My mom and I are having a big argument. I am writing to you because you seem to be level-headed and I respect your opinion. My mom and I are fighting about whether I should quit my job.
First, let me tell you what’s going on: I live with my parents, so I don’t have many expenses. This works out great for me, and my parents are happy to have me living at home. I am 28 years old and have a college degree. I got this job right after I graduated and have worked there for five years. I really hate it. The atmosphere is just awful, and I don’t know how much longer I can stand it. The job is not something that suits me, and it doesn’t use my education or talents. It is also a very conservative place; there is no way I can be out or let anyone know who I really am. So I end up living a lie every day.
I realize that the job market is bad right now, but I think I could find a different job pretty quickly if I just had the time to look. My mom thinks I should keep my job until I find something else, because to her “at least I have a job.” Since I live at home I have few expenses, so I could live on unemployment until something better comes along. Maybe she’s right, but I am so miserable right now.
Do you think I should keep working at a place I hate, or quit and start looking for something else?
Miserable At Work
A: I have to go along with your mom: Keep the job you have but look for something you think will suit you better. I get many letters from individuals that don’t have jobs and can’t find one. They are skilled, educated and have experience. So to quit, hoping you will find something else, is pretty chancy. If I’m not mistaken, quitting a job won’t qualify you for unemployment. And, if you quit your current job and can’t find another one, your parents would end up paying your way.
Q: I found out that my best friend, “John,” has been talking about me behind my back. I was at a party the other night and was talking to a few guys. One of them brought the conversation around to “Sam,” a guy I was dating for a while. I dropped Sam because I didn’t think he was cute enough, and I didn’t like being seen with him. (OK, I’m a jerk, but that’s not why I’m writing to you.) This guy was laughing and asking me if I really broke up with this guy because he wasn’t cute enough. Well, the only person I told about this was John.
Last week, John and I had a long discussion about my breakup with Sam. Now I feel really betrayed by John. I can’t believe John talked about me behind my back. I have trusted him with a lot of personal stuff that I wouldn’t want to get out, and he’s never before said anything to others – that I know of, anyway. I didn’t really mind him telling people that I was no longer dating Sam, but I certainly didn’t like them knowing why I broke up with him. Also, I wouldn’t want Sam to find out. I don’t want to hurt his feelings. (I’m not that big of a jerk.)
I don’t know if I want to be friends with John anymore and am not sure if I can trust him. What do you think?
A: Since you don’t believe that John has ever broken your confidence before, talk to him about what he has done. Explain to him why it was OK for him to talk about you not dating Sam anymore, but not about the reason why. It apparently wasn’t clear to John what information was OK with you to divulge and what was not.
I would suggest that from now on, if you don’t want John to say anything about what you are telling him, let him know so he won’t, mistakenly, betray your trust.
At this point, I don’t think John’s behavior is a friendship-breaker. He lacked judgment in this instance, but you haven’t given me any information that suggests that he was knowingly betraying your trust.