How to live through lies, flies and other workplace nuisances

Mack was a good employee. He was the number two man in the entrepreneurial organization where he believed that he was co-building a great future for his family and himself.

What happened over the next few years is nothing short of tragic for the life and times of a rising star. He was dismissed without comment from the organization. All of his creative work went with the company. He was stuck.

He lost his family because of the wild mood swings, the depression and crazy actions exhibited in this southwestern US region.

Over the years, he also took in the rumors and innuendos about his work performance and lots of things that he did not say or do. It hurt him because the unfortunate gossip had no basis.

Today, however, he is a new man with a new family and a great career. It took some doing, yet this true story could have had a different outcome. He is not alone when it comes to workplace mishaps.
I have spoken to countless new and mid-career individuals who are aghast and hurt after bad episodes involving colleagues and supervisors in the very workplaces the young career folk had hoped would be their happy places.
Workplaces are the cesspools of gossip.

Yet, ’ve found that all gossip is not bad. In fact, as a manager, I’ve used gossip to learn what my subordinates were thinking about me and it allowed me to correct matters that I did not see from their perspectives. That same gossip trail also allowed me to know which employees bitch, moan and complain about everything and anything. For those folk, what a sad existence it must be to live in that entitled mindset.

What happens when gossip is vicious and full of lies to benefit the organization and/or individuals spreading the untruths?
The experts’ advice ranges from ‘hands-off; let God do the work’ to legal action.

As a new employee in the job market, it is important to know that gossip and lies are often masked by the offenders as ‘telling the truth’ or ‘just politics’ or pushing the words based on the victim with descriptives like ‘he has thin skin.’ Sometimes the gossip or lies result in severe action taken against the victim and one’s reputation is sullied because of the fear mongers ravaging workplaces much like bullies on K-12 playgrounds.

Here’s what the experts observed and recommend:

• 8 Ways to Stop a Coworker From Sabotaging Your Reputation on

‘I’m working on it right now’ and other workplace white lies we’re all guilty of telling• How and Why We Lie …
• Office Mean Girl: Memories of a Workplace Bully

The remedies?

• 10 Tips for Better Karma at Work
• 4 Ways to Stay Sane in a Toxic Office

There are many more. Research. Listen. Learn. Reach out to those who can be a great listening ear for you and offer solid advice.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects.

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