Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grunt at Work

Dear Grace,
I work in a large corporation. A chunk of my department is leaving to work for a similar company across town. Their departure is amicable and is not a result of layoffs or cutbacks. I am very close to the folks who are leaving and have the option to go with them but I haven't decided what I am going to do. Imagine my shock when my boss came up to me at the coffee machine today and said, "Jane, if you plan to stay here you should submit your resume to HR and apply to interview for your job." I was shocked--I mean, he basically fired me in front of a bunch of people. To add insult to injury, he said, "I know you were invited to the company dinner at the VP's house next week, but you should probably stay home."

Your thoughts?

Grace Says:

Wow. This goes way beyond the bounds of etiquette, but I am a strict adherent to "staying in one's lane". (It wouldn't hurt to mention to your HR and possibly your legal departments that this occurred--this is undoubtedly against company policy.) But in the meantime, it sounds like this creep made your "should I stay or should I go" dilemma (with apologies to The Clash) pretty easy.

It is the height of rudeness to discuss personal matters (employment status definitely qualifies as personal) in public. As far as revoking an invitation? Equally hideous. But it sounds like it wasn't his to revoke--you mentioned that it is being held at the VP's house. If you would still like to go, do so. Create an opportunity to confirm that with the host just in case Captain Rudeness has intervened. Stop by the host's office, call or send an email to the tune of "I'm really looking forward to your party next week. Thanks so much for including me. Is there anything I can bring?" And if you prefer to give it a miss, issue equally Gracious regrets to the hostess.

I've seen caged baboons with better manners.

It's tough to be a Grace among Grunts--your only strategy here is to take the high road. It's much easier on the Manolos, and more importantly you never want to burn bridges. Even with baboons.

Good Luck!

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