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Danger: Office Spies at Work

Updated on February 10, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

Actor, Tom Cruise.
Actor, Tom Cruise. | Source

You Would be a

foolish person when interviewing for a job to ask the office manager or Human Resources manager, "Does your operation have office spies?" Why? Before I answer just let me say that yes, you are to be totally prepared for almost any office situation on board when applying for work, but if you ask about office spies, the person interviewing you will look at you like you have stepped out of one of the "Mission: Impossible" films starring Tom Cruise.

Obviously you are not Tom Cruise, and I am talking to men and women for I do not discriminate in daily life or writing free self-help advice hubs. Being that you have "opened a can of worms" by asking about office spies, just sit there without looking stupid and study the body language of the person who holds your employment future in their hands.

Most times, the interviewer will quickly thank you for applying for the job that is being offered and in a nice way tell you that your application and resume will be kept on file just in case a job does become available. All because you asked about office spies.

Do not make a fatal mistake  in thinking that office loud mouths are spies
Do not make a fatal mistake in thinking that office loud mouths are spies | Source

Of the following, which one can cause you the most trouble?

See results

Do not

Make a Foolish Mistake in Thinking

that the office loud mouth, "party animal," or even the casual bully is an office spy. This is what makes the work of "real" office spies so easy. Unassuming employees are always the easy prey of these under-handed, egotistical, manipulative people who are out to keep you from being in the way of them receiving all of the praise, credit, raises and promotions from the company.

This intense-looking employee just might be yakkng to the boss about you.
This intense-looking employee just might be yakkng to the boss about you. | Source
Office spies are always present.
Office spies are always present. | Source
Unassuming hard working  personnel are fantastic office spies.
Unassuming hard working personnel are fantastic office spies.
Faceless office workers  are the best office spies.
Faceless office workers are the best office spies. | Source
Do not be like this man  who was a hard worker, obedient to his boss, but now jobless due to an attack by office spies.
Do not be like this man who was a hard worker, obedient to his boss, but now jobless due to an attack by office spies. | Source

Let's Continue

with this rather sensitive topic about office spies. I am not going to bombard your already-crowded mind with more introductory text and such for I give you credit for having a sharp mind and clear judgement when it comes to becoming the prey for some insecure, office-strangling office spy.

Here are a few simple, generic tips for you to know your office spies.

  • Does your office manager have more than one "emergency office meeting" in one week's time? And the one topic of these emergency meetings are about one thing: the boss hearing some loose talk about how unfair the cafeteria management is to only offer a handful of food items for lunch.
  • Does the office manager/boss always start each "emergency office meeting" or a regular meeting with this phrase, "It has gotten back to me that . . .," then he or she cuts into the ragged staff whose morale is already in shreds by the boss' fiery accusations of being fired for the action that has 'gotten back to them.'
  • If the tone of your office manager or Human Resources Director is always like that of a Marine drill instructor so the office staff will not have to guess that what he/she is talking about is a serious incident, then an office spy is amongst you and is about to get you or a coworker in deep trouble.
  • If your more-than-usual "emergency staff meetings" has everyone accounted for (including the janitorial staff), but one employee whom you have noticed is always busy with "that" top-level project assigned to him/her by the boss, then something evil is afoot here, dear trusting employee.
  • Take a quick glance around your workplace. The office policy on cell phones are "no cell phones are to be turned to the "on" position or be used during office hours, but there is always the same one or two employees who think that their obvious abuse of this policy is so stealthy that they will never be busted. Be on your guard. These no cell phone policy abusers may not yakking to their mom, significant other, or just gossiping. They might be talking to their contact in the boss' office about you.
  • When your probation period ends and you are now considered a regular employee and turning out great work, but somehow you are always being called into the boss' office to answer "just a few questions," the boss says (off the cuff) that he "forgot" to ask you during your interview, start planning your defense strategy. I don't mean you are going to be terminated immediately, but be on guard just the same.
  • If you are doing your best to follow office procedures and doing great work, then why are you the only one ever to be called into the office manager's office? To ignite more suspicion, when you ask, "Sir/ma'am, am I not doing a good enough job?" or "Sir, ma'am, I do not mean to be complaining, but this makes the fifth time you have called me in to your office and I do not know why?" That is because you only get double-talk and unproven situations.
  • If you are directly accused of an office infraction, and you know that you are innocent, you are well within your rights per The Federal Labor Dept., to ask for proof in writing or via office video. Do not just agree with an accusing manager who is dumb enough to believe an office spy who simply is jealous of your work that is much better than theirs. Be civil, but also be straight forward with the boss.
  • While at your desk working away, the office manager makes it his/her business to stop by, pull up a chair and talk to you in hypothetical terms like this: Let's assume for a moment that in our office there is this one employee who somehow is just "on my bandwagon" when it comes to off-the-job activities, what do you think should be done with such an employee? What? Is this the 1950's? No boss with a quarter's worth of intelligence need to talk to anyone under his/her supervision with such stupidity. And that hypothetical situation of 'what should be done with such an employee for not being on his/her bandwagon for off-the-job activities,' what a stupid question. Is the employee who does not care for office softball on Sundays going to be terminated for somehow becoming a direct threat to the boss' absolute authority? What do you think?
  • Office spies are very clever and many times work as teams of two. So as you do your job well, cause no problem for the boss, work well with others, suddenly "Bill" or "Shelly" at different times sit down with you at break time or on your lunch hour to just "confide" in your about "an" office problem that is affecting "them." Do not be so weak and stupid as to be lured into this easy ploy to get you to say something negative about the boss or the company. This duo is doing what is known in office terms as "fishing." Do not be like a famished catfish and bite the bait.

When You are Accused and Reprimanded by The Boss for an Infraction, and he/she Provides you With Written, Video Proof . . .

Do not try to defend yourself. Even if you are an exemplary employee, an office spy "has it in" for you because you are either getting more attention from the boss or getting more rewards such as a promotion that they knew was going to them, you are facing an embarrassing termination and you are innocent. Do not answer any questions unless you are represented by a litigator who will advise you (before hand) about what your rights are, what you should or should not do.

These are your rights as an employee.

Now that you are armed with this free and valuable advice, you should have a long, happy career at your job.

Good night, McAllen, Texas.

Warning: The nice, helpful employee who finds it necessary to look over your shoulder just might be an office spy.
Warning: The nice, helpful employee who finds it necessary to look over your shoulder just might be an office spy. | Source

© 2017 Kenneth Avery

Comments

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    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 4 months ago from Kuwait

      Woah! Love the details and information about office spies. This will surely be useful for anyone. Great hub buddy! :)

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 4 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dearest Sakina :)

      "My Sincere Appreciation and Thanks to You for Your Wonderful Comment. May God bless you richly."

    • littlebluefeather profile image

      J Reyes 4 months ago from The Edge of Saturn

      So I saw Tom's face on this hub and I read the title and giggled a little. Immediate I thought this was going to be an engaging read. It was just that, it was clever and informative and I appreciate this information. As we all know they are everywhere.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 4 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, littlebluefeather,

      It is my pleasure to meet you.

      And I want to sincerely thank you for your very warm comments which make me have the drive to continue with my hubbing.

      Thank you too for the follow. I will be sending you a personal

      thank you note for following me (and yes, one to you too, Sakina) for this gesture means the world to me.

      Thanks again.

      It is always great to be blessed with a new friend.

      Peace.

    • littlebluefeather profile image

      J Reyes 4 months ago from The Edge of Saturn

      Im going to share this article with a friend of mine who had to deal with office spies!!! itll be great for her, thanks for writing this. I appreciate your follow :) keep in touch! always looking to inspire, its when i am inspired as well!

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 4 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, littlebluefeather,

      Thanks again for your extra-nice comments.

      I seriously hope that this hub comes to the aid of your friend who has to cope with the confusion caused by office spies.

      Write me anytime.

    • Suelynn profile image

      Suelynn 2 months ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Kenneth,

      Isn't it sad that there are invariably office spies wherever we go? I have worked in quite a few different environments and have certainly encountered this unpleasant phenomenon. People feel the need for self-promotion and this makes it doubly difficult for an "outsider". Interesting hub.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 2 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Suelynn,

      You are so very right in your comment. I have worked in many offices and businesses and it is freaky just how "some" just have that trait to be messing in someone's private business or work history and when confronted, they look and act so innocently like there is nothing wrong.

      When this happened one time many years ago, I caught them red handed of opening a letter with MY address and not to them, I simply asked, "look at that letter in your hand and tell me if the one being mailed was to me or you?"

      They tried to say it was an accident.

      I replied, "then why did it take so very long for you to read and discuss what the letter was about?"

      He got angry and tried to stutter about it being an accident.

      I kept hounding him for I knew that he was wrong.

      It took the manager about half an hour to see and hear what was happening.

      When the culprit tried the old "it was accidental" trick, others in the office told a different story.

      That was the last of his long nose.

      Thank you for allowing me to share with you and I would love it if you would Follow me.

      I would love to share stories and ideas with you.

      Okay?

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