Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Last week I went to happy hour with a co-worker. Insert one too many
and lots of blabbing. After the usual b****ing about colleagues and
even more about our boss, I confided in her my plan to quit next year,
as soon as my husband gets a full-time teaching job. I though it was
clear that what I was saying was not for repetition. In fact, she
assured me of her confidentiality. Today my boss came around and
started talking about how he “Understands I am planning to leave….”
and “What are we going to do after you go?” etc etc etc etc etc. I
wanted to wring her neck but had to expend my energy assuring my
boss that whatever he thought he’d heard wasn’t true. But I am a bad
liar and had a red face and shaky voice. What do I do now?


Dear Betrayed:

You have several goals, the most important of which is to calm your
boss’s anxieties. No matter how often and well you sing the loyalty
oath, his suspicions have been aroused. But your actions as well as
your words should allay his worst fears. They will help position you to
stay as long as you need to, which might be longer than you want to,
given what’s happening to teaching jobs. Make a point of showing him
progress on big projects, taking on longer-run responsibilities and
generally being gung ho, efficient, pleasant, and supportive. No one
can chide an employee who’s both productive and says all the right

As for your co-worker, a little casual shunning is in order. You do not
want to feed the flames of gossip by any form of confrontation, as in
How could you have told boss what you thought I said when we were
drinking(%^!!?!! Even if you deny your plans, you’re creating a Lady
Macbeth moment by protesting too much. Let the incident pass
without comment. Let her stew in her guilt, if she has any. Resist
complaining about her to other colleagues and from confiding your
plans in them, drunk or sober. Hum your way through your short-timer
days and do everything you can to help your husband find a teaching