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The 5 C's to Spot the Office Drama Llama

Updated: Mar 2

When Toxic Gossip aka The Office Drama Llama Enters Stage Right.


The Office Instigator starts with compliments. "I love the way you handled Jane. She can be a handful." That is a leading question.

How to Handle

Tell Drama Llama "Jane is professional and does a great job. We both worked together to solve the problem." Now this will confuse the Drama Llama, they change tunes and agree with you. Now. Go back to work.


The Drama Llama wants your confidence. Usually, they will start with.... "I really shouldn't say this and please keep this to yourself, but the CEO is a swinger. He owns a clothing-optional resort in Boca Raton. He is always giving away "awards" of weekend getaways. Bringing your spouse is encouraged. By the way, I didn't want to say anything, but Joe Blow doesn't know your name. I don't think that is right. Do you?" they coyly say while darting their eyes back and forth.

I am no psychologist, but I think this is called "separating". When the Drama Llama says to keep this between us (and it is related to a person's private life) they have already told others.

HR Golden Rule: If someone gossips to you, it means they gossip about you.

How to Handle

When in doubt, Whip the phone out.

When you say, "Oh, let's call Mr. Blow and see." The Drama Llama will go mute and quickly leave the area. As far as the swinging CEO, who cares? That's his business. Go back to work.


Have you ever encountered an employee who seems to agree with everything you say, regardless of their political affiliation? They love Boston creme donuts just like you. This is laying the groundwork for common ground. You are alike, you have found your corporate soulmate.

Oddly, when your office light dims a bit, the Drama Llama switches teams no Mets' fan (Let's Go Mets) fan is ever a Drama Lama. All of a sudden when you bring in donuts for everyone - the Drama Lama snarls - "I don't eat carbs. Next time almonds would be a better choice."

How to Handle

Be genuine but dismiss their comments as office chatter - white noise. Excuse yourself and get back to work. Oh, and take two Boston creme donuts.

4-Corporate Promiscuity

"I worked in every department here. So. I know who to stay away from. Listen to me." whispers Crackers Macgee, the Office Drama Llama. Gosh, every department - don't drink from the same glass.

The Drama Llama's goal is to elicit information from you. Thereby, making themselves feel important. Why? Because if they get the info, they can share it with the boss. Get hives when you have to speak in front of people? Well, now the boss knows. Who needs an employee who can't speak without getting ill? There's a workers comp claim in the waiting. Now you are known for the office herpes infection. (Oh, they will spin hives into herpes.)

How to Handle

Be nice. However, make your own decisions. Don't listen to gossip. Don't give out any personal information that could be used against you.

5-Corporate Complaint Carnival Barking

The office Drama Llama is usually fairly low on the corporate food chain. They think by being spies for their boss, they are indispensable. (Let the Drama Llama have their dream.) The technique includes lingering in the lunchroom to eavesdrop, reading over you, and commenting on your clothes.

"Well, aren't you dressed nicely today? Going on an interview are we? who could be happy working in this dump? I know you hate that the bulletin boards are crooked." The Drama Llama coos. This is how the Drama Lame will try and get you to vent your complaints about work.

How to Handle

Simply say. "Thank you for liking my outfit. Why would you think I'm interviewing? I was just about to ask you the same question. You clean up well. I like working here. I don't think it is a dump. Good luck with your job search."

This will send the Drama Llama into a tailspin. The backpedaling will be so fast, your life will pass before your eyes.

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