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DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in an upscale restaurant. My friends come in often to visit me, but my new boss doesn’t like them very much. My friends can be a little bit rowdy, and apparently my boss doesn’t like so much noise in the dining room area. My old boss had no problem with my friends. I’m scared that their boisterousness will jeopardize my job. Should I ask them to stop coming in? — Rowdy Friends
DEAR ROWDY FRIENDS: Talk to your friends and let them know that your new boss doesn’t appreciate the rowdiness that they bring to the restaurant. Point out that you appreciate their patronage, but you also have to make sure you still have a job. Ask them if they can tone it down when they are there. Note that it is an upscale eatery, which typically requires people to be on their best behavior.
They may get mad at first, but if they care about you, they should honor your wishes. This doesn’t prevent other loud patrons from coming in and igniting discomfort all over again. In the service industry, the customer is always right. That means your boss will have to deal with it if people unconnected to the restaurant misbehave. But you don’t want negative repercussions to plague you because your well-meaning friends are too loud.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I made a mistake that cost my boss thousands of dollars. I found a way to pass it off as someone else’s problem, but the guilt is eating me alive. I am afraid that coming forward about the details of the mistake will cost me my job. Should I be honest about something that’s so detrimental? Everyone else has seemed to move on from it. The only thing I could stand to gain is peace of mind. — Guilty Conscience
DEAR GUILTY CONSCIENCE: I am a firm believer in telling the truth. As you see, not doing so is costing you peace. Could you lose your job if you tell your boss what actually happened? Yes. But that shouldn’t prevent you from telling him anyway.
Take a moment first to think about what happened and why. How did you cost your boss so much money? What went wrong? Do you know how to prevent it in the future? The facts coupled with recommendations for a better future outcome can be helpful during your conversation. Be prepared to tell your boss why you didn’t come forward from the beginning. Be honest. Were you afraid? What happened?
Finally, think about your future. Where can you go from here? If you lose your job, where can you apply? Know that if you are fired, you can collect unemployment for a short period so you will have a tiny cushion. Think about your next steps in case you need to pivot. Then go in and talk to your boss. With humility and confidence in your integrity, tell him what happened.