Q: I got a new job three months ago, and I like it very much. I work for a husband-and-wife team who are wonderful people. I report to the sales manager who is well connected and manages to get sales, but, in my opinion, her approach to sales is disgusting. She is a true "party girl" who claims her success comes from wining and dining clients and who comes to the office hung-over at least three times each week. She's even taken naps under her desk! My co-worker and I have no respect for her, and yesterday we were instant messaging each other about her latest escapades. One of the owners ended up reading our messages and immediately showed them to the sales manager. This morning, we were reprimanded and asked to apologize to the sales manager. What should I do? - Gabby
A: Dale: Here's an important principle for the new workplace: The world isn't a stage, it's a courtroom and everything you say can be used against you.
J.T.: The reality for you, Gabby, is that your true thoughts are out there and cannot be taken back. You need to make a decision: Do you really want to keep your job? If so, apologize and get back to work. If, however, you can't work under these conditions, then I would still apologize, but I'd start looking for a new job so that you can leave on your own as soon as possible. In fact, the latter could end up your only option. Your relationship with the owners is damaged, perhaps irreparably. My guess is that they were taking the "look the other way" approach with respect to the sales manager because she makes them money. I just can't believe they have no idea as to what was going on. And that says a lot about them and their business ethics.
Dale: Perhaps it merely says they are open-minded or fun-loving. Plenty of people would relish working for such a manager. So, Gabby, let one of those free spirits have the job. Meanwhile, if you think your solemn approach to sales is better, then let the market prove it. Go to a competitor and see if you can outclass your old manager. That's the beauty of the free-market system; it lets ideas compete and offers you the chance to prove you're right.