Grinnin’ Through the Grind: Keep it Classy

Hey, I’m back with this mini series…Grinnin’ Through the Grind (If you missed the first segment: Keep it Healthy)

Onwards to Part Deux!

We all work our tushes off most of our lives. Whether we’re working our dream job or our day job, we are connected by a daily duty which often includes…DUN DUN DUN…office drama.

Keeping it classy at work would seem like a no-brainer, something we all do naturally, right?


The Icy Sneer
The Icy Sneer

Maybe it’s mob mentality – I’m not entirely sure – but the workplace can be a downright cesspool of negativity.

A snide remark here, a roll of the eyes there…hey look, it’s high school all over again! I think we can all agree that once was traumatic aplenty.

I’ve worked a lot of different jobs and snarkiness, although never fully disclosed in the employee handbook, seems to be a consistent occupational hazard.

So, it’s there – every day, every dusty corner of your drab office. We have to put on our big boy and girl pants, and deal.

It doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice ourselves, joining into the venomous banter just because everyone else is doing it. If so-and-so jumped off the ninth floor, would you join them? You catch my drift.

The Crap Talk
The Crap Talk

Here are a few ways to keep it classy around the office…

  • If you don’t have anything nice to say…zip the lip.  Let’s be honest, we’ve all gossiped at one point or another. It takes work to stay out of that mindless trap. Think about a time you said something uncool about someone. Bet you didn’t feel too cool afterwards, did you?

Classy Solution:  If you don’t get along with another person for this or that, try a ridiculously positive approach. Give them a little smile and kill them with kindness. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when your crap relationship experiences a chummy revelation, and you won’t be so eager to talk smack when the tension is nonexistent.

  • If they don’t have anything nice to say…shut it down.  News flash, back stabbers! Lowering your voices or even whispering does not disguise your poisonous convo. And, cubicles are not made of soundproof steel.

Classy Solution:  Throw on some headphones to block out the nasty. If you want to put an end to the crap talk, you don’t have to blatantly call them out on it like a narc. Just interrupt them with a work question and get everybody back on task.

  • If you’re frustrated about something…mind the noises.  OK, this is a sneaky one that a lot of us do without realizing. The insanely loud, exaggerated sigh which screams “Why me?” or “This sucks!” is bad energy which should be channeled elsewhere.

Classy Solution:  Close your eyes and turn your attention inward, practicing deep breathing while you slowly count to ten. If you still feel iffy, keep on counting. Or take a different type of breather, and go for a little stroll.

A definitive result of spreading negativity is the prominence of self-induced misery. Soon enough you won’t be grinnin’ through the grind, you’ll be grunting through it.

The Point and Laugh
The Point and Laugh

How do YOU keep it classy on the job?

*Next week will be the final part in this series. Grinnin’ Through the Grind: Keep it Movin‘ will be a special vlog from yours truly. Stay tuned…

31 thoughts on “Grinnin’ Through the Grind: Keep it Classy

  1. The whole sarcastic attitude thing has gained so much popularity that we coined the term “snarkiness”.

    A lot of people seem to think that snide humor (???) and a generally negative attitude denote intelligence. They think they’re Dr. House.

  2. Fabulous post! Fun approach to a serious and all too persuasive situation. I once heard from one who knew Indra Devi that she not only would she never, ever participate in gossip, she would quietly leave any conversation that went in that direction. And if she could not walk away, she would close her eyes and drop into meditation, so mentally slipping out. It motivated me to commit to the same. After all, why should we allow others to steal our mental freedom, our peace of mind, our emotional well-being, our single most important thing: our integrity?

    1. Ha! Just read your other comment, and truthfully, it is a “persuasive” situation as well. Leaving negativity is always a classy approach. I do that from time to time.

      Speaking of meditation, I feel that more and more I am meditating with my eyes open, shutting out the nonsensical for the sense. It’s mental freedom at its purest, a breath of fresh air.

  3. Oh, if only you could witness the dysfunction that runs rampant in our office. It’s insane! But it’s given me a lot of great material to write about. My co-workers have already turned up in short stories. Wait’ll I write a novel!

  4. LOVE your photos, priceless!

    I try to stay out of office pettiness as much as possible- changing the subject or pretending to need to go make photocopies or something 🙂

  5. Pics=awesome. As an admitted ranter I must confess to negativity from time to time- we all need to pop off sometimes- but what I’m aiming for is airing grievances with the source before gossiping/backstabbing. Takes balls, though. Tough to get those on loan.

    1. Oh, I’ve been known to rant myself, believe me! It’s something I’ve been taming over recent years.

      P.S. I love that you said it’s tough to get balls on loan. I MAY have spit out my coffee this morning on that amazing remark.

  6. Great pics Britt – you’d fit right in with us 🙂 At the risk of bringing the wrath of you and your readers on my head, gossip-mongers and negative-vibers in offices are primarily women. You need a certain number of blokes on the ‘shop floor’ (i.e. not in the exec offices out of the way) to cause a behavioural adjustment back from spitefulness to normality. Then you can achieve a productive working day.

    1. Don’t worry, Roy…I very much agree that women tend to be the gossip culprits. Any workplace with female dominance can be a hot mess. The dudes definitely provide the right balance.

      Spoken like a true daddy’s girl, right?

  7. I used to work in a doctor’s office and we got this new machine that guaged bone density. We all tried it out to see how fit our bones are, and someone told me that a bunch of girls asked the techinician to tell them my weight.

    Now, really. Why did they care so much about my weight? If anything, I’m as average as they come, nothing special or outlandish here, but for some reason they wanted that info.

    It went along with some other weird things that occurred between the office staff and the medical staff, like some kind of competition. It’s too bad when we’re all supposed to be on the same team.

    1. Oh, I know! There is certainly an element of competitiveness between the ladies which drives negativity.

      It’s tough out there. The only thing we can do is be good to ourselves, be good to others, and see what happens.

  8. Yes, I can recall that I became a master of pranayama and other forms of conscious breathing when I worked in an office environment. 🙂 I’m blessed now to do all of my work from home — I just hope it hasn’t hurt my yogic breathing practices.

    1. I’m just coming off a stint of working from home for a year, and returning to the office environment myself. It has its challenges but not as much as before…thanks to Yoga. Breathing is the best medicine!

  9. Thankfully there are only three people in the office besides me, so I don’t have to deal with a lot of snark. Most of the time, however, I like to keep to myself. At 24, I’m the youngest person here and feel somewhat out of the loop, so I just come in, exchange a few pleasantries, do my work and get out. Simple yet effective!

    1. Keeping to yourself is a great tactic, and one that I am practicing more at my new job then I did in previous ones. The less you get involved from a personal standpoint, the better!

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