What Would You Do: If You’re Asked to Snitch at Work?

Posted: July 12, 2012 in What would you do?
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If we had our choice, most of us would try to avoid being caught in sticky situations especially on the job. However, sometimes it just can’t be avoided. You may just be whipping up a little peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the break room or taking a trip to the lavatory and find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes people just put you in situations that, otherwise, you’d have absolutely nothing to do with. This has happened to me quite a few times at different jobs.

I want to focus on one particular incident though. Let me set the stage. I’m at work and a group of us are undergoing training, as we are all new hires. For this particular exercise we were working on, some of us were paired up with partners and some of us working alone. I was one of the loners (that’s nothing new lol). Directly in the cube in front of me is a pair of ladies working together. Now those of you who have worked in an office know how thin cubicle walls are. The sound barrier is non-existent. As a result I can hear everything they are saying to each other. Working together isn’t always easy. Working together with someone who knows everything is even more of a challenge. I could start to hear them get into a heated debate. Because they were so loud though it did sound like an outright argument. I could hear word for word what was being said. Lady A was clearly wrong and Lady B was correct. Long story short, they got so loud that the trainers had to run over and interject on the heated discussion. They presented their dilemma and the trainer confirmed that what Lady B was saying was correct. At this point Lady A then decides to change her whole story and flips the script saying that what had been confirmed as correct is what she was saying all along.

As if lying wasn’t bad enough, the story gets worse. Later that afternoon, Lady A, the trainer, another trainee, and me were sitting together in a room. Lady B and the rest of the group weren’t around. They all start to recap the heated discussion from earlier. I sit there quietly. Lady A still kept maintaining that she was correct the whole time by lying about what she had said and insisting that Lady B had said something other than what she really had. She took it a step further and said, “Well you know what I think it is with Lady B? She’s a little ghetto.” My eyes popped open and my jaw dropped. Not only was this unprofessional but I thought a little inappropriate given Lady B wasn’t even there to defend herself and we were all new to the company.

That’s when it happened. The trainer says to me, “Jewel, you were right next to them. I know you heard everything. What really happened?” Part of me felt so bad that Lady B was being thrown under the bus and her name slandered when she wasn’t even the one that was wrong. I wanted to defend her name in her absence. The other part of me wanted to stay free and clear of the drama and mind my business. I chose the latter responding, “My name is Bennett and I ain’t in it.”

So once again I ask: What would you do? Would you go to bat for your poor coworker or would you mind your business and allow another coworker to throw him/her under the bus right in front of you? Would it eat you up inside knowing only one side of the story (the false version at that) was being told or could you go about your day with a clear conscience knowing that work is work and you have nothing to do with the situation?

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