Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Boss's Denial Makes Dream of Moving a Nightmare

DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently visited Miami and fell in love. During my visit, I decided I wanted to move there and start a new life. To help with my transition, I asked for a work transfer since the company I work for has a location there. There were two positions available, and the Miami manager was interested in me. My current manager denied my transfer, saying it is in my best interest to stay. I was just promoted to a full-time position, and we are losing our assistant manager soon. I feel discouraged and like my manager's decision was selfish and inconsiderate. What am I to do? -- Ready to Move, Chicago

DEAR READY TO MOVE: If you are prepared to pack up and move to Miami, focus on that. Start researching other job opportunities there. If you have been good at your current job and have someone who can provide you with a solid recommendation, use that to put out feelers for other jobs. You can also let the manager in the Miami store know how much you wish you could come there, but your manager is unwilling to budge on the transfer. You have to be clear that you are ready to move, even if you don't get the transfer.

It makes sense that your boss would want you to stay -- especially if you are a valuable employee who has received training and a recent promotion. That an assistant manager is leaving makes it potentially more difficult for your current employer to survive comfortably without you. If you are not 100 percent bent on moving, this may be the time to negotiate your future at home. Find out if you might be considered for the assistant manager position now or in the near future. Figure out what incentives exist for you where you are. That doesn't mean you never move to Miami, but it could delay your move and keep Miami as a cool vacation site for now.

DEAR HARRIETTE: It's my senior year, and I am looking forward to graduating come June; however, my school is asking for a $600 down payment to start my last two online classes. I planned my vacation during the month my school wants the money. My mom said she'd give me the money to start class on time, but she doesn't know I am going on vacation. To make matters worse, my mom just bought a house, and her mean boss just told her she's on a 90-day probation because she took a week off to move. I don't want to be selfish, but know I can pay my mom back within a month, and I really want to go on vacation and finish school. What should I do? -- Want to Do the Right Thing, Queens, N.Y.

DEAR WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING: Tell your mother the truth. Ask for her opinion. If you are absolutely certain that you will be able to pay your mother back in a timely manner and she still wants to offer the loan, you can accept it. Otherwise, find out if you can forfeit your vacation without too great a penalty and take care of business. You cannot afford to go on vacation and enroll in school.

By all means, be there for your mom, too, as she navigates her probation.