Mr. Big Spreads the Word
Tomorrow, Mr. Goldie and I are going to a wedding. Two people from this group are getting married. This should be fun!
Saturday, our friends are coming in from out of town. I’m currently trying to clean house and get it ready for their stay, and the house is fighting back. Word of advice, don’t ever let your husband have any room in the house all to himself, he will fill it to the brim with electronics and turn it into a bachelor pad.
(Shhhh… please do not tell Mr. Goldie I said that.)
(I LOVE bachelor pads! Honest!)
So, this has been the update. Back to my regularly scheduled Funny Story.
Six years ago, Mr. Big and I worked together at a small, startup company. I had been there eighteen months, when suddenly I got an uncontrollable urge to leave. This was for a variety of reasons, both personal and work-related.
I was reporting directly to Mr. Crush. I’ve mentioned him in my earlier posts. We did not have a good working relationship, to put it mildly. (That was one of my reasons for leaving.)
Mr. Crush didn’t know that I was looking, but Mr. Big, being my best buddy and all, did. I consulted him on every job ad I got. This was during the IT boom, and things moved fast, so, a mere month after I’d started looking, I got my first job offer. They called me at work to discuss the conditions.
It just so happened that Mr. Crush was out of town that day, on a business trip. He was due back in two days.
I spent all day in heated phone conversations with my prospective employer. They offered too little; I bargained. (Oh the blessed days of IT boom when one could actually do that!) In between the phone calls, I ran over to Mr. Big’s office with the latest updates. Together, we went over what had been said, and laid out the strategy for my next call.
At the end of the day, I managed to squeeze an extra five thousand out of those guys, and finally gave in and told them YES! They promised to mail the written offer to me in a few days. I shared the good news with Mr. Big, and thanked him for his help. Together, we agreed that I wouldn’t give notice until I had the offer in my hands (makes sense, right?)
The next day, I was sitting at my desk, unable to think of anything but my new job. A thought hit me that it would be good to check how many vacation days I had. I went to the HR’s office.
The HR was very helpful. Too helpful, as a matter of fact.
“Right now, you have no vacation days left, because you already took all five. But, if your boss agrees to convert them all into sick days, then you will have five vacation days available, and, should you leave, you will be reimbursed for them. You won’t be reimbursed for sick days, though.”
“Thank you so much, that really helps.” I turned to go.
“Wait.” The HR got up and shut the door.
“I happen to know that you’re leaving, and I would like to wish you good luck in your new job.”
My eyes widened.
“Don’t worry. I have only told one person, and I can trust him with my life.”
OK, I could probably live with that, even though it wasn’t really a part of my original plan. I went back to my desk, stopping by Mr. Big’s office on the way for a brief talk.
“Why’d you tell the HR?”
“I thought it wouldn’t be fair to hide this from her.”
“Okay, okay. Just don’t tell anybody else, will you?”
“You know, I think that now that they know, you should probably file your resignation tomorrow.”
I’m back in my cube.
Fifteen minutes later, a fellow programmer walks in.
“So you’re leaving. Good for you! This place is going down, time to get out of here.”
We chatted for a few minutes. I tried my best to keep a poker face through the whole conversation. As soon as she left my cubicle, I went back to Mr. Big’s office. I am afraid I wasn’t as polite as the last time around.
I walked in, shutting the door behind me.
“WTF?????” I demanded to know.
“Wha? what’d I do?” wondered the innocent Mr. Big.
“Why are people from our department congratulating me on my new job?”
“Which one of them talked to you?”
“Whaddaya mean which one? How many of them know?”
“Uh, all of them. Hey, why are you mad? I thought there’d be no harm done if I told them. They’re gonna find out in a few days anyway! Don’t look at me like that!”
I took a deep breath and sat down.
“So, let me recap,” I said. “Mr. Crush is coming back into the office tomorrow, and the first thing he’s going to find out is that I’m quitting, and he’s the only person in the office who doesn’t know.
And he's my direct boss.
And he cannot stand me to begin with.”
Mr. Big thought about it for a while. Mr. Crush had been his best friend for years.
“I think,” he offered with an infinitely wise look on his face, “that you should file your resignation right now.”
So I did. It's not like I had a choice.
Mr. Crush’s flight arrived that same night. Mr. Big called him at home and told him the news.
What the heck, the word was already out anyway.
Mr. Crush did not talk to me for the entire two weeks until I left. He was positive that I had quit because of him, even though I kept categorically denying it.
The man is incredibly smart.
Next day when I came into the office, it was time for one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I sat at my desk, and called the HR from my new job.
“Hi Shawn, listen, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I kind of need the written offer right now. See, what happened is, when I accepted your offer, I told my best friend, and he told everybody in the office, so I had to give my notice already. Could you do me this favor, please?”
Bless Shawn’s heart. He could have gone back on our whole bargain at that moment, but he didn’t. Thirty minutes later, I was holding the offer in my hands.
The new job turned out to be just as crappy as the old one, except with no dental insurance and at a worse location. I quit it three months later, and went to work for my current company.
As in all Mr. Big stories, there is a moral. I learned a lot from the man over the years. Here it is.
When you’re interviewing for another job, keep your yap shut. Especially, don’t tell your best friend.