Doing the Right Thing

Note: I wrote this one year ago, but decided to delay publishing in case anyone from work read it. I figured one year is enough time to make this post not gossipy but old news, and maybe someone else will learn something from this. 

Doing the right thing is really hard. Take this example from work.

A couple months ago, our social media editor quit in a fit of a rage. It was very dramatic, and more importantly to this story it left his position open in a time where an entire other department was being laid off.

Our editor ended up with two choices – an inside candidate and an outside candidate. I was fortunate enough to be looped in on the interviews for the outside candidate, and was told afterwards they were looking to hire her.

But then, the inside candidate — who was basically in a I need to get this job or an unemployment check position — was training next to me all day for days. And she didn’t know the other candidate was being so seriously considered, but everyone else did. It felt like she was being blind sided, and it felt wrong. I wasn’t the only person that thought so.

So I told her about the other candidate. I said “nothing’s definite, but  I think you should know they are talking pay with the other candidate.” It really seemed like the right thing to do and other people told me it was the right thing to do.

But then, one week later the pay negotiations were falling apart with the outside candidate, and I get looped in on that. Turns out, it seems more like the inside candidate is going to get the job.

So now, I’ve given the inside candidate bad information. I feel awful about that, so then I have to go back and tell her “hey looks like things are changing, so I wanted to set the record straight and tell you that.” And I think it was the right thing to do to tell her that, but now I just feel like a gossip. But if I hadn’t told her in the first place, I would have felt complicit in stringing her along.

Basically, I have no idea what the “right thing” to do is, and I’m just trying the best I can. What would you have done? Am I just meddlesome?


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