The Boss’ Girlfriend


I was a personal assistant to an executive for about 3 years. He has a girlfriend that he has just proposed to and now she’s become a tyrant.

Not long ago I was recognized by our head office for a position I helped structure. Now this woman wants the position for herself! My boss took the position away from me and gave it to her. To make matters worse, she has him lay me off with a measly $2900 severance before Christmas. I had to put this aside for 2 months rent with no money coming in for food or utilities. He had the nerve to tell me that the reason for lay off is because there is not enough work for me.

I later learned that his bride- to-be has become his assistant. Yet he dared to say on the day he laid me off that I was an asset to his business, but that there just wasn’t enough work. What have I done that made her want to get rid of me? All I did was get recognition on a job well done!


I Was


Dear I Was:

I re-wrote your question to tighten it up. I apologize if I haven’t captured its essence. The fact is captured in the words, “I was” I’ve assigned as a signature. Yes, that is true. You were acknowledged for your work, but when the boss proposed to Ms. Right, you were soon out. And you’ll have to get used to that. The fact is that you were and still are. Therefore the issue is how you will deal with this uncharitable before Christmas layoff. I don’t advise that you hold your breath in hopes of being rehired. Like after a dear Jill letter or being a stood up, you have some choices: · Complain to your family and friends, · Obsess over this detour in your career, playing it over and over in your head until you filled with anger and are sick with worry,

· Cause what revenge you can muster by spelling out to former coworkers the story of how Ms. Right arranged your lay off,

· By letter and/or face-to-face confrontation with your boss saying what you didn’t think to say when you were laid off · Dress as you did when going to work and find temporary work, not allowing your layoff to be hidden, · Use some of this time to recharge your soul; singing in a choir, yoga and workouts, volunteering at a food bank, · Take training that will upgrade your skills, · Alert your network you are job hunting by attending professional meetings, church or community support groups. Join others who are employed and unemployed. Make it known. Assertively apply. Because you are closest to this situation, I expect that you can answer the “why this happened” better than can anyone else. Nevertheless, sometimes it take an emotional upset for us to reflect on possible causes, and it might help to look in the mirror and ask, “Was I the sharpest kid on the block”; was I increasing my job skills and becoming more valuable as the years went by; did I find ways to cut waste; wasted supplies, wasted energy, wasted time, and money? Get my point? You may not have taken you position for granted, but possibly you didn’t do enough to make your self indispensable. Trouble can swamp us in self-pity or can make us mad enough to rev up our “I’m down, but I won’t stay down grit.” Admittedly, that’s easier for me to say than you. Don’t waste much time of trying to answer the why question since you know your boss succumbed to the manipulation of Ms. Right. Too many men are vulnerable and weak and others invite trouble. You don’t have to look far to know that. The options before you are there and you will have to strike them off as wise or stupid. You might find some inspiration by talking with others who are laid off. Do take the time to visit my associate workplace doctor Tina Lewis Rowe’s site. All it takes is click on her name on our home page. I mention this because she undoubtedly has encountered situations such as yours in her career and consulting.

Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. This is not a time to save face; it is time to keep your chin up.

William Gorden