It puts me in a difficult position. I don't want to upset my new employers, but the holiday is an important commitment, and one that they agreed to. What should I do?
A: I imagine this important family celebration has meant quite a few other people making advance commitments. And that your new boss is well aware of this.
So my unworthy thought is that he's trying this on as a test of your strength of character. If he finds you're ready to respond like a well-trained dog, your life will never be your own again. So be polite; express your genuine regrets; but insist that you honour the arrangements you've made with your family.
I know it's easy to be brave on someone else's behalf, but I'm pretty sure that this will put your relationship with your new boss on a healthy footing.
- Jeremy Bullmore has been creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London and a non-executive director of the Guardian Media Group; he is a non-executive director of WPP. Address your problems to Jeremy Bullmore at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.