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Stumpcake!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mrs Tcon called to tell me that her company is having another round of layoffs. Her job is fine but she told me that the wife of a close friend that I work with is going is getting let go tomorrow. "Please make sure your coworker doesn't buy anything today." He was looking at Carribean vacations yesterday. It's further complicated that my coworker's wife directly reports to my wife and our families are close. Me and my coworker have a standing agreement not to talk about their stuff...you know, keeping the wives' work stuff and our work stuff separate.

I wish she hadn't told me. I hate knowing this stuff.
 

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Registered
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Similar situation in a way. I had an employee who was considering buying a car and had to finance it. She was on the list to let go.

I finally had to sit her down and tell her not to make a decision before date xxx, which was one day after the notifications were going to be made. Did not specifically notify her ahead of time, but would not have been able to live with myself watching her make a decision that would damage her financial well being.

Do what you can live with. There's no 'right' answer.
 

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It's not TOO Cold!
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I feel for you, cause ti really sucks knowing that. But, you can't tell him. If you so Mrs TCon will loose all credibility as a manager at her work, then guess who else becomes expendible.

there really is such a thing as knowing too much.
 

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Stumpcake!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've kept quiet...whether they know this afternoon or tomorrow really doesn't make much difference. On a positive note, Mrs Tcon let it be known that this cut would severely hamper her ability to do all those little pet projects they happen to love and need so much. There's hope that the lay off for my buddy's wife won't happen now. I'm glad I decided to keep my mouth shut.

I'm hoping they keep her. It helps out Mrs Tcon tremendously.
 

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That's tough. We just lost four people in my small department, and there are hundreds of rumors and accusations flying around. As a junior faculty member, I have to keep a low profile and not get caught in the recriminations. There is a whole new form of etiquette that we are going to have to learn in this new economy.
 

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Banned
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Oh, good--I get to tell my layoff story

Rumors of layoffs swept the magazine I used to work for in Los Angeles several years ago, and finally one Thursday afternoon I went in to the publisher and said, "I have to sign a new lease tonight, and I can't afford it if I'm going to get laid off. Can you tell me anything?"
"Don't sweat it," he said. "You're doing a great job."
I went home and signed a six-month lease. At 4:30 the next afternoon, he called me in and told me I was gone.
"But you said..." I said.
"I said you were doing a great job, and you are. This is strictly seniority."
Thanks, dude. That'll help when the rent's due.
 

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Lemur-ing
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Damn. Hope things work out for your friend buddy.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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If your wife worked for me & I found out she had communicated to you (especially if I knew the workers husband worked with you), your wife would be in deep doo doo.

If I were your wife, I would not have communicated with you on this...it's just inappropriate.

I hope she can save the persons job.

Len
 

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Stumpcake!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep, I don't disagree. I totally understand why she was concerned but from where I stand it's just some rumor until it happens. My gut instinct was to keep a lid on it...and once I thought it through I definitely know that was the best coarse of action. I didn't know how accurate the info was, I'm not a part of their organization and it's just not my place to say anything about it.
 

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tofurkey hunting
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BikeProf said:
That's tough. We just lost four people in my small department, and there are hundreds of rumors and accusations flying around. As a junior faculty member, I have to keep a low profile and not get caught in the recriminations. There is a whole new form of etiquette that we are going to have to learn in this new economy.
are you guys actually losing faculty? in most places, enrollment is through the roof. most of the layoff discussion has revolved around "support" personnel....man, if faculty are gettin the axe...it's going to make for a tough work load...
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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I've been in a similar situation. I learned that a co-worker who was in an up-or-out position was not going to be promoted about a month before he was told. I had to see this guy every day, smile at him, and not breathe a word or anything.
 

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Stumpcake!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fredke said:
I've been in a similar situation. I learned that a co-worker who was in an up-or-out position was not going to be promoted about a month before he was told. I had to see this guy every day, smile at him, and not breathe a word or anything.
I deal with that alot. Being in IT I know about things well before they happen....mostly because of the sensitive nature of some of the data and proprietary type stuff. I'm okay with that because I understand the method behind the madness. The thing with my wife was a bit different for me. I guess it's really not but it felt that way this time.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Len J said:
If your wife worked for me & I found out she had communicated to you (especially if I knew the workers husband worked with you), your wife would be in deep doo doo.
I disagree. Your company didn't swear to stay with you through sickness and health, good times and bad, wealth and poverty til death you part, so don't pretend that it's got anywhere near the claim on you than your spouse does. Anything you tell one spouse you've as good as told the other. It would be toxic for the marriage if the wife were worried sick about their mutual friends and couldn't talk about it with her husband.

No job would be worth sacrificing the ability to talk honestly with your spouse about what's bothering you.

But the spouse is obligated to keep any secrets the other shares. There's no reason you should ever know what the wife tells the husband.
 

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Stumpcake!
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Fredke said:
I disagree. Your company didn't swear to stay with you through sickness and health, good times and bad, wealth and poverty til death you part, so don't pretend that it's got anywhere near the claim on you than your spouse does. Anything you tell one spouse you've as good as told the other. It would be toxic for the marriage if the wife were worried sick about their mutual friends and couldn't talk about it with her husband.

No job would be worth sacrificing the ability to talk honestly with your spouse about what's bothering you.

But the spouse is obligated to keep any secrets the other shares. There's no reason you should ever know what the wife tells the husband.
I understand your point but I also totally respect Len's position. Actually, I take his tack when it comes to work and spouses. I deal with too much sensitive stuff and it's just much easier to be above reproach in these type instances. If something was ever found to slip in a lesser case it definitely brings all other more critical aspects into question. It is really much easier to keep it separate.

In Mrs Tcon's case she wasn't so much trying to burden me, or undermine her company but more to keep an carefull eye on a friend to make sure they didn't make an unwise choice before something happened to them... that was beyond her control. I wouldn't have done that but I understand why she did it.
 

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Motorator
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Fredke said:
I've been in a similar situation. I learned that a co-worker who was in an up-or-out position was not going to be promoted about a month before he was told. I had to see this guy every day, smile at him, and not breathe a word or anything.
This brings back my memory of the last month I ever worked for anybody else in my life. Or to be more exact, the last time my abilities and work efforts were not rewarded in kind.

I hated that last month. Deep down I knew what was coming, but that realization was tempered by disbelief, hope, residual loyalty, and a general feeling of fear and unpreparedness for being cut loose.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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Fredke said:
I disagree. Your company didn't swear to stay with you through sickness and health, good times and bad, wealth and poverty til death you part, so don't pretend that it's got anywhere near the claim on you than your spouse does. Anything you tell one spouse you've as good as told the other. It would be toxic for the marriage if the wife were worried sick about their mutual friends and couldn't talk about it with her husband.

No job would be worth sacrificing the ability to talk honestly with your spouse about what's bothering you.

But the spouse is obligated to keep any secrets the other shares. There's no reason you should ever know what the wife tells the husband.
Obviously I don't agree.......in fact, my first reaction was "what a selfish thing for Mrs Tcon to do." (recognizing that I don't know the specifics & could be totally wrong)

It's not about loyalty to an organization, or loyalty to a marriage, it's about boundaries and private communication. As an employer, if I have someone that works for me that can not be trusted with certain confidential information, then they shouldn't be in the positions they are in. If I go to a friend that is a MD and a friend for a medical problem, I don't assume that his wife knows my condition....in fact, if I found out she did, I wouldn't go back to that MD & my friendship would be in serious jeopordy. My wife is a nurse, & the only way I know anyone has been thru her surgury unit is if they tell me....& I respect that. If she did otherwise, I would start to wonder how good her word to me was.

The thing Mrs Tcon did by telling him was make him extremely uncomfortable & violate a trust. IMO, that kind of act can be more toxic to a marriage. (Now I'm judging Mrs. Tcon harshly here without full info to make my point...for that I apologize and assume that there is more to the story & their relationship is stronger than that).

It's not about the job having a claim on you bigger than your spouse does......it's about integrity. As to the wife being worried sick & not being able to talk to the husband.........IMO, that's life and comes with a responsible job......it's also why I get my emotional support from more than my wife........so I have support in all situations.

It sounds like, in this situation, she would have kept the trust to herself for a very short period of time......that doesn't seem unreasonable.

My wife doesn't know everything on my mind....nor do I know everything on hers.......but we both know that we trust each other.

Len
 
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