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Sleeping with the enemy

I think I already know the answer to it, but its still hard so I wouldn't mind some outside voices to contribute to my (loudly conflicting) inner thoughts.

  I've worked for my current company for six years now.  Three years ago there was a big, messy, acrimonious split between partners.  I stayed with Partner A's company, even after being offered a spot with Partner B.  The business was good, the work environment was great and social, and I became one of the top people in the small company.  Partner A takes things very personally, really to an unprofessional level, but for example business started to be very NOT good and my salary was cut by a third.  He paid out of pocket ($2,000) for me to get a professional certification I wanted to study for.  He's also had really nasty situations where someone messes up or resigns and he starts screaming horrible things at them because he can't separate professional slights from personal ones.

  There have been some rumors about my company being sold recently, and I've been accidentally privy to emails (he didn't seem to realize I would read the whole chain where he said we may be closed by the end of March) that basically confirm it.  Partner A keeps denying it, but its pretty clear which way the wind is blowing. 

Partner B heard the rumors too, and offered me a position at their company, which seems to be thriving.  Its not where I want to be in the long run (I'd like to go more corporate as H and I buy a house and start a family), but I know the job market is tough right now, and its always easier to get a job when you already have one.  Better to be employed six months in a job that isn't ideal while hunting down a better fit than unemployed searching for the perfect one right?

  I'm so very non confrontational, and I hate to mess up a reference from the company I've spent the last three years with, but I think I may make this move.  My big scaredy-cat problem is if I tell Partner A I'm giving my two weeks and moving to Partner B he WILL freak out and be horrible and almost definitely fire me on the spot.  If I give my two weeks and he finds out from someone else where I'm going/have gone he will get very vindictive and try to blackball me.  Literally one time he hired his best friend to manage one of our places and friend got frustrated and quit and Partner A still won't speak to him two years later.  Its very high school.

 I've been looking for a new position for about six weeks now and I've had an offer (I felt the position was above my skill set so I declined) and a few good interviews, but I realize it can take months to find the right job.  I just got a decline from a job I was REALLY hoping for so I'm a little depressed about that.  Right now I don't know if I have months or weeks at my current company, and I'm afraid of passing up this opportunity and then getting laid off with the rest of the company in a month and screwing myself over for the sake of company loyalty.  I'm trying to get it through my thick skull that my loyalty needs to be to my family first, not my boss. 

Being an adult is hard. :(

Re: Sleeping with the enemy

  • Wow I didn't realize that was such a novel.  For the TL;DR crowd - my company is closing soon and I was offered a job at competing company my boss has a personal vendetta against.  I want to take it but my boss can be vindictive and I'm not sure if I'm scared of him or of being unemployed more.
  • Honestly if you are unsure of your future at your current company I would take the job. As for your boss being vindictive don't tell him where your new position is. He does not need to know but also to be careful that you do not tell anyone else either. If he finds out there is really nothing you can do, but just say you found a position within another company that fits into your life better at this time.

    Also the company you are currently working for does not seem to have a healthy environment at all. It seems quite destructive, I would get out of there as fast as I could.

  • You definitely need to get out of there!  You already know the company is folding.  Unfortunately, it sounds like there is no getting around him being a jerk about it.  You're fortunate to have somewhere to jump off to...even if it is not a job you want for the long term.  Nothing wrong with hanging out there until the economy improves.  Plus then, assuming Partner B is not a loon like Partner A, you can move on to another job 1-2 years from now with a good reference.  Partner A's reference as a previous boss...if he is even called at all...really wouldn't matter much.

    Funny story, I had a crazy volatile boss like that a few years ago.  Although he was never Jekyll/Hyde...just Hyde.  I walked in one day to give him my two-week notice...had my letter typed up and everything...in his irrational anger, he screams at me that I am fired and to get out.  Fantastic!  I kept my little letter with me...had not given it to him yet...and filed for unemployment a few days later, which of course I would not have been entitled to if I had just quit like I planned.  And found a much better job in less than a month anyway...but that was when the job market was booming.

  • Thanks for the confirmation!  I have the worst anxiety and sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if my crippling fear is rational or not.  I accepted the position and am just waiting to sign the contract before telling my boss.  I feel I do have to tell him where I'm headed.  Its a block away from my current office, and there's no way he won't find out quickly- maybe even before I finish up my two weeks. 

    I was planning on clearing out my things this weekend, so if I give him my notice next week I'm prepared to get up, grab my purse and coat, and just walk out if he gets nasty.  I get an email this morning that we lost the lease on our office so next week we're moving operations down to the basements of our venues into a renovated locker room that is being sprayed for bed bugs this week.... I think I made the right call here.  Hopefully I can get this all done Monday and just wash my hands of this whole thing.
  • Just an update- I told my boss and he was very cool about the whole thing, even congratulated me on getting something that fit my future goals better.  Such a relief!  And I'm very excited to start my new job in a few weeks!
  • Just an update- I told my boss and he was very cool about the whole thing, even congratulated me on getting something that fit my future goals better.  Such a relief!  And I'm very excited to start my new job in a few weeks!

    Oh good!  I'm glad to hear it.  I think it sometimes helps to picture the absolute worse, because it rarely happens, and then it's a relief when things go much better than expected.

    Congratulations and I hope you really enjoy your new job.

  • The best thing to do is ride out the company until the doors close so you can collect unemployment if you decide you want to, especially if you don't want to be with the company B for a long term and using it as a stepping stone. I made the mistake of using a job as a stepping stone & I got stuck in this awful unhappy situation. I would look for another job that I actually want, keep the offer on the back burner (speak with partner B about the possibility of taking the position, but wanting to ride out this company or talk to him about your goals and see if you can find something more inline), and just keep the opportunities open until you know what you want. Trust me, taking a position that you're just "eh" about doesn't always work out.
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