NOT LONG AGO, A COWORKER CREPT into my office and quietly closed my door. Judging by the look on her face, I knew she was about to give me the latest scoop on something big. She began to divulge some unsavory details about a person whom I'd always thought was happily married. But apparently this colleague had been involved in multiple covert affairs.
I was shocked by this revelation--and should have ended the conversation then and there. But unfortunately, I didn't. My eyes grew big as saucers as my coworker began naming names. But what was so titillating in the moment has left me full of regret. Now I'm faced with some very negative information about a person I once admired. And I don't even know if the accusations are true!
GOSSIP--THAT CHATTY TALK ABOUT OTHER people s intimate matters--is a favorite pastime around many office lunch tables and water coolers. If asked point-blank, most of us would say gossip is a bad habit, yet our culture treats it lightly. Everyday we can access websites, watch television shows, or read tabloids to get the latest scandal scoop on celebrities and politicians. Some websites even send you an e-mail alert on late-breaking gossip. In our voyeuristic world of reality TV, being privy to intimate details of a person's life is socially acceptable.
But while we may innocently "dish," "get the goods," or …