Preface: I'm submitting this question for a friend.
I got myself into an awkward situation last week.
On Wednesday morning, while I was getting coffee, I had an impromptu conversation with Bob from the accounting department. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, we started discussing the impending layoffs that were expected to occur sometime in September. Bob made it clear to me that he was worried about losing his job. He put his concern in very plain terms, "I just bought a 2013 Mercedes Benz C-Class, and I can't imagine paying for that along with two private school tuitions if I lose my job."
I acknowledged Bob's concern, but then assured him that he had nothing to worry about. I said, "Bob - You have nothing to worry about. I had drinks with Jackie and Sue from HR at the pub last Thursday night. They told me about the cut list, and your name wasn't on it."
This put Bob's mind at ease. We sipped our coffees, took a walk around the block, and then went back to our desks and resumed work.
All was good in the world until the next day. Layoffs were announced and Bob lost his job. He immediately went over to my cube and screamed, "How could you do this to me?!? You told me that my job was safe!?!"
So now I have two problems:
- I have a guilty conscience. I led Bob to believe that his job was safe when in fact it was not.
- Other coworkers don't believe what I say anymore.
- Do I have any ongoing obligation to Bob?
- What can I do to rehabilitate my reputation?
- What if just I tell people that Sue from was the source of the false information?