because he can’t keep them to himself. Jack shouldn’t assume he can trust his audience when he goes and speaks to Jane; he’s already proven himself an untrustworthy audience by repeating what he’s heard from Jill in some degree of confidence. talk about double standards roflmao: "i can take anything i hear from or about you and repeat it to anyone i want; but if anyone i speak to dares repeats it to anyone they want who might be offended by what i had to say, (aka the person the gossip's about) it's that person's fault!
it's like blaming the person who turned the light on for the shit your dog left on your carpet - because after all, if he hadn't turned the light on, you would've never known the shit was there!
What I’m getting from your argument is it’s 100% to say whatever you want about people so long as no one turns around and lets those people know what’s being said. Which just sounds like petty shadiness to me
I prefer a world where you can say whatever you want so long as you’d stand by it when your subject asks you what it is they hear you’ve been saying.
knowing something about someone does not give you unlimited rights to share that information with whoever you want whenever and wherever you want without consequences, lolol
- Gossip is cultural currency. We use it to express allegiance and affinity.
Should I say, "gossiping is feedback" then? Both who you gossip to and what pieces of gossip you are with that person do provide feedback on that relationship
Gossip that gets back to the person it's about is feedback about how that person is being perceived around the office.
shrug - literally, gossip isn't feedback and shouldn't be taken expressly as that - however, it still provides feedback. Feedback can be positive or negative; it can be "keep doing this" as much as "stop doing this."