Don’t get Hacken-sacked

Dear Abby:

Ever since my boss learned we live close to each other (about 15 minutes between us), he has asked me for a ride home every day. The ride is about 45 minutes. How do I tell him “no” without getting fired? Help!

Had It in Hackensack

Abby Says

Make yourself less available for taxi service. Start filling your calendar with errands, appointments and social engagements after work. You can’t be fired for having a schedule other than straight to work and straight home.

If this were a co-worker it would be easy.  Just drive like a maniac, blast shitty music, and fill your car with garbage that they’ll fear tetanus. But this is your boss, so you need something that will not get your ass fired.

Abby’s advice is good – if you want to buy yourself a week of freedom. I suspect its effectiveness will be short-lived.  Here’s why.  Your boss is a total asshole but he’s not stupid.  He’ll most likely casually inquire about your after work plans before asking for a ride. Unless you’re good enough to have a new excuse for the rest of your working days, you’ll eventually run out and have to take him.

What you need to do is graciously accept his offer for you to be his chauffeur, but rather than tell him you have errands beforehand, wait until you’re in the car before mentioning that you have “one quick stop” to make.  Gradually increase the duration and complexity of these errands. I give it a week before he gets tired of waiting while you get your dry cleaning, oil changed, and pick up a few groceries.

He’ll catch on pretty quick that your ride home takes more time and hassle than his old way, and he’ll leave you the hell alone and go back to whatever he did before.  He can’t complain because he won’t want to sound like an ungrateful jerk.  After all, it’s only a few quick stops.

If that doesn’t work, I’m afraid your only option is to move.