The Workplace Snitch: How to Handle Them and Survive September 23, 2008Posted by dapinoyemployee in Da Pinoy Employee, Working with Bosses and Officemates.
Tags: how to deal with the workplace snitch, office spy, the workplace snitch, workplace mole
Remember way back in school when you ganged up on the kid who would tell the teacher on you? We hated snitches then and we still don’t like them now. But you know… these kids grow and become adults and pretty soon, they’re working in that cubicle next to you. And there’s more good news: they haven’t changed their snitching ways. They may have been a bit harmless way back when but now, they could cost you your career. So how do you handle workplace snitches and survive? Here are ways to deal:
Number 1 rule: Keep your mouth shut.
A snitch gathers as much information as there is freely available and then uses it to his/her advantage. If you talk, balk, react or accuse, your words could be manipulated easily to their liking.
If you want to survive a workplace snitch, deal with them on a professional level. Never – and I can’t emphasize this enough – never ever give them too much information, whether it’s about your life or about your work.
Number 2 rule: Protect yourself and your career.
There are two ways you can do this: keep everything about your work confidential and do your job. That way, the snitch won’t have any ammo to fire at you.
Keep your drawers locked, avoid leaving important documents lying around, don’t discuss the most important details of any of your projects to people who aren’t involved and protect electronic files with a password. If you have a secretary or assistant, warn them about keeping things confidential.
Being a good performer at work will also help. On your own, you are a valuable asset to your company and your bosses are bound to know this. Trivial comments can’t and shouldn’t hurt you.
Don’t fight back by snitching.
When you’re placed at a disadvantage by a workplace snitch, your instincts will probably tell you to fight back by getting all sorts of negative information about the bastard. Don’t do it, especially if you want to maintain your boss’ and your co-workers’ respect. Don’t fall for the ‘an eye for an eye’ philosophy. It will backfire.
Never ever lash back.
If a snitch finds you a target, it would seem like a natural reaction to just simply let them have it. Try to watch the temper. If you let loose, you’ll be doing the snitch a big favor. Snitches live for the attention and gladly participate in the scene you have somehow created. Always maintain your steely composure. Most snitches like to see vulnerability in their co-workers. Don’t let them see yours.
Give work to the snitch.
This technique will work best for you if you’re a supervisor or a manager. The workplace snitch is doing what he/she does because they have the time. If they have work to do, their gray matter will be focused on the task and not on their destructive ways. And you know that when the brain works, the mouth usually shuts up.
Should you snitch on a snitch?
A good rule of thumb when dealing with a snitch is simply to avoid, avoid, avoid. If you accuse someone of being a snitch, you should have a really solid evidence to prove it. If not, just keep your mouth shut.
So how did YOU deal with the workplace snitch? Share your thoughts here.
Need to know how to handle officemates as evil as the snitch? Here’s a link to dealing with bad officemates.