Trash Talking The Boss

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about trash talk:

Are employees permitted to trash talk their employers while on the clock or on the job?

Signed, Trash Collector

Dear Trash Collector:

I like our garbage man; he empties out our garbage can. Mother doesn’t like his smell, but she doesn’t know him well. I don’t know when I learned this smelly verse, but it reeks of what trash talk can do and it also suggests that gossip about others wouldn’t continue if we walk in each others’ shoes and take time to talk with rather than about them. Employers are people too. To be sure, some of them are greedy who “use” those they employ as cheaply as they can get them and will fire them for a good reason or no reason.

Yours is a curious question. Why do you ask? Are you an employer or an employee? Trash talk by employees about employers on or off the clock hurts both the workplace and those who talk trash. Isn’t it better to voice complaints to one’s face rather than behind one’s back? Isn’t the chance of correcting the behavior of bad bosses higher if those who don’t like it if they have the guts to say “Stop” when a boss bullies? Isn’t better to say to an employer, “I have some ideas of ways to cut wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted energy, and wasted money” rather than trashing her/him? Isn’t it possible to help an employer understand how supportive collaboration accomplishes more than giving orders? Isn’t it possible to engage an employer in solving workplace problems?

Our site asserts it is worth the effort to try. Workers often see what isn’t good management. They are closer to a job than are their supervisors and their employers. They have good ideas about what can make a workplace more successful and trash talk isn’t one of them. Employers have good reason to penalize those who trash talk whether on or off the clock.Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. That said is not just a way to pronounce a workplace benediction. It means that those who want the best for them selves will do what it takes to make their employer’s aware of their commitment and concerns that need voicing.

William Gorden