Should you speak ill of your colleagues?

Should you speak ill of your colleagues? - A picture of a cute DJ. Taken from http://farm1.static.flickr.com/14/15748958_633ccca024.jpg?v=0 .
Singapore
May 18, 2007 11:00am CST
I was tuning in to one of my favorite radio stations. Nah, actually I was frequency-surfing till I hit on a channel playing a song that I liked. After the song ended, the bright, chirpy voice of the DJ cut through and said "Hi! This is Jamie and I am keeping you company today AGAIN". Well, Jamie isn't her real name but we will use that to protect the "innocent". Jamie had just taken over the shift and she was commenting on how she was not supposed to be on duty today. She went on to describe how she saw Mike (the guy supposed to be working today) yesterday and that he was down with a bad cough - sick just like another colleague. She remarked that quite a few people seemed to have fallen ill lately and it was important to learn how to take care of oneself. She said that working was important but knowing how to deal with work stress was vital too. This last bit was what irked me. She used a very innocent-sounding tone but as I was listening to her, it just struck me that there was an underlying implication that those 2 colleagues of hers did not know how to handle stress as well as her - that's why they fell sick and she did not. Only Jamie herself knows if she meant anything by her "innocent" remarks. This was broadcast live on air so it seemed many times worse than "merely" gossiping behind someone's back to a third party. Do you think it is right for Jamie to speak ill of her colleagues this way? No doubt it was phrased in a seemingly light-hearted way, the implication is still there for any who could read it. What do you think? Was she right or wrong? Is it acceptable to talk bad behind your colleagues' backs?
31 people like this
68 responses
@sukumar794 (5047)
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
18 May 07
As for colleagues , I've nothing positive in my mind at present to record. In a world , where everyone thinks and acts for one's own benefits you just can't your colleagues to think and behave otherwise. It's the way of the present day existence good luck.
• Singapore
18 May 07
Dog eat dog world. :(
4 people like this
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
18 May 07
Fair or foul .... I just couldn't grasp it . Please explain my pal.
4 people like this
• Singapore
19 May 07
What's that to explain? No worries, my friend. I was just agreeing with you. :P
2 people like this
@CatNPK (461)
• United States
18 May 07
Because I did not hear that radio show, I can only assume that your assumption was correct - so I really have no basis for making a comment. I do think workplace gossip is ridiculous and immature - but she was live on the radio. Anyone she worked with probably heard her. With that in mind, I don't think she intended any actual malice with her statements.
6 people like this
• Singapore
18 May 07
Well, perhaps. If Jamie was really that innocent, I still feel she should be more tactful. :P
5 people like this
@liranlgo (5743)
• Israel
18 May 07
I do know that this was your conclusion wiz, maybe she did not mean it that way. Maybe she just started an conversation about people that are getting or being sick and mentioned that one of the factors that makes us, humans sick is the tension and that if we knew how to handle this tension it will help us. Wiz you are a smart man, and just like me, you take things and analyze them, and see all of the sub text in them, even if there is no sub text here. LOl. I do not think that it is similar to talking behind a persons back, and you did say the she mentioned that she did see mike and his throat is not well. Do remember that he talks most of the time in the radio, so might have implied that people that work in jobs that require using their vocals all the time is more sensitive then others, and then she developed it to other things. Even if she did talk about her friends, she did it in a smart way, and there is no way that we can accuse her at saying somthing directly about them and giving them a bad name. Maybe she just discovered the miracle of body-mind balance, and she is practicing it, and surprisingly is less sick then before, so she realized that tension is the cause of all sickness?
• Singapore
18 May 07
Nah, she just got onto the shift - that's what she said - so it was probably the first thing she uttered that shift. I heard the entire paragraph - then she went on to play the second song. Now I seem to be the bad guy. I shouldn't have chosen Jamie. I should have chosen another name that reminds people of evil people. Lol :P
6 people like this
@liranlgo (5743)
• Israel
18 May 07
Lol wiz, you got this one right:)
4 people like this
• Singapore
18 May 07
I hate this. Why can't I edit my discussion? I don't want to call her Jamie anymore.
6 people like this
@charms88 (7546)
• Philippines
18 May 07
The way Jamie phrased her words might not be obvious by most listeners. I can't say if she is bad mouthing her colleagues or she is just implying the message to the listeners so they would know how to deal with work stress. Most of the DJ are pretty close. The colleagues might not even be offended by her remarks. I have casual friends who really like to speak ill of other people. I will either pretend that I'm listening or excuse myself. I wonder how they can be so insensitive of other's feelings. It isn't my nature to go on saying bad things about anyone.
• Singapore
18 May 07
I was trying to translate her words from Chinese to English (Chinese radio station) as best as I could. If you heard the broadcast, I think you might come to the same conclusions. No worries.
5 people like this
@charms88 (7546)
• Philippines
18 May 07
Ahhh...so Singapore have Chinese radio station. I wonder if I can understand it well. I seldom speak Chinese here.
4 people like this
• Singapore
19 May 07
You shouldn't be surprised, baby. Chinese is almost as common as English here - though the younger generation brats are causing me to look down on them - they can't handle more than English.
3 people like this
@angelicEmu (1311)
18 May 07
Well there are two points which spring to mind here: Firstly, if you're unfamiliar with this radio programme and the DJs-in-question's styles, it's hard to make a judgement call on whether this DJ was b1tching her fellow DJs, or merely using a form of banter. Radio DJs' styles often incorporate running in-jokes, and verbal exchanges of insults, which are just a form of jokiness. It may be that this "Jamie" was out of line, but in which case, she will have to face the consequences - it's not as though she was using a sneaky way of undermining her co-workers (if indeed that was her intent), such as comments to their boss, or gossiping in the staff-room - those DJs probably heard the show, and will react as they see fit. This brings me nicely to my second point: consequences. If someone speaks ill of their colleagues rather than going through the proper channels to complain about them should that be appropriate, it will have several repercussions for that person. Firstly, the person in question will inevitably find out, and take whatever action they choose. Secondly, co-workers will tend to assume that person might be b1tching THEM too, so that will have an effect on working relationships across the board. Thirdly, the way we act and treat others is part of what defines the type of people we are, and therefore how we view life and also how life will treat us. So someone who's just nasty will not only have to suffer the consequences from others, but being a nasty person is in itself, its own punishment. Karma works in many ways!
• Singapore
19 May 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
Hmm.. yes, you might be right.. I am indeed not familiar with that DJ (or any for that matter lol) or station (or any for that matter lol). Very thoughtful! ;-)
2 people like this
20 May 07
LOL! Yes, it's just that in the UK at any rate, DJs have been using banter and back-and-forth digs to each other and about each other for decades. It forms part of the character of the station, as it's quite entertaining, and also, not being seriously meant, can show that the DJs have a rapport with each other. In the UK, that's part of our character as a nation: teasing, digs and banter aren't always meant nastily - they're often a way of including people, as they show that the person feels comfortable enough around the other person to drop their formality and include them in the joking, and is an indication that the person also regards you as having a sense of humour and not taking yourself too seriously! So there you go - perhaps this bit of European culture has crossed the waves, in DJing!
1 person likes this
@twilight021 (2060)
• United States
18 May 07
Wether she mean to speak ill of her co-workers or not....there is not bigger mistake than doing something like that is a public forum! In some cases (I know this is the case for me), due to the hours I work, I actually spend more time with my co-workers than I do with my family and boyfriend. Becuase of this is it so importnat to keep harmoney in the workplace....as best you can. Now, I know people have bad days and get frustrated and need to vent about work or their co-workers....but this is something you should do at home...not to other people at work, and certainly not on the radio! This can shatter trust and really come back to bite you. "Jamie" might need a favor from one of her co-workers some day and it is hard to get people to help you if they don't like or trust you.
• Singapore
19 May 07
Just curious.. so your office is one of the rare ones without office politics?
1 person likes this
@karvin87 (1034)
• India
18 May 07
hmmm..atleast i donot! i feel nobody should, but some people do have a habbit of speaking ill and the best part is tht i am aware of ma frnds who speak ill...but i accept them as they are, cos i feel they dont actually mean it, they speak just for the heck of speaking...! I personally donot do and would not encourage it too...i think workplace one needs to be more cautios as its all about making a gud reputation dere...:)
• Singapore
19 May 07
Yes, it's like a spring in our body that is called jealousy. It will just spring forward to hit at someone when it is held still for too long. :P
1 person likes this
@naty1941 (2336)
• United States
18 May 07
No one should not speak bad about one's co-workers but it happens a lot. I think it has to do with envy.
5 people like this
• Singapore
18 May 07
You are right on. Pretty much everyone is jealous haha. :P
5 people like this
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
20 May 07
I know in radio land they do things different than us regular people and are always trying to make fun of their fellow announcers. So this may have been almosted scripted. I don't think it is right to talk about your colleagues behind their backs. It causes cliques and someone is sure to be hurt.
4 people like this
• Singapore
21 May 07
Oh.. I see the possibility you are talking about.. but that radio station seems a more conservative one. Anyway...
2 people like this
• Canada
19 May 07
Well wiz, I can't really agree or disagree with what really happened in this case. In all honesty you have to remember people will do almost anything for acceptance. There maybe a lot of us here on mylot who maybe guilty of such things. But I wouldn't point fingers. It's not my style. Where would that get any of us. Nowhere! Is it for wrong for what she did, maybe? Maybe she was trying to make a valid point. I personally don't agree with anyone talking about anyone.. simply because you, them and I don't really know whom we maybe talking about. There is a quote I once heard and It goes like this... " If you can't take the heat, why would you fuel the flames?" If someone was to criticize what I do or did on the job, who I am, what I wear, etc. Positive or negative remarks made behind my back were simply done because they didn't like the attention I was getting. If someone wanted to feed my ego, just to eventually hurt my ego/ feelings it wouldn't of had any effect on me because I take it with a grain of salt. They don't know who I am...
3 people like this
• Singapore
19 May 07
Jazz, what happened this time? Where is your double post? Did you hide it somewhere? Tell me! I can't find it!! :P
2 people like this
• Canada
19 May 07
No, no wiz. That's only happens with my rebuttals, so if you have anything further to say... speak now! nothing to say.. ah c'mon. You're no fun!
2 people like this
• Singapore
20 May 07
I am still looking for the double post, you are no fun!! Here's my answer: You don't seem to be too much a people person in the office! :P
1 person likes this
@gberlin (3837)
22 May 07
Sometimes colleagues who have worked together for a long time begin to feel like family. And in many families sometimes siblings get along and other times siblings get upset because they think that they are being taken advantage of and this makes them angry and they spout off. Airing one's dirty laundry so to speak. Hang in there with me I will eventually get to some kind of a point! :) I teach at a parochial secondary co-ed boarding school for grades 9-12. All the teachers and staff live in houses on campus. We work together, play together, practically live together. We are a tight-knit group. Sometimes we get irritated with one member and talk about him. Is it right? No, we should go and talk to the colleague in person and express how we feel but sometimes we just need to vent and the person we need to talk to isn't around so we talk about our colleague with other colleagues. We all know that we don't hate the person just what he did. Also, if anyone outside of our school talked about the same colleague they would have to deal with us. It is like being in a family. Ok, I have given a nice example. Now for the answer to the question. I believe that 'Jamie' feels like part of the radiostation family and that her 'siblings'/coworkers at the station should be responsible enough and considerate enough to take better care of themselves. In essence, she is saying, "Hey you guys, I feel like I am being punished for staying healthy and you guys should be more like me!" Should she have aired the dirty laundry over the radiostation? No. It probably sounded worse to her listeners than it did to her co-workers. Whew! I sure took a long time to say what I wanted to say. Sorry for the long response! Well, not really. Ok I'm done. :)
• Singapore
22 May 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
Very insightful, my friend.;-)
3 people like this
@gberlin (3837)
22 May 07
I was on a roll yesterday. :) I feel most honored to be the recipient of one of your medals!
2 people like this
@nishchith (136)
19 May 07
sometimes they does just because they are jealous of the person
3 people like this
• Singapore
19 May 07
Yea. The terrible J word.
1 person likes this
@tigerdragon (4297)
• Philippines
19 May 07
now,there's where the problem arises with our new broadcasting style.nowadays,these so called young jocks who thinks they are very good in their craft just blurts anything on air.everything now is "reality", don't they know that freedom has it;s limits?unlike during the nineties,at least,the jocks are very responsible aside from having a very good command of their voice.aside from that,almost all of them are very very young to undertake such responsiblity which is very dangerous because media is a very powerful source of influences in the youth.they should start regulating the radio industry.i would know because i was once a disc jockey and i have worked with the music industry.
• Singapore
19 May 07
Oh yes.. young jocks.. We do get people writing in to the papers to complain about their liberal choice of words..
1 person likes this
@argie713 (1809)
• Philippines
19 May 07
I don't think she did that to speak ill of her colleagues. She was just explaining why the other DJs fail to report that day. There is nothing wrong with that, if you think she spoke ill about her colleagues, she might not mean to do that. She just had to do her job in explaining why she was the one on air.
3 people like this
• Singapore
19 May 07
Yes it could be that...
1 person likes this
• United States
19 May 07
There is nothing worse then people who will talk behind the backs of others. I have always told anyone I ever know or meet... If I have an issue with you.. YOU will know it. We will discuss it like mature adults, decide to like or dislike each other then move on. To talk behind someone's back is ignorant and something that someone with no backbone does. To complain on the air is even worse too! You don't bring the "gossip" out to the public in a situation like that. If I were one of her co-workers I would have called and blasted her and told her PUT ME ON THE AIR for this one. If she had an issue with someone being sick, perhaps she should make sure she will never be sick herself. Some people are just ignorant.
3 people like this
• Singapore
19 May 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
You sure are one who does not hide your feelings!
1 person likes this
• United States
18 May 07
Unless you have to dicuss plans for a surprize party, you shouldn't talk about a colleague.You shouldn't say anything behind their backs that couldn't say to their face.I think the implication that if you can handle stress better you won't get sick statement is making Me sick. Unless you walk in the shoes of another person you don't know what is going on in their lives.
3 people like this
• Singapore
19 May 07
Haha, how witty. :P
1 person likes this
@wrdsofwisdm (1070)
• United States
18 May 07
Jamie mad a big mistake. I'm sure her superiors caught the underlying meaning to her words. I have a cousin who has a cute little higher pitched voice and the whole family can read between the lines when she speaks nicely and is actually being snide. It is a very bad idea to speak badly about coworkers in any forum. There is always one person that secretly doesn't like you and will use it against you when the opportunity arises. It can be a real career killer.
3 people like this
• Singapore
19 May 07
Maybe that's really the end of her career. :P
1 person likes this
@nannacroc (4049)
18 May 07
Well her colleagues could have been listening, so in a way it could be ok. But I don't think she should have done it and if it came over to a listener as 'gossiping' then it wasn't very professional.
3 people like this
• Singapore
19 May 07
Guess she's likely the only one who really knows.
1 person likes this
@Hart57 (360)
• United States
18 May 07
To be perfectly honest, Lordwarwizard, had I been listening to that broadcast, I might not have interpreted it as gossiping. I may be wrong, and perhaps there was definitely subtext going on, but in my naivete I might have interpreted (or misinterpreted, as the case may be) her comments as showing concern. Perhaps "we hear what we want to hear and disregard the rest." As regards talking behind a person's back: I am against it on principle. This is not to say that I am perfect (oh, far from it!), and that I don't backslide from time to time and engage in it myself, because I do. It's just that I try very hard to not be mean-spirited in any way. I guess for me it's all about "The Golden Rule." Lordwarwizard, thank you so much for another stimulating discussion!
• Singapore
19 May 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
Hey, I think you are quite right! We interpret what we want to hear. Maybe I was too sensitive.:P
1 person likes this
@dana234 (2126)
• Spain
18 May 07
Well, as far as I´m concerned everything that the so called "Jamie" said seems ok, apart from the last sentence, (I agree with you there) which sounds a bit as if she was lecturing her colleagues because they were not as resilient to work stress as she is. I think just mentioning the fact that her colleagues were ill would have been enough without going into details. In my opinion it´s not acceptable at all to talk behind your co workers backs, but she is certainly intelligent enough to realize that they were listening to her. Maybe she knows them well enough to be certain that they won´t take her words in a negative way. Or she said it without giving it much thought. In that case she is cutting her own flesh, because she is going to have to put up with the consequences if they think that she was being tactless.
• Singapore
19 May 07
I just hated that part about work stress - the implication that she can handle it better. Well, the implication is there for any to draw. :P
1 person likes this