Tag Archives: workplace

UPDATED Bottomless Office Pit: Cake, Gifts & Money Collection

Money collection for office gifts, cakes. Funding co-worker celebrations. Fun, yummy, good or bad idea?  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — If I never have another slice of office birthday cake, I’d live! These constant money drives for other people’s gifts has gotten on my last nerve. Yesterday (she) asked me for money for someone’s baby shower gift in our Utah office who I never even met! This is nuts, crazy, just wrong!!! Give me some good lines.  — Cham-pain Hater

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Dear Cham-pain Hater,

I love cake, I love presents — for me! — so I hear ya, but figure out and clearly state your policy for all to understand about you, and stick with it.

Back in college while working at a major department store, my manager came around at Christmas time to ask for donations to an equally major charity. Coincidentally, this charity had been in the news for administrative financial abuse to fund schmancy lunches and lavish personal travel, and such. I was already consistently giving to an organization of my choice, so when she first asked then attempted to strong-arm me for my hard-earned money (mockingly, “What?! You can’t even give up a dollar?”) — her attitude alone underscored to me that she was only pimping to win a department managers’ contest. That manipulative sort of crap only served to make me stand even firmer in my convictions and state, “Nope. Especially not “even” a dollar.” I freely give to what truly stirs me, and not to earn kiss ass points with a manager competing in a peer contest for a personal gain prize, via my dollars while supposedly campaigning for a charity I didn’t even believe in.

Knowing what you stand for lets you know what you want to fund in life, and keep the change from the rest in your own wallet. In the game of office politics, only give when you expect nothing in return (never give a present to get a present, whether retail or brown-nose points), or all you’ll get is disappointment. Nothing more bitter than a low-carb flourless cake of guilt and shame.

Do-goodahs, pleeeze,

BadWitch

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[No, your RSS and e-Mail subscriptions are not broken. Here’s GW’s added Reply.]

Dear Cake-Champain Hater,

Truth works better than any excuse you can come up with! I would start by asking for a general pool with once yearly contribution (say $20) that is split for all employee presents, like a Christmas Club. I have heard of employees being asked to give $20 a month for other employee gifts. Maybe a $10 a month fund for cake and office morale isn’t asking too much.

My question is, as an employee, don’t you appreciate when your birthday is noticed?  Isn’t that an unrecognized benefit of your work environment? It sounds like you’ve got an office that has taken the time to create a more family like environment. This makes for a comfortable place to work. Believe me, not all offices give a damn whether it’s your birthday, wedding or baby—just do the work.

It is really nice to be appreciated. Your office culture has found a way to give each other recognition of the lives lived outside the cubicle walls. Say thank you and throw in $10. If money is really tight right now, tell your co-workers that truth. They’ll appreciate it. Then throw in $2 or $3.

Family may be a pain in the ass sometimes with their little rituals, but that is the good stuff you remember and appreciate years later. Quit bitching and have some cake.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Dressed for Success? Or GNO?

When your smart friend makes inappropriate work clothes choices, how do you tell her it’s not Girl’s Night Out? Telling the empress she might be better off naked than hoochie.  — BadWitch

P.S. Happy Martin Luther King Day. Spread the Dream.

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I met my best friend at our work. Sometimes she dresses like a hoochie mama. Or like she’s ready for the club more than a meeting. How do I tell her? I don’t want to hurt her feelings.  — What Not to Wear

 

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Dear What Not to Wear,

It’s tough when your girlfriend thinks she’s amazing crazy, sexy, cool in the VIP lounge and the queen of the boardroom, too. Props for her confidence, but should someone’s self-esteem be tied to their sexuality, it can be an extra confusing line to tow. We know that no woman enjoys having anyone tell her she doesn’t look her best or most professional (and in certain environs, the line for appropriate women’s work apparel can be even thinner). Challenge! Be a BFF by telling your girl the truth but with the intention of helping her excel in the workplace by reinforcing the best of what makes her confident.

You know her personality best (and the healthy dosage of reality you can administer before she ODs and crashes), so keep that in mind while telling her something like this: “As your office BFF, you know how much I admire your skills and how smart you are here at work. But having gone clubbing with you, too, sometimes it seems to me that you confuse your two lives through your choice of work clothes. In the office I want your image to reflect your successful work, so I’m suggesting that you might consider clothes that people who aren’t your BFFs can recognize your smarts right away in. Maybe longer skirts and higher tops (fill-in-her-offenses), are more appropriate work clothes? The only reason I wanted to tell you this is so you can do something productive about it. I only ever have your best interest in mind.” Then drop it. If she is ready, she will take in what you suggest and enact her own spin on it, if not, she will probably still hear it subconsciously and file it away for later.

Smart friends speak up with love,

BadWitch

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Dear What Not to Wear,

Much like telling a friend their mate is cheating on them, tread very carefully. If your friend is dressing like a “hootchie mama” obviously she draws a lot of her sense of self-worth from her sexiness. Asking her to tamp that down or letting her know you find it inappropriate, it may be taken as more of a personal slap than intended.

I find television to be very instructive. Style Network’s “How Do I look?” may be a great addition to your DVR cue. Then maybe a night with some wine, TV and well-placed comments. This show has friends tell friends when their “look” is inappropriate—either too trashy or, well, too trashy. The show even offers coaching for contestants, as well as makeovers, so you hear first-hand how to talk someone down off the Hootchie Mama Wagon.

Watch the show before-hand and decide whether you want to take your friend to dinner (definitely with wine) and discuss the issue of whether you want to do a covert, “Let’s watch some TV at my house. I saw the funniest new makeover show!” Perhaps check into some resources for personal shoppers and fashion consultants. Give your friend the opportunity to discover other sides about herself.

And lastly, somewhere in all this, let your friend know that she is a sexy, beautiful woman to the degree that flaunting her sexuality can create unnecessary competition, jealousies and unwanted attention. Let her know that you love and respect her. Let her know she’s sexy even wearing a garbage bag. Help her see her sexuality in more ways than a super short hemline and low cut blouse.

Be a friend. Tell the truth—one way or another.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

 

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

 

 

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Type-A Meets Unplanned Love

Planning on love? Type-A discovers life unfurls itself inconveniently, against plan. “Repeat” for All Events.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I don’t know if this is a “work” or “personal” question, but I’m a true blue Type-A person and have planned my entire life out. So far everything has pretty much unfolded as I intended. Then I met this person at the office who is turning out (after working, platonic meetings, friendship and now love) to be the Love of My Life. My question is how do I deal with these crazy feelings (neither of us wants to go away), and still be professional at work? We work on the same team. Bi-curious

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Dear Bi-curious,

Oh to be crazy, wacky and young! Just sayin’, it’s another gray area option. Type-A’s and those who like to label themselves as such, love to pretend we have everything under control. Bi-curious, life has a sense of humor and sometimes…you’re the punch line. Let go, let god. Let go, let it flow. Circle one. Mix ‘n match. Woohoo!!, go crazy, yo!

Minimize the damage and leverage the benefit of being a Type-A more often by letting your plans help direct and guide you, while reveling in the fact that your particular genius in this area also helps you make room for you to be less rigid, and things to turn out just as they are meant to be. With or without your Master of the Universe architectural blue prints. Sweetie. I Get you possibly more than you do, so don’t shut down from me now. See your Big Picture, raise it a mission for your vision, do the mundane work every day, and then…just breathe and allow for the beautiful lessons of the universal wisdom to allow things in and out of your life. You already know How to Be Professional, now, get over your self to more fully enjoy yourself.

Sync that calendar item,

BadWitch

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Dear Bi-curious,

Two can play on the same team while finding love and cooperation. Yes, it will take both of you deciding to be the bigger person on more than one occasion. You will have to come in off the night of pissy arguments and behave like grown ups in the office. No drama. No catfights. Claws fully retracted and work put first. Can you do that? Can you both do that?

There are some VERY good reasons to adhere to the old aphorism, “Don’t screw the crew.” Yes, rough, uncouth and just not classy, but filled with sage advice. When one enters into relationship you open yourself to be truthful, open and take your partner’s feelings into account. In a work setting, there will be times when your business judgment may be impaired by partner protectitus. Yes, your partner has a bad idea or you have a good idea which gives a plum position/project/you name it to someone who is not your partner, but is the correct business choice. What do you do? If you really want this relationship and work thing work, you’ll have to make the better business choice and take the hit when you get home.

In other words, yes you can make it work, but you’ll have to make some hard and fast boundaries to make it work without disrupting your career agenda. Despite my diatribe, I do believe partners can work well together. I’ve actually seen it first hand. However, I’ve also experienced  co-dependant, bad relationships that make the whole office live through re-enactments of All in the Dysfunctional Family.

Realize that everyone you work with—up and down the ladder—have to deal with your relationship. Be nice to your fellow co-workers. Leave the relationship on the side till you get home at the end of the day. Sure, a little lunchtime loving is a great idea, just make sure you are back in business mode by the time you get to your desk. Discuss and agree on appropriate behaviors and boundaries.

Btw, congratulations on finding someone you can love and work with. Remember, good communications makes the difference.

Happy smooching,

GoodWitch

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Image: DLopez

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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More Wellness, Less Health Problems

You want to be healthy and know that wellness is prevention and prevention is, as they say, worth a pound of cure. How to maintain wellbeing in a culture that values OT and fast food?? — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — You talk about taking care of yourself first in your stress management program (which no offense I was really suspicious, it’s actually good!). After finally getting over some health problems the last couple years, I’m a firm believer.  So what do you do if you work at a company that doesn’t value employee “wellness” and only those who slave their lives in OT away to get ahead? I’ve been here since college and want to get past middle management, but the older I get, the less I’m willing to compromise my healthy and wellbeing. — Squeezed in the Middle

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Dear Squeezed in the Middle,

Wow, a classic yet throwback question, Squeezed. It’s a flavor of the perennial “I need experience to get experience.” You need to have wellness before you can have true health…and you need your job, too. I have a lot of hope for you to do the right thing — by you. Really examine what’s important to you (items from paying the bills consistently to feeding your body and soul properly) in life, what you stand for and what your values are, and you will do the right thing as far as your job, current and future ones, are concerned.

As for wellness, if you indeed completed our de-stress program (which I view far more as a self-mastery tool), aside from learning how many ways stress is a real life killer, you know that self-care is tied to self-esteem, wellness tied to your overall wellbeing, also tied to your self-esteem — a full circle. Squeezed, as your past illness showed you only too well, integrating wellness as a lifestyle is not to compartmentalize your (singular) life into “work” and “home” and not about squeezing in time to be well, but about Being well in small and large ways throughout your one and only life in  balanced and sustainable ways. And we like to keep the practice of all of that simple. Just takes practice.

Keep your eye on the prize (you),

BadWitch

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Dear Squeezed in the Middle,

It sounds like you already know what your options are. You can 1) sacrifice your health and mental stability by playing the role of stressed out, over-worked unbalanced employee and move ahead, 2) continue to do good consistent work, take care of yourself and remain in middle management trying to educate the higher ups on the importance of self-care and stress management for improved employee morale and attendance, or c) continue to work in a balanced way while researching your options for finding your next wrung of the ladder in a new work environment.

The question is: how long are you in for?

Option number 1 requires subjugating your own sense of self-worth so that someone else will value your contribution. If the higher ups cannot appreciate a solid and consistent employee who understands work life balance, than perhaps this is not the right work environment for you. After all, you should not be forced into some co-dependent agreement that will set your personal development further back to hopefully move your career forward. Of course, if the stress makes you sick with blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or any other host of issues, you probably won’t get that promotion because then you’ll be blamed for missing work for doctor appointment and sick time.

Do what is right for you. Live a balanced life that allows for a personal life, while being a responsible employee—while spending some personal time looking for a company that respects your need to have a life. Take this time to get your resume straight. Take some development classes in your field, which will allow you to meet others in your field and find out about their company policies.

You seem to be on the course to deciding on the best course of action for you. Just remember in your decision-making process that your health and wellness MUST come first, because (please excuse the cliché, but it’s so true) without your health, what have you got and how much can you enjoy it?

Peace be the journey,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Mean Girls, Forgiveness & Rising Above

Ever notice, just when you feel you’ve accomplished a thing you were working on..in comes some bad bitch of a situation to test you? Mmmm mmm mm.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — A woman who was very mean…to me was transferred but now after a year and a half is returning to our branch. Now I’m her boss. I have to admit how hard it is for me to deal fairly with her when small things come up I have to mediate or manage. It’s funny how the big things are easier for me to stay cool with her about. I worked hard for this title and I need ideas not to blow my stack at this biotch over the little things, can you help? — Big & Small

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Dear Big & Small,

The best business advice was given to me as a 17-year old freshman doing a class interview with a professional broadcaster in a major market. In touring me around the station, she pointed at a fishbowl office set high, front and center overseeing the entire floor. “See that woman? I’m so glad I was nice to her when she was the receptionist, because now she’s my boss.” Instantly I understood that it wasn’t about having the right-butt-to-kiss instincts, but to evenly and consistently be kind and professional to everyone (and thereby, be a professional myself) I encountered in the workplace. I really took that to heart, and I’d like to think that I conduct myself that way to this day. I have seen firsthand the odd looks of some who think I am going to be a bitch, and then either the relief or continued discombobulation. But I’m clear about my motives, and that’s what counts. I am of the mind that no one – no matter their station in life — is better or lower than me, and vice versa. Now, Big & Small, I know this might sound Pollyana-ish of your ole BadWitch, but it’s not. I actually (if not naively) believe we are all connected. That everything (including: we do) is connected.

Work on overcoming your emotional issues around this woman’s bad behavior(s), de-program your hot buttons around people who dis you in the smallest, pettiest (coincidence?, you be the judge) ways and times, and own your own power – both the strength and weakness of it — and work on your own responses to deflate the hold and power you give her over you. It’s obvious someone thought you were better suited to manage than she was, so in one measurable way it appears you have more skills than her.

“If it’s not paradoxical, it’s not true.” — Shunryu Suzuki

Raising yourself up is a real promotion,

BadWitch

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Dear Big & Small,

Well. Clearly, it is you who have had the last laugh. After all, you’re her boss. Maybe it is time to let the past go and be smug and happy in the present. I’m not saying this woman EVER has to be considered your friends (puh-leaze!), but holding on to how she was may actually put your job in jeopardy.

Someone once said, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Guess what, it doesn’t work that way. You are driving up your blood pressure and stressing yourself out over some woman who now works for you! Face it, stress is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, immune dysfunction and more. You really willing to let this chick you don’t even like drive you up a few clothing sizes? Please, let it go.

In the present moment you may still be a smug—and, yes, it will feel THAT good. But let the old pain and hurt that make you want to blow up at this woman over slight things go. It can make you sick, fat and jobless if left to continue unchecked. And, apparently, you don’t think she’s worth all THAT, do you?

Follow this link to a post I wrote for OwningPink.com. At the bottom of the post is a link to an audio file of a guided visualization that can help you move on. Listen to it a few times. If you are still stressed at the sight of this woman after running this visualization, say, at least once a day for 5-7 days, I suggest buying the entire Less Stress, More Life program to find ways to better understand what is stressing you out, how to respond rather than react and how to find a calm, internal oasis even though she’s there to work with every day.

The truth is, she may have been mean to you, but now you have the power to change this situation. Use it…wisely.

Happy De-Stressing,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Booster Shot: Team Building Fun

Not all team building activities need be forced, formal or make eyes roll. Having fun in the office together builds healthy bonding and productivity.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — What can I do to boost the morale of my team? I’m a supervisor who’s more hands-on with face time than our department manager who travels a lot and I know I can have her blessing if I present solid ideas. We actually have a pretty strong rapport but I want to keep them happy and engaged. Do you have any non-monetary ideas for a busy professional but not corporate environment.Booster Shot

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Dear Booster Shot,

I take your question seriously, but I think it’s cute. Make sure you do this more for your team’s morale than your own popularity and/or advancement, and whatever you do will be a sure-fire winner. The main suggestion I have for you is to put yourself in your team’s collective shoes and think like it does on most days. You know better than me what your professional environment is like and will/can tolerate, and more importantly…could use more of. So I say: make it fun, make it low-key and don’t over-think the thing — the more natural and spontaneous, the better. We used to improvise water bottle bowling with a random Nerf ball. We threw up a tape of something or other, spanning between a cubicle wall and the actual wall and limboed under it (be careful; those of us who participated were fit and not litigiously minded). Another of my offices consisted of several music lovers, so maybe something around a music trivia game would have been fun. Whatever we did, we did spontaneously, had a blast, and I never had to actually tell people (who only participated if they needed and wanted to) to get back to work, which they did willingly, refreshed, refocused and more productively than ever. After all that some people will need to hear this: yes, we booked multi-million dollars of business in this atmosphere. Occasional informal communal silliness can be a breath of fresh air especially in an office with windows that don’t open!

Group “hug,”

BadWitch

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Dear Booster Shot,

I love where your head is at! In this economy some managers completely forget the importance of boosting team morale for best product output. You have no idea how many people I’ve heard from who complain about bosses and managers threatening them, rather than inspiring best work.  Kudos to you!

OK, that said, answering your question, your attitude and wanting a warm, cooperative work environment has already gone a long way towards creating that environment. People can feel whether a manager is invested and willing to give back or not. Your willingness helps foster willingness in your employees.

Now, to keep that moving without capital investment, ask for feedback. Creative juice meetings designed for feedback on current projects or upcoming projects will help your staff to feel like valued members of the team. There is nothing worse than feeling like another meaningless cog in the wheel. When asked to participate with ideas and input on company projects, staff feel needed and important members of the team with something to offer. That is the best way to keep them invested.

Also, strangely enough food works wonders for making folks feel appreciated. I know, you want a no financial investment idea, but I gotta tell you, Friday morning bagels are a cost effective way to say, “You are appreciated.” It’s not something you need to do regularly, just a once in a while, “thanks for working so hard” gesture. And, further surprise, you’ll get much office gratitude for the food and the appreciation.

You know Booster Shot, I just have to say, you are doing a great job. Keep up the good work! (Felt good, right? Well, I meant it. Now pass that sentiment on to staff in the moment when they deserve it. They’ll feel it too.)

Mantra: My attitude affects work from the top down. If I am invested, appreciative and supportive of my staff, I inspire my staff to be invested, appreciative and supportive of  the team and our work environment.

Great job,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Sticky Fingered Situation: Theft or Snitch?

If he steals, should you squeal? Oh, and crazy manager dis, too.  — BadWitch

P.S. Welcome to our new friends. Our publishing schedule and where you can send your questions to us are at the bottom of each post. See you back here Thursday!

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Some money has gone missing from our petty cashbox at work. My manager asked me to keep an eye on someone (just because I often have lunch with this guy on account of our schedules) he suspects. I have nothing to do with the cashbox, and I don’t like snitches. I can’t believe my friend would do something like this, but you never know, and I don’t want to get involved. What should I tell my manager to get out of it? — Boxed In

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Dear Boxed In,

Taking your description at face value, I doubt I could undermine your manager’s authority more than he’s done himself by saying he’s a nut job, technically speaking, of course. Some people just don’t appear ready for authority over others. This sounds more like an episode of Punk’d or a page out of a What Not to Do page I’m imagining, from Managing for Dummies.

Now onto you and your authority over yourself. If ostensibly you see nothing, then you have nothing to report. Right? But if you did see something firsthand, would you report it or stick to your “no snitching” guns? Mull over your values now: do you strongly believe stealing or snitching is wrong no matter the circumstances, or do think your loyalty to a friend is more important than to your employer? No one can answer those questions for you so get on it, cupcake.

Securely you,

BadWitch

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Dear Boxed In,

“Snitch?” What are we in prison? Are you going to shank someone?

Listen, as a parent, I may have a different take on things. You see, one who cannot honor the bounds of good citizenship, i.e. not biting the hand that feeds him, does not deserve protection from his deeds coming to light. If my child were to steal or bully or in some other way offend the bounds of good citizenship, I would expect someone to inform me. Why? Not because I seek to punish, but rather to have that child bear the karma of the act, learn from it and grow into a better person and a better citizen.

Harsh? No. I believe living in truth is the only way to live a life of peace. And I don’t mean the peace of self-righteousness. I mean the peace of living honestly with no baggage to lie, hide, of be ashamed of. That is peace.

If your friend is innocent, then you have nothing to fear about reporting what you hear from him on the crime. If, however, as I think you believe, your friend is guilty then you must ask yourself, is it better to hide the sins of a thief, so he may feel as if he has gotten away with it, giving him license to steal again?

Find the middle way. Tell your friend that others, i.e. your manager, believe he stole the money and that for the safety of his job and reputation he should return it. If he was slippery getting it out, he can be slippery getting it back in. You will have given your friend the opportunity to learn from his mistakes—hopefully, without the cost of his job.

Just tell your manager you will keep your ears open. Frankly, you do not want to be seen as aligned with the thief. Then, tell your friend what needs to be said, “Whoever stole the money is stupid and short-sighted. The few dollars will not compare to a salary. They should return the money before they have lost the security of a paycheck for a few extra dollars in their pockets between paydays.”

Do the right thing,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.