My Boss Thinks I Snitched On Him.

My boss used to be great with me, but recently he has seemed to feel differently about me, as though he doesn’t trust me. He will talk to other employees about work, but not include me in any of it. I asked one of my colleagues about this change in attitude and she told me that he thinks I am snitching on him. She told me not to tell anyone that she gave me that information.

I tried to talk to him, to find out more about it, but he wouldn’t even talk to me or listen to me. .

I do not know what to do to prove I am not a snitch. I do not know who spread this rumor about me or who is accusing me of it. Also I do not know how to deal with this thing.

Am I to work normally and do my tasks and ignore this issue which has surfaced and seems to be getting worse? Am I to fight for my reputation, which might lead to even more trouble? I feel like I am living in Hell, but I can’t easily leave my job. Thank you for your help!
Signed–Living in Hell

Dear Living in Hell:
Yes it’s miserable to feel you have lost the good relationship you had with your boss. And it is disturbing that a coworker has told you that your boss thinks you have snitched on him. My suggestions are no quick fix, but I hope they will enable you to manage your emotions that cause you to feel like living in hell.

  1. Take control of your emotions. Don’t allow this snitch rumor to play like a broken record. Coming to your job with this worry that your boss thinks you have said something against him repeating over and over in your head cannot but lessen the attention you give to doing your job. Now is a time you want to be at your best. You want your coworkers and boss to see a competent and reliable employee. 
    In last month’s Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, research asserts that people have more control over their emotions. For you even if this is only partly true, it means that you need not allow this fear that your boss sees you as a snitch make you a living in hell basket case. You say “I tried to discuss these things with him, but he even rejected to listen or discuss anything”, so now it is time to focus on doing what you are hired to do and to focus on ways to be seen by your boss and coworkers as adding value–by using time well, by cutting wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted energy and by one who exudes zest for living. Don’t dwell on the past. There will come a time to speak with your boss after a few weeks of concerted effort to be the kind of employee you would hire if you were boss. I don’t think this is a time to bypass your boss by taking this snitch rumor to your boss’s boss or to talk about it further.
  2. Become boss of yourself. Look in the mirror. Talk to yourself frankly. Realize that you know yourself better than anyone else, better than your boss and better than the coworker who told you your boss thinks you are a snitch. Looking in the mirror, add up the good things you have done that previously earned your pay and respect of your boss. Then review what might have caused a coworker to say your boss thinks you are a snitch–review it and realize there are many little things that could be interpreted and misinterpreted that way. Probably you have asked this coworker why she said your boss thinks you snitch. If she has no solid evidence to back up that snitch possibility, put it our of your mind. Don’t dwell on it. Admit you are not perfect and if you have gossiped about the boss in any way, you should admit it and apologize. If after this review, you honestly know you have not betrayed him in any way, put that snitch thought out of your mind, like any detective must do. Don’t dwell on it. You have Remember you are boss of yourself. You are in control.
  3. See this time as an opportunity–as a time to think through what can make you feel more secure rather than go to pieces fearing you might be fired from your job. This should be a time, to see this boss-rejection as merely a bum in the road. What might make you feel more secure? From a distance, of course there is no way I can know you; however, I can propose that you should realize you are more than your job. You are a person who has had enough good about you to be employed. You are a person who wants to be respected and liked. You are a person beyond a job–one who has a life outside of the workplace. You can sing along with a favorite song, can tutor a child, befriend a lonely person, can enjoy simple things like cooking or eating out, can workout or take a walk in the park, can be awed by the wonders of a flower, can commit time to making your little circle of the world better, and, use this upset, to plan how to get training that will make working other places want you. You are and can be a survivor. So put message to plays as a record in your head rather than the cracked snitch record.

Do any of these thoughts help you put this “live like hell” in perspective? Please know that I predict this unhappy time will pass and that you will feel better about your job. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. –William Gorden