Should You Snitch? Why Spying on Your Officemates May Be Bad for Your Career September 9, 2008Posted by dapinoyemployee in Da Pinoy Employee, Working with Bosses and Officemates.
Tags: should you snitch at work, should you spy on your officemates, snitching in the office
We’ve all seen, met and known them – snitches, that is. They’re the spies, the boss’ eyes and ears, the people who suck up to the big wigs and those who make reporting on their officemates’ activities part of their job descriptions. In cop and gang movies, snitches are often referred to as ‘rats’ and they could be as dirty, wily and loathed. In some cases, they can even cost someone his job. So now you’re interested. But should you snitch? Here’s why you should and shouldn’t.
Snitching can ruin your character and reputation.
People are wary of snitches, particularly if they’re the type who can be bought or bribed. Snitches just don’t snitch or spy on their officemates because it’s their nature – they do it because they can gain something from it.
Snitches will often spy for a boss, a higher-up or someone who exercises some kind of authority or power in the workplace. In exchange, the snitch hopes or is promised reward of some form – special privileges, a promotion, entry into an exclusive clique, even money or gifts.
If people realize you’re the snitch, you will be considered a traitor and will be treated as such. Don’t be surprised if people give you the cold shoulder or are wary about trusting you or bringing you into their confidence. Judas was a snitch and he didn’t exactly have a lot of fans.
You will be viewed as unreliable.
If your officemates or co-workers see you as someone who’s difficult to trust, they will begin avoiding you. Worse, you could even be ostracized, shunned from professional and personal groups and activities. A simple matter such as engaging someone in a conversation will be viewed as suspect – even if you really have no snitching agenda tied to it.
Your co-workers will not believe what you have to say.
Because you are considered unreliable, whatever you have to say will be considered as a trap. Remember the boy who cried ‘wolf’? Even if you’re telling them the truth, it will be viewed as a lie, a devious means to obtain information from other people.
You’re assuming that your boss can’t handle the issue.
Most snitches spy on their officemates thinking that they’re doing the boss and their company a favor. If this is your personal reason, take a closer look at how things really work in your office.
Is the issue really that important that you – yes, you – of all people have to be the source of information? Do you have any business at all being involved? Will the issue have a huge impact on how things work at the office? Is the boss really ignorant of the issue or you just think he is?
Is your boss the only person of authority in the office who can do anything about it? Is your boss even involved? Why do you think your boss isn’t handling the matter? Could it be that he has things under control and you’re just not in the know?
Next, examine your real purpose for spying on your officemates. Is it because you truly care for the company or you just want credit? Perhaps you want to be viewed as a major influence in case the issue does blow up. If you do snitch, what positive effect would it have in the general scheme of things? Or are you simply spying because of envy or greed?
You could be derailing someone’s career.
If you do spy on an officemate and then make an erroneous report, think about the consequences. If you falsely accuse someone and he/she does lose her job or get demoted or suffer from a bad reputation, wouldn’t that have a bad repercussion for you (think karma)?
You’ll be bringing down employee morale.
Throwing a snitch in the midst of a perfectly functioning office or work environment is a very effective means of making people feel that management doesn’t trust them. Breeding paranoia in the workplace makes it a vulnerable to office gossip and dissension. You could be the major cause of the breakdown of employee morale. And that’s not something you will be proud of years from now.
What’s your story?
Have you ever spied on anyone? Did it help advance your career or did it cause any problems? Share it here and help others learn from your experience.