Argh! Double Argh even.
I so want to say something, but I really can't, at least not to the parties that I'd like to say it to.
In this particular case, knowing some sensitive information leaves me so wanting to pass it along to some folks, and yet, well, I can't. I'm sworn to secrecy and for business reasons, I really do need to keep things that way, but it doesn't mean that I don't want to and don't feel the need to tell someone else that they really might want to consider all of their options and possibly re-think some plans that they were talking to me about earlier today.
Here's the basics:
I'm aware of possible and probably likely personnel moves that may be necessitated due to the fiscal cliff negotiations and possible outcomes, and really probably likely because of business plans that will likely be put into effect even if the fiscal cliff is solved without too much damage to the economy in general. Knowing of these possible moves, I'm holding information that could impact friends and co-workers which means that as those co-workers talk to me about their plans for the holidays (plans to take time off and use up their paid-time-off as an example) I have the fun of smiling and encouraging them to have a great time even as I want to tell them that they really should probably rethink those plans so they can save up some of their PTO so they'd have it available if they were to be laid off.
I really wish I could say something but since the information that I have is a rumor only, and the co-worker has not been told of this possible RIF (that I know of), I can't really say anything.
Were I able to just sit down and talk about politics and the economy in general, I suppose I could steer the conversation a little towards the idea that given the way things seem to be going with the fiscal cliff negotiations if I was a smart man I'd probably be hoarding up my PTO time since my employer pays for that time if an employee is terminated for some reason. But, in this case, this is not the type of conversation that I'd normally have with the co-worker I'm most thinking of. In general, it's not even something that I'd talk about with most people in my work team and yet I have talked about these things a bit with some co-workers because we've lamented the work load and burden that we know is on too few people currently. Sadly, given the budget situation for the government in general, and the organization myself and my co-workers contract for, an educated guess can be had that there will be losses in the future and no one is really all that safe.
I do wish that the clowns in congress would get things figured out, but I don't think any of that will change the plans that seem to be getting made now. In the end, I expect that I'll see some reductions that will wind up having some co-workers become victims of Reductions in Force (RIFs). I hope for the best for those co-workers and do wish I could give them the word to become much more conservative in the use of their PTO time, though I also admit that hearing them speak of the need to enjoy some down time and mental R&R time over the holidays leaves me thinking they probably do need that time as well.