DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been out of work for about six months now, but hardly anybody knows. I didn't think it was anybody's business. I have been quietly looking for a job and maintaining my life for the most part. The other day, I ran into a former colleague, a guy who works at my old company in another state. He and I happened to be at the same industry event, and we greeted each other. Then he started talking about office stuff that is going on. I listened but didn't say much. He seemed perfectly happy chatting away. I never told him that I don't work there anymore. Now I feel like I was not honest since I never brought it up -- I just didn't want to talk about it. Should I call him and clear it up, or does it matter? -- Not Forthcoming, Detroit
DEAR NOT FORTHCOMING: There is no requirement that says you should have told this man your circumstances. At the same time, you do know him, so if he finds out later that you are no longer with the company, he may feel betrayed that you said nothing.