9 o'clock, over

Workplace incivility is commonplace and violates conventional workplace norms for mutual respect. It also displays a lack of regard for others. Although our first thoughts are likely to be for the victim of this ‘abuse’, it can also affect our own feelings as observers.Miner and Eischeid examined how observed workplace incivility towards female and male co-workers relates to four negative emotions – anger, demoralization, fear and anxiety – for both female and male observers. A total of 453 restaurant employees responded to an online survey examining the ‘quality of life in the restaurant industry’. Analyses showed that female observers reported significantly higher levels of anger, demoralization, fear and anxiety the more they observed other female employees being treated rudely and discourteously at work, in comparison to male employees.

Demoralization was the strongest negative emotion experienced by observing women.Similarly, male observers were significantly more angry, fearful and anxious the more they observed other men being treated uncivilly at work, compared to females. Interestingly, demoralization was not a negative emotion experienced by male observers in these situations.The authors conclude: “Our results paint a complex picture about the experience of specific negative emotions in response to observed incivility toward same gender co-workers. In some cases, women are more affected (demoralized) and in others, men are more affected (angry, fearful and anxious). In both cases, witnessing incivility towards same gender co-workers can have significant affective consequences for observers.” -Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about an abusive incident in the workplace. Include the internal monologue of both  male and female observers.

Journaling Prompt: How do you react when you see someone being treated rudely at work?

Art Prompt: Abuse at work

Photo Credit: Ryan Vaarsi on Flickr
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