The ubiquitous water cooler is the focal point, in any office, for the juiciest gossip. This is the nerve center of a vast web of clandestine information that sometimes makes or breaks careers and sometimes just brightens up an otherwise dull day.
This normally cozy place that is usually surreptitiously located in a niche or nook is the source of information as varied as
- Who is dating whom in the office
- Where the boss went out on his last company sponsored vacation
- The reports to colleagues about family occasions and parties
- The latest news on the next promotions, vacancies and terminations
- Male colleagues opining about their female counterparts and vice-versa.
- The contents of an employee’s lunchbox
There are of course thousands more, and most of them are either too explosive or sensitive to enlist here. The question that needs to be asked however is, “is it really necessary?”
The truth is that it definitely is. For, without this, the bright spot, of an otherwise droll work life, employees would face increased irritability and apathy towards their jobs. To have a place where juicy tit-bits can be exchanged in a pseudo-clandestine manner is a thrill that sustains many workers thru their flatlining day.
It may come as a shock to many that recent surveys have shown that men are almost as active as women at the water cooler! The margin, between the numbers of women who indulge in water cooler gossip, with men, is rapidly growing smaller. The reasons why this is occurring are:
- The increasing incidence of organizations prohibiting smoking in office premises.
- They know the huge power the right information can yield
- They cannot bear to be left out of anything!
- Men have been gossiping since time immemorial, they are just less afraid to admit it these days.
Thus the Water cooler will remain. It will be there so long as the gossip stays, and knowing workplaces of today, they will be here a very long time!