The Vine: March 23, 2017
Two coworkers, W and J, sit next to each other, then there's an empty desk, then me.
We are all assistants at a law firm. One morning, J, who comes in earlier, thus leaves earlier, thanked W for handling something for her. W said, not quietly, "Oh, I usually spend the last 30 minutes of the day on Buzzfeed, so it was no problem to do that." I realize that she was saying she wasn't especially busy at the end of the day, but if any higher-ups had heard her, she'd have a lot of 'splaining to do.
So, if she does something like that again, should I say "W, don't say things like that where you might be heard by higher-ups"? Or do I just let her hoist herself on that petard?
Higher-ups didn't hear her, and unless her Buzzfeeding is putting more work on you or otherwise creating a situation that directly affects you, you're better off staying out of it. It doesn't sound like it is; in fact, it sounds like she was more than happy to put the latest list of kitten-puppy love-story pics on hold and help J out with a task, so, as my grandmother used to say, don't go looking for trouble. It knows perfectly well where you live already.
I am not unsympathetic to the annoyance you may have felt overhearing the comment, mind you. I am a lifelong neurotic rule-follower despite having overwhelming evidence that 1) nobody really cares that I adhere to the letter of various laws and can in fact quote them at length, and 2) people who don't follow the rules don't seem to pay for it as often as I'd like (or live in fear of). I am not someone who historically can get away with shit, so I am not someone who tries to, and seeing others getting over is irritating.
But: don't be me. Let it go; eyes on your own paper.
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Tags: the workplace