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.

My supervisor told them he does not witness any negative work ethic from my part and I am working at a decent pace. They claimed I was working slower than the rest. In my work area, there are two leads and two supervisors. I feel one of the supervisors and one of the leads are siding with the others and may be contributing to the lie and falsely saying I have snitched about other workers to them.  The reason I believe this is because they have known & worked with the rest of my accusing coworkers for over eight years and this is the first time I have worked with them. The lead  and supervisor also talk condescending towards me and have a negative attitude towards me at work. There is only one supervisor that knows I never snitched or complained to him about the other coworkers. In fact he told me that several of the accusers have actually come to him personally to complain about my work ethic. Only this one supervisor knows my innocence of not being a snitch.

I feel they trapped me by labeling me as a snitch. If I complain to a supervisor/manager, I would be proving them correct and make things worse! If I take this to a higher level, I would be proving their accusation correct. Also it’s a numbers game because about twelve of them are against me, don’t like me and don’t talk to me. However, if I do nothing, the abuse and label will continue and ruin my reputation.

It seems this was well planned and thought out by some sociopathic manipulator who is the one snitching on their close coworker but blaming me, the quiet newbie. The good supervisor told me others were convinced I was doing the snitching because they wouldn’t suspect it from one of their own and it was in fact  one of their own members that snitched on their “friend/coworker” and blamed it on me. But the good supervisor told them it was not me and& that person didn’t believe the supervisor & continues being friends with the actual accuser! What do I do? Please help! Thank you for your time!

Didn’t Snitch

Dear Didn”t:

Your lengthy story expresses much discomfort. You attribute this to someone in a gang of twelve saying you are a snitch and talking down to you.  Additionally you say someone complained about you working slow. It’s stressful to feel you are not accepted and that coworkers have targeted you. Can you correct lies? Maybe not. Can you cope with being talked condescendingly? Maybe maybe not. Can you gain the respect of those you think dislike you? Maybe not.

Would that there is a quick fix to each of these related problems. There probably isn’t even a long fix. Why? Because, the hard fact is that changing others is not within your power. You’ve spoken with one supervisor who assured you that he didn’t accept the complaint about you. You are fortunate for that. You probably are wise not to go to the other lead and supervisor. If you do, you will be seen as a tattletale.  So what can you do other than worry and worry until you are so distressed that you seek a job elsewhere?

Here are some suggestions that might enable you to cope:

1. Don’t allow yourself to tell and retell this story of being victim either to yourself, your family, friends, or coworkers, or supervisors. Accept the fact that you can undo what has happened. Repeating this lengthy tale doesn’t make you feel better nor will it change those you think dislike and badmouth you.

2. Work at a reasonable pace. Do good work. Earn the respect of those in your work area. You say you are new to there. Soak up all you can from observing how others work. Be helpful. Be of good cheer. Applaud others and be generous with thank yous. Focus on the job. Other than a friendly hello talk and occasional comment about the weather or sports, talk about about what  the job demands. Avoid idle talk.

3. Think like an owner of your workplace. Learn who are its suppliers and its inside and outside customers.  Think career, not just a job. By that I mean ask yourself  what your company contributes to making the community and world. Are its products durable and services of high quality. In short, shift the focus from me, me, me  as disliked and being labeled a snitch to what you are hired to do–and to the good you to making your work group and workplace successful. Apply what you are learning to your longer term goals–and seek training within your company or outside that will make you wanted where you are now or in a job elsewhere.

4. Think cutting waste–wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted energy, and wasted money. Talk occasionally with coworkers about what you see might make your company more profitable. Dream about what you would do if you owned the place. Possibly your workplace has a stock ownership plan. Take advantage of it.

5. Work on yourself–becoming more fit, more kind, more interesting, more the kind of friend you want to be to others. Sometimes a favorite song, poem, or maxim helps. Talk to yourself kindly. You are a story of what you talk to yourself about. Click on the name of Tina Lewis Rowe, my associate workplace doctor. Her site will pop up and you will be informed and inspired.

Does any of this make sense? Please report back to us, if you these thoughts help you work though this feeling that you are called a snitch. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

To our readers: You  may not have been called a snitch, but you may have questions about rude communications, work performance, gossip and rumors or other workplace problems. Check our website to see if there have been questions similar to yours or send a question, being specific enough to allow us to answer fully.