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Last Wednesday my Boss came over to my house to---as she texted---"bounce an idea" off me. We sat on the back patio while the kids played on the swingset and a monsoon breeze cooled the air. Boss told me they (I don't know if "they" is Boss and a few cohorts or the Board at large) had decided not to renew the contract of my Colleague, who happens also to be a good friend of mine. Friction between Boss and Colleague is no secret, and honestly the decision to let go my colleague comes as little surprise.

When Boss sat down with me on my back patio, the first thing she said was, "I'm telling you this confidentially, but I understand if some of the information leaks. I know you and Colleague are good friends." Boss told me the reasons behind the decision, offered me my colleague's position, and gave me a time frame for informing Colleague. "I don't envy you that," I said. Boss replied, "Thanks. I'll talk to Colleague on Monday. I don't want to wait until Friday."

Well, it's Friday, and I just fielded a call from Colleague. "I just got fired," she told me. "They could have told me earlier. It's the last day of school. I could have used more time to find a job."

Echoing in my mind were Boss's words, "I understand if some of the information leaks... I'll tell her on Monday." Boss had clearly given me four days to leak some information. I'd cleared Monday evening to be available for Colleague if she needed to talk. When she didn't call, I thought I must not be on her list of support personnel. But she didn't get the axe until today, and I was the first person she called.

What does Boss think of me? I wonder what I've done in the past to be perceived as a person with such loose integrity.


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