Today I got a completely unexpected meeting invitation from HR. It was a meeting for “mentoring.” That’s it. No further text; no further context.

Mentoring. You know, the way you would “mentor” someone who has done something wrong. “Son, I’m proud of you. Except for right now. Don’t ever do that again or I will fire you. Have a nice day!” But why do I need to be mentored? Maybe the confusing e-mail I sent to twenty important people was really bad. Maybe that business intelligence I shared with dealers was too confidential to let out of the building. Maybe HR is mad that I got my brother some extra career counseling besides what they scheduled. Maybe I snubbed somebody important without realizing it. Maybe I offended someone sensitive and was blithely unaware. Maybe I did something so bad so carelessly that I am now on final notice.

I asked my boss if he knew why I was the recipient of an unexpected “mentoring” session. He did not know. But he’s so new; what does that signify?

I think any issue with my performance would be brought up by someone in my chain of supervision first. It only makes sense. But how on earth would anything that wasn’t a sensitive correctional matter pop up on my calendar with no context at all?

Well, there is a mentoring program here. It’s not talked about much. The president said I should be a mentee.

Last year everyone who was invited into the program thought they were in trouble, too.