People love a good rumour. But as with the insane ramblings of Nostradamus, the truthfulness of any office rumour can only be determined after the events in question have taken place. However, certain types of people share certain types of information, and you can soon learn to recognise patterns of rumours based on their source.
- Cynifacts – These people will spread rumours that do contain an element of truth, but getting to it means cutting through Eeyore-esque levels of pessimism and cynicism. Even rumours of positive events - such as a company party - are presented negatively: “I heard they’re not inviting that guy who was sacked four years ago after he set fire to Roger’s fish tank. They’re so cheap.”
- Enigma Machines – These people generally know something but have been sworn to secrecy and so will often speak in code. They wiggle eyebrows, tap noses, and say things like “well I’d like to tell you but…” This means they are more interested in telling you that they know something, rather than telling you what it is. Usually any information these people hold is so trivial that most people either already know or just don’t care.
- Misinformants - These people usually start their sentences with “I shouldn’t be telling you this…” and the reason they shouldn’t be telling you is that they know that they just made it up.
- Management – These people know lots of secrets. In many ways it is a manager’s job to keep secrets so that the rest of the company can get on with their actual work without the burden of knowledge. Managers will not share a secret with anyone until they no longer wish it to be a secret, at which point they will let the Enigma Machines, the Cynifacts and even the Misinformants spread the word in their own special ways.