Ignored by Boss

A question to the Workplace Doctors about a boss’s attitude:

When I started working in the office I got on great with my boss but a colleague of mine was forever fighting with me so when I told my boss he told me to completely ignore her and just send messages to her by e mail which I did. This girl in the meantime slandered me to everyone and anyone who would listen but I just got on with my work.

However, we decided to change offices, and my boss was going to let this girl work from home. She went mad and said she was leaving. She is best friends with my boss’s lawyer who spoke to my boss and turned the finger at me. My boss needed her back because she does his accounts and her conditions were that she do all the accounting and everything was taken off me.
For the past 3 years, I have continued working but most of my work has been taken off me and my boss never speaks to me. It is really humiliating, he gives work to everyone but nothing to me. I suppose I should leave but the pay is good and I need the money. Any advice?

Signed–Don’t Like Being Ignored

Dear Don’t Like Being Ignored:

It is disheartening to be ignored, and you are right to want to earn what you are paid. I commend you for not wanting to loaf.

But have you considered that you are fortunate to be well paid and not to have a boss that treats you like dirt, criticizes everything you do, and/or dumps piles of work on you? Some bosses are like that.

Actually you must be doing some things right or you would be fired.

You have answered your question: Count your blessings and stick with your job until you find something that is really better. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

In the meantime, here are some simple practical things to do:

*Before you close your door and head for work, check your attitude. Rid your mind of the resentment you feel toward your badmouthing co-worker and boss. Bring a smile and positive attitude to work. See yourself as a cheerleader.

*Surely after working there for three years you can see ways to make your workplace better: more attractive, more pleasant for coworkers, more profitable. Imagine you were in charge, what might you do to cut wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted energy? How might you improve customer service and quality of products and service? If you owned the place, what other products and service might you do?

*Examine what you are doing when not given tasks like you were in the past. How wonderful it is for you to have time to think rather than brood about being a victim. Don’t play with the Internet, do crossword or any number of non-work personal business. Although you are not assigned important tasks, you are hired to be present in both body and mind. So be there.

*Explore what is available in other parts of your organization. On your own study skills needed should you find a place to transfer within or work in a related company. Plan what you might need to learn if fired. Take a short course outside to make yourself ready should the ax fall.

*Frankly talk with your boss about wanting to be more productive. Tell him that you want career advice. Ask for training. Ask how you might make his job more effective and easier. Such a conversation seems long overdue, and might surprise you positively. Good bosses should initiate such conversations. You can help your boss do what he should be doing.

*Volunteer. Almost every workplace praises doing tasks that help the less fortunate. Tutoring. Visiting shut-ins. Working in a food bank. Â

*Enjoy yourself by singing in a choir, dancing, working out. Life is more than work.

Do any of these thoughts put your situation in perspective and strike you as worth trying? You deserve and want to be valued. I predict that in the next few weeks you will earn that kind of respect. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. How does my signature sentence apply to your situation? Please tell me how you are doing in the future.

William Gorden