And I happen upon a short piece about these four municipal employees in Hooksett, New Hampshire, who were fired for gossiping.
(I can't find the actual People story on their site. But if you're interested in Paris Hilton, they've got you covered.)
Anyway, here's the deal (which, I now realize, is actually a few weeks old):
Four town employees with 46 years of service between them were fired, in part for gossiping and discussing rumors of an improper relationship between the town administrator and another employee that Hooksett residents now agree were not true.
The administrator complained, and after an investigation the town council fired the women, finding, "Gossip, whispering, and an unfriendly environment are causing poor morale and interfering with the efficient performance of town business."
No one accused these women of starting the rumor or spreading it -- just discussing it. And by all accounts they performed their jobs very well.
Wow! Seems overly harsh to me, but I don't know.
Anyway, two lessons learned here:
1. Don't gossip about your coworkers.
2. I should go to the dentist more often. Who knows what other bits of state and local news I'm missing??
(By the way, that's not a photo of the Hooksett Four. Those are just some random clip-art girls.)