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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A Problem Workplace–But Two Coworkers Are The Worst

Question:

This has been going on for a while. And I admit that I have irritated my coworkers which I have been seeking therapy for. I had a baby this year so the hormones have not helped. This is going to be long. First, a little background: Recently we just had a manager get terminated because she was not only discriminating against certain employees but she also got caught in borderline illegal activity. This has resulted in her telling other things about me that were not true and her telling them about some personal medical information, as well as some complaints about some unethical workplace issues I had. Okay, now with that background I need some advice with an ongoing issue.

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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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Gossip About the Boss’s Flirting

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about gossiping about the boss’s flirting:
For several weeks many of my co-workers had been noticing very flirtatious behaviors between the boss and another co-worker. Most of them were small things, so I just brushed it off as probably nothing. I chose not to speak to anyone and would just smile and walk away when people would say the comments. As time passed, I had started to see the behaviors, such as very close proximity, whispers and giggles during staff events, and texting one another. I did not believe that he was cheating on his wife, but could see the flirting with this one co-worker.

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Co-Workers Angry That My Complaint Led to a Termination

A question to the Workplace Doctors about how to respond to anger over the termination of a coworker.

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I have worked with a toxic coworker for three years. Recently he brought a knife to work and threatened me with it. My company investigated and terminated him. Now a few of my teammates are angry at me and there have been insinuations that I went to HR because of the other employee’s race. Some say I was motivated by jealousy. How do I handle the aftermath like a professional?

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Employer Employee Texting Day and Night

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about if it is legal for an employer and employee to be texting.

If an employee and employer were texting each other for 2 months day and night, is that a legal issue for the employer?

Signed, Legal Curious

Dear Legal Curious:

Our disclaimer suggests that we don’t answer legal question. Even a legal answer to your question might be “It depends.” An attorney could provide you an answer in light the context of the situation and size of the workplace. For example if the employer was married and his spouse made the affair cause for divorce, that could cost the employer dearly.Why do you ask? What is your position in this situation? How do you know the texting is day and night and is in fact an affair? If you are one of the parties doing the texting, you have a lot to think about should an affair of a superior and a subordinate sour. That could affect the reputation of the company if sexual harassment were charged. If you are an employee who has work dumped on her because of the affair, you resent that. If you are a stockholder or partner in the company, you too have worries because certainly the quality of product and/or surface can suffer resulting from the distraction of an affair of employer and employee. This is not to say all workplace affairs never bloom into meaningful relationships.

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Called A Snitch

A question for Ask the Workplace Doctors about being called a snitch. 

“There are rumors of me being a snitch, but I’m not. What can I do?”

There have been rumors of me being a snitch and that is causing my seventeen coworkers to have very negative work attitudes towards me. Twelve of those are very close to each other. They talk very condescending towards me and many do not want to work with me. Several of them have actually gone to complain to the supervisor about my work ethic.

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Gossip???

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about gossip.

How is it appropriate to deal with coworkers who gossip in the workplace?

Signed, Can I Stop It?

Dear Can I Stop It?:

You feel some gossip of coworkers is destructive. We could write a book about gossip based on the dozens and dozens of questions we have received. Apparently you haven’t scanned any of our Q&As in our Archives. So scan them.

What do you find in these Q&As that might apply to your situation? Tell us what you think and what you have done. I predict that since you care enough to at least submit a question that you also care enough to approach your question as problem-solver and that you will act on what you learn. Am I correct? Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS,and that also entails dealing with gossip.

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Stop Gossip By Managers

Question for Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to stop gossip by managers:

At my workplace, we are having trouble with focusing on our goals and missions as a company. Often times, rumors and gossip, flow endlessly throughout our staff in a way which is overtaking. I find that not only is it the employees and persons in their younger ages, but more and more the management is beginning to consume themselves with the “drama.” We would all do better if we could stop the gossip by managers.

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Gossip and Offfice Etiquette

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctor about gossip: I am in a lead position, and would like to know if this should be addressed more seriously or if we are supposed to sweep our frustration under the rug,

I have two coworkers that whisper, email and laugh out loud to each others replies, and spend several minutes/hrs. each day conversing about non work related subjects. They have been warned by management it is a problem and were told to go somewhere else if they need to talk about someone or something, so now we know when they go to the vending machine that means they’re going to talk about someone.

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