Bob Goldman

"Wow! Did I get hammered last night!"

"Had a great job interview yesterday. I'll be out of here by the end of the week."

"Dude -- let me tell you about my colonoscopy."

If these sound bites sound like appropriate information to share with your office mates, you may have OSD -- Obsessive Sharing Disease. Or so is the diagnosis of author and executive coach, Peggy Klaus in a recent article in The New York Times.

As Klaus shared with the readers of the Times, many of us over-share when it comes to the ways we overdo. Unfortunately, the sins you committed last night are just not appropriate when you arrive in the office in the morning. You've heard the World War II caution that "loose lips sink ships." Well, guess what -- loose lips also sink careers.

Most of the blame for most of the over-sharing falls on the heads of young people. "I've been hearing a lot about 20-somethings who are too eager to tell all at work," Klaus writes. "Whether they are recounting their drunken exploits or their external job searches, their tendency to provide too much information is leaving many managers scratching their heads."

This makes sense. Managers were young people once. It may be difficult for you to believe, but that old guy in the corner cubical used to indulge in all kinds of merriment, such as pant raids, and cow tipping. Naturally, it makes managers feel melancholy when they hear their whippersnapper recruits boasting about the wild time they had the night before, especially when the manager's idea of a wild time these days is to go shopping for door hinges at the local Home Depot.

Of course, it's not just the subject of binge drinking that makes workplace story time dangerous to your job security. There is also binge dating and binge eating and even binge pregnancy. As Klaus reports, "one chief executive of a small company, upon congratulating her colleague on becoming a grandmother, received a blow-by-blow account of the daughter's birthing ordeal, from the progressive state of the expanding cervix to processing the placenta."

This does seem like an extreme and unnecessary conversation to have with your boss. Certainly, it would have been much easier, and much more dramatic, to simply show the video.


Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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