Beware Of The ‘Office Jerk’ Virus

Beware Of The ‘Office Jerk’ VirusAccording to recent studies, being an office jerk is highly contagious. I’m not kidding.

‘Obnoxious behavior’

A troublesome and uber-bossy boss can make work life miserable for his or her subordinates, but a new research shows that those subjected to obnoxious behavior in the office are more likely to act rude themselves, thereby influencing others to do the same.

Take this situation, for example: Worker A gets bullied by his boss so he complains to Worker B, who in in turn, spreads the word to the Worker C beside him that Worker A is being bullied by the boss. Worker D overhears this conversation and drops all sorts of negative comments about a boss an another person, Worker E. Worker D hears these comments and reports everything back to the Boss. This stirs up negative energy among office workers. And the chain of rude acts goes on.

WebMD cites a new research from University of New Hampshire organizational behavior professor Paul Harvey which shows that office jerks can actually influence others to be jerks themselves.

‘Zero tolerance’

“Abusive bosses not only cause misery for the employees they target, but they also poison the work environment for the victims’ co-workers,” reports the article. How? The researchers write: “Employees realize that the organization is allowing this negative treatment to exist, even if they are not experiencing it directly.”

How can we fight this nasty “Office Jerk” virus? Well, lucky for us, there is a surefire cure for this. If you yourself are guilty of engaging in Office Jerk activities, put an end to it. Immediately. I mean right now. No delays. You might have been a jerk to only one person, but what you don’t see is that you’ve done more harm than what meets the eye.

I believe every work setting should implement a zero tolerance policy for the Office Jerk Virus. This policy should help cement your working relationship and help foster a more productive working environment for both bosses and subordinates.

Have you been affected by the Office Jerk Virus lately? How did you counter this nasty problem? Feel free to share your experiences with us!

Image: Johnny Tubesteak

Worker Fired For Being Too ‘Irresistible’

Worker Fired For Being Too 'Irresistible'Can a boss fire an employee he finds attractive because he and his wife, fairly or not, see her as a threat to their marriage? Yes, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday. Such firings may not be fair, but they do not constitute unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, the decision read, siding with a lower court.

‘Distracting’

An attorney for Melissa Nelson, the fired employee, said the decision was wrong. The case concerns her client’s employment as a dental assistant. Nelson worked for James Knight in 1999 and stayed for more than 10 years at the Fort Dodge business. Toward the end of her employment, Knight complained to Nelson her clothing was tight and “distracting,” the decision read. She denied her clothes were inappropriate.

During the last six months of Nelson’s employment, Nelson and Knight, both married with children, started sending text messages to each other outside of work. Neither objected to the texting. Knight’s wife, who was employed at the same dental office, found out about those messages in late 2009 and demanded he fire Nelson.


‘Perceived threat to his marriage’

In early 2010, he did just that. In the presence of a pastor, Knight told Nelson she had become a “detriment” to his family and that for the sakes of both their families, they should no longer work together, the decision read. Knight gave Nelson one month’s severance. Nelson filed a lawsuit, contending that Knight fired her because of her gender. She did not say he committed sexual harassment.

In response, Knight argued that Nelson was fired because of the “nature of their relationship and the perceived threat” to his marriage, not because of her gender.

In your opinion, was it right for James Knight to fire Melissa Nelson for being “irresistible”? Would you have done the same if you were in his shoes?

Source: Dana Ford, CNN

Image: News.com.au