I have worked for my employer for nine years, and I like my job and my boss. Recently, however, I was involved in an unfortunate incident.
My husband and I were invited to dinner at the home of my boss. It was a semisocial affair, and other people from the company attended the dinner.
During dinner, my boss -- the host -- had a bit too much to drink. Then, in the course of a loud and lively exchange as I tried to voice an opinion during a discussion, he snapped at me, saying, "I wasn't talking to you."
My husband overheard this comment and became extremely upset. Even though my boss apologized to me for his rudeness the next Monday, my husband wants me to quit the company. He says one shouldn't work for someone who is as disrespectful as my boss.
I don't want to quit. I don't think my boss is generally disrespectful and I don't want to throw away nine good years over one bad incident. What should I do?
I am completely on your side. Perhaps predictably, I subscribe to the school of thought that bosses are ordinary people who can commit faux pas just like anybody else.
Take your boss aside and explain to him your current predicament. Tell him that while you didn't think anything of that dinner incident, your husband's feelings were hurt on your behalf. Ask your boss if he would write a note of apology to your husband.
Then go to work on cooling off your husband. I work as a controller for a brokerage firm. Recently, I have begun to feel that the firm wants to replace me. My manager has never said anything to me, nor has he criticized my performance. The other day, however, I saw an ad for an opening for a controller at our firm.
I don't know what to do. Should I ask my boss for an explanation, or should I just quit?
Before you take any precipitous action, find out if your fears are justified. Take the ad in to your boss and ask him if it is, in fact, for your replacement.
If he confirms that it is, ask him what plans he has for you. Don't assume the worst because he might have another assignment in mind for you.
If, in fact, you determine that your boss is planning to fire you, flushing out his intentions early should be advantageous in giving you a chance to discuss his reasons before things are cast in concrete. This also will give you more time to line up another job.
Andrew Grove is president of Intel Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., author of the books "High Output Management" and "One-on-One with Andy Grove," and a frequent lecturer on management. Please send questions to him in care of the San Jose Mercury News, Business News Department, 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, Calif., 95190.