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The Company Snitch (and What Goes on in His Tiny Mind)

By Dymph Neeteson

Article Retrieved from: www.linkedin.com

 

I’m convinced that almost all companies, big or small, have at least one snitch in their possession. I even think that all bigger departments have their own. It’s practically like having a mascot, only this one you are better off without, unless of course you know how to work him. To be able to do this you should at least know what triggers him.

What exactly is a snitch?
A snitch is a person who tells on another person, in other words – a tattletale. The company snitch does the same of course, only he’s telling tales on his colleagues and specifically to his boss.

Whereas when we were small, tattletales were more often-than-not girls, in professional life they are just as likely, if not more, to be of the male gender. At least this is my personal experience. I wonder if the male snitch has more oestrogen than his other male colleagues, since snitching is considered to be a typical female characteristic? Now I come to think of it, male snitches often have female managers. Perhaps female managers are more open to it (or even encourage this kind of behavior) than their male counterparts.

Profile of a snitch
The snitch is between 30-45 years old. He never completely grew up emotionally (he got stuck at primary school level). Integrity is foreign to him. It’s often common knowledge that this person is a snitch and cannot be trusted. Nobody really likes him, not even his boss. He thinks he is the boss’s pet, but his boss just uses him to do his dirty work for him. Apart from the fact that he is a great informant he is also more than willing to act as a messenger.

During lunch the snitch sits and listens carefully to all incriminating jokes and stories that are told around the lunch table. He makes sure to laugh at the right moment. He knows how to stirr up a conversation just about enough to elicit reactions. He’s got an excellent (short term) memory for the content storage and names of the people who were involved in an incriminating joke or conversation. To the snitch this is valuable information, which he can use to score points with his boss.

The snitch isn’t only immature, he’s also highly insecure about his own competences. Why else would he need to indulge in this kind of behaviour? I bet it’s out of sheer compensation. He is mainly motivated by personal gain, e.g. privileges or a promotion. He may get some scraps in order to keep fulfilling his role though, but the latter he is unlikely to get since his boss can’t stand him either… If against all odds he does get promoted, it’s a typical case of “why do the wrong people always seem to get promoted?”. 😉

Blabber vs snitch
Most colleagues like a good gossip and are more than willing to help spread it amongst friends and co-workers in the office. The difference between a snitch and a blabber is the fact that a blabber doesn’t run straight to his boss with incriminating information. The blabber is usually not spreading gossip for personal gain, to a blabber, gossip often has more of a social function. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to justify gossiping, but if I have to choose: a blabber is much more fun and usually not half as dangerous – just be aware that everything you say to a blabber may soon be public knowledge.

When it comes to dealing with a snitch, I can only suggest to definitely be very careful with what you say around him. Or to give him a taste of his own medicine by making sure he’s getting the wrong information and looks like a fool when he tells his boss. That would serve him right. Other than that I’m afraid you can only hope that what goes around comes around.

I keep wondering though how a snitch justifies his back-stabbing behaviour. He is probably saying to himself it’s for a good cause (namely his own). If I’d really be able to creep inside of his head, I’m afraid of what I would find, although… it can’t be that much, considering there’s hardly any room, since his mind is so tiny…

Note that where I wrote “he”, I could just as easily have written “she”. Although I happened to witness more male snitches in action, that doesn’t mean there aren’t just as many female snitches out there.

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