Gossip much? Dealing with Work Drama

So as a young adult, I’ve got a few job experiences under my belt. Nothing to really brag about, just some part time jobs in my past, working as a student. I used to work at Dairy Queen. It was not as awesome as you might think, I am lactose intolerant, so really, working there was like a big tease. What I remember clearly, was all the work drama that went on between all the teen-aged employees. There were a lot of us, and in situations like workplaces, where people interact a lot and tend to get to know one other, relationships are bound to happen. Be it friendship, or romantic. (which, as I have learned, is never a good idea. Love and the office do not mix people) Honestly, I really tired to just stay clear. It was a hassle, and there was stress at work during the summer with long lines and annoying customers, and I really didn’t need to added annoyance of cold shoulders and bitchy arguments. Which happened quite frequently among the employees.


I remember things getting really awkward between two coworkers after they ended a relationship, but the drama lasted for quite some time afterward. People chose sides, and talked about it constantly on slow days. We had our very own soap opera. At the time, and the place, it was easy to stay loosely involved because there were so many of us. Also, we could only really talk when our bosses weren’t around. Talking came secondary to washing counters, and apparently we can’t multi-task. At the time, I also thought that this kind of behaviour (the gossip, and mild fighting and disagreements, and awkwardness between coworkers) was a result of age. Teenagers love drama.


At my current job, which I am everyday thankful I somehow got; I still experience this kind of behaviour, to an extent. I sometimes would still find myself in the middle of opposing opinions. One co-worker would complain about the other, and vice versa. It wouldn’t happen often, and it would hardly ever be personable, but I still found myself in situations where I really didn’t know what to say. On my resume, I have included “mediator” and “peace keeper” under skills for this job, because sometimes, I really felt like I was walking on a fence. Due to the fact that I am still fairly new (many of my coworkers have known each other for years) I am automatically in a neutral zone. This makes me liable to be what I like to call, the “diary keeper.” I know a lot of things about a lot of people, because I am entrusted with sensitive and secretive information.


It can be hard when you sometimes feel like you need to almost choose a side at your workplace. Is it possible to stay neutral for long? My best advice would be to keep vague. Sometimes people just need to let loose some steam. I do it all the time, discussing small annoyances about friends with others just to get it out of my mind, because the problems are sometimes so small its not worth an emotional confrontation. And emotional confrontations never end well, since things are sometimes said sporadically, without being thought-through.


So in the end I’ll listen, smile, nod in sympathy, but never really give too much of my opinion. My relationship with my coworkers at the moment has no baggage, but I can understand how working with the same people for more than five years can create some. Makes me wonder about the future, and if I get one of those careers that last for years, and years… There will probably still be drama and gossip, unless I’m working with robots, which would be plain creepy.



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