Gossip is a practice I try very hard not to participate in. Words, to my mind at least, are a powerful medium and should be used with prudence. I put nothing in an email, written form, or in a voicemail I wouldn’t want revisiting me at some time later on down the road. With the advent of the computer generation, words are thrown about like dandelions in the wind. Little thought is given to where they might end up once the train pulls out of the station. Court cases are won and lost on the strength of a poorly placed email or text message. I bring this up because I have a friend in just such a situation. An email containing confidential information meant for one person’s ears was accidentally sent to a number of people who she did not want involved. More embarrassing than catastrophic, it reinforces once words are out there it’s nearly impossible to pull them back.
When I was working in Silicon Valley I was sent a url for the original dancing baby video. For those of you who remember this video, and I’m sure that would be at least two of you, it was a video of an animated baby twirling its arms first circulated when dinosaurs roamed the earth. At the time everyone was amazed. The technology new. We passed it on from one computer to the next as if we’d discovered the cure for the common cold. My cubicle sat amidst a circle of cubicles. The over sized computer screen easily visible to people passing by or sitting in the immediate vicinity. The link with the baby video sent to me by a friend contained a slight misspelling. Rather than dancing baby it read dancing babes. Since this was a male friend, this could be attributed to either wishful thinking or a simple keying error. Perhaps you can see where this is leading. Ach. An experience such as this highlights precisely why you shouldn’t play on the computer at work while appearing to be actually earning your paycheck. As soon as I entered the link swarming pages of explicit porn appeared on my screen. I tried to get rid of it, but each time I deleted one page another immediately replaced it. OMG. A crowd began to gather so in total panic I crawled around under my desk and unplugged the computer. Thankfully I had a general manager with a sense of humor so this never went any further than providing a good story around the conference table during meetings.
Another time I worked for a large corporate group. Five thousand employees gathered their paychecks on this satellite campus alone. Aside from the myriad of personal email accounts, there were department group emails, and if you needed to alert the entire company IT had set up an umbrella email entitled “companywide” to be used sparingly and only for important announcements. One of the engineers, recently engaged, received a rather graphic personal email from his fiance. Answering in kind, he accidentally selected the companywide email sending the reply intended only for his lady’s ears throughout the employee pool. Soon we all were privy to their plans for the evening, and jealous. News of the most personal kind about his life climbed instantly up the corporate ladder attracting the attention of the heavy hitters in the board room, not necessarily of the kind he was looking for. Not fired luckily, we did refer to him from that point on as “Oh Baby Ferguson”. The following day one last notification came through on the companywide email saying this email list would henceforth only be accessible to certain individuals with clearance to use it and only in case of an emergency. Oh baby.
For all the public sharing I seem to do on this blog, in person I am rather private about my business. I have found over the years sharing even within the most trusted of family members needs to be done sparingly. When you do share something personal it is best to do it with the idea in mind the smoke signals most likely will have it moving across the mountains before you’ve finished the thought. I cannot tell you how many people have shared sensitive information with me prefacing the leak with “I shouldn’t be telling you this”, or “I was told this in strictest confidence, so don’t pass it on”. If I suggest perhaps they shouldn’t be over sharing I’m brushed off like ashes on a dress shirt and become privy to the secret like it or not. I suppose I could put my fingers in my years and begin reciting nonsense to avoid hearing the juicy item. Allowing the information to pass my way remains my responsibility as well.
Recently I read an article suggesting we should be careful about sharing information about our partners with other family members or friends. Particularly if we have recently had an argument or are upset as it may alter how our friends and family view our partners. We all want to be heard (particularly women I believe – as we are the true communicators), but we have to be careful what we want to impart lest it come back to bite us. Selective sharing I guess would be the ticket.
You have to get your slow cooker out and try this recipe. Shared with me by my daughter it was wonderful. I could have it again tomorrow night and enjoy it equally as much.
Savory Sweet Potato Stew
1 3 lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cubed
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 14 1/2 oz. cans beef broth
2 onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 14 1/2 oz. can stewed tomatoes with juice
1/2 10 oz. can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1/2 4 oz. can diced green chiles (mild)
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. oregano
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can corn, drained
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Sour cream and chives to garnish
In large resealable plastic bag mix together flour, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Add meat and toss and squish to coat.
Heat oil in large skillet. Add meat in two batches to brown on all sides.
Spray 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place browned meat on bottom. Add tomato paste and any flour left in bag to pan. Cook for 2 mins. over med. scraping up browned bits. Deglaze pan with broth. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Boil for 2 mins. Pour over meat.
Add tomatoes, onions, garlic, Ro-Tel tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Cook for 6 hours on low. Add sweet potatoes and corn. Cook for 3 hours on low. Add lime juice. Season to taste if desired.
Serve with a generous dollop of sour cream and chives over Mexican rice.