My husband was offered a job position where I work. We got into a huge argument today because I wouldn't do him a favor and call my boss to say he accepts the position. I was telling him how unprofessional and how bad that looks. My husband has not been consistently working since 2002! I just want validation that I made the right call.
I posted my own comment there in response:
Wow. Uh, yeah, you made the right call. You should each handle your own relationship with your employer independently of the other. That's crazy.
And she then followed up with:
Thank you for validation! He is away this weekend volunteering at a tournament where he can play and stay for free. So we left the weekend on a sour note. Anyway, when he gets home, how should I follow up with him (what would you say)? I feel like my right advice might come out the wrong way! Ugh! He ended the argument with, "fine, I don't want the job!" He loves to go to the extreme when we disagree.
I kind of want to yell at your husband and wish I could call him. This is just totally, utterly insane.
Frankly, I'm worried about the two of you working at the same company if he doesn't understand why this is wildly inappropriate. Is this really going to be the only time this kind of issue comes up? (I'm also wondering why he doesn't want to accept his own job offer -- accepting a job offer isn't exactly difficult work. To say nothing of whatever's up with him refusing to respect your professional boundaries, even if he disagrees with them.)
In any case, here are the two main points you should make to him:
- The manager is hiring your husband, not you (despite the fact that you do work there too). The particular relationship in question is one that he's entering into with your husband, not with you, and by having you call to discuss a business arrangement that doesn't involve you, he is signaling that he doesn't understand that. If I were the manager, this would raise all kinds of questions about what else he won't understand about professional boundaries -- is he going to involve you in salary negotiations, or interpersonal disputes? Is he going to ask you to tell his boss when he can't meet a deadline?
- Accepting a job offer isn't just a matter of checking a "yes" box. There's discussion to be be had. When I make a job offer to someone and they accept it, I want to talk to them -- them personally, not an emissary! I want to welcome them to the team, tell them how excited I am to have them. And I want to talk about logistics -- start date, maybe even initial projects. With them, not their spouse.
So that's for your husband. But now I have two points for you too:
- Making this phone call will make you look bad too. You'll appear to condone it and think it's appropriate, and the manager will start worrying that neither of you understand that you each have separate, independent relationships with the employer. Don't jeopardize your professional reputation.
- When two spouses (or two significant others) work at the same company, you have to really make a point of drawing appropriate boundaries. You guys should be talking about what strategies you'll use to handle the potentially strange dynamics of both working at the same place, but I'm going to guess that he has zero appreciation of the need for that, as he seems to think you're both just attending the same neighborhood picnic or something. You're going to need to do what you can to get on the same page about this.
Do others want to weigh in with points I'm missing? I'm so worked up over this one that I'm sure I've missed something else important.