Discussion of Boston Marathon And Other Tragedies/Events At Work
Like virtually every other tragedy in recent memory, the bombs that went off at the Boston Marathon engendered zero discussion in my workplace (insurance company, about 100-150 people on my floor). Granted we're fairly busy, and I don't talk to everyone I work with, but I've been in several meetings with at least 20 people in the last 2 days, seen many others in the hallways, work discussions in and out of offices etc. Not a single word about the marathon.
On one hand I suppose it could be considered a good thing - the media is doing a sufficient job driving the story into the ground - but at the same time it just seems odd to work with people so totally unaffected by tragedy. (Not a word was mentioned about Newtown, either).
Is anyone else in a similar position, in that their coworkers don't seem to discuss current events very much, if at all?
Not talking about doesn't mean that they don't care. And at the same time, there's only so much that you can be affected by something that didn't impact on your life directly. Only big drama queens overdo the whole thing.
Good point, r1. And the people I work with are as far from drama queen territory as you can get. In fact, in the 15 years I've been working here - and the hundreds upon hundreds of people I've known in that time - I have never heard of a single person getting divorced. Not. One.
Also, the company announced 2 months ago that it's casual wear Monday through Friday - jeans, sneakers, t-shirts if we want - and 95% of my coworkers still wear the same business casual clothes - button down shirts, slacks, and dress shoes - they did before the change.
I think a lot of people, OP, are trained not to talk about anything potentially upsetting or controversial. The company culture sets the lead on that, in most cases.
And as someone who has worked at a few companies that had a bad case of Sows At The Trough, I would much rather work at a place where people didn't talk much about it, versus a company where all the work comes to a STOP! because everyone has to talk about it ad nauseum.
To be bluntly honest, I sometimes wish I worked in a "sows at the trough" type of office, so I could - like the original author of that thread - sit sedately sipping my black coffee, watching my coworkers scarf down bagels slathered in cream cheese and get all dramatic about current events. Yes, I want to feel superior to the people I'm around every minute of every day, but that's incredibly difficult to do when you work with rational, well-behaved, intelligent, drama-free people living remarkably stable drama-free lives.
I want to be the one who rises above it all, damn it! (If I'm a troll, at least I'm being honest about it.)
I think 24 hour news coverage has had an impact on this as well. It's so easy to burn out on continuous news coverage before you even get to work the next day.
Before, if you wanted to commiserate and even wallow a little bit (I say that non-judgmentally; I get why people might want to rehash a tragedy for a bit) you did it at work, where there were a large number of people who weren't your family. You could listen to other people complain, exchange info, and have your feelings validated. And then you got tired of it and went back to work.
Now, there's hours and hours and hours and hours of news anchors rehashing everything and telling us how awful it is and how awful they feel and how they sympathize with our feelings. They wallow with us, so that by the time we get to work the next day, we're burned out on it.
It sounds like your coworkers have them.
OP, do your co-workers ever engage in casual conversation?
Some casual talk, but everybody is so work-focused. Still, you'd think a tragic event would cause SOMEBODY to say something. But no.
OP, if you don't live and work in the Boston area, there's probably not a lot of interest. Yes, it's a terrible tragedy, but in the age of 9-11, three dead seems like nothing. The media has built this up into some apocalyptic event.
At my workplace I get the feeling people are avoiding discussing the bombing lest it turn to speculation on what sort of group did it: Christian extremists, Muslim extremists, radical racists... That sort of talk is understood not to be appropriate.
Are you guys hiring?
I envy you. I'm surrounded by fraus who look for any excuse to gossip and shirk duties.
I worked in a very busy workplace where the invasion of Grenada, the bombing of Libya, the Gulf War Part One, and the first WTC bombing did not come up in conversation (we worked in NYC ). If you brought something like that up, people would say, "Yeah? So? There's nothing any of us can do about it."
Lots of people got called up for Gulf War, Part One. Nobody talked about it or said goodbye. Somebody would be gone and someone would say, " I haven't seen so-and-so for a while. Is he off doing research somewhere? " and someone would say, "No. He's in Kuwait/Germany." And that would be it. A lot of people had their education paid for by the military and were in the reserves.
Not much discussion at all, but I work for the federal government. People are very very careful about discussing anything that might turn into a political discussion, as there are many rules about this (google "Hatch Act Violations").
Also, what R9 said might have something to do it. Our office used to be in 7 WTC, so some people here (many of whom who fled the towers that day) are almost immune to certain things.
Honestly, you're lucky only 3 were killed. I worked at the hospital next door to the fleet of refrigerated trucks (later a big white tent) which held the unidentified remains of 9/11.
Count your blessings.
Glad I'm retired, long retired. These things, well, anything unusual and newsworthy would have disrupted our workplace completely, as they should. And this was back in the days when there was actual work done at work, not just texting, email, presentations, email and meetings. (and email)
I work with a guy from Boston, so once we confirmed his friends and family were okay, we were done discussing the bombings.
Yes r6, they definitely have their priorities in order. r12, I'd love to be surrounded by coworkers gossiping and shirking duties (although I'd prefer hunky guys rather than fraus :-) so I could smugly sit by and earn brownie points simply by doing my job. Instead, I have to WAY above and SUPER beyond to get noticed and complimented around here. Ugh.
"Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time, it was... We finally really did it ... You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"
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