In journalism, they say that when a dog bites a man, that’s not news but when a man bites a dog, that’s news. Well, gossip or tsismis in Tagalog parlance, is definitely something else….
All humans I think have a natural preponderance for gossip, whether as an active participant or a mere listener. But what if you are the object of the gossip itself?
There are persons who actually rejoice when people start talking about them. Think about Kris Aquino. In my case, I get royally pissed when attention is focused on myself,especially if it’s very much unwanted and uncalled for. Especially if the rumor starts encroaching on time I would rather spend on productive, positive endeavors.Especially if I’m at peace in my own world and people appear to provoke you because they have nothing better to do, either because they want to be noticed or they simply delight in being complete jerks.
This happened to me last week. Friend A and I are leisurely having our dimsum lunch when suddenly he segues into something that almost made me choke on my beancurd roll:
A: Sabi ni Consultant B kaya ka raw lumipat kasi nakasuhan ka raw ng rumor-mongering.
Me: Me? Rumor-mongering my *ss. Eh sana you told him it was my choice to be transferred to another department
A. I told him nga eh. Pero yun daw ang tsismis sa kanilang department. Sabi nga nya eh, kung ganon din lang naman pala, sana nagpa-promote ka na lang instead of asking for that lateral transfer para wala ng ganong usap-usapan.
Me: You know me, I won’t ask to be promoted.Di lalo pala silang nagtsismisan kung natuloy ako sa Cebu, hahaha..
A. Yup, you guessed it right.
(I laughed it off but in truth I wanted to confront the underling concerned. It was a calculated risk for me to ask for a transfer to an assignment of choice and I was proud of the fact that I surmounted all odds against me.In the end, I get what I want and still manage to have an amicable parting with the Boss but still… people insist on entertaining false assumptions.Where is the justice in that?)
This was not to be all because a few days later, another friend calls me to ask:
B: Ajay, is it true you are resigning from the company?
Me: That’s really naaaasty. Who told you that?
B: My assistant.
Me: Of course not. Why would she say that?
So off I call the assistant, reining in my temper to ask her in a nice way. “(Bitch) who told you am resigning??”
Bitch: Well I was visiting the admin office and I overheard it. The supervisor was signing your clearance or something.
Me: Wellll, that’s because they have to clear me of my accountabilities there now that I am assuming a new position in another office
Bitch: Ah ganon ba??
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against gossip. I am guilty of it sometimes myself. But there’s a huge difference between gossiping with CRASS and gossiping with CLASS. This applies not only to the office but everywhere, even the blogosphere. Here’s my take on the matter:
1. Gossip constructively and with finesse. Tsismis can sometimes be helpful if it can help in addressing a situation or an issue but stick with it. Avoid non-essentials.
2. Observe the Golden Rule. Don’t gossip unto others what you don’t want to be gossiped unto you.
3. While engaging in tsismis, avoid telegraphing your punches and incriminating yourself. That’s because gossip can be a good barometer of your IQ, educational attainment and sexual satisfaction index.I would like to think that congenital rumor-mongers are generally unhappy with their lives.
4. Don’t just gossip to blend with The Crowd. Otherwise, you will look truly pathetic.
5. When indulging in gossip with your In Crowd, study all issues first before commenting or making a contribution to the Gossip concerned. You see, people sometimes have motives and vested interests in spreading rumors. Make sure you don’t become a victim and fall into the trap.
6. Gossip with grace. Do not become a raging bull. Don’t even think of becoming a leader of the gossip pack. When in doubt, listen but keep your mouth shut.
7. If you’re a rumor-monger extraordinaire, prepare to be confronted. Check that your hair, dentures and reasoning power are well in place.
8. And also…. have you heard of karma?
9. If I were to ask Unkyel Batjay what to do with all the reigning tsismosos and tsismosas of this world, I am sure he will say the following: hay naku, yang gossip..countel ploductive yan. Kung wala kang magawa, look in the mirror, pick your kulangot, magbunot ka ng kilay o di kaya buhok sa kili-kili and when all else fails…buy a vibratol!
10. Moral lesson: mind your own business at all times folks!