Drowning in politics and lies at work
August 31, 2010 5:30 PM Subscribe
How do I navigate this increasingly complicated and uncomfortable situation at work which involves lying on other people's part, future fibbing on my part, being angry at my bosses, and potentially following them out the door?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Urgh, I don't even know where to begin, so I apologize if this is longer than necessary.
I work for a company that hasn't been doing so well in the last year. Due to hour and salary reductions, a lot of people have been leaving the company. At the beginning of the summer, they offered a 3-month unpaid sabbatical to any employee that was interested. I had very little work at the time, so I took the sabbatical and got involved with some contract work which was lucrative, enjoyable, and filled with contact-making opportunities. My plan was to see where the company stood at the end of the three months and see what other options were out there.
Two months into my sabbatical, my boss called and asked me to come back early. He said my hours and salary would be returned to full, and that they were very busy and needed my help desperately. My boss and the second-in-command (we'll call Boss 2) both told me how great everything was going and that everyone in the company had a great outlook on the future. I agreed to cut my contract work short and come back, mainly because I like my boss and figured he must really need my help.
The day I got back, I find out from my coworkers that not only is the company in worse shape than when I left, but that Boss1 and Boss2 are on their way out the door. I confronted them both, who claimed they had no idea what I was talking about. I felt betrayed and very angry - not because they might be leaving, but that they purposely deceived me in order to get my assistance on a project that they were woefully behind on. Fast forward a few weeks - we finish the project last Friday. Yesterday they both resigned, leaving my very small office (<10 people) with NO senior staff at all. Obviously this potentially has major implications for our office (we are connected to a nation-wide company) and for my job. When telling me the news, they both maintained that they had "just made the decision" and that "I would have options".
Well, to throw an extra kink into things, last week I got a call from a company that I have never heard of wanting to talk to me about taking a position with them. I put two and two together and figured out that this is where my bosses are going (although they have both been very careful to not tell me officially where they are going or that they are leaving together). I have a meeting with this company tomorrow at lunch.
SO...all that being said. I don't even know how to navigate this mess. I have to speak with this new company tomorrow and I have no idea what I am 'supposed' to know or not know. I don't even know that I'm interested in this company, especially since I'm not too happy with the way I was treated by my bosses. Add to that the fact that at least for a little while, I'll still be at my current company, where I'm sure to get questions about where the bosses were going. Telling could seriously get them in trouble, and while I'm pissed as hell at them, I don't intend on getting them into any kind of professional trouble.
I guess my questions are:
1) Should I say anything to my bosses about how I feel about their actions? I feel like they were willing to sacrifice my job security and take away my options just to finish a project so they could save face before quitting. Had I known the truth about the situation, I would have continued my sabbatical and had a lot more information before deciding whether or not to return to my now-small office or pursue other options.
2) What do I do about this other company? They also have a small office, so chances are I would be directly working for Boss1 and Boss2 again. Job prospects in my field/city are not great, but there are some out there.
3) How do I handle any questions from higher-ups in my current company about where the bosses went? I really don't want to lie to them, but I also have no desire to completely burn bridges with the bosses in the event that I need the job with their new company.
4) Bonus question - has anyone ever had all of their senior staff quit? What happened to the office? I am guessing that they won't want to shut our location down, but rebuilding may take some time, and I have no idea what may happen to those of us left in the meantime.