Boss’s Wife Has Attitude!


I work at Sbarro’s (or an Italian-food restaurant chain if you prefer) and my Manager hired his wife to work with him in the restaurant a few months ago. I cannot take his wife’s attitude anymore. She doesn’t want to work, bosses everyone around and is constantly causing problems with me and the other employees. The Manager will not FIRE his wife for obvious reasons.

I cannot make complaints to the local Division head because he often covers up the mistakes of my Manager (who is a Brown Noser to this guy). Is there any organization that I can file a complaint to? I know 100% for sure that any complaints I make to the administration will just be brushed aside or I will end up getting fired by the Manager. So I need to anonymously file a complaint that will either cause the Manager to finally have no choice but to fire his wife or scare him and his wife enough to set them straight in the workplace. Please help and thanks so much.

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Why Do Some People Badmouth?


There is a person at work who gets everyone to dislike the boss and/ or another employee who is the lead line person. It has been told that this troublemaker tells the supervisor & HR person about everything that happens in the plant. He is playing both sides. This person is very manipulative & has been doing this for years, but at the same time very good at it because he has almost everyone fooled. What makes a person want to disrupt at every chance? Is there some mental or psychological problem?

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Helpfulness Unappreciated!


I have several co-workers that have taken my helpfulness as being a snoop, trying to be in control and being bossy. I try to give hints or ways of doing our jobs to make our jobs easier. They view it as being a know it all, or they think I will do things that make their jobs easier (i.e. like fill up supplies). They take it that I am trying to be “in charge.” But if I don’t say anything or offer my help, they think that I am being snooty and am not part of the team.

I can’t win! How much help is too much help, I am stressed out. It is no fun to go to work. I don’t know when or when not to say anything any more. Now that we have a new co-worker, I feel that they have already told this new hire their thought about me before I even get a chance to show her that I am really a good person inside. It’s my “fault by nature” that I try to “help” everyone out and the business, but not everyone wants to help! It has turned into “Damned if I do, Damned if I don’t” situation. Any suggestions?

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Vet Walking On Eggshells!


I found your website of WorkDoctors and thought “Wow” – I’ve found the place. After intense searching and reading, I have found many interesting stories, questions and answers – however nothing that really hit the nail on the head for my particular issue. I hope that you are able to provide some guidance for me. At the early age of 34, I have just begun my second career as a Veterinarian. I have just been hired at what seems to be a great veterinary clinic; one that has similar goals and interests as I have. Enthusiastically, I offered to go in unpaid for two days after graduation, before the start date of my contract – just to get a feel of the place, introduce myself to the workers and become familiar with the products, etc of the clinic. For the most part, I really enjoyed my time and felt comfortable with the staff. However, I came across a nurse who was aggressive, hostile and rude to me on both days.

For example, I offered my help with clipping a dog and her very gruff and short reply was, “I don’t want you to do anything!” Then on the second day, she seemed quite miffed that I was in the surgery room taking up space – as she made an elbow gesture of not enough room to my new boss who was the one who had invited me into the surgery. Towards the end of the surgery the Dr and nurse proceeded to have a conversation that was awkward for me to stand in on, but I couldn’t leave the room. It was based on the nurse saying to the vet that he was “mean” to her. He replied by saying that he wasn’t and tried to explain that she needed to divulge information about where she puts things so when she isn’t there other people can find them, etc.

It was uncomfortable for me and seemed quite uncomfortable for the vet. I tried to diffuse the situation by saying, “It’s really a complement.” and before I could finish her response was, “Will you just go away!” I know that perhaps I should have not said anything, but it was uncomfortable and it was the only way I knew how to deal with the situation for myself, the head vet and her. The vet said nothing – just looked sheepish. I do not know if he had a word with her later on – I would have hoped so, but this is only a golden standard wish. I was just quite after that comment.

She then commented on what poor habits the vet had. I saw an opportunity and said with placing my hand on her arm, “Well you can train me how you wish a good vet to be.” She seemed happy with this as she said, “Don’t you worry about that.” I left shortly after all of this and said to both, “Thank you for your help today and I look forward to seeing you next time I come in.” It was the best I could do to defuse the situation and make her feel important, which I felt she wasn’t feeling.

I would also like to note that she has also made a few other comments to another vet (one year out) that was more an attempt to condemn and accuse rather than assist and inform. She seems to be quite defensive and didn’t take well to me assisting with a surgery even though she had left the surgery herself. Another vet has made comments to ignore her. However, the head vet seemed to be more embarrassed and walking on eggshells around her. My question is how should I handle this? I am not a thick-skinned person, especially in this situation where my professional appearance is so vitally important to me. I’m fresh out of university into a career that I am passionate about, but trying to find my feet and a bit insecure about my knowledge and skills as I haven’t even started working for this clinic. I know that difficult people exist, but I don’t want to be bullied or have my confidence shattered by this woman. I am on a three-month probation period – so I don’t even feel that I can say anything or act any way except to ignore her until I have a full year or more contract. Can you please advise as I’m terrified of having a bully on my tail – she seems like the person who would target me as I am new and willing to please and get along. Thank you for your time and any assistance you may provide.

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Desperate For Less Stress!


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 ( 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!


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.


New Hire


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!


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


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


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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