I have a very strict rule that I follow to the "T". Never be good friends with a coworker or boss. (Except Fancy Pants. He's my like my little brother). Having a relationship, other than professional, with a service worker such as a hairdresser, manicurist, mechanic or anyone else you need to help you through life is a bad idea as well. Something always goes to shit and you have to start the painful search of finding new somebody. I realize this puts a huge damper on friend finding possibilities, seeing as my life is basically made up of work and appointments, but I figure I'm saving myself tons of aggravation. In the past, I've had to look for a new hairdresser twice. As I have posted before, I have the worst luck when it comes to friends. But, lately, the tide has turned and I've met some really wonderful people.
I bet your wondering where I'm going with this, right? Well, the other day I found out something about one of my coworkers. The information came to me through an outside source and was very much work related (not personal). Upon learning this information, I went to talk to my coworker and let him know that I knew. He seems perturbed that I had this information, but thanked me for telling him. Then he asked me to keep quiet about it. "Of course", I said, eager to be friendly and accommodating. But, when I sat back down in my office I realized my mistake. I couldn't be quiet about it. My position at the the office demands compliance and I had to tell my boss.
My stomach was sour all day as I battled with my conscience. Even though we weren't friends, I felt like I was betraying the associate. I also knew if I didn't tell my boss I would be in even bigger trouble. When the news came out, it would eventually leak that I was privy to this information well in advance. My boss already has trust issues with me. (I'm related to a major client and he's convinced I might slip and give up confidential info. I always get the "Now this is a secret..." talk before we discuss a huge case) If it got out I was withholding sensitive information, I would lose all the trust I have so desperately tried to build.
So, I told. I told and almost immediately, I felt horrible. I knew I was doing the right thing, but it felt so wrong. And the worst was yet to come. Now, the problem would need to be addressed. The associate would know that I broke my promise.
I hate confrontation. I hate it with a passion. I'm one of those people who likes to talk about things over the phone or prefers to write a letter. I have come to realize this makes me a huge pussy. Even though my boss offer to take care of things for me, I knew that I had to come clean. I had to tell I told. It was the right thing to do. I asked my boss for 12 hours to do the deed.
This morning, after I sat in my office for an hour sweating and shaking, I walked to his office with a heavy heart. I stood in his door way and confessed. The look of shock and disbelief on his face was like a knife to my stomach as I tried to stand tall and be professional (and tried like hell not to cry). I told him why I had to do it, that it was my job and I had no choice in the matter. I apologized for breaking his trust. He was so angry with me and worse, he was disappointed. I fled to my office like a coward, sat shaking in my chair, taking huge gulps of air and trying not to fall apart.
I do my best to put up a rock solid front and prove to everyone in the office that I have balls of steel. But on rare occasions, my vagina makes an unexpected appearance - metaphorically speaking. I became so upset that I "had to do an errand" and cruised in my car for 15 minutes to calm my nerves and swallow the gallon of tears that were clogging my throat. I returned to the office, my brass balls polished to a gleam and my vagina all wrapped up.
I doubt he will even confide in me again and our relationship will never be the same. This is why it is impossible to be close to someone you work with. If we'd been friends, I would have lost more than a coworker. It has been the most difficult day. Thank God, I'm leaving for vacation in two days!