My Work Group Gossips About Patients

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about unprofessional communication of a work group:

I work at a clinic/hospital as a nurse or dr’s assistant and I love my job, but, I am unhappy with the level of unprofessionalism of my coworkers. They tend to gossip about the patients and share information that should be kept private. I’ve tried to change the subject, but no one listens to me. This also makes it difficult for me and other nurses to focus on getting work done, which can lead to other issues and mistakes. How do I get my gossipy coworkers to follow protocol and focus on our work rather than talking about patients private information? Signed–Unhappy With Gossip

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What Can Happen About an Accusation That I Started a Rumor?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being accused
of starting a rumor at work. 

Hi, I’m going to try and do this without names as I feel like I’ve been singled out for a witch hunt. I have been accused of starting a rumor about my supervisor (A) while she was on maternity leave. The rumor I am being accused of starting is that I said our manager (B) was unhappy with the work my supervisor(A) was doing and that she would be not welcomed back into our department. That the supervisor(A) would be re-positioned elsewhere or fired and replaced, and that a specific employee(C) would be taking on my supervisor’s(A) position.

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I’m a Target of Coworkers

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about coworkers’ gossip:

I work in a call center where we take incoming calls. Two of my coworkers whom I work with on the weekends has accused me of several things:

  • I go on breaks but set my phone on admin or training. Also that I logout of my phone during the shift to spend time with colleagues or go to the local supermarket.
  • I watch videos on the computer using earphones by covering it up with my headscarf.
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    Should I Tell My Boss About Rumors?

    Question: 
    I was approached by upper management about rumors of a suspected romantic relationship between my boss and his now ex-boss who left the company several weeks ago. Both of the accused are married.

    I understand the rumors – they traveled a lot for work, often driving long distances together, and he’s out of the office a lot since his ex-boss is no longer employed by same company. However, there is no evidence at all that anything has happened.

    I have been asked specifically if I knew of anything that would incriminate either or if I had anything to share. I honestly don’t. And even being brought into personal affections between two of my coworkers, that I was clueless about beforehand, has really made me uncomfortable.
    I am inclined to let it die on its own but what are your thoughts? Do I speak up and let my boss know there are rumors? Do I share the awkward conversation with HR? What’s one to do?

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    Get Them Off the Gossip Train

    Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about dealing with gossip and office problems as an assistant:

    My workplace is very small (12 people). I just began working there in January. Even though I am a very positive and upbeat person, sometimes the gossip that goes on is tough to maneuver around.

    I really like people, and I like everyone to be happy. While I know that I cannot always make everyone happy, I do want to try to do so as often as possible. I am the assistant office manager, and sometimes, others come to me and tell me about issues they are experiencing in hopes that I may offer them some empathy, or that I will join in on their side. While I’m happy to offer empathy if it is deserved (i.e. someone is not feeling well), often, it’s talk about others and office problems.

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    Should I Apologize?

    A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a big mistake caused by gossip.

    I recently gossiped about a coworker and I feel horrible about it. The story may be long but it may help to get where I’m coming from. I’m an inexperienced, shy, young guy and I met a girl who caught my interest at a job I got a few months ago. My first mistake was telling a couple of my coworkers about my interest with this girl. It spread throughout my entire department and everyone made it their mission to get this girl to go out with me. I awkwardly talked to her a few times and I thought I wasn’t going to get anywhere. One day my coworker said I should message her, I did and got nervous. I asked him for advice and he took my phone and asked her out for me. She agreed to my surprise, I wouldn’t have gone out with me at that point, considering that we hardly spoke to each other. We went to a Starbucks she wanted to go to and it was not a proud moment for me. I knew I was boring, I was uncomfortable and I wanted to go home but stayed for an hour until she “had” to leave.

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    My Boss and Coworker Gossip

    Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about gossip within the HR Department
    by boss and Coworker.

    Question:
    I am in HR and I’m faced with gossip in the office; however my issue is that my boss and a co-worker are the ones doing the gossiping. I know as HR I should not let this continue and I fear that the employee that they are gossiping about will quit and has mentioned that this is a form of harassment. I want to confront the boss and coworker, but I fear for my own job. What would be the best steps to take to handle this situation?

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    Co-Workers Say My Boss Has a Crush On Me

    Question:
    Other employees think my boss has a crush on me. They say he stares at me. A few months ago they said he was following me with his eyes. He is corporate and only there for a short period of time. He is married and I am involved with someone.

    Answer:
    You have one of those situations where it is better to leave things as they are, rather than trying to find out if your boss is attracted to you—or if he has a crush on you (which is a different thing). If he is an executive or closely aligned with corporate management, he could lose his job or at least lose his reputation, if it was thought he was having a relationship at work. That could lead to the loss of his marriage as well.

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    What Should I Do About Having My Pregnancy Secret Announced?

    A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about
    having a pregnancy secret disclosed by a manager.

    Question:
    I found out I was pregnant, and decided to disclose it to my general manager when I was about 9 weeks along. I told her in a pure honest effort to give her notice of the event.  Since I’ve been employed there I have miscarried three times. I told her the news in complete confidentiality and she was extremely aware that I did not want anyone to know until I felt it was necessary, or safe enough to do so.

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    What Can I Do About a Rumor That Could Ruin My Life?

    A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an untrue accusation of an affair at work.

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    Question:
    I work in a retail environment with eight other coworkers of different genders. A male coworker works night shift and when we close the store our jobs require us to walk the store for a hand-off. Someone recently accused us of having an affair. The store manager approached the night manager to ask him. At this time I was not aware of the rumour because HR asked the store manager to investigate (HR never asked me). A couple weeks later the night manager was approached by the store manager again and asked about it. He informed the manager that it was not true and he wanted to squash the rumour like the first time. 

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