Wednesday, September 29, 2004

IM is BAD!

Like many things, good and useful things in our lives can be misused for bad – IM being one of these things I’m convinced. I’ve actually felt this way for a while, but an incident yesterday at work has convinced me of this. Let me share.

Monday afternoon, an IM popped up on my screen from one of my co-workers relaying information about an event in the office on Friday. Since the message was talking about me, I assumed it wasn’t for me. So I replied stating that I thought it went to the wrong person. She replied back stating it had. At this point, I felt like I was being talked about behind my back, but not wanting to jump to the wrong conclusion I blew it off. I guess guilt got the best of my co-worker because about half an hour after the original message, I received an IM from her asking me to forgive her because she had been venting to another co-worker about how frustrated she had been that I told her I couldn’t help her with a project on Friday and she didn’t want me to think that they were gossiping about me. (No, they were just talking about me behind my back – just as bad).

First of all, once I asked her she admittedly said she wouldn’t have even said anything to me if she hadn’t sent the message to the wrong person (lesson #1, if your going to bad mouth someone via IM – might want to be sure you sent it to the right person). But what really bothered me is that she failed to get the facts before she vented her frustrations to someone else. You see, if she had come to me first, she would have seen a whole other side to the situation. What she failed to see was that I had been helping her out all week, she just didn't realize it because it wasn't in ways she was aware of. So when she asked for my help with a specific project, I wasn’t being difficult, I honestly didn’t have time because by this point I had to finish a big project of my own. I was so hurt that this person looked to her own self-interests instead of looking at the big picture and realizing I had in fact been helping her out all week and not recognizing the sacrifices I had made because of it. And to top it off, she made me look bad to another co-worker for no good reason.

But (and here is my point), it made me take a long, hard look in the mirror. How often have I been guilty of the same thing? Using IM to vent to someone instead of either keeping it to myself or discussing it with the person that wronged me? I’ve been trying for a while to be careful about behaving this way because I have come to view IM as the “water cooler” of the new millennium. IM has for too long been used by some in our office (at times, self included) to “vent frustrations” or even talk about someone else (because it isn’t gossip if it’s true you know). Like I said, I’ve felt this way for a while and have been working on it, but I think God used Monday’s event to open my eyes and be extremely more cautious about behaving this way. Definitely not a good experience, but a definite lesson learned.

3 comments:

tams said...

i stumbled across your blog kinda randomly, but let me tell you, it's highly amusing! i was cracking up while looking at the baby names website. good thing i had no coworkers present! and i definitely hear ya about the IM situation. it can really be a dirty little monster at times. looking forward to your next random thought...

Stacey said...

Some of your clients could probably contribute to the baby name list. What are some people thinking.

Grant said...

I agree. IM should not be used for gossip. I do all my gossip in person. That way i can avoid situations like this. :)