witch.jpgWhat gets your blood boiling at work?

Is it a nasty coworker? The pervert in the cube next to you? Not getting a raise?

Turns out gossip is at the top of the list.

A survey by staffing firm Ranstad USA found that among the Top 7 Pet Peeves in the Workplace, workers talking about other workers is worse than anything else.

Being a journalist, gossip has always seemed to be pervasive in the offices I’ve worked in, and you know something, gossip really never bothered me. I usually tried to stay out of the latest news about love affairs and potential firings. Part of me figured it was a natural human tendency to pay attention to what other people were doing because you thought your life couldn’t be as exciting as theirs.

Eric Buntin, Randstad’s managing director of marketing and operations says:

“Gossip will always be a mainstay of the workplace, especially because office floor plans have become more open and communal.  Though, hopefully the 60 percent of workers who are annoyed by it aren’t gossiping themselves!”

I do get lots of letters from readers about how gossip impacts their lives. Some employees have felt nasty rumors spread about them actually contributed to their lack of career advancement. I could definitely see that happening if there’s someone at work out to get you, or someone that wants your job.

The best way to combat that: stay out of the fray people. Don’t gossip at lunch or by the water cooler no matter how much you want to. Gossip always comes back to bite the gossipers on their butts.

If you’re already the subject of a nasty rumor, or someone is spreading news about something embarrassing in your life, don’t address it unless you’re sure the higher ups are now wondering about you.

Once that happens, and you truly believe the gossip is derailing your career, sit down with your manager and put the cards on the table. Let your boss know whether the rumor is untrue. If it turns out there is some truth to the gossip, explain yourself simply, and without going into details.

But again, do this only if you’re 100 percent sure the stories being spread are damaging your day job.

There are other pet peeves besides gossip, according to the study.

Here’s how the peeves stake up:

1. Gossip 60%
2. Others’ poor time management skills 54%
3. Messiness in communal spaces 45%
4. Potent scents 42%
5. Loud noises 41%
6. Overuse of electronic personal communications devices in meetings 28%
7. Misuse of email 22%

Talk about gossip. Why are workers watching what other workers do on email?

It’s none of your business people. Who cares if your coworkers watch the latest funny YouTube video. ((check out the rotting pumpkin video or the video of a pumpkin that carves itself. Come on, piss off your coworker!! ))

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