Should I Take This Promotion?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about uncomfortable about a promotion to work under a difficult boss:

My boss says I deserve a promotion and she will help me get one. However, I would work with a bad supervisor, which I don’t want to do. I don’t want to do his work or get blamed for his inabilities when the Boss retires and I am under him. I have told my Boss that I don’t like my supervisor and she has heard some of my reasons. My supervisor is known for some of his bad behavior by my Boss.

Now, since I’ve made those remarks about my supervisor, I don’t know if I will be promoted. But, my boss asked me if I liked the supervisor and I answered honestly. I didn’t bad-mouth my supervisor, but I have shared how he has handled situations involving myself and others. I’m the best they have in the division and they all know this. I’m a good worker and I achieve a lot, according to my boss. What can I do at this point?

Signed, Worried

Dear Worried:

The first thing you probably need to decide is, do you not want the promotion if you have to work with that supervisor you don’t like? Or, do you want the promotion even though you will be or may be working with him?I doubt they are going to fire the supervisor just because you don’t like him, even if there are things he has done that are not very good. So, I think you will have to make up your mind to either get along with him or just pass on the promotion.

Unfortunately, it sounds to me as though even if you don’t get promoted you’ll still be working around him, so you won’t have gained anything!I suggest you contact your boss again and tell her that you’ve worried about how your remarks might have been taken. You can say that you were being perfectly honest about your feelings, but on the other hand, you have always wanted to have the opportunity to show what you can do at a higher level. So……you WOULD take the promotion and would like the chance to try for the position if it opens up.

If you want, you might even tell your boss that one reason you made the comments that you did was because you like and trust her. But you didn’t want to just dump all your feelings about the supervisor on her in that way.Then, show in your work and behavior that you are truly making an effort not just to “get along” with the supervisor but to accept the supervisor in the role he has. You don’t have to be fake about it, but you can show respect and courtesy. You may be an excellent worker, but I’ll bet you’re not perfect.

So, focus on what you can do to improve your own work and let the Boss handle the person she is responsible for–your supervisor. It sounds like you have a good relationship with the boss, so that is positive for the future. I think you owe it to yourself to move up in the business. Sometimes moving up means working with people in a different ways, but for most of us that’s not a bad price to pay for the chance for a permanent promotion.Best wishes to you with this. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.