Dear Claudia,

I went back to the office to get my car after dinner with friends a few nights ago, and had to use the bathroom. When I came out, I could hear the owner of the firm in a really heated argument with my boss, who was actually getting fired. I left immediately, and don't think they even knew I was there. The next day my boss was at work like nothing was wrong at all. I think the owner is a jerk, and I really like my boss. If he leaves I want to work wherever he goes next. Should I tell him what I overheard? What would you do?

Loyal in Little Rock


Dear Loyal,

Are you nuts? What could you possibly gain by inserting yourself into something that has nothing whatsoever to do with you?

If you really like your boss, try doing your job well. But stay out of this can of worms; I can promise you there's more here than you know about...at the very least, the words and behaviors aren't matching. In business there's a time for loyalty and a time for professionalism - I suggest you choose the latter for now, and leave the discussion to your boss and the owner where it belongs. After your boss leaves, IF he leaves, you'll have plenty of time to tell him that you want to follow.

In the interim, you might consider to pay closer attention to the social cues happening around you. Maybe you heard an argument, or maybe you stumbled over a thread in a larger pattern of codependence between these two. Anyone can have a bad day, but if I were you I'd be more concerned about tying my professional future to a leader who is challenged with conflict management. Only time will tell, so watch, listen, and learn my friend.

Now get back to work. It's a much more productive use of your time.

**

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Thank you Claudia for another great post. I definitely can relate as I had my share of "codependence" issues.. and I realized that keeping the professional relationship vs. personal relationship separate is hard to do. As I greatly "honor" and "respect" my past bosses, I have struggled with something like this in the past. I have learned to let things go. Social Intelligence by Daniel Coleman was a good read. I wish all the best with this professional in the field ."Loyal in Little Rock" .. I like to quote you on your last line - re: "but if I were you I'd be more concerned about tying my professional future to a leader who is challenged with conflict management. Only time will tell, so watch, listen, and learn my friend ...Now get back to work. It's a much more productive use of your time." Thanks Claudia :) Best ~
Yikes...

Claudia,

Do nothing! If you have his cell number or contact information then afterwards you may want to call him (give him at least a week before calling) and ask him how he's doing?

Ask him how he’s doing and if he's close to finding a new opportunity. Only after you've identified where and when then perhaps you might suggest that there might be a level of interest in moving confidentially.

The first thing is to protect your gig (employment) and make no mention that you overheard anything or have any knowledge. Remember give no one the opportunity to stick it to you. You just never know what someone will say in a moment of mental anger or breakdown just to get back at people, like his boss that fired him.

Always think things through...

Happy Hunting!

The QMan
Susan Kang Nam said:
.. and I realized that keeping the professional relationship vs. personal relationship separate is hard to do. I have learned to let things go.

Susan, you hit the nail on the head here: Drawing a line between personal and professional relationships is one of the toughest things to do. Love how you think about life, as always.
Raoul Q said:
Always think things through...

The best bit of advice on the page, my friend: Think, then act.
Rayanne said:
Knowing where you stand and who your allies are is imperative to survival and, ultimately, career advancement. Watch your equilibrium and be careful on that tight rope.

I really like this part of your response Rayanne, because jobs are more than just how we bring home the bacon -- for most of us they're also part of a bigger career picture. It's important to have an awareness of the interconnections around you; sometimes just being aware makes the difference between keeping and losing a job.

Wise woman, you. :))

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