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.


Bossed, Bossed, Bossed


Dear Bossed, Bossed, Bossed:

Surely, a chain such as Sharro’s, has a Human Resources Manager, at least at its district level. Complaints to HR are supposed to be kept confidential; however, they often are not. So if you are working scared of being fired, you will risk being fired even if you send in a complaint anonymously. Why? Because the manager and wife will know it came from one of you employees who resent her. Either you are willing to risk being fired or you must bite your tongue. Right? I assume you don’t have a union, so it is up to you to use your voice wisely or shut up.

You have alternatives. That is to frankly and privately speak to the bossy wife about how you feel about her bossiness and her attitude. Most people, and that includes a boss’s wife, want to be liked, and they do not like to be disliked. Can you convince her that you want to work as a team and that she can help make all of you on staff more enthused about your jobs, and consequently, help her husband-manager be more successful in his job? That is possible and that should help both of them. Be specific about with examples of what bothers you if you do confront the wife. If you had a bad attitude, how would you like a co-worker to speak to you about that? Go behind your back to the manager or talk kindly and frankly to you?

A second alternative is to not mention the bad attitude of the wife, but to speak with the manager about how he might coach all of you to be genuinely enthusiastic about making Sharro’s a glowing success. How? By weekly, coaching meetings such as a coach has. Coaches call skull sessions after each game and they hold coaching drills before. The agenda is simple for these sessions: What has been going well? What might be done better? Are we working together as a team? How might we make each other’s job more effective and fun? These sessions should enlist all present to contribute their opinions, concerns and ideas.

This second approach should be motivated as is the first–to make the manager’s job easier and for him to look good to his boss. You say your District Manager is a brown-noser. If so, he will want your manager to look good to his boss and this local Sharro’s to be a top-producer. Do these thoughts make sense? You should not work scared and your co-workers should not make your working life miserable. You have choices. No one else will solve your problem for your. Often managers need to be prodded or motivated to deal with attitude improvement.

You have a voice. That voice can mumble complaints about what is not right or that voice can speak. Crossing the bridge over troubled waters begins with a few steps and keeps on walking. You must vote with your voice or vote with your feet to find work elsewhere.

Think WEGO–we are a work group that should be a team.

William Gorden