No one ever said that these people could
legitimately disclose wrongdoing and mismanagement without fear of
retribution. Honestly, where do they get their sense of entitlement?
But before you get into damage control do some damage
assessment. Specifically, to whom did she blow and how big was the
bugle? Did the informant come forward voluntarily or did she wait
for a subpoena? Is there physical evidence or did the
shredder/drycleaner actually work? Are you in possession of a letter
eloquently articulating that your company "will implode in a wave of
accounting scandals?" Or does the memo read more like an
improvisational manifesto by the Unabomber? Typically, you take
stock and assess your options - then you take more stock and cash in
First, consider outing yourself before she outs
you. For example, refer loudly and often to any of your middle-aged
trysts as "youthful indiscretions."
Second, try privately to make the whistle blower
come around. Flatter her. Something like, "You'd look even better in
that dress if it was cut a fraction lower at the neck," is always
nice and professional. Compliment her talents with a warm, personal
touch: "Great job on the Power Point-hey is this nude illusion
Next, discredit your detractor. It is generally
acceptable practice to dismiss serious allegations as "flying the
freak flag" or "neurotic complaints." Ideally, you can support this
through access to her confidential medical records. Note that with
the recent spate of hospital closures and disgruntled health
workers, this is increasingly a snap.
Finally, play hardball. After a quick pass by
the informant's office with a Geiger counter, use the special office
shower to scrub her down. Draw inspiration from today's Middle
Eastern "courts," which stone women to death if they tattle-tale on
relatives who rape them. Prefer a more hands-off approach? Simply
re-lower the glass ceiling and let her bash her own head.
Enjoy winning this no-brainer game. From now on,
Steve, you can be sure that your staff will think twice before they
just put their lips together and blow.
Copyright Catherine Warren.
Managing Life is a weekly column published
Fridays in the Vancouver Sun.