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Question
Posted by: Maureen | 2012/05/08

OFFICE BUSYBODY AND GOSSIP

I work at a law firm. The senior partner''s secretary is a real gossip and busybody - always minding everyone else''s business and making it her top priority to become involved in issues that do not concern her! How can we teach this woman a lesson she will not forget? She is not trustworthy at all - she even gossips about her boss as well as the other directors in the company. She makes me sick. She is 29 years old, but behaves herself like a kid, always banging doors and drawers and muttering under her breath - never has the guts to stand up and say what she wants to say. She makes comments about things that happen in the office and when she is confronted, she tries to hide behind the fact that she is the senior partner''s secretary! Furthermore, she is not the sharpest tool in the shed, makes mistakes with the work and then blames her computer etc. - SERIOUSLY - this woman is starting to annoy me and I might say something to her that I should not!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sad if the partners don't notice what a nasty gossip and busybody that secretary is. But if you don't feed her - NO gossip, NO conversation - she will lose gossipy weight. Ignore her except on utterly business matters.
Get on with your own work, and do it well, so there'll be a good contrast between her and the rest of the staff. Don't give her the power to upset you, or to encourage you to place yourself into the wrong.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jojo | 2012/05/10

Same here, ours she is is 46 years old - Personal Assistant working at the 3rd floor, but talks about every one''s personal life. Mind you for that age you can''t really expect that. I am a Personal Assistant as well, once befriended her but along the way noticed she gossips a lot, and I didn''t entertain it, she dumped me and made friends with other gossipers. I am better of without her. Now her colleagues from there will call and ask me for advice on how to handle her. She doesn''t even greet me, we only talk about work issues, nothing else. So just be strong and remeber you are there for your family. Don''t ever show her that you are annoyed, you will give her power. Keep your head up and be confident. I say there more you gossip or talk about me, you bless me. So she is small minded, act as if she doesn''t exist in your office life. Good luck girl.

Reply to Jojo
Posted by: Romany | 2012/05/09

Well, she IS the senior partner''s secretary.... It really is of no relevance if you think she is " not the sharpest tool..." .
As his secretary she pretty much " represents"  him in many ways.
So, yes, I agree with Hobo.... accept this senior partner''decision and in having her as as his secretary. (who also pays your salary), and do your work.
It makes no difference what others are up to, that is their choice and you have no right to judge them. be quite, don''t say anything you do not want repeated, do not get involved in office politics, listen only to things relevant to you and excuse yourself from gossip sessions.
You ARE after all there to work and earn a salary first and foremost.

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Purple | 2012/05/09

Every office has one of these.

If she is causing huge problems with all staff, then you can report her to her boss, but you will need to back up what you say with facts.

She does sound a bit immature for her age, but I''ve seen people in their 50''s behave like this, so I don''t think age and maturity always correlate. Some peole just seem to have characteristics that make them difficult to like.

Do you have to tell her things and involve her in what you do? Can you not just get on with your own work and if she asks direct questions or makes comments about what you are doing tell her that if she has a problem she shoul driase it with your manager.

Wanting to teach her a lesson she will never forget doesn''t say much about the type of person you are. Perhaps you are bringing this behaviour out in her?

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/05/09

Sad if the partners don't notice what a nasty gossip and busybody that secretary is. But if you don't feed her - NO gossip, NO conversation - she will lose gossipy weight. Ignore her except on utterly business matters.
Get on with your own work, and do it well, so there'll be a good contrast between her and the rest of the staff. Don't give her the power to upset you, or to encourage you to place yourself into the wrong.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: hobo | 2012/05/08

Just concentrate on what you are there to do...that is work!!!

Reply to hobo

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