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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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It may be you, not your boss

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Dear Ella,

I’ve been working in the same company for almost five years. I like my job and the people I work with. I hate my boss, and I think he hates me. He doesn’t treat me like he treats the other employees in my department, and there’s blatant favouritism, which makes for a very uncomfortable environment.

For example, he never says good morning to me, and a smile is out of the question. I get chastised if I’m even one minute late, yet I’ve seen others come in late and he doesn’t say a word. He never chit-chats with me like he does with my colleagues. Sometimes I feel like a leper in this place. The other employees are very cordial and nice to me, and we all get along great until “he” walks into the room. Then everyone starts sucking up to him, and it feeds his ego.

I feel it’s unfair, but this is a secure, paying job and I have a lot of bills to pay. I don’t have the luxury of leaving just because of a personality conflict. I don’t know if it’s a sexist thing or a jealousy thing. I don’t really want to complain about him to the head of the company, because that will just make things worse.

What should I do?

Hate My Boss

Dear Hate My Boss,

Since you spend most of your day at work, contentment in the workplace is important. Usually a problem with a boss is much more than just a personality conflict.

Perhaps you need to look at the bigger picture – look at yourself. Does your performance match your colleagues and, therefore, allow for you to have the extra perks? Do you work as diligently, ethically and efficiently as other employees? Are you clear, open, reliable and trustworthy? Does your self-interest trump your concern for others? Are you respectful, or do you roll your eyes or sigh when you are not happy?

Don’t just gloss over these questions. You’d best think about them long and hard, and be very honest with yourself if you really want to find a solution.

Even if you honestly don’t feel like you’re guilty of any of these, others’ perceptions may be different than your own.

Of course, it’s possible that it’s as simple as your boss just doesn’t like you, but that’s unlikely to happen for no reason, and I assume he had something to do with hiring you?

If you want to improve your situation, you’ll need to change your attitude first. Make up your mind to give it all you’ve got and be the best you can be. Walk in on time, or even a little early, with a smile on your face. Look your boss in the eye and say good morning first. Work harder and smarter. Anticipate what he and your team need and stay on top of it. Don’t kvetch and complain. Be proactive and put the good of the company before your own gain.

If you truly give it all you’ve got and still have a problem with your boss, you have nothing to lose by requesting a private meeting and confronting him. Maybe there is something you’re missing, but prepare yourself to hear things you may not be aware of, or may not like.

Most problems can be fixed with hard work and honesty. Good luck.

 

Readers may submit their questions to Ella at The CJN, e-mail: ellacjn@gmail.com. But Ella is not a professional counsellor. She brings to the questions posed by readers her unique brand of earthy wisdom. Her advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional.

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