My boss is really pushing for everyone in the office to serve food to the homeless at a local church on Thanksgiving Day. I think it’s a great thing to do, but I travel a lot for my job and I want and need to be with my family. I wouldn’t mind helping out some other time, just not on Thanksgiving Day. I tried to explain this to my boss, but his response was that my family can get along without me for a few hours. I know how these things play out. I’ll be away from my family for at least four hours. I don’t want my boss knowing my personal business, but my situation is such that it’s very important that I dedicate that whole day to my wife and kids. I’d appreciate your help.
Need to be with family
Dear Need to be with family:
It is obvious that your desire not to leave your family on Thanksgiving Day is a private matter, but you may need to be a little more open with your boss if you want him to be more sympathetic and supportive of your decision not to participate. Your other options are to push through and endure being away from your family for some period of time, or to skip the volunteer work and let your boss think whatever he wants. If you choose to participate, strongly consider devoting a substantial amount of time to your family the day before or the day after Thanksgiving.
A buddy of mine is eligible to retire. He could go at any time, but he doesn’t want anyone at work to know when he plans to leave. He says he plans to walk out with nothing, just like he walked in. Personally, I don’t get it. Our organization’s management and some of us who work with him want to recognize him and celebrate this milestone with him. He should have the farewell he deserves and the one we want to give him, but he doesn’t see it that way and is keeping his retirement shrouded in secrecy. Do you have any suggestions?
Proper sendoff required
Dear Proper sendoff required:
To each his own. As much as I realize you want to do what you consider to be in the best interests of your colleague, it is important for you to accept the fact that your desires for your colleague do not mesh with what he wants. Respect and honor his wishes, but ask him if he would like to get together for a celebratory drink or meal just with you. His other colleagues can make the same offer. Whether or not he accepts your invitation(s), each of you can express your sentiments in a handwritten note.
I read in a local business publication that a person I used to work with didn’t win a big contract he had worked long and hard on. My gut instinct was to phone or text him that I was sorry to hear he didn’t get it. When I spoke to a mutual friend who still works with this person, he confirmed my hunch that this guy was real upset that the contract was awarded to one of his competitors, but he thought it would be best if I said nothing. Now that more time has passed, it’s bugging me that I haven’t reached out. Is it too late for me to make contact? Do you think this guy will take it in a negative way?
Wanting to reach out
Dear Wanting to reach out:
I would go with your gut. You know what kind of relationship you have with this person. If you feel compelled to contact him and let him know how you feel, then do it. I have no doubt that you will convey your sentiments in the manner in which they are intended, and hopefully, your former colleague will understand and appreciate your thoughtful intentions.
© 2011 Rozanne R. Worrell