A co-worker comes to you in confidence and tells you they are looking for a new job. Not uncommon I presume. However over the next few weeks every time you see your co-worker you are inundated with stories of where they are looking for new position, who they are networking with, where they have applied, and who they have interviewed with. You are appreciative that your co-worker feels so comfortable with your relationship that they are divulging everything however you really wish they had a brother, sister, father, or mother who would much rather listen to the next trilling episode of “My Incredibly Intriguing, Interesting, and Insatiable Job Search.” So you politely tell your co-worker these stories make you uncomfortable and could they please talk about anything else when you are around. They agree, but they don’t.
Here’s the dilemma: should you tell your mutual boss your co-worker plans on leaving the company breaking your word to your co-worker, or should you continue to endure the stories of your co-worker’s daily escapades? On one hand you have your personal integrity; on the other hand, don’t you have an obligation to the organization as a whole? Shouldn’t the company have the opportunity to prepare for the soon-to-be productivity loss? What if you do say something and your co-worker can’t find that elusive new job and because you revealed this information to management, your co-worker starts to be treated unfairly or even worse, is fired?
So, what would you do?