Keeping Others’ Secret

Keeping Others’ Secret In a previous post, Larry asked you to test a game he and others were developing on the side. In the last post, you contemplated saying ‘no’ and, moreover, telling your boss Malcolm what was happening. Doing so wouldn’t turn out well for anyone. So maybe the best bet is to say ‘no’ but keep it secret from Malcolm. You say no. Things go back to normal? That’s what you’d expect, right? You’ve said no politely, you’ll get back to work and Larry will get back to his. And if Larry is a nice guy, that’s probably true. He’ll just move onto the next tester candidate. But what if Larry is just the littlest bit paranoid? As he might be, since he knows he’s engaging in a fireable offence. A whole different scenario could play out. What if Larry is paranoid? Larry comes by your station the next morning. Larry: Remember, what we talked about was just between us. You: Of course, you can trust me. Larry: You know, I don’t get you. You seem like a smart guy and yet you’re turning down a chance to get a leg up. You:  I appreciate the offer… Larry:…

Doing the ‘Right’ Thing

Doing the ‘Right’ Thing In the last post, you have a new job as a tester for children’s on-line games. Larry, the senior designer and a fun guy, has asked you to work on a serious game without your boss’ knowledge. What is the right thing to do? What should you do? Obviously, if this were above board, you’d jump at the chance to work on a real game. But it clearly isn’t. You know what you should do. A good employee would not only say `no` but even tell your boss Malcolm. After all, they`re using work time. In the next post, I`ll deal with saying no but keeping quiet. This one is about saying `no` but deciding to tell Malcolm. Should you tell the boss? I bet you recoil at the idea of telling Malcolm, don’t you? Understandable. But in fact, Larry and his gang are stealing something very valuable. The company trades money (your salary) for your expertise. When employees engage in non-work activities during work, it violates that implicit agreement. So, if you’re against stealing, you actually should tell Malcolm. This still makes you kind of queasy? Let’s play out what might happen if you did….

The Big Career Chance

The Big Career Chance The career situation You have a new job as a tester for children’s on-line games.  Two weeks in, it seems like a pretty good place, with a lot of career opportunities. The obvious leader is Larry, the senior designer. You haven’t quite made it in with the pack but you’re hopeful. Testing Pen is a programmer. You’re reviewing the bugs you’ve found with her. Pen: Gosh, that’s a strange one. You: Yeah, and only happens when the forest background is playing. Pen: (opens the files)  Hmmm—nothing obvious, but I’ll give a look. You: Unless Larry intended some sub-routine he dropped. Should we ask him? He’s over there with Caleb. Pen: Looks like they’re busy. You: But Malcolm (everybody’s boss) wants it in production asap. Pen: Larry’s busy. He won’t thank you for breaking in. You: But… Pen: Trust me, you don’t want to get involved. You: Huh? In what? Pen: (looks back to the screen) I’m sure I’ll find that bug. What did she mean? But it’s pretty clear she doesn’t want to talk. Larry’s project About a week later, Larry comes to your desk. Larry: You must be quite the hotshot. Malcolm doesn`t go over…

When All Else Fails, Dealing With a Threatened Boss

When All Else Fails, Dealing With a Threatened Boss In the previous post, I suggested ways to lower your boss’ threat level. In this, you need to recognize work really is different from home. At work, there is a hierarchy of more power and less. You have less. Your boss has more. Therefore, what he wants will often take precedence over your wishes. I’m not saying it’s fair; it just is. What if the ideas don’t work? Be sure you consistently use the ideas in the previous post before you decide they’re not working. However, sometimes it doesn’t solve the problem. Why can’t your boss get over herself and quit being a jerk? Uh-huh—a question for the ages. I can’t know what drives or haunts your particular boss, but a boss can be threatened which have nothing to do with you. She might be: Worried she’s reached her level of incompetence Afraid she will be replaced by some young whippersnapper Carrying around the burden of past failures Try to imagine how you would feel if these were your concerns. It’s probably a scary and kind of helpless place. You might even feel sorry for her. However, even if you do…

How Not to Annoy Your Boss

How Not to Annoy Your Boss In the previous post, we identified how you might inadvertently convert a personal attribute into a threat to your boss. I’ll take each attribute and suggest how you might lower the threat level if you think it exists. You are: So you: Smarter Correct your boss frequently (or infrequently), especially in front of others In front of others, in a meeting—not good venues. If the correction must come, it should be in private. Now, I’m not talking “No, the bathrooms are on the left.” There are corrections of minor facts which should not raise the threat level. But if you are correcting on logic, strategy, policy, tactic or opinion, these are ones which might drop you into trouble. Rather than correct your boss in the meeting, do it in private. But even in private, NOT “You were wrong/misguided/mistaken…” INSTEAD “I was a little confused in the meeting. My understanding was that [insert your correct information], but in the meeting, it seemed that it was more [insert error]. Did I miss something?” Also, think whether the issue is important enough to raise at all. If it will prevent your unit from attaining its goals, perhaps….