Today’s Prompt: Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.
Yes, this is based on a real world conversation, but it’s all fiction.
I do not consider myself a nosey person. I do not like to gossip or listen to other people’s conversations, because those things normally spiral out of control. People can easily become hurt by idle words. Keeping my distance like this usually means that I miss out on some social events and struggle to form strong relationships with groups of people: to put it simply, talking is not my strong point. If I had to make a vow of silence for the rest of my life, it would not be a problem.
Yet, sometimes, and for reasons that are beyond me, people at work still like to gossip to me.
“You don’t want to work near her,” my colleagues tell me, referring to a woman who has recently begin working on our department. She used to work in the same building, though in another department, and some of them have worked with her before. “She’s a terrible worker.”
I decide to ignore them. The new woman turns up and we speak occasionally, although it’s little more than saying hello and goodbye whenever we walk past one another. She leaves work an hour before I finish, so after she’s gone my other co-workers are running up and down the stairs, fishing for anything I’m willing to tell them. I keep my mouth shut as often as I can manage, but sometimes there are things that get on my nerves. In those moments, I cannot control myself.
The word gets out there, of course. It happened a lot during my years at school, and although I believe I’ve learned a lot from that time, apparently it’s not enough. Instead of allowing my frustration to build up, I vent to someone I believe I can trust. It does not take a long time for things to go wrong.
A few days later, I’m back at work, but there’s a nasty feeling in the air. When I head up to my department, the new co-worker glares at me bitterly. She does not say hello, and I know that the word has got back to her. Despite the fact that everyone else gossiped to me too, nobody greets me with a friendly face. I am shunned and I hide away like I did when I was younger, ashamed to show myself for fear of discovering the others whispering about me.
Why it’s so different when I complain, I cannot say. My control over the situation is gone, and idle words have forced me to keep my distance anyway.