Advice: "I told a coworker what I really thought of our new boss. She told on me. What should I do?"


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Dear Quota Team,

Ok, this is probably a very weird question, but something surprising and upsetting happened to me at work recently and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate through it. I work for a big company but our sales offices are distributed, so every branch is kind of its own entity. We got a new branch manager that came in less than six months ago, and even though he started off nice, he’s kind of a tyrant in some ways. 

I don’t want to exaggerate how bad he is, but basically he’s the type of person who is an angel to prospects and customers but pretty brutal to the people who work for him. He doesn’t even try to make his sales team feel valued, he’s basically a “What have you done for me?” type of person. 

Here’s the bizarre thing that happened though: I have a coworker who I thought I had a good relationship with. She is mostly professional, but we’ve had personal discussions about non-work stuff too. The point is that I didn’t see any reason not to trust her. So we went to get coffee together the other day, and she asked what I thought of the new manager, and I basically told her what I typed above. I said that he doesn’t seem to have many people skills for someone in a people-first role. 

I didn’t think much of it until my new manager called me into his office and called me out for what I said to her. He basically asked if I said that and I lied and said that that was not what I said and that my words were taken out of context. There was no resolution in our discussion but it felt like a “warning.” Now I’m stuck with a manager who probably hates me and a coworker who ratted me out (completely unexpectedly). What do you think I should do here? I dread going into work now. 

Shocked in New England      


Dear Shocked,

Your coworker is lame, but there’s a good lesson to be learned here: keep your controversial opinions to yourself whenever you’re at work. The catharsis you might get from a little bit of venting isn’t worth losing your job over. And if it is, then you should go ahead and find another job.

Which is a good segue into our answer. If you’re truly dreading going into work, then it’s probably time to move on. Start applying to other jobs, and try to keep your head down while you’re still employed at your current job.

Of course, you could also use this as an opportunity to close as many deals as humanly possible, and show your two-faced coworker and unpleasant manager that you’re not going to let them stop you from succeeding. 

But that part is up to you. If you feel like things are irrevocably tainted, then there’s no reason not to move on. Good luck, and next time, make sure you fully trust your coworker before telling them what you really think.   

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