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Jabbering Job

I’m serenaded by the sound of middle-aged chitter-chatter as I sit here at my desk alone. I quickly gaze over at my little sign hidden on my desk of Norman Rockwell’s “Gossip” and smile. I’m the social outcast. Not because I don’t fit in or because I’m unfriendly by any means, but simply because of a personal choice.

 

The work day beings for me at 6:00 AM when I am jolted awake either by my alarm clock or my boyfriend calling to wish me a good morning. I drag myself into the bathroom and pluck my toothbrush into my mouth while staring at my half-awake appearance in the mirror. It is in this meditative state that I always forget how cold the shower actually is in the morning. After much time spent stressing over a wardrobe that is at least 2 sizes too big, I speed through my morning girly rituals only to glance at the clock and realize that I’ve let an hour spin by and I’m running late. Again. My morning drive is always cold, after all I do live in Oregon, and sometimes rainy. I have at least 3 umbrellas stocked away in my car somewhere. After driving an hour, on a drive that should only take 20 minutes, I usually use one of them in a sad attempt to keep myself dry while walking the 3 blocks from my parking garage to my office. By the time I swagger into the office; cold, wet and still asleep…I find myself relatively grumpy…and greeted by the same sound of cackles and exclamations from the office gossip.

 

Every morning it is the same thing. Day after day…the continual chatter about nonsense.

 

I’m one of those people who always makes and effort to complete their hardest work first thing in the morning. I’ve found that the large majority of today’s working women do nothing for the first several hours of their work day but gossip, get coffee, gossip some more and shop online. It is all really necessary I ponder? What is the purpose of knowing the life stories and all the drama of people in the building that you hardly ever see? I don’t care what my coworkers did over the weekend. Why do they feel the need to go into details every morning about the night before? They can sit for hours and discuss the sale going on at Nordstrom’s. I personally don’t care how much weight the receptionist in the office above us has gained. There is no interest sparked within me to hear about their child’s friend’s mother’s affair. What is the point of all this I ask? I’m just here to accomplish the task that I’m getting paid for…and that is to provide quality work for my employer.

 

About 6 months ago I had an epiphany about all this and while I might be totally off base I thought I’d share my concept. I feel that when you gossip at work, you are technically “stealing time” away from your employer. I’m not perfect as I’ll admit that I blog at work, surf my forums and play around on Facebook…but then again I’m at my desk and if someone walks in it appears that I’m working hard on something. To add to that, I never do these things when there is work that needs to be done. The chatter here occurs mostly in the morning and continues in spurts throughout the day. I don’t understand how anyone can accomplish anything with that sporadic of a work schedule.

 

Maybe I’m just a Negative Nancy to my officemates and have painted myself as a social outcast by continuously choosing to refrain from their pointless conversations. On the flipside however, I am my boss’s obvious favorite and hold her trust, which is difficult to earn. I am offered more opportunities than my coworkers and trusted with projects of the highest confidential nature. I can only hope that this is a direct correlation with my dedication to my job and my choice to refrain from “girl talk” in the office.

 

I guess what I’m trying to illustrate here, is some simple advice to ladies everywhere; and that is to remember that even while it is fun to talk with the girls and gossip it is also unproductive and not what you were hired to accomplish. Respect your gender by not living up to the stereotype. Be productive. Be proud. Be silent. Good things will come to you.

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