Desperate For Less Stress!

Question:

My boss is moron. She is the manager of the entire office, and she doesn’t even know how to utilize spell check. She and her friend, whom she has given a management position to despite of her being totally unqualified, just sit around the office gossiping and going online to totally inappropriate work websites (hotornot.com for one). She has recently been getting into to trouble over not doing anything because our office has gotten really busy and people are noticing that she doesn’t really know what she’s doing.

I stepped up and have been taking on more responsibility and working to better the office over all because I am the only manager on at night and I hate dealing with issues that could be prevented, so I have just started fixing the issues and such myself. This has really threatened her and now she sends me nasty emails about doing things that aren’t my job, and when I try to gently explain that they are things that have needed to get done for several weeks and were prohibiting me from performing my regular duties, she literally flips out and cries and yells and tells everyone that she is going to fire me. The director of another department advised her to listen to me because I had held a position similar to hers in the past and that she could really use my experience in getting her arms around her new position.

This seems to have really threatened my boss, and she now is trying to replace me. She keeps setting me up to fail (which I don’t, because I am very good at my job, but it sure stresses me out) and is continually talking about how incompetent I am and that she just wants to fire me and start over. The problem is, upper management doesn’t agree with her, so it creates tension. I’ve even caught her breaking into my email and reading messages sent from other managers about groups in the hotel, deposit issues, etc.

I have since found another job, and will probably end up leaving this job in about two months, but I want my last few months to be less stressful (I feel like I’m losing my mind!) and I am afraid to give too much notice, that she’ll just lay me off early instead of utilizing me to help train my replacement. Please help. I’m sick of the tension headaches and unnecessary stress from this job. I also don’t know if I should explain to my higher ups why I am leaving my position or if I should just keep my mouth shut and leave quietly. Please help me!

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My Manager Called Me Incompetent!

Question:

My manager called me incompetent on my first week of the job? Is this verbal abuse? Did she have any right in saying that to me? Thank you for your time.

Signed,

New Hire

Answer:

Dear New Hire:

To call you incompetent is not verbal abuse or against the law. It is rude and bad bossing. What did you say back? Good bossing points out an employee’s lack of skills and the word “incompetent” means just that. Good managers are careful when interviewing individuals seeking jobs to assess their competence for the kind of assignments within job descriptions. Once an individual is hired, managers are responsible to monitor performance and to determine if a new employee can do the tasks assigned and, if not, to either see that they are trained or discharged.

Employees are wise early on to initiate conversations with their supervisor to learn what they are doing correctly and what is not. Apparently, your manager observed your performance and stated you were lacking. It would have been better if she spoke to you politely pointing out the explicitly what was wrong and how it might be corrected.

You are fortunate to learn within a week the demeanor of your manager and her general evaluation of you. Now you can either suck in that word “incompetent” and let it fester into anger or to request a meeting to learn what is expected. It is smart to learn if your manager thinks that you can be trained to do the job. Possibly, the manager was so dismayed that she simply exclaimed. Maybe your spelling was bad. Maybe you did not know certain computer skills. Maybe your manager doubts that you can do the kind of work needed. If so, it good to learn that now and then you can seek work elsewhere. I don’t know what provoked that word. If you do, apologize and tell your manager from now that you prefer that she states specifically what are your mistakes rather than call out “incompetent” and will do your best to not make those mistakes again. Does this make sense? Put your faith in a good attitude and in keeping the channel of communication open. Don’t allow your pride to boil within. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Feel free to speak with others to evaluate my advice, but avoid complaining to your co-workers about being called incompetent. That would only make matters worse.

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Bossy Co-worker!

Question:

I’ve been working for my current employer for seventeen months. For the first ten months I’ve been working part-time. Seven months ago, I received a promotion for a full-time job.

When my boss promoted me, she said she needed me to do a variety of tasks, a jack-of-all-trades if you will. I was thrilled to be moving up in the ranks and thought diversity was a good thing. As the months progressed I found myself getting more and more frustrated. My coworkers have specific duties but I do not. It is very annoying to work with no real sense of purpose. Having no specific job description leaves you open to being everyone’s assistant. There is one specific task I do (which from what I understand no one else wants to be involved with) but it does not take up all of my time.

About six weeks ago, I expressed to my boss my need to have my job reexamined. She expressed her appreciation for my hard work. I expressed my appreciation for working at the company and said I would prefer to continue working on my one specific task and that I want other specific responsibilities assigned to me going forward. My boss agreed and that was it.

This week, my coworker pretty much demanded I work with her on a project. As my boss and I were in agreement on what I was doing, I told my coworker to run it by the boss. My coworker asked my boss (while I was nearby) if I could help her with the project. Of course when my boss said I should help my coworker, I agreed.

My coworker has a bossy nature and that became apparent when we were working together. I confronted her and said I did not appreciate her treating me like a subordinate. She got very defense and basically said I had to help her and that I’ve been isolating myself from her. When I’ve worked with her in the past, I’ve sat in on meetings with her and my boss. This time around, I told my coworker that we should have a meeting with the boss, so I know what’s going on and what I need to do, but my coworker said that was not necessary. So I felt like I was being dumped on and being kept out of the loop. I told her I was working on other projects and she did not seem to care. All she wanted to hear was I would help her. To diffuse the situation, I called a truce and agreed to help her. That evening, I came home from work and felt miserable. My husband advised me to talk to my boss. Today, I went to work and helped out my coworker some more. When we finished one of the projects, I told my coworker I needed about two hours alone to catch up on my own work. She gave me a dirty look and did not seem understanding. At first, I thought I would wait before talking to my boss but based on my coworker’s attitude, I thought the talk could not wait.

Today, I spoke to my boss in confidence and explained the situation. As usual, my boss was supportive and said she thought our last talk reinforced things. Now that my coworker is in the mix, I told my boss it was making things frustrating for me. Fortunately, my boss said she did not want me to be my coworker’s assistant and said if we work together, we should by all means be on level playing fields. When my boss and I finished talking, she asked me to take care of something for her, which I agreed to. So I started working on the project my boss asked me to do. My coworker walked over to me and asked me what I was doing. I told her I was doing something for the boss. Then, my coworker questioned me, as to why I was doing something for the boss and wanted to know what it was. It really was none of my coworker’s business so I just told her the boss assigned me the task. The bossy coworker of mine turned into the nosey coworker and began asking me to justify my actions, saying she needed to know what was going on. Things got very awkward between us. My coworker started acting like a jerk and the entire office (albeit a very small one) heard her.

In the end, I was glad I had the talk with my boss. She definitely heard what my coworker said to me and probably understood why I came to her in the first place. The management style at my workplace is laxed and needs a major overhaul, but that won’t change, as it’s a family run business. Am I to blame for this dilemma or is this just the wrong job for me?

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Owner/Manager Made A Terrible Hire–His Girlfrined

Question:

I work at a small company with ten employees. The owner/manager of the company hired his girlfriend about two years ago. She is very nice, but a terrible employee. She is paid a salary while the rest of us are paid on commission. The owner has a few rules that are very important to him, but they do not seem to apply to her. The morale of the company is at an all time low because of the situation. I have spoken with him in the past about the problem, but he seems to be afraid to do anything about it. As a result, he is on the verge of losing several good employees. Please help!

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Co-worker accuses me of hating her

Question:

I’m been working with this particular coworker for six years. We were friends until after she became pregnant and started accusing me of hating her. The more I tried to tell her that what she was thinking wasn’t true, the more determined she became that I did hate her.

Eventually I couldn’t take any more so I ended the friendship. A few months after I ended the friendship she took me to HR saying I had threatened her and that I didn’t want to work on any projects with her. She had no proof of any of this, but to solve the problem we were given ground rules to follow. I have followed these rules but my coworker is still not satisfied. It seems like every other month I receive an email from her being accused of “disrespecting” her in some form or fashion. Just yesterday she send me an email asking me to stop giving her “nasty looks.” This was after she passed me in the hallway with her head down. I’m not sure what to do about this. I’ve shown a couple of the emails to my manager but he suggests I ignore them.

This is becoming very frustrating. I don’t know what to do anymore. Should I do as my manager suggests and ignore it or should I go back to HR with the emails? If I go to HR there is a possiblity one of us will lose our job and I don’t want that; I just want her to leave me alone. Confused and Frustrated

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How Do I Shut Up A Loud Co-worker?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loud coworker:

I’m looking for advice on handling a distracting coworker. I’m a consultant, not an employee, so my complaint options seem somewhat limited. I work in Information Technology, in a high-walled cubicle environment. We cannot see our coworkers, but can hear them if the volume is loud enough. There is a really loud guy here, and he becomes louder when he gets on the phone, which is frequently. He spends 1 – 3 hours a day on the phone conducting personal business, much of which is extremely personal. He also will visit the woman in the cube behind mine daily, usually for 20 – 30 minutes, again discussing topics of an intense personal nature. I’m unwillingly informed on his every health detail, his kid’s problems with the Social Services department, sexual functionality issues, the nature and times of his fiancée’s menstrual cycle – the list is endless.

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Slander/Libel?

Question:

My mother, an insurance agent who owns her own business, is dealing with an issue between 2 employees, Jules and Ann. Jules wrote an email to my mother to make a complaint. This email called Ann a “Nazi” and there were other phrases in the letter that completely tore apart Ann, who is the office manager. The problem is, Jules sent this email to other employees in the office. My first question is, does Ann have any legal right to sue Jules for defemation of character and the second is, was sending this email to my mom’s employees in the office enough grounds for my mother to fire Jules?

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Loner At Work Has Us Concerned!

Question:

I work in a small company that has 20 or so staff between the office and workshop. Two years ago the manager hired a person to work in the storage area, the only person in this area. Right from day one he eats and reads by himself at coffee breaks and lunch. He has never been a member of our social club and does not attend company parties, even at Christmas etc. We know absolutely nothing about him. He starts at 7 a.m. and right at 3:45 p.m. he is gone. He never talks to us except for work related issues, and even then it is very terse and right to the point. He runs his department efficiently and the owner doesn’t have a problem with his work . We asked the owner how he felt about this lack of socialization and he told us the next day that he had spoken to this person and said, “He doesn’t care about you people, he doesn’t want to know you and that he has no desire to be friendly or social.” He also added that as long as is doing his job to leave him alone. The owner of the business is happy with him and his work and doesn’t understand why we are so worked up.

What do you think?

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