My Boss Ignores Me

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being ignored: When I ask for something for work, he says, “I’m very busy.” But when my partner in the office wants anything, he gets it for him. What shall I do?

My boss for the past 2 or 3 months has ignored me. When I ask for something for work, he says, “I’m very busy.” But when my partner in the office wants anything, he gets it for him. What shall I do?

Signed, Too Busy For Me

Dear Too Busy For Me:

I’m sure it is frustrating to be ignored. From here, it is impossible to know why your boss says he’s too busy when you ask his help. The important thing is that you have a job in these difficult times. Hopefully you are doing what is required to do it well. Have you been at this job long enough to know it and to feel that you are a valued employee?

I recommend several things you might do:

1. Look in the mirror; by that I mean to evaluate what is required in your job and how well you are trained for it. Do you see it as just a job or do you think of it as work for which you are qualified and that you like? Are there ways you can see to do it better; to cut wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted energy, wasted money? Are there small ways to improve how it is done?

2. Jot down the kind of questions you need to ask to do your job. Are there other ways to find answers to those questions rather than to ask your boss?

3. Develop good communication with coworkers about the work they and you do. Don’t gossip or complain about your boss. Observe and learn from those about you. Learn what they need from you and you from them.

4. Request a meeting with your boss. Ask his opinion on your performance. This is a way to learn if you are doing what he wants or if you need to change the way you work. Don’t complain about his attention to a coworker, but tell him that you want to do good work and to make his job easier. Be prepared to say what you need from him to do it well, such as having a short meeting at the beginning of the week or day if something is unclear or your assignment is different. You can ask when it is ok for you to speak with him. Ask his advice on what you need to do to improve; and if you need more training what steps you should take to get that training. Think of him as a coach.

5. Don’t allow this problem occupy too much of your time. Do things outside of the workplace that you enjoy and that you feel make your little circle of the world a bit more pleasant; walk, sing in a choir, play ball, taking a computer course at the library, have hobby such as working around your house, volunteering at the hospital, etc.

Work on your self; getting more in fit, reading, exercising your body and mind. Develop a strong character and making contribution to your community. Do these suggestions make sense? Work is hard enough without being afraid to talk to your boss. So come to work with a smile and determination to make this day a good day for others and you. That’s what I mean by my closing sentence: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden