Karma Cleanser - March 16 2005

Dear Karma Cleanser:
?I left a comfortable job in Orlando to move here and work for another company. So far it has not been good. The new company treats its employees with no respect and expects everyone to work weekends - without getting paid overtime.

In a few weeks the travel portion of my job will kick in. I found out that my second assignment will be to meet with a client in Orlando, oddly enough. I haven’t been back there since moving here, and I do miss it.

While I’m there, I also want to arrange a meeting with my former employer to see if there’s any chance I can get my old job back. My new company will completely pay for this trip, including all travel costs and the hotel room. Is it risking bad karma for me to be out trying to find another job while traveling on the company dime?
?-- Rat Racer

Your plan strikes us as just this side of shady, but probably excusable. It’s not like you invented the trip as a ploy to meet up with your former boss, and what you do with your downtime on a business trip remains your prerogative. Maybe the gods of gainful employment are actually throwing you a bone here, giving you a convenient way out of a bad situation. What we can’t figure out is: Why in the world would anyone want to move back to Orlando?

Dear Karma Cleanser:
?A colleague from my office has stolen an idea of mine and is?using it as his own. There’s no polite way for me to point this out to?him, and if I say something to his supervisor it’s just going to look?like I’m crying “sour grapes.” The guy even had the nerve the other?day to ask me my opinion about something related to the project, and?it was all I could do to hold my tongue and not snap at him.?What I need to hear right now is that what comes around goes around,?and that this jerk will eventually get punished for taking the idea?that he knows is mine.
?-- Biting Back the Truth

Those gods of gainful employment we mentioned above? Yeah,?well, they suck. Ideas get swindled. Promotions are routinely handed?out to the incompetent. Losers get the best parking spaces. Your?challenge, and it’s a hefty one, is to keep focused on your own career?growth. Constantly eyeing the guy in the next cubicle can fast become?a distraction that will completely derail you. The idea thief will get?his due, sure, but you’ll probably be long gone by then. Career karma?comes slowly, but it always comes.