Problem With Weird Boss

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss’s different behavior: I can’t let some weirdo to spoil my career, or should bring this to my superior’s boss? Or should I look for some new better job?

From past 10-15 days my boss has started behaving really very strange. I was his right hand. Whenever he was on leave I was asked to look after the things; he even he drafted mail to my clients to contact me when I was not there. I have completed 8 months in this job and have received two awards & also lot of appreciation from our clients.

Lately, he has involved my teammate in whatever I used to handle alone and also he will give her chance to work in projects where she will be the only owner of it. Even if I show willingness to involve in that task, he asks me let her handle that and will give me some crap where I am not visible at all. I thought I was so near to promotion & he is now making all these hard. He always encourages the other teammate to work more or speak up.

Sometimes he will speak up for her. I was ok that he never encourages me that way in front of others, as I can speak up for myself (that he also knows). But these days he is trying to bring me down and increase her importance. He will not give me a chance to be visible to clients. I do not have a single project which now I am handling alone.

We have expertise in different fields; my teammate hardly knows what needs to be done related to my profile. She will mess up I will clean it and it comes out as if we both have done equal job. He does not speak of all this directly but I can feel it. He’s hurting my growth. I really don’t want to quit this job as I see lot of opportunities, given that I don’t have boss behaving like this. What do you suggest? Should I talk with him, as I have really lost my patience? I can’t let some weirdo to spoil my career, or should bring this to my superior’s boss? Or should I look for some new better job?

Signed, Lost My Patience

Dear Lost My Patience:

The tone of your query displays that you have soured on your boss and that you trace that to preferential treatment to your teammate. Apparently, you feel you have lost the favor of your boss, but from what you say, there is no evidence he is strange. And you conclude by listing several options before you.

I’ll address these options: My quick advice is a don’t; don’t bypass him. Going above one’s superior is a sure way to lose his/her favor and to make your future with this company problematic. By-passing, in my opinion, is only justified for threatening acts, unethical/criminal acts, sexual harassment, and/or discriminatory behavior.Should you confront your boss about displeasure with him? No. Right now that would be perceived as you against him. The fact that you label him a “weirdo” spoiling your career signals that you had best get hold of yourself before you meet with him. Rather, once you can again see him as you used to, as one who treated you as his right hand, then you should meet with him for a performance review and a candid talk about how he sees your career progressing and how you feel you have lost his support.

Your jealousy and criticism of your teammate probably should only be a matter of discussion if he inquires or if you have documented evidence of her incompetence. And rather than criticize her, it would be more productive and face-saving if you two had a three-way meeting with the boss. Here again, remember the by-passing don’t; don’t say things about her you haven’t said to her and that will not help you work together as teammates. If she and you working together is an issue, schedule a three-way discussion. That’s the way you would want a coworker to report on/not report on you. Right?

Should you look for a job elsewhere? Sure keep your eyes open. But don’t cut off your bridge within before looking outside. Lateral if not upward bound opportunities are not far off if you prove you add value to your current job and network within.Do these thoughts make sense? If not, I hope they provoke more creative possibilities. I don’t have to tell you to think big; I can’t tell that you are ambitious. So think interdependently; within your little circle and beyond. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and in your case, don’t allow your disappointment to sour what might be good for you, your teammate and boss. Follow Up: I will surely try to see it way you suggested.

William Gorden