We’re here, we’re beer…wait. Ok. No. Anyways, today I wanted to talk about conversations really quickly. Specifically, I wanted to talk about how people talk about others behind their back. Lets face it, everyone has done it at some point. Even if the intentions weren’t the same as what “behind their back” sounds like, it has still been done. It’s a part of human nature—we talk about each other, because, inherently, we talk about our experiences as social creatures.
That being said, anyone can take this too far. Talking about how one of my friends is pregnant behind her back isn’t that harmful. Saying something like, she’s slept with 15 different guys and doesn’t know who the father is, would be very hurtful. Especially since it’s false. Yesterday I experienced some of the worst smack talking like this from some coworkers at one of my jobs. Two people who I was driving with that I didn’t know personally but have interacted with over the last couple years were discussing the other members on staff. Now, while they made some fair points of when the staff was being unreasonable, they also made claims like “we are the only two people that do anything here” and “Mrs. X is awful at her job because she takes 6 weeks to sign anything.” Now, I’m a pretty low level employee, so in all honesty I don’t know all of the goings on, but, at the same time, I know that these claims are hyperbolic. In addition to that, to make these claims seems blatantly unprofessional. I mean seriously? What is this, high school? Can you not just nut up and tell this person that they need to do a better job signing things?
It may seem really obvious but this is not my first experience with immaturity at the office. At my other job, where I am a bit higher up on the totem poll, I get to see people who don’t do work and am constantly annoyed with them. At the same time, the owner of the store I work at will refer to people as “lazy” or “not hard working” instead of actually asking them to do a better job. Now, I’m not some high level employee, I can’t go around ordering other employees to do a better job. All I really can do is say something like “hey, you should get off your phone and get to sorting.” Which I do, though it’s their choice to ignore me or not, and the former of those happens quite often.
This immaturity is something a bit stressful for me, because the reality is that if there is a real issue, it should be brought up with management. And if that management is the issue, then it should be brought up with their superiors, or you should go directly to those people. If it isn’t important enough to bring up, then why is a person inclined to talk to their coworkers about it behind their backs? That’s just a divisive maneuver that lowers a team of work’s self esteem. What do you think? Is it ok to talk about people behind their back, even if it won’t get back to them? Let me know in the comments below!