I work in a startup, and my CEO has invited me to lunch.
The guy makes me feel uneasy, as we do not work together very well, partly because he does not put the effort into defining what he wants or following through, and partly because a part of the requests he has are vanity requests that do not add value to the business(my oppinion). He sometimes gets upset when he does not get what he wants, but hardly says anything about it besides staring me down. This no feedback culture also reflects in lack of transparency regarding the requests he has from my department. I fear he has a bad impression of my work because of this difficult interaction.
Bottom line is, this no feedback and mistrust culture at the top makes me doubt I want to continue working with this company. In the role I have, I normally work directly with C levels, and a certain amount of trust and collaboration is required for that to happen. My direct manager knows my gripes and agrees, but asks me for patience, as things slowly change. He is right, but he is on an extended vacation.
I am dreading the upcoming lunch - I'd like to just eat in peace with people whose company I enjoy.
I don't know if I should
cancel the lunch
go through with it and just be nice
go through with it and see if he has any reasons for the invite such as contract talk
go through with it and approach the topic above
My gut feeling says just cancel the lunch, look for a new job for when my contract expires and forget about this mess, regardless of the bad impression it might make. I believe I would have no trouble getting an excellent recommendation from my direct manager, despite the short duration. As for getting another job, it never took me longer than 2-3 weeks, which is usual for tech startup people.