A question for you managers out there....

by Dawn 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • Dawn

    I work for a fairly large organization - we have over 35 satelite offices spread out across the State. There are JW's in some of these satelite offices that I deal with on a regular basis. I have never had a problem with them because I view work as WORK, it is a professional environment and each individual is judged based on their work performance. All of these JW individuals know that I am a DF'd JW, simply because when I started here over 15 years ago I was still a 'dubbie. However, I don't discuss my situation with them because it would be unprofessional. I also don't have any problems being shunned at work - I'd like to think it's because I handle things professionally, but it could be because I am in a rather high position of authority over them all - anyways. Here's my dilema.....

    A JW young girl was hired a while back. I trained her and worked closely with her to get her up to speed. Since then, it seems that she seeks me out whenever she can. Not in a bad way - but like she always wants to go to lunch with me, etc. It's great - I invite her along with whoever else is going. A few days back she came to me after work and wanted to visit. She didn't say anything "outright", but I got the impression that she is questioning her organization. She kept saying things like "people I thought were my friends at the Hall have lied", and complaining about people being involved in things they shouldn't be. I kept my end of the conversation very general - just told her that I think sometimes people become "busy bodies" if there are situations in their own life they don't want to deal with. I gave her some general advice on how to handle personal conflict (just like it was an office situation). But I had a very strong feeling she wanted to ask me more - about why I didn't want to be a JW. When she left she gave me a big hug and said she'd like to talk again.

    So - hence my dilemna. I want to share with her what I know - but I'm also not sure how to do that being that she basically works under me. I think it would not be professional for me to get involved in that area of her life. I also don't know if she REALLY feels that way, or just wants to be my friend because I'm in a position of authority - sometimes people do that.

    If you are a manager type at work - have you dealt with something like this? And how would you handle it?

  • jgnat

    Aaaah, this is too sticky. She is young and fickle, and if anything goes sour, she may decide you are the enemy instead. She will have confused "boss" with "friend and confidant". If you can, refer her to some outside sources and gently tell her it is unprofessional to discuss such matters at work.

  • frenchbabyface

    well ... I don't know ? ... My take is stay professionnal, if she's questionning herself it's already a good start ... and you can give her some relevant links to get well informed on the JW World from the outside ... (all questions that it will bring or not can already be a problem (weird shuning process - cause your are definitly the appostate that tries to get her out of the JW path or something that will get you closer just because of her need to talk about it with somebody who knows the same thing that she does ...) you can't really escape here, just put limits where they have to be (related to any situation) ... and stay open just in case you can help her to find out about the truth about the troof

  • franklin J
    franklin J

    hi dawn;

    I am an architect and deal with assistants both in my office and on a construction site. While I do not believe in "micro managing" the workers I am doing a project with, I do let them know that I am available if neccessary. I do believe in an "open door " policy when it comes to needing assistance of any kind. I do not socialize with my coworkers and staff. Eight hours a day working together and an occasional lunch is all I care to tolerate. Business is business.

    I think you are doing the right thing just by listening to her ( during business hours; that is) . It is what I would do. After work hours when I am with my family; I really do not want to be bothered.

    The way I see it; my family time is very limited and valuble to me. Any time spent with someone else would just take time away from my kids.

    There are times when some have taken advantage of any work related concerns and have become too personal and I have had to keep them at "arms length". They do get the message eventually.

  • El Kabong
    El Kabong

    Matters such as this should really be discussed outside the work enviroment.

  • LittleToe

    You're faced with a double-edged sword.

    If you send her here, her productivity will drop through the floor
    However, it's likely to anyhow, if she gets to seriously question things.
    She's lucky she has a boss who can understand what she's likely to go through.

    Mixing business and socio-religious life, is a bad mix, IMHO.

  • Bubbamar

    I agree with all of the above AND I would also say that you may be the ONLY person in her world who can point her in a healthy direction. Business is business - but being in a dangerous cult is another thing entirely. I think I would at least throw her a book or web site recommendation and then set professional boundaries.

  • bebu

    Maybe you should also explain briefly that your work relationship makes it difficult to go into private matters.

    If you talk about witnesses, you can encourage her to investigate her thoughts and questions online. Mention this a few times, perhaps. Maybe she'll recognize this as the permission she really has been wanting to get. You might later casually recommend "Crisis of Conscience". (Why not? People recommend books all the time, even when not work-related. It isn't preachy.)


    Edited to add: as I only manage this household, I don't know if I should have replied... I just re-read your thread title!

  • GermanXJW

    I would not give her specific advice - as someone already mentioned above - she could change her mind.

    I would point her to google for a JW related discussion board. She will end up here.

    BTW, I do not consider it unprofessional to be there for your subordinates if there are personal issues. It depends on the company culture.

  • willyloman

    I've "managed" employees for many years, and agree with franklin and the others, above.

    The biggest lesson I learned when I first got promoted to a managment position is: You are no longer "one of the boys." (or girls). It's a whole new dynamic in the relationship. You have to relearn everything you knew about "being there for...." (whomever).

    It's sounds cold, but you ignore this advice at your peril.

    Edited to add: But give her this web address and tell her she may find this forum helpful.

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