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Are all workplaces bitchy/toxic?

(39 Posts)
mummabear1967 Sun 06-Sep-20 20:00:28

I’m going through a lot at work with one nasty coworker in particular.

Constant bitchiness, backstabbing and patronisation - it is verging on bullying.

I just feel worn out with it. I am looking for other jobs. Am I being naive in thinking there will be some places that aren’t so toxic?

OP’s posts: |
Patbutcherismyhero Sun 06-Sep-20 20:10:30

I think that when you are around the same people day in day out it's natural for coworkers to annoy each other from time to time and it's quite common to have a rant or a moan.

However that can vary dramatically depending on the type of people you're working with. If they are overall good, hardworking people with no hidden agendas then you can pass it off as daft workplace annoyances. If you have staff with other motives such as trying to put others down to progress themselves or just being malicious and nasty then it can become toxic and unhealthy very quickly.

I've worked in both sort of scenarios. First one was a bunch of lovely ladies, one in particular who could be a bit nosey and judgemental at times but no malice at all. Loved them to bits and still in touch with them all. Then I moved into a team with a horrible boss who played team members off against each other, lied, tried to make staff look incompetent and was just a very nasty lady. Terrible working atmosphere and everyone was permanently pissed off, on guard and backstabbing.

So in answer to your question, you will always get a bit of bitching and gossip but it may vary wildly. And it's up to you what you can tolerate. Certainly don't allow yourself to be bullied or intimidated.

annabel85 Sun 06-Sep-20 20:25:52

I think that when you are around the same people day in day out it's natural for coworkers to annoy each other

God bless remote working.

arinah Sun 06-Sep-20 21:02:20

I guess it can depend on the stress level within the workplace. I worked in primary schools and the toxicity was next to none - only a handful of the older LSAs that missed the "golden years" with the best headteacher they'd ever had 🙄
On the flip side, I also worked at McDonald's, where the bitchiness could go through the roof. Shifts are non stop, often still there even after 8/9 hours on your feet and working with similar groups of people in close proximity.

SweetPetrichor Sun 06-Sep-20 21:37:59

I found that a lot when I was a student and worked in cafes. Too many women together. Now I work in a male dominated engineering environment and it’s wonderful. No bitchiness, no sass, just a great team dynamic.

whiteroseredrose Sun 06-Sep-20 21:56:22

No. I've only once worked in a toxic office (very competitive men).

Everywhere else has been fun.

lljkk Sun 06-Sep-20 22:01:35

I've had heavy female workplaces that weren't toxic.

So I went to office today because WFH is not working. A guy walks in I've never met but heard about. He introduced himself, I introduced myself, and we said nothing more to each other for 4 hours. Which is fine. I had my cool music on headphones. Some workplaces are quiet & calm.

amieejust Sun 06-Sep-20 22:36:25

Not all offices but sadly most, mainly female dominated ones where some have been there years.

IMO worse in offices where staff are poorly paid, unrecognised and demotivated.

GlummyMcGlummerson Sun 06-Sep-20 22:42:00

I work in a secondary school, inevitably with 60 members of staff there are cliques and very particular issues (so and so has more free periods than such and such, they leave earlier than me every day etc). I've always found this in the teaching profession, and have honed how to avoid the bitchy ones

NameChange84 Sun 06-Sep-20 22:50:42

No.

Floralbean Sun 06-Sep-20 22:55:36

No, but it's quite rare. I found working for the emergency services was the best job in terms of coworkers feeling like 'family' and none of the backstabbing etc.

Fleamaker123 Sun 06-Sep-20 23:01:00

I think you always get some level of bitchiness. Some milder/worse than others. There was a woman in my last job who was very two faced, would be super friendly, chatty, asking stuff, then as soon as the other person left the room she'd make snarky comments. A couple of the men were just as bad, it really is not just women. She used to change the whole atmosphere, you really felt it could be cut with a knife. Thank god I sat on another pod. Awful.

Fatted Sun 06-Sep-20 23:02:31

The bitchiest person I have ever worked with was a man. I think in every place I've worked, there's been people I like and people I don't like. I currently really, really, really don't like one of my colleagues but I'm leaving soon anyway so 🤷‍♀️

You just need to be realistic. If you move it might be better or maybe even worse. I'm going to be WFH in my new job anyway, so I'm pleased that rules out having to spend too much time with my coworkers.

IncludeWomenInTheSequel Sun 06-Sep-20 23:10:22

IME it's too down,culturally speaking.

When our CEO retired and was replaced, she was such an indiscreet haughty cowbag that the entire place went to pieces to stay on her good side. Backstabbing and fucking your friends over became totally normal, if not encouraged.

It's a shadow of its former self now; I left a few months ago and still feel sick if I stumble across the company name in the news.

BackforGood Sun 06-Sep-20 23:18:37

Are all workplaces bitchy/toxic?

No

Am I being naive in thinking there will be some places that aren’t so toxic?

No

I've been at work for 4 decades - various place - and have never worked anywhere 'toxic' or 'bitchy'

Onetwothree456 Sun 06-Sep-20 23:40:16

Yes, in my experience most offices are fairly toxic especially when people are competing for opportunities, leading to backstabbing. Its a nightmare for introverts (or people that dont want to be part if the gossipy culture) as it's usually people a bit more outgoing with the gift of the gab who rise up the ladder, qualified or not. I'm so thankful that working from home is more the norm now. I've literally have PTSD from some of my past office experiences and have considered changing careers just to get out of that type of environment.
Now with WFH it's more about the work you produce which is great.
It's also so important to have very clearly defined roles to avoid some of that competition and backstabbing among colleagues.
In my experience more of that toxicity comes from women but I've definitely also experienced it from men, including comments on women's gender and age (never from UK men though)...
So happy to be able to WFH more now so that stuff doesn't become so upsetting.

BBCONEANDTWO Sun 06-Sep-20 23:43:47

mummabear1967

I’m going through a lot at work with one nasty coworker in particular.

Constant bitchiness, backstabbing and patronisation - it is verging on bullying.

I just feel worn out with it. I am looking for other jobs. Am I being naive in thinking there will be some places that aren’t so toxic?

Sorry you're going through this - if it is verging on bullying can you call them out for it?

mummabear1967 Sun 06-Sep-20 23:50:40

@BBCONEANDTWO I’ve reported it to my bosses - due to have a meeting on Friday regarding this colleague.

My other colleagues are supportive - it’s just this one person that is creating a shit environment for me and I’ve never done anything to her except be polite and quiet around her

OP’s posts: |
PuddleglumtheMarshWiggle Mon 07-Sep-20 07:44:01

I work in a large, open plan office which is predominantly women. The ratio of males is slowly creeping up but is still less than half. I've been there nearly 31 years because it is such a great place to work. The atmosphere is fantastic, everyone striving to give their best and will support each other to ensure we provide an excellent service. Over the years I've heard many leaving speeches where the leader will always state that it's the people that they will miss the most.
Thank goodness for online meetings as I've really mixed their company during lockdown.

Manolin Mon 07-Sep-20 08:12:52

Toxicity is rooted in an organisation's culture. The culture is rooted in its leadership. Choose firms with good leadership.

Horsemad Mon 07-Sep-20 09:56:46

There's one employee at my last place who is known as the Smiling Assassin. Always wants to know every little detail about people's lives and will stab them in the back without a second thought. The trouble she's caused is unbelievable, yet the management love her.
She & I clashed because I wouldn't feed her the info she wanted & I used to call her out on it every single time.🤨

Horrible woman.

Horsemad Mon 07-Sep-20 09:57:22

Manolin

Toxicity is rooted in an organisation's culture. The culture is rooted in its leadership. Choose firms with good leadership.

This!

Divebar Mon 07-Sep-20 10:04:45

Toxic environments are not about “ women” or “men” they are about those particular people and toxic combinations ( and management who don’t know how to manage). The part of the emergency services I’m in has it’s little dramas and fall outs occasionally ( and the odd personality that grates) but we have a nice working environment. We’ve also seen terrible, terrible stuff that puts trifling office fall outs into perspective sometimes.

TreestumpsAndTrampolines Mon 07-Sep-20 10:13:09

There's been office politics everywhere I've worked (male dominated environments - so this sexist idea that it's only women who do this is ridiculous).

DP's job at the moment is insanely toxic, we're looking to get him out of there asap. mine is dysfunctional, but I have worked places where everyone pulls together, it's just rare! And yes, entirely led by company culture and management.

Agwen Mon 07-Sep-20 10:26:47

I agree with a previous poster about culture coming from the top.

I don't think I have ever worked in a bitchy environment- retail, hospitality, corporate- a good boss is worth their weight in gold and I've been fortunate to have brilliant bosses. I also know that I never engage in personal snitching and so maybe even if that does go on (I'm not aware that it does) I don't get to hear about it because its just not an aspect of our team/how I work.

Sorry that this person is causing such a problem for you OP- it must be terribly upsetting especially as you aren't this sort of person yourself flowers. Hope your boss has your back and it gets resolved.

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