Downsize This

Dear Cubicle Coach: My consulting firm just oversaw the downsizing of a client, and the company--or what's left of it anyway--was so impressed by my insights that they've offered me a job. The survivors there are going to hate me, knowing I helped oust their friends. How do I warm them up so they'll be happy to work with me?

Dear Axe Man/Woman: Looked at another way, your beneficence has spared all of them, so maybe they'll treat you like Ra, the Sun God. Your bigger problem is that they'll suspect you're there to spy on them and find further "redundancies"--i.e., can as many of the remaining workforce as possible. Maybe you're really good and can win them over with your brilliance and sparkling personality. But you might be better off passing up the offer and staying on with the consultants--or as an old boss of mine referred to their ilk, "Capons who tell roosters how to screw."

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